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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.
Now that we have seen how to draw a straight line, I'm going to show you how to draw a curved arc. So go ahead and select the Arc tool either from this little torn out menu or from the flyout menu right here. You can click and hold on Line Segment tool and then choose the Arc tool if you like. Notice what happens if I go ahead and Deselect everything inside the illustration now. So I'll go up to the Select menu and I'll choose Deselect or I could press Ctrl+Shift+A, Command+ Shift+A on the Mac. I'm working, by the way, inside of The Template.ai file, which is found inside of the O4_line_art folder. The only difference between that file and the one that you see on screen is this vertical line right here.
Now, since I eye drop the attributes that are associated with the other lines inside the Template layer, those attributes now become my default attribute. The last attributes you used become your default attributes for future objects. So notice we have a black Stroke, its 10 points thick, we have a Transparent Fill, and so on. All right. So how do you draw with the Arc tool? There is a few tricks associated with it. Let's just kind of draw out here in a canvas, which is totally fine. You can draw anywhere you want inside of an illustration. Notice if I begin drawing, I'm just going to draw a quarter of an ellipse, at whatever angle, so I can go one way, I can go the other way. If I press and hold the Shift key, it's going to be a quarter of a circle, so it's going to constrain it to a quarter of an exact circle.
I could also press the Alt key or the Option key to draw from the center outward, press Shift+N+Alt or Shift+N+ Option to draw from the center outward while constraining it to a quarter circle. Here are some other weird things you can do. You can press the Spacebar; actually this isn't weird, this is exceptionally useful to be able to press the Spacebar and move the item on the fly as you draw. That's true of all of the drawing tools inside of Illustrator, really a great function. Here is the odd thing. Press the C key in order to close off the quarter ellipse. By close off, I mean it actually closes the shape over here and turns it into a kind of a pie wedge. I'll go ahead and undo that new shape. Then if I draw again, it's still closed. If I want to unclose it, I press the C key again. So that's a very nontraditional trick inside of Illustrator.
Here's another one. If you want to flip the arc so that it goes the other direction, you press the F key, like so. So F flips it back and forth. All right. So armed with that information, I went ahead and hit the Backspace key or the Delete key to get rid of that shape, how do we trace this guy right here? I would start drawing right at this location, and then notice how it goes in the wrong direction, I would press the F key in order to flip it and then basically snap these guys into alignment with each other, which should be right around this location right there.
Now, if you are wondering exactly where that's going to be, check this out. You can switch to the thing called the Outline Mode. So I'm going to go ahead and zoom in a little bit here so that we can see this more closely. I'll go ahead and undo the addition of that shape, and I'm going to go up to the View menu and I'm going to choose Outline. So currently we are seeing what's called the Preview Mode, where we can see what the shapes really look like and how they will print, but if you choose Outline, you are just going to see the skeletal paths, and now you can exactly nail the beginning of your arc and you can exactly nail the end of your arc, because you can see those paths right one on top of the other, so that you are not going to make any errors at all.
Actually, I would say that that's very close to being accurate. I can Spacebar, drag it over, just that one pixel there, and then move back just a little bit, and notice that's a dead match. I know I'm exactly matching the angle and the shape and the contour and everything of this arc right there, of that quarter ellipse. Then in order to switch back into the Preview Mode, you go up to the View menu, the Outline command is now turned into the Preview command, and you go ahead and choose it. Notice your keyboard shortcut. Ctrl+Y, Command+Y on the Mac. Y? I don't know, but anyway, it does switch you back and forth between Preview and Outline. A very handy thing to be able to do.
We have got a great arc going right there, the nice start to the spiral that's going to form this bottom, the sort of doohickey underneath Horus' eye, traditional element of the eye of Horus. One of thing about the Arc tool that I want to show you is as you are drawing, you can also press the Up Arrow key; notice that. That's the Up Arrow key or the Down Arrow key to change the degree of slope right there that's associated with the arc. So Down Arrow flattens it, Up Arrow makes it rounded and more contoured and then sort of more bulbous at a certain point.
If you end up messing up the Arc tool and you want your quarter ellipse back, go ahead and press Backspace or Delete. Go over to the Arc tool icon right there, see it, inside the toolbox and double click on it to bring up the Arc Segment Options dialog box, and change this Concave/Convex control to 50, like that. Then Tab, and you will draw exactly a quarter ellipse once again. Then click OK in order to make that happen. Notice you have other controls as well. For example, the Type, Open, Closed is available to you, and you can control the Length of the X-axis and blah, blah, blah. Generally, the only reason you are going to come into this dialog box is to change this item right here to 50, needs to be 50. Let's go ahead and make sure that's true, and click OK. Now we have restored the proper slope to this arc. Excellent! All right. I'm going to undo that one because we don't need it.
In the next exercise, I'm going to show you how to draw a looping spiral, get psyched.
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