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Drawing closed path primitives


Illustrator CS5 Essential Training

with Mordy Golding

Video: Drawing closed path primitives

Let's draw some shapes. In this video we are going to focus on drawing closed path shapes. Mainly the shapes that can be drawn with these tools over here are grouped with the Rectangle tool, Rectangle tool, the Rounded Rectangle tool, the Ellipse tool, Polygon tool and Star tool. To be honest with you I am not really sure why the Flare tool is here, but we're going to focus on these other five tools in this movie. Let's get started first by creating a new document. I will create a new print document and I will just make sure that it's a wide orientation just so it fits the screen little bit better here and we can get started.
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  1. 3m 35s
    1. Welcome
      1m 18s
    2. What is Illustrator CS5?
      1m 46s
    3. Using the exercise files
  2. 12m 37s
    1. What are vector graphics?
      6m 3s
    2. Path and appearance
      3m 42s
    3. Stacking
      2m 52s
  3. 32m 6s
    1. The Welcome screen
      2m 23s
    2. Creating files for print
      6m 7s
    3. Creating files for the screen
      2m 55s
    4. Using prebuilt templates
      2m 40s
    5. Adding XMP metadata
      4m 18s
    6. Exploring the panels
      6m 33s
    7. Using the Control panel
      3m 11s
    8. Using workspaces
      3m 59s
  4. 43m 44s
    1. Navigating within a document
      9m 15s
    2. Using rulers and guides
      7m 26s
    3. Using grids
      3m 6s
    4. Using the bounding box
      3m 37s
    5. Using Smart Guides
      5m 56s
    6. The Hide Edges command
      3m 22s
    7. Various preview modes
      3m 47s
    8. Creating custom views
      4m 3s
    9. Locking and hiding artwork
      3m 12s
  5. 28m 46s
    1. Using the basic selection tools
      8m 50s
    2. Using the Magic Wand tool
      5m 22s
    3. Using the Lasso tool
      2m 28s
    4. Selecting objects by attribute or type
      3m 37s
    5. Saving and reusing selections
      2m 15s
    6. Selecting artwork beneath other objects
      2m 13s
    7. Exploring selection preferences
      4m 1s
  6. 1h 16m
    1. The importance of modifier keys
      1m 52s
    2. Drawing closed path primitives
      11m 38s
    3. Drawing open path primitives
      5m 47s
    4. Understanding anchor points
      3m 43s
    5. Drawing straight paths with the Pen tool
      7m 37s
    6. Drawing curved paths with the Pen tool
      9m 47s
    7. Drawing freeform paths with the Pencil tool
      5m 33s
    8. Smoothing and erasing paths
      3m 8s
    9. Editing anchor points
      7m 21s
    10. Joining and averaging paths
      10m 9s
    11. Simplifying paths
      4m 55s
    12. Using Offset Path
      2m 17s
    13. Cleaning up errant paths
      2m 32s
  7. 48m 26s
    1. The Draw Inside and Draw Behind modes
      7m 34s
    2. Creating compound paths
      5m 56s
    3. Creating compound shapes
      8m 0s
    4. Using the Shape Builder tool
      10m 28s
    5. Using Pathfinder functions
      8m 6s
    6. Splitting an object into a grid
      1m 16s
    7. Using the Blob Brush and Eraser tools
      7m 6s
  8. 49m 1s
    1. Creating point text
      4m 2s
    2. Creating area text
      8m 13s
    3. Applying basic character settings
      7m 44s
    4. Applying basic paragraph settings
      4m 24s
    5. Creating text threads
      8m 25s
    6. Setting text along an open path
      6m 29s
    7. Setting text along a closed path
      6m 24s
    8. Converting text into paths
      3m 20s
  9. 18m 55s
    1. Create a logo mark
      11m 26s
    2. Add type to your logo
      7m 29s
  10. 42m 42s
    1. Using the Appearance panel
      8m 21s
    2. Targeting object attributes
      4m 42s
    3. Adding multiple attributes
      4m 25s
    4. Applying Live Effects
      5m 18s
    5. Expanding appearances
      4m 42s
    6. Appearance panel settings
      4m 33s
    7. Copying appearances
      4m 51s
    8. Saving appearances as graphic styles
      5m 50s
  11. 34m 0s
    1. Applying color to artwork
      5m 57s
    2. Creating process and global process swatches
      8m 54s
    3. Creating spot color swatches
      3m 19s
    4. Loading PANTONE and other custom color libraries
      4m 49s
    5. Organizing colors with Swatch Groups
      3m 31s
    6. Finding color suggestions with the Color Guide panel
      4m 24s
    7. Loading the Color Guide with user-defined colors
      3m 6s
  12. 50m 23s
    1. Creating gradients with the Gradient panel
      8m 12s
    2. Modifying gradients with the Gradient Annotator
      4m 37s
    3. Applying and manipulating pattern fills
      5m 33s
    4. Defining your own custom pattern fills
      9m 13s
    5. Applying basic stroke settings
      5m 22s
    6. Creating strokes with dashed lines
      3m 41s
    7. Adding arrowheads to strokes
      2m 45s
    8. Creating variable-width strokes
      4m 35s
    9. Working with width profiles
      2m 36s
    10. Turning strokes into filled paths
      3m 49s
  13. 32m 46s
    1. Creating and editing groups
      8m 18s
    2. Adding attributes to groups
      12m 17s
    3. The importance of using layers
      5m 9s
    4. Using and "reading" the Layers panel
      7m 2s
  14. 12m 13s
    1. Creating and using multiple artboards
      7m 52s
    2. Modifying artboards with the Artboards panel
      2m 2s
    3. Copy and paste options with Artboards
      2m 19s
  15. 31m 10s
    1. Moving and copying artwork
      3m 55s
    2. Scaling or resizing artwork
      6m 47s
    3. Rotating artwork
      2m 44s
    4. Reflecting and skewing artwork
      2m 34s
    5. Using the Free Transform tool
      2m 15s
    6. Repeating transformations
      3m 39s
    7. Performing individual transforms across multiple objects
      2m 10s
    8. Aligning objects and groups precisely
      4m 27s
    9. Distributing objects and spaces between objects
      2m 39s
  16. 35m 40s
    1. Placing pixel-based content into Illustrator
      5m 14s
    2. Managing images with the Links panel
      4m 49s
    3. Converting pixels to paths with Live Trace
      8m 44s
    4. Making Live Trace adjustments
      6m 9s
    5. Controlling colors in Live Trace
      6m 4s
    6. Using Photoshop and Live Trace together
      4m 40s
  17. 14m 42s
    1. Managing repeating artwork with symbols
      4m 38s
    2. Modifying and replacing symbol instances
      3m 8s
    3. Using the Symbol Sprayer tool
      6m 56s
  18. 16m 57s
    1. Cropping photographs
      1m 59s
    2. Clipping artwork with masks
      3m 22s
    3. Clipping the contents of a layer
      3m 31s
    4. Defining masks with soft edges
      8m 5s
  19. 25m 52s
    1. Defining a perspective grid
      7m 48s
    2. Drawing artwork in perspective
      8m 46s
    3. Moving flat art onto the perspective grid
      9m 18s
  20. 25m 8s
    1. Printing your Illustrator document
      3m 26s
    2. Saving your Illustrator document
      6m 39s
    3. Creating PDF files for clients and printers
      7m 30s
    4. Exporting Illustrator files for use in Microsoft Office
      1m 4s
    5. Exporting Illustrator files for use in Photoshop
      2m 31s
    6. Exporting artwork for use on the web
      3m 3s
    7. Exporting high-resolution raster files
  21. 2m 18s
    1. Additional Illustrator learning resources
      1m 36s
    2. Goodbye

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Watch the Online Video Course Illustrator CS5 Essential Training
10h 37m Beginner Apr 30, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In Illustrator CS5 Essential Training, author Mordy Golding explains the core concepts and techniques that apply to any workflow in Illustrator, whether designing for print, the web, or assets for other applications. This course includes a detailed explanation of the elements that make up vector graphics—paths, strokes, and fills—and shows how to use each of the Illustrator drawing tools. Also demonstrated are techniques for combining and cleaning up paths, organizing paths into groups and layers, text editing, working with color, effects, and much more. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Setting up a new document based on the output destination
  • Using rules, guides, and grids
  • Making detailed selections
  • Drawing and editing paths with the Pen and Pencil tools
  • Creating compound vector shapes
  • Understanding the difference between point and area text
  • Applying live effects
  • Creating color swatches
  • Transforming artwork with Rotation, Scale, and Transform effects
  • Placing images
  • Working with masks
  • Printing, saving, and exporting artwork
Mordy Golding

Drawing closed path primitives

Let's draw some shapes. In this video we are going to focus on drawing closed path shapes. Mainly the shapes that can be drawn with these tools over here are grouped with the Rectangle tool, Rectangle tool, the Rounded Rectangle tool, the Ellipse tool, Polygon tool and Star tool. To be honest with you I am not really sure why the Flare tool is here, but we're going to focus on these other five tools in this movie. Let's get started first by creating a new document. I will create a new print document and I will just make sure that it's a wide orientation just so it fits the screen little bit better here and we can get started.

Now when you have the Rectangle tool selected you will see a little crosshair that appears on your screen. This defines the point of where your rectangle will get started from when you start drawing. For example, if I click now and drag my mouse out you'll see that I am now drawing a rectangle but I started from that point where I clicked. It has become now the upper left-hand corner of the rectangle and I'm dragging down and towards the right to define the actual shape. Once I release the mouse, I've now created that rectangle on my screen. By the way you don't need to start in the upper left-hand corner and drag down towards the right. I just do so because it feels natural to me but you can actually click on any point and then drag up to the left or up to the right or even down to the left for example. Whatever feels most comfortable to you.

Let me delete this rectangle for moment and I will delete this one also and I want to spend a moment talking about how the modifier keys work with the Rectangle tool. Now remember the key to drawing inside of Illustrator and using the modifier keys is that I click on the mouse and I start to drag and I do not release the mouse button. In this way the modifier keys that I press on the keyboard can control the shape on the middle of drawing. However once I release the mouse, I've committed that shape to the artboard and the modifier keys no longer work on it. We will start with the most basic modifier key, which is the Shift key.

As you click and drag, if I now also hold down the Shift key on my keyboard I constrain my shape to be even on all four sides. Since I am using the Rectangle tool, that means that every shape that I draw will now be a perfect square. If I let go of the Shift key on my keyboard you'll see that I could create a rectangle but if I have the Shift key down I can only create a square. I will let go of the Shift key for a moment. I remember that when I started drawing the shape I clicked over here and I started dragging it down to the right. So the origin point or the first point to my rectangle is the upper left-hand corner, but what I am now going to do is hold down the Option key on my keyboard. I am on a Mac here so if you are on a PC that will be the Alt key and notice that now the origin point to the point that I clicked with the mouse has become the center of my rectangle.

So I am drawing out the shape from the center point instead of the upper left-hand corner. If I wanted to draw a square out from the center, I would hold down at the same time the Option and the Shift keys to create a square drawn out from that center. I will let go the modifier keys and you will see I am back to drawing like I was before. Now you may start drawing a shape and then realize, I really want that shape to be positioned somewhere else on your artboard. Now I could actually release the mouse, create my shape, switch to the Selection tool and move the rectangle to position that I want. Or I can actually use a modifier key to change the position of the rectangle while I am drawing it.

I'll delete this rectangle and show you what I mean. I am going to click and drag with a mouse to create my rectangle. Again without letting go with the mouse button, I'll now press the Spacebar on my keyboard and notice that now if I move my mouse, the rectangle itself is kind of frozen in place as far as its dimensions and I can now reposition that rectangle anywhere else in my screen. Once I let go the Spacebar it goes back to allow me to change the dimensions that shape in its new position. So when drawing this rectangle I was using the Shift key to constrain it so that is always a perfect square, the Option key would allow me to draw it out from its center, and the Spacebar allowed me to reposition that art as I was drawing it.

In this method I was using the Rectangle tool to simply draw a shape on my screen. I was kind of eyeballing it. However if you want to draw artwork to a very specific dimension it is possible for you to draw shapes numerically. The way to do that is to simply position your cursor anywhere on the screen and then instead of clicking and dragging to draw a rectangle just click and release the mouse. A Rectangle dialog box appears, prompting you to enter the width and height that's desired for your shape. Now remember all the measurements that you have inside of Illustrator can be changed on the fly. Every single field inside Illustrator is kind of like a miniature calculator.

So if I wanted to create for examples some kind of outline for a business card, which is 3.5" x 2", I might specify a width of 3.5 and then type in IN for inches. Hit the Tab key on my keyboard to advance to the next field. Illustrator now automatically converted my inches into points and then for the height I specify 2in, again hit Tab to accept that value, click OK and now I have created the rectangle. By the way the reason why I had my document set to points as a default setting is because I started this document using the Print profile, which uses points.

Notice by the way that Illustrator took the place where I clicked on my screen, which is right here, and used that as the origin point of that rectangle. So it took my dimensions and created a rectangle from this point out this way. However if you want a rectangle to be drawn out from its center, you can do that again using the Option key. Let's see how that works. I am going to hold down my Option key now and you can see now that my cursor changes to look little more like a square. This is the center cursor and now if I click let's say right over here I can enter the same values for my rectangle but when I click OK, notice how that the rectangle was drawn out from that point as its center point.

So just clicking once with the mouse brings up the Rectangle dialog box and uses that as the upper left-hand corner of your rectangle. Option or Alt clicking with the tool allows you to specify values for your rectangle and draws out the rectangle from the center. The techniques that we have just covered here in drawing rectangles applies also to the other shape tools that we are now going to go through. However, because they're different shapes they may have a few extra options above and beyond what we've seen of the rectangle. Let's take a look. I am now going to switch to my Ellipse tool. The Ellipse tool allows me to click and drag to create ellipses.

If I want to have a perfect circle, I will hold down the Shift key if. If I want to draw my circle out from its center, the Option key does that. Option and Shift together allows me to draw a perfect circle out from the center and like we discussed before, the Spacebar will allow me to reposition where that circle starts from and upon releasing the Spacebar you can go back to drawing that shape. Upon releasing the mouse I have now committed that shape to my artboard. If I have specific dimensions in mind, I can just click once on the artboard to bring up the Ellipse dialog box or Option+Click any where on the artboard to draw out that ellipse from the center point.

Now there are some other drawing tools here as well and these actually use a few more modifier keys to help draw the shapes. For example, I'm going to select the Rounded Rectangle tool and I will start clicking and dragging to draw a rounded rectangle. It acts very much in the same way that the Rctangle tool does, but if I wanted to adjust the radius of the rounded corners itself as I am dragging the shape, I can use the up arrow my keyboard to increase the radius or the down arrow on my keyboard to decrease the radius. I don't know how often you will actually be drawing rounded rectangles here.

As we will see later on in a different chapter Illustrator has an effect that allows you to apply rounded corners to any shape after the fact. More importantly you can always make changes or edits to those rounded corners as needed. Still, if you know that you want to create a rectangle with rounded corners, this is a quick and easy way to do it. Notice by the way, as I delete this shape that if you click once with the mouse, you get the same dialog box but this time we have a value for corner radius. Let's take a look at some of the other tools that are here, for example, the Polygon tool.

As you click and drag with the Polygon tool, it creates a shape that has a certain number of sides. If you want to add more sides, as you're holding the mouse button down and dragging, tap the Up Arrow on your keyboard. Each time you tap the Up Arrow it adds another side to your shape. One thing to note about the Polygon tool is that all the sides in your shape always going to be equal in length. If you want to remove sides, tap the down arrow on your keyboard. In fact the easiest way to draw a triangle inside of Illustrator is to tap the down arrows that your polygon only has three sides. Hold down the Shift key as you are drawing and you'll always get a perfect equilateral triangle.

As we discussed before, the Spacebar will allow you to reposition that as you move it around your screen and by holding down the Shift and the Spacebar, I can move that perfect equilateral triangle anywhere in my document. There is one important thing to note about working with the Polygon tool and really all these drawing tools inside of Illustrator. And that is there is no easy way to reset the tool back to its default setting. Notice that right now I have just created a triangle. The next time that I click and drag to draw a polygon with the Polygon tool, it's going to have the same settings. The only way to reset a tool back to its default is to actually quit and re-launch Illustrator.

So we have drawn a few polygons here. Let me delete these and now I want to create a shape using the Star tool, which is probably the most fun out of all these tools. As I click and drag with the Star tool, you can see that now I have five points on my star. Using the Up Arrow on my keyboard, I add points to my star. The Down Arrow removes points from my star. The shift key will help constrain my star. It aligns a star to a baseline and the Option key does something, which is called Align Shoulders.

It basically makes these parts of the star here line up with each other. Notice that now that I have released the mouse I can no longer add more points to my star, as I've committed the shape, but there are additional modifier keys that come into play when using the Star tool. For example, I click and drag to create a new star. I can also hold down the Command key. When I hold down the Command key I make an adjustment to the difference between the first and second radius of the star. What do I mean by radius? Well, I am going to release the mouse for a moment. Imagine if you were to draw a circle to connect all these inner points with each other. Now imagine that you draw a second circle that connected all of these anchor points on the outside of the Star.

That would create two circles. Each of those circles would have their own radius value. The way that Illustrator calculates a star is it determines the first and the second radius values and then it determines how many points you want in that star. You can see this clearly by just clicking once with the mouse on the artboard to bring up the Star dialog box and here you can see you can specify a value for radius one, radius two and the number of points in the star. Let me click Cancel here and I will delete the starts for moment and I'll show you one more I guess what would be considered a whimsical keyboard shortcut using the Tilde key modifier. Remember the Tilde key is that little squiggly key that appears in the upper left- hand corner of your keyboard.

While drawing any of the shapes inside of Illustrator, if you click and drag and then hold down that tilde key modifier key while you drag, it creates duplicates of your shape. The result is a lot of stars, not just one of them. Again, this works with really any shape inside of Illustrator. If I use the Rectangle tool for example, as I click and drag with a Rectangle tool I can hold on the Tilde key and I continue to drag and I get lots of rectangles. Why would this be useful? I will leave that up to your creative minds, but here's is a great overview of how to use the shape tools for creating closed shapes inside of Illustrator.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Illustrator CS5 Essential Training .

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Q: Despite clicking the rectangle icon on the toolbar, as shown in the video, the other tool shapes are not accessible in Illustrator. The rectangle is usable, but the star, ellipse, etc. are not, and do not appear anywhere in the toolbar. What is causing this problem?
A: These tools are grouped together, so to access them, click and hold the mouse for a second until the other tools appear. If that isn't happening, reset the Illustrator preferences file. To do so, quit Illustrator and then relaunch the application while pressing and holding the Ctrl+Alt+Shift keys. Once the Illustrator splash screen appears, release the keys and that will reset the preferences file.
Q: In the video “What are vector graphics,” the author states that if he creates a 1 inch x 1 inch Photoshop file at 300ppi image, there are 300 pixels in that image. Is that correct?
A: This statement is by the author was not totally correct. If the resolution is 300ppi, it means that there are 300 pixels across one inch, both vertically and horizontally. That would mean you'd have 90,000 pixels in a 1 inch x 1 inch image at 300 ppi.
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