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Drawing complex shapes in Illustrator

From: Creative Quick Tips

Video: Drawing complex shapes in Illustrator

Hi there, welcome back to creative quick tips. And then I'm going to paste it in front of itself with CMD CTRL + F.

Drawing complex shapes in Illustrator

Hi there, welcome back to creative quick tips. In this weeks episode, I'm going to to be showing you how to get a little more creative with the shape builder tool inside of Adobe Illustrator, and we're going to be drawing this shape right here. And believe it or not, we're not going to to have to use any special tools to do it. No pencils no pens. Just regular old shapes, and then we're going to to use the shape builder tool to recreate the rest of it. So, I'm going to create a new document with Cmd or Ctrl + N, does not matter how big or small your document is. And then what you're going to do is just draw a circle, somewhere out on the canvas like so I'll just center mine up, so that you can see it there.

And so once you have that initial circle drawn, that's basically the form factor of your symbol that you're going to to draw, and so what we're going to do is grab another symbol I'm going to to start right here at the top anchor point. And I'll hole down my Shift key click and drag the next circle until I see it snap. And you're only going to see it snap if you have Smart Guides turned on. So go up to the View menu and make sure Smart Guides are turned on. you want it to snap right into the middle point, something like that. And then you can just move it until it, again, snaps in the center of your circle like so.

And then what we're going to do now is hold down the Option or Alt key, drag that down. And make sure everything lines up again, smart guides are the key here, and then what we're going to do is we're going to take that bottom one and we're going to copy it to the clipboard with CMD or CTRL + C. And then I'm going to paste it in front of itself with CMD CTRL + F. So I'm just pasting it in place in front of the current object that I have selected, and then I will just shrink it down here by holding down the shift key. The Option or Alt key, and then I'll get it way down something kind of like that.

And then the last step, of course, we are going to duplicate this as well, so hold down Option or Alt again. If you want to constrain it, hold down the Shift key, and then we want to move it until it's right in the center of that top one. And so there we go,there's our shapes that are going to recreate the symbol, that we have over here. And so in order to do this, all I'm going to do is select everything on the canvas. Press Shift and the letter m, on the keyboard that's going to bring up the shape builder tool, and that's going to allow me to create my symbol. Now you can do it any way you want.

In this case, what I'm going to do is start down here, just click and drag across these. And then right here, click and drag across these and there you go, there is your symbol and then all you have to do is take whichever piece you want and change the color. So, in this case, I'll set this color to black and no stroke and then on this one over here, I'll increase the size of the stroke quite a bit, something like five points. And if it doesn't line up perfectly, try changing the alignment of the stroke, maybe something like Inside.

And there you go. And that's how you can quickly and easily draw really complex shapes, just using the Shape Builder tool. So, you may not necessarily be trying to recreate this specific symbol, but what I'm trying to get you to understand is that you don't have to use the Pen tool or the Pencil tool. You can just use regular old shapes to create some really, complex artwork inside of illustrator and then used the shade builder tool, to truly refine it down and get exactly what you want. So, I hope you learned something from this little quick tip here, and I hope it's really sparked your creativity to go out and try it for yourself.

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This video is part of

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Creative Quick Tips

57 video lessons · 37604 viewers

Justin Seeley
Author

 
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  1. 1m 45s
    1. Welcome to the series
      48s
    2. How to send feedback
      57s
  2. 9m 1s
    1. How to create line shadows in Illustrator
      5m 30s
    2. Using custom keyboard shortcuts in Photoshop
      3m 31s
  3. 11m 50s
    1. How to create layers from Photoshop Layer Styles
      3m 14s
    2. How to turn Illustrator artwork into Shape Layers
      3m 15s
    3. How to combine vector shapes in Photoshop
      2m 49s
    4. How to use text wrapping in Illustrator
      2m 32s
  4. 15m 41s
    1. How to effectively rotate objects in Illustrator
      2m 39s
    2. How to create interlocking shapes in Illustrator
      3m 29s
    3. How to speed up Photoshop's performance
      3m 25s
    4. How to use tool shortcuts in Photoshop
      2m 52s
    5. How to use springloaded shortcuts in Photoshop
      3m 16s
  5. 9m 27s
    1. How to create a better Twitter avatar
      3m 59s
    2. How to embed videos in WordPress without a plugin
      1m 45s
    3. How to embed real tweets into any WordPress post
      2m 15s
    4. Create your own Photoshop shortcut cheat sheet
      1m 28s
  6. 17m 53s
    1. How to create better Facebook cover photos
      4m 31s
    2. How to use keyboard shortcuts in WordPress
      2m 47s
    3. How to add Apple touch icons to your website
      5m 27s
    4. How to use Font Awesome in design applications
      5m 8s
  7. 8m 50s
    1. How to create your own pixel grids
      4m 25s
    2. How to sample colors from anywhere
      2m 5s
    3. How to create diagonal guides in Illustrator
      2m 20s
  8. 13m 48s
    1. How to round individual corners on Illustrator shapes
      3m 21s
    2. How to use Camera Raw as a Smart Filter
      4m 8s
    3. How to use the Shape Builder Tool to recolor artwork
      3m 34s
    4. How to use "Align to Key Object" in Illustrator
      2m 45s
  9. 8m 26s
    1. Exploring the Kuler Panel in Illustrator CC
      1m 50s
    2. How to draw awesome shapes with the tilde key
      2m 12s
    3. How to reset your bounding box in Illustrator
      2m 6s
    4. How to change your artboard color in Illustrator
      2m 18s
  10. 23m 19s
    1. How to use Photoshop and Illustrator to write CSS
      4m 1s
    2. How to create scalable rounded rectangles in Illustrator
      4m 16s
    3. How to use the fill commands in Photoshop
      3m 52s
    4. How to accurately space objects in Illustrator
      2m 5s
    5. Ten WordPress plugins that you should know
      9m 5s
  11. 9m 41s
    1. Unlocking background layers in Photoshop
      1m 8s
    2. Using opacity shortcuts in Photoshop
      1m 50s
    3. Using Illustrator's Glyphs Panel for icon fonts
      3m 15s
    4. Creating flexible buttons in Illustrator
      3m 28s
  12. 6m 31s
    1. Locking artwork in Illustrator
      2m 5s
    2. Five free fonts for your next project
      2m 0s
    3. Improving the SEO of your Muse website
      2m 26s
  13. 17m 7s
    1. Fitting content into your InDesign frames
      2m 37s
    2. Setting up your own Autocorrect in InDesign
      2m 33s
    3. Drawing complex shapes in Illustrator
      3m 14s
    4. Using the snapshots feature in Photoshop
      4m 40s
    5. Creating awesome product shots with Placeit
      4m 3s
  14. 18m 10s
    1. How to find free stock photos online
      1m 55s
    2. Using the transform command in Illustrator
      4m 14s
    3. Five tools for wireframing & mockups
      7m 36s
    4. How to convert videos into GIFs using Photoshop
      4m 25s
  15. 16m 10s
    1. Using PNG Hat to export Photoshop assets
      4m 56s
    2. How to setup two-step authentication in WordPress
      3m 50s
    3. Analyzing the speed of your website
      2m 19s
    4. How to create beveled text in Illustrator
      5m 5s

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