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Illustrator CS4 Essential Training
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Drawing closed-path primitives


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Illustrator CS4 Essential Training

with Mordy Golding

Video: Drawing closed-path primitives

All right, so we are ready to go ahead and start drawing some graphics inside of Illustrator. I want to start off just by creating a regular print document with one artboard, click OK and now I'll get the screen here. We are going to start off by using the primitive shape tools inside of Illustrator. Now when I say primitive I don't mean that they are not modern. I mean that they are creating primitive type shapes meaning rectangles, squares, circles so on and so forth. Those can act as the basic building blocks of any illustration. Now once we are comfortable using those tools, we move on to using some of the tools that allows (ph ) to create freeform graphics. I'm going to start off by creating closed paths.
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  1. 59s
    1. Welcome
      59s
  2. 33m 17s
    1. Why use Illustrator?
      2m 22s
    2. What are vector graphics?
      8m 4s
    3. Understanding paths
      4m 13s
    4. Fill and Stroke attributes
      5m 32s
    5. Selections and stacking order
      8m 31s
    6. Isolation mode
      4m 35s
  3. 23m 43s
    1. The Welcome screen
      1m 11s
    2. New Document Profiles
      4m 36s
    3. Using multiple artboards
      7m 17s
    4. Libraries and content
      3m 52s
    5. Illustrator templates
      2m 56s
    6. Adding XMP metadata
      3m 51s
  4. 43m 55s
    1. Exploring panels
      4m 18s
    2. Using the Control panel
      5m 25s
    3. Navigating within a document
      5m 27s
    4. Using rulers and guides
      5m 23s
    5. Using grids
      2m 12s
    6. Utilizing the bounding box
      3m 3s
    7. Using Smart Guides
      4m 59s
    8. The Hide Edges command
      3m 31s
    9. Preview and Outline modes
      2m 18s
    10. Using workspaces
      7m 19s
  5. 38m 3s
    1. The importance of modifier keys
      1m 9s
    2. Drawing closed-path primitives
      7m 15s
    3. Drawing open-path primitives
      5m 5s
    4. Simple drawing with the Pen tool
      7m 28s
    5. Advanced drawing with the Pen tool
      10m 33s
    6. Drawing with the Pencil tool
      6m 33s
  6. 46m 37s
    1. Editing anchor points
      13m 7s
    2. Creating compound shapes
      5m 55s
    3. Utilizing Pathfinder functions
      5m 11s
    4. Joining and averaging paths
      5m 37s
    5. Outlining strokes
      3m 24s
    6. Simplifying paths
      5m 41s
    7. Using Offset Path
      2m 43s
    8. Dividing an object into a grid
      1m 41s
    9. Cleaning up errant paths
      3m 18s
  7. 35m 23s
    1. Creating point text
      4m 4s
    2. Creating area text
      4m 19s
    3. Applying basic character settings
      6m 27s
    4. Applying basic paragraph settings
      4m 4s
    5. Creating text threads
      5m 28s
    6. Creating text on open paths
      5m 18s
    7. Creating text on closed paths
      3m 57s
    8. Converting text to outlines
      1m 46s
  8. 20m 15s
    1. Using the basic selection tools
      7m 53s
    2. Using the Magic Wand and Lasso tools
      6m 34s
    3. Selecting objects by attribute
      2m 38s
    4. Saving and reusing selections
      3m 10s
  9. 40m 35s
    1. Using the Appearance panel
      6m 48s
    2. Targeting object attributes
      3m 26s
    3. Adding multiple attributes
      7m 6s
    4. Applying Live Effects
      8m 9s
    5. Expanding appearances
      4m 48s
    6. Appearance panel settings
      6m 51s
    7. Copying appearances
      3m 27s
  10. 37m 15s
    1. Defining groups
      7m 2s
    2. Editing groups
      5m 28s
    3. Working with layers
      8m 10s
    4. Layer and object hierarchy
      6m 57s
    5. Creating template layers
      2m 3s
    6. Object, group, and layer attributes
      7m 35s
  11. 44m 4s
    1. Applying colors
      3m 18s
    2. Creating solid color swatches
      4m 48s
    3. Creating global process swatches
      5m 1s
    4. Using spot color swatches
      4m 27s
    5. Creating swatch groups and libraries
      6m 50s
    6. Working with linear gradient fills
      6m 34s
    7. Working with radial gradient fills
      2m 19s
    8. Applying and manipulating pattern fills
      4m 51s
    9. Defining simple patterns
      5m 56s
  12. 22m 43s
    1. Moving and copying objects
      2m 1s
    2. Scaling objects
      4m 49s
    3. Rotating objects
      3m 14s
    4. Reflecting and skewing objects
      2m 27s
    5. Using the Free Transform tool
      2m 9s
    6. Aligning objects
      5m 15s
    7. Distributing objects
      2m 48s
  13. 25m 13s
    1. Using a pressure-sensitive tablet
      1m 38s
    2. Using the Calligraphic brush
      6m 10s
    3. Using the Scatter brush
      4m 0s
    4. Using the Art brush
      2m 26s
    5. Using the Pattern brush
      3m 21s
    6. Using the Paintbrush tool
      1m 41s
    7. Using the Blob Brush tool
      3m 42s
    8. Using the Eraser tool
      2m 15s
  14. 16m 36s
    1. Using symbols
      3m 9s
    2. Defining your own symbols
      2m 1s
    3. Editing symbols
      4m 4s
    4. Using the Symbol Sprayer tool
      2m 32s
    5. Using the Symbolism toolset
      4m 50s
  15. 35m 37s
    1. Minding your resolution settings
      6m 15s
    2. Applying basic 3D extrusions
      6m 43s
    3. Applying basic 3D revolves
      2m 31s
    4. Basic artwork mapping
      5m 9s
    5. Using the Stylize effects
      5m 35s
    6. Using the Scribble effect
      5m 43s
    7. Using the Warp effect
      3m 41s
  16. 21m 37s
    1. Placing images
      4m 51s
    2. Using the Links panel
      2m 47s
    3. The Edit Original workflow
      2m 0s
    4. Converting images to vectors with Live Trace
      5m 29s
    5. Rasterizing artwork
      1m 55s
    6. Cropping images with a mask
      4m 35s
  17. 10m 35s
    1. Saving your Illustrator document
      8m 18s
    2. Printing your Illustrator document
      2m 17s
  18. 6m 25s
    1. Exporting files for use in QuarkXPress
      1m 8s
    2. Exporting files for use in InDesign
      39s
    3. Exporting files for use in Word/Excel/PowerPoint
      45s
    4. Exporting files for use in Photoshop
      1m 25s
    5. Exporting files for use in Flash
      1m 15s
    6. Exporting files for use in After Effects
      19s
    7. Migrating from FreeHand
      54s
  19. 2m 23s
    1. Finding additional help
      2m 0s
    2. Goodbye
      23s

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Illustrator CS4 Essential Training
8h 25m Beginner Oct 13, 2008

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Illustrator can be used to accomplish many different design tasks. For this reason, Illustrator CS4 Essential Training teaches core concepts and techniques that can be applied to any workflow for print, the web, or assets that will find their way into other applications. Mordy Golding explains the elements that make up vector graphics—paths, strokes, and fills—and shows how to use each of Illustrator's drawing tools. He demonstrates how to combine and clean up paths, and organize them into groups and layers. Mordy also covers text editing, working with color, expressive brush drawing, effects, and much more. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Making efficient use of the Illustrator interface
  • Creating text on a path
  • Using the Magic Wand and Lasso selection tools
  • Working with a pressure-sensitive tablet
  • Applying 3D extrusions and resolves
  • Converting images to vectors with Live Trace
  • Exporting files for use in Photoshop, Flash, and other applications
Subject:
Design
Software:
Illustrator
Author:
Mordy Golding

Drawing closed-path primitives

All right, so we are ready to go ahead and start drawing some graphics inside of Illustrator. I want to start off just by creating a regular print document with one artboard, click OK and now I'll get the screen here. We are going to start off by using the primitive shape tools inside of Illustrator. Now when I say primitive I don't mean that they are not modern. I mean that they are creating primitive type shapes meaning rectangles, squares, circles so on and so forth. Those can act as the basic building blocks of any illustration. Now once we are comfortable using those tools, we move on to using some of the tools that allows (ph ) to create freeform graphics. I'm going to start off by creating closed paths.

Remember we discussed the ability in Illustrator to have really two types of paths. Open paths and closed paths. I'm going to start off by creating closed paths, which are ellipses or circles and ovals, rectangles. So on and so forth. So I'm going over my toolbar over here and the first tool that I'm going to choose over here is the Rectangle tool. By the way you will notice that these tools that appear inside of the toolbar some of them have these little black triangles in the little right hand corner. That identifies that there are more tools hidden behind that tool or grouped with that tool. The way to access those is you click and you hold the mouse button down and then this entire list shows up of all the different close shape tools that are here.

We are going to explore in this particular movie using the Rectangle tool, the Rounded Rectangle tool, the Ellipse tool, the Polygon tool and the Star tool. The Flare tool is completely separable. We will deal with it another time. By the way to make it a little bit easier to access these tools, you can move your mouse over here to this bar on the right side, which is called the tear-off panel. When I let go of that, it turns into this little mini toolbar on its own. So let's start by just drawing a regular rectangle. Now the way that you create a rectangle is very simple. You position the cursor where you want to start the rectangle and then click and drag it to the right. Notice by the way that the Smart Guide just let me know of the dimensions of my rectangle as I'm drawing it. The important here this is I'm not letting go with the mouse. This is the key if we began to draw other graphics as well. Don't let go the mouse because once you do you now commit that graphic as the way that it is. Of course you can always change things later on inside of Illustrator, but it's more difficult to do so.

For example you will notice now that I'm drawing this rectangle and it's originating from the upper left hand corner. Now if I decide that I want to reposition this graphic somewhere else. I'll hold down the Spacebar key. Again my mouse button is still down. Now I can freeze the rectangle on its own, reposition it somewhere else at my document and when I release the Spacebar I can continue join that rectangle. Again, the key here is not to let go the mouse button as I do that. Now there are certain keyboard shortcuts that are very important to know when you join graphics. Let me delete this for one second here. For example as I'm clicking and dragging my rectangle, if I decide that I want it to be a perfect square, meaning that the width and height are exactly the same. I'll hold down the Shift key to constrain the proportions.

Now you will also notice as I said before that the rectangle is being drawn from the upper left hand corner. Say you wanted to draw the rectangle out from its center. Well hold the Option key down and then when you click and drag, you see that the rectangle is actually being drawn out from the center point. Finally, if you want to create a rectangle or a square to an exact dimension rather than draw it out and try to do it by eye, you could basically specify any shape numerically. Let me show you how to do that. Simply take your cursor with your Rectangle tool and just click and release the mouse once anywhere on the artboard. In doing so a dialog will appear where you can then enter the width and the height.

So for example I may want to type in let's say 2 inches by 3 inches. Again notice that even though a point is specified now as the measurement system for Illustrator's document right now. I can still type in either in for inches or just type in the inch mark that way and Illustrator as I'll hit the Tab key will automatically figure out the conversion for me. When I click OK, Illustrator now creates the rectangle at that exact dimension. Let's take a quick look at some of the other tools that are here as well. I'm going to press Command+A or Ctrl+A to select everything and press Delete. I'm going to go to the Rectangle tool. The only difference between the Rounded Rectangle tool and the Rectangle tool is that the corners are rounded. Now as I click and drag, notice that this corners are rounded. I can use again with my fingers still pressed down on the mouse button. I have not released the mouse button yet. I can use the up arrows and the down arrow on my keyboard to adjust the radius or how round those particular corners are.

Notice right now I'm tapping the up arrow key in my keyboard that I have very rounded corners and if I used the down arrow key in my keyboard, I can see that right now the radius is getting smaller. I released the mouse and now that goes the heading and comes into that particular shape. Now again if I hit the Delete key now I just click once and release the mouse right away, I can specify values for the width, height and if the corner radius directly. Let me click Cancel. Let's go on to the next shape. When joining ellipses, which are circles or ovals, again I could do the exact same thing I have been doing before with the Rectangle tool. Click and drag to draw a circle or an oval from the upper left hand corner. The Shift key constrains it to a perfect circle. Option key or Alt key on Windows constrains it to draw out directly from the center.

By the way you can hold down the Option key and the Shift key simultaneously while you are dragging to draw a perfect circle out from the center. Again, that's the reason why you can't combine these keys. In fact I even have the Spacebar to move my circle somewhere else and then continue to drag and draw this way. Again, the key is not let go the mouse when I do that. Again I can click once anywhere in my artboard to specify these acts with the height setting for either a circle or oval just by clicking once on an artboard and releasing the mouse immediately. Let's take a look at the Polygon tool. The Polygon tool allows me to create a polygon shape, which means that I can have anything from 3 up to more size than that, but each of the side are always going to be equal in length.

For example right now I could use the down arrow key again. I'm not letting to the mouse button as I do this. The down arrow key hit it all the way through as low as it will go three size, which will give me perfect equilateral triangle. Plus I can go ahead and I can type the up arrow on my keyboard and add as many sizes as I like to. Let me come back down to just 3 sides for the triangle for a minute here. I want to show you I can hold the Shift key down as I do this. The Shift key will make us so that the triangle at least has the base constrained on that 90-degree angle on the bottom. So again I can do that very easily. I'm again holding down the Spacebar will allow me to go ahead and reposition that particular shape as I'm drawing it again. I'm not letting go the mouse when I do that. As soon as I do release the mouse, I can no longer change a number of size or anything else for that matter.

Again I'll delete that right now on my keyboard. What I'll do is I'll create a star. Let's see how we create a star inside of Illustrator. The Star tool is pretty cool. I click and drag outwards. Again, don't let go the mouse. You can rotate the star as you rotate the mouse around. Hold down the Shift key, and basically the star is always going to sit straight. Hold down the Options key and that creates some of, which we call aligning the shoulders. Those are the two arms I guess you can say at the star right now are in alignment and now they are not. So I'm holding down the Option key or the Alt key on Windows to align the shoulders of the star. Again, I can use the up arrow and the down arrow on my keyboard to add or remove the number of points on my star. I could also hold down the Command key to adjust the delta or the difference between the inner radius of the star and the outer radius of the star, which basically makes either not a very pointy star or a very pointy star.

I can go ahead and I can adjust this as I'm working at the star. Again, once I let go the mouse that means I have now committed a shape, I can no longer make changes to it other than the regular editing tools, which we will deal within the later chapter. So that's how you start creating basic primitive shapes in Illustrator using these tools. Now in the next movie we will explore creating open paths in the same method.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Illustrator CS4 Essential Training.


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Q: I cannot get the new brush dropdown to allow me to create either a New Scatter Brush or a New Art Brush; the only ones I can click on are New Calligraphic Brush and New Pattern Brush. When I go to Windows > Brush Library and choose New Brush, again the only ones I can click on are New Calligraphic Brush and New Pattern Brush. How do I make these work like they should?
A: In order to create a new Scatter or Art brush, you must first have artwork selected on the artboard.
 
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