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Adobe Illustrator has long been a popular vector–based drawing program, but for many the learning curve is steep. In Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals, author and leading industry expert Deke McClelland shows users how to get in to the Illustrator mindset and overcome this learning curve. He covers the application's key features in a new way, making it simple and easy to master Illustrator. Deke teaches viewers how to use the core drawing and shape tools, the transformation and reshaping features, text, and the Pen tool. He also explains how to export and print. Even if learning Illustrator has been a struggle in the past, this training can help make sense of it. Exercise files accompany the course.
In this exercise, we are going to draw these three concentric circles in one operation using this tool right here, which is the Polar Grid tool. So we have two Grid tools to choose from; one's Rectangular and one's Polar. They both work in roughly the same manner. So I'm going to demonstrate the more interesting of the two, where Horus is concerned anyway, which is the Polar Grid tool. I am working inside of a document that represents my progress so far. It's called Now for the iris.ai, because now it's time to draw the iris. Now, I'm going to grab this Polar Grid tool right here and I'm going to draw with it and you can see that it draws this kind of polar grid like sort of a radar screen.
Let's actually undo that to move off of the page, so we don't have Horus in our way, we can just sort of, see this blank area here in the pasteboard and I'm going to draw. Now the various ways to use this tool, of course, you can press the Spacebar in order to move the thing around on the fly. If you press and hold the Alt key or the Option key as you are drawing, you are going to draw from the center outward as opposed to inside of a bounding box from corner to corner. Then if you press the Shift key, you are going to constrain the shape to circles as opposed to ellipses. So there is the Shift key down, there is it released. We also have the option of pressing the Up- arrow to add concentric circles or the Down-arrow to remove them. And if you want to change the number of rays, you press the Left-arrow key to remove rays and the Right-arrow key to add them.
Then we have some truly bizarre keyboard trick. You have got the F key, and notice what we are doing, we are squishing the rays with the F key and then if we want to spread them back out, you press the V key to move them back. So I'm pressing the F and V keys here and of course, I have the mouse button down still during all of this. And then for the concentric circles, you press the C key to squish them outward like the C as in cat or circles; whatever and then you press the X to move them inward.
All right, so I have them use myself. I don't really consider those to be terribly useful functions but they are there and of course, after you get done drawing, you can press Backspace key to get rid of it, the Delete on the Mac. You can click with the tool in order to specify the Concentric Dividers, which what I'm calling the concentric circles and the number of concentric circles and the Skew. That whole thing I showed you with the C and X keys in this case, that was controlling the skew value. You should reset it to zero and the Radial Dividers which is of rays, we have the number of them set to 10 right now, in my case and you want to make sure the skew which you adjusted with the F and V keys that, that is set to 0% as well and then click OK. I mean, if you had to reset these guys, the skew values, then just click OK in order to generate the shapes, so that's done. Backspace it, delete it, let's go back to Horus.
Now what do we want to do for Horus. Well, we can exactly match to this guy pretty easily, actually. So check this out; first of all, we are going to press and hold the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and drag outward, so that we are going from the center outward and we are starting right there at that center where the two guides intersect. Actually, it's the four guides intersect at this location because it's kind of a four corners thing that we have going. And I'm keeping the Alt key down or the Option key on the Mac, keep it down, then you've got to press the Shift key and keep it down too. So I have got Shift and Alt down. That would be Shift and Option down on the Mac. I'm kind of out of hands, because I have one hand over here on the mouse and other hand over on these keys, but I need to go, press the arrow keys to get rid of some rays and stuff and some concentric circles.
So I'm going to have to abandon the Shift and Alt keys for a moment. That would be abandon Shift and Option for a moment, then let's focus on the arrow keys and I'm going to press the Left-arrow key as many times as it takes to get rid of the rays entirely. See, how you can do that? You can send them down from three, two, one, zero, just by pressing the Left-arrow key to get rid of them and then we need just three concentric circles, so I'm going to press the Down-arrow key as many times as it takes to get us three concentric circles which is what we see there. Now go back to pressing Shift and Alt at the same time and just align them to the best of your ability, keep the Shift and Alt keys down, that Shift and Option on the Mac, keep them down, release the mouse button and then release the keys and the deed is done. We have drawn three concentric circles with one tool in one clean operation, all be at one, that included a lot of pressing of keys using this amazing actually Polar Grid tool here inside Illustrator.
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