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Drawing circles

From: Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials

Video: Drawing circles

In this exercise I'm going to show you how to draw circles, which might lead you to think, Oh come on, Deke, do you really think we need help drawing circles? Are you mad man? What is wrong with you? I'm not sure that we want to get into that, it's a long list, but I am going to show you how to draw circles and not only that, we're only going to draw the first three circles in this exercise. We're going to wait for the other two circles till the next exercise. That's how much information I have to share with you. It's a ton of information, some related to circles, some a little more generalized, all very, very useful stuff.

Drawing circles

In this exercise I'm going to show you how to draw circles, which might lead you to think, Oh come on, Deke, do you really think we need help drawing circles? Are you mad man? What is wrong with you? I'm not sure that we want to get into that, it's a long list, but I am going to show you how to draw circles and not only that, we're only going to draw the first three circles in this exercise. We're going to wait for the other two circles till the next exercise. That's how much information I have to share with you. It's a ton of information, some related to circles, some a little more generalized, all very, very useful stuff.

And by the end of this pair of exercises, I swear to you, you're going to be going, Oh, I was wondering how you did that in Illustrator. Now I know. Those will be your exact words. Please write them down now so that you can read them back at the end of this pair of exercises. All right so if you've been working along with me inside the Tonalpohualli document then stick with it. If you want to catch up with me, I'm now inside the Circles.ai document in which I've already gone ahead and converted the circles and calendar layers to locked templates here, and the guides layer is visible and the My drawing layer is active. So we're ready to start drawing our circles and I'll start with the stuff you already know. I know you already know this but I just need to make sure we're all on the same page. You get to the Ellipse Tool by clicking on it of course and you can also take advantage of the keyboard shortcut, which is L for ellipse, so go ahead and grab that Ellipse Tool, and then you can drag with the tool in order to draw an ellipse, yes, yes, yes. You can press the spacebar in order to move the ellipse on the fly. I'll go ahead and release the spacebar as soon as you get that ellipse in the proper location. You can press the Shift key in order to constrain the ellipse to a circle, to a perfect circle.

So all that stuff you already knew, I knew that. Okay, so I'll go ahead and undo that circle I drew. Here's what I want you to do. I want you to draw the first circle from the center outward. So position your cursor at the center of these two guides, at the intersection of these two guides, and then start drawing and as you're drawing press and hold the Shift key so that you're getting a perfect circle and the Alt key so that you're drawing from the center outward. So that's Shift and Alt. On the Macintosh side I want you to press the Shift and Option keys. Then when you get the two circles aligned here, go ahead and release your mouse button and then release your keys and that will ensure that you have a perfect circle, perfectly aligned with the perfect center of this perfect 260-day calendar. Next I want you to stroke this shape with black and I want you to do that by pressing the D key. The D key goes ahead and assigns the default colors and you can also click on this little icon down here in the toolbox, but it's so much easier just to press the D key, that gets you the default fill and stroke for this specific object, and for most drawn objects the defaults are a black stroke and a white fill.

Now I want you to go ahead and change that fill. The fill should be active and you can confirm that here inside the Color palette, which you can get by going to the Window menu and choosing the Color command or pressing the F6 key. Or you can make sure to fill is active down here in the toolbox too, and all you need to do to make sure that fill is active is just click on that fill icon. This guy's the fill icon, this guy's the stroke icon. And then make the fill transparent by either clicking on this slash or pressing the slash (/) key on the keyboard. So just as you can get the Line Tool by pressing the backslash key (\) because it looks like a backslash, you can get a transparent whatever, fill or stroke depending on what's active, by pressing the forward slash (/) key because that little line there looks like a forward slash. And then finally change the stroke value up here in the Control palette to 2 and press Enter. So those are the fill and stroke attributes that I want you to use.

A couple of other ways to draw ellipses or circles inside of the Illustrator. You can go ahead and start dragging at the side of an arc here. So let's drag from this point here and as I drag down, now I'm left handed, so sometimes that affects the direction in which I'm dragging. You can start from one of the other arcs if you want to, but notice as I'm dragging even if I press the Shift key which I need to do so that I get a perfect circle, that I'm actually drawing from corner to corner of the bounding box that contains the circle, which is not really the best way to work. I would rather draw from arc to arc because those are points on the ellipse, and if you want to do that too then also press, you've got the Shift key down, also press and hold the Control key or the Command key on the Mac and notice now you're dragging from arc to opposite arc, and this is the way Illustrator used to work, this is the way that the Ellipse Tool used to work inside of Illustrator, back in the good old days where this feature is concerned, but now you have to press and hold the Control key or the Command key as well because people from other programs got mixed up. Oh well anyway, so that's another way to draw if you want to. And then finally, and notice it's not quite in the proper position, don't worry about that. We're going to align all of these circles in the next exercise. Just leave it sort of cockeyed for now.

And then finally the other thing that you can do is just click with the tool and I invite you to just click, at the intersection of the two guidelines here, go ahead and click with the tool in order to bring up the Ellipse dialog box that asks you what size of an ellipse you want to draw. I want a circle and I just happen to know that it's 238 points in diameter, and I am working in points but just in case you aren't, you could also enter pt at the end here, 238 pt like that. And then, of course you'd have to press Tab and enter 238 pt for the height value as well, cause it's a circle or you could just click on the word Height. Watch what happens. If you click on Height, it lifts the value from Width. If you were to click on Width, it would left the value from Height. Isn't that cool? Isn't that, now you didn't know that. There's something nifty, I think. And that works for drawing other shapes as well, as it turns out.

All right, so go ahead and click OK in order to create that shape. Now there's a problem because it created the shape from that corner. That's no good. So let's undo that and press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and click. So Option or Alt-click brings up the Ellipse dialog box again. Just say OK this time, exactly centers the shape this time at that point because I had the Alt or Option key down. So there you go, we've drawn three of the five circles, I will show you how to draw the next two circles and I will knock your socks off as well with an extra special trick in the next exercise.

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This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials
Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials

114 video lessons · 36997 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
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  1. 59m 53s
    1. Welcome to Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials
      2m 0s
    2. The unwelcome Welcome screen
      6m 35s
    3. Browsing Illustrator artwork
      4m 53s
    4. Bridge workspaces and favorites
      6m 8s
    5. The anatomy of an illustration
      7m 2s
    6. Examining a layered illustration
      5m 38s
    7. Customizing an illustration
      5m 21s
    8. Creating a new document
      6m 12s
    9. Changing the document setup
      6m 51s
    10. Saving a document
      6m 14s
    11. Closing multiple files
      2m 59s
  2. 1h 3m
    1. Preferences, color settings, and workspaces
      55s
    2. Keyboard Increment and Object Selection
      5m 52s
    3. Scratch Disks and Appearance of Black
      6m 43s
    4. Establishing the best color settings
      5m 35s
    5. Synchronizing color settings in Bridge
      4m 3s
    6. The new CS3 interface
      3m 55s
    7. Organizing the palettes
      9m 4s
    8. Saving your workspace
      2m 33s
    9. Zooming and scrolling
      3m 39s
    10. Using the Zoom tool
      5m 27s
    11. The Navigator palette
      3m 37s
    12. Nudging the screen image
      2m 50s
    13. Scroll wheel tricks
      3m 11s
    14. Cycling between screen modes
      5m 56s
  3. 1h 4m
    1. Why learn Illustrator from a Photoshop guy?
      1m 32s
    2. Introducing layers
      4m 37s
    3. Creating ruler guides
      6m 34s
    4. Creating a custom guide
      3m 28s
    5. Organizing your guides
      5m 50s
    6. Making a tracing template
      3m 34s
    7. Drawing a line segment
      4m 10s
    8. Drawing a continuous arc
      4m 17s
    9. Drawing a looping spiral
      5m 17s
    10. Cutting lines with the Scissors tool
      6m 45s
    11. Aligning and joining points
      7m 58s
    12. Drawing concentric circles
      3m 45s
    13. Cleaning up overlapping segments
      6m 21s
  4. 1h 9m
    1. The anatomy of a shape
      1m 1s
    2. Meet the Tonalpohualli
      4m 8s
    3. Meet the geometric shape tools
      3m 47s
    4. Drawing circles
      6m 36s
    5. Snapping and aligning shapes
      7m 0s
    6. Polygons and stars
      7m 0s
    7. Rectangles and rounded rectangles
      6m 16s
    8. The amazing constraint axes
      6m 30s
    9. Grouping a flipping
      7m 37s
    10. Combining simple shapes into complex ones
      6m 36s
    11. Drawing with Scissors and Join
      6m 3s
    12. Cutting and connecting in Illustrator CS3
      3m 49s
    13. Tilde key goofiness
      2m 55s
  5. 1h 22m
    1. Three simple ingredients, one complex result
      33s
    2. Introducing Fill and Stroke
      3m 42s
    3. Accessing color libraries and sliders
      7m 8s
    4. Using the CMYK sliders for print output
      5m 6s
    5. Using the RGB sliders for screen output
      4m 39s
    6. Color palette tips and tricks
      4m 46s
    7. Creating and saving color swatches
      4m 14s
    8. Trapping gaps with rich blacks
      7m 58s
    9. Filling and stacking shapes
      5m 17s
    10. Dragging and dropping swatches
      6m 16s
    11. Paste in Back, Paste in Front
      5m 43s
    12. Filling shapes inside groups
      5m 16s
    13. Pasting between layers
      3m 34s
    14. Joins, caps, and dashes
      5m 50s
    15. Fixing strokes and isolating your edits
      7m 35s
    16. Creating a pattern fill
      4m 38s
  6. 1h 22m
    1. The power of transformations
      1m 25s
    2. From primitives to polished art
      4m 4s
    3. Clone and Duplicate
      6m 15s
    4. Moving by the numbers
      4m 16s
    5. Using the Reshape tool
      6m 30s
    6. Modifying, aligning, and uniting paths
      7m 0s
    7. Using the Offset Path command
      4m 25s
    8. Styling and eyedropping
      4m 11s
    9. The wonders of the translucent group
      5m 37s
    10. Making a black-and-white template
      3m 48s
    11. Scaling and cloning shapes
      4m 26s
    12. Enlarging and stacking shapes
      5m 6s
    13. Positioning the origin point
      6m 50s
    14. Using the Rotate and Reflect tools
      5m 16s
    15. Series rotation (aka power duplication)
      4m 3s
    16. Rotating by the numbers
      5m 15s
    17. Rotating repeating pattern fills
      4m 32s
  7. 1h 4m
    1. Points are boys, control handles are girls
      2m 16s
    2. Tracing a scanned image or photograph
      4m 34s
    3. Placing an image as a template
      5m 32s
    4. Drawing a straight-sided path
      5m 36s
    5. Moving, adding, and deleting points
      5m 51s
    6. Drawing spline curves with Round Corners
      7m 56s
    7. Smooth points and Bézier curves
      8m 12s
    8. Defining a cusp between two curves
      4m 37s
    9. Adjusting handles and converting points
      7m 4s
    10. Cutting, separating, and closing paths
      7m 31s
    11. Eyedropping template colors
      5m 11s
  8. 1h 28m
    1. Paths never rest
      1m 42s
    2. Meet Uzz, Cloying Corporate Mascot
      2m 22s
    3. Exploring the Appearance palette
      5m 37s
    4. Snip and Spin
      7m 28s
    5. Adding a center point
      3m 57s
    6. Keeping shape intersections
      3m 8s
    7. Lifting fills and selecting through shapes
      4m 14s
    8. Saving and recalling selections
      5m 18s
    9. Rotating is a circular operation
      7m 35s
    10. Lassoing and scaling points
      6m 8s
    11. Using the Transform Each command
      5m 9s
    12. Using the Magic Wand tool
      6m 46s
    13. Converting paths and text to rich black
      2m 27s
    14. The overwrought lace pattern
      3m 21s
    15. Eyedropping Live Effects
      5m 39s
    16. Merging strokes with a compound path
      6m 32s
    17. Selecting and scaling independent segments
      6m 30s
    18. Pucker & Bloat
      4m 49s
  9. 1m 59s
    1. See ya for now
      1m 59s

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