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Drawing effortless, fluid arcs


Draw Better and Faster with Illustrator CC

with Deke McClelland

Video: Drawing effortless, fluid arcs

Drawing effortless, fluid arcs provides you with in-depth training on Design. Taught by Deke McClelland as part of the Draw Better and Faster with Illustrator CC
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Watch the Online Video Course Draw Better and Faster with Illustrator CC
Video Duration: 3m 44s1h 52m Appropriate for all Apr 02, 2014

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Illustrator CC does something that few updates to the program have done: It promises to change the fundamental way that you draw. Yes, there was the Pen tool in Illustrator 1, Pathfinder operations in Illustrator 5, and dynamic effects in Illustrator 9. But Illustrator CC changes the entire nature of the game. Deke's not exaggerating; the things he's about to show you are that big. Learn about the "new" Pencil tool, on-the-fly corner rounding, and freeform curve bending. 3 features in 3 short chapters that will change the way you see Illustrator. Then Deke shows how to combine them all in a real-world Illustrator project that proves his thesis: drawing has never been faster, better, or easier than this.

Topics include:
  • Drawing effortless arcs, paths, and lines with the Pen tool
  • Selectively and dynamically rounding corners
  • Drawing complex shapes with round corners
  • Bending segments with the Pen tool
  • Beveling and enhancing artwork
  • Drawing multiple lines at the same time
Deke McClelland

Drawing effortless, fluid arcs

Alright, I'll start things off by showing you how to draw with the pencil tool. And we're going to draw a really basic shape, specifically a heart. A valentine like heart. And just for the sake of comparison, I'm going to start off inside Illustrator CS6 so we can see how the pencil tool has been working. And then I'll show you how much better things work, inside of Illustrator CC. So here's the pencil tool. You can get to it by pressing the N key, because P is already taken for pen. And now, let's say I want to draw that valentine. So I'll start off.

And, one of the wonderful things about the pencil tool, and I'm being completely sarcastic, of course, is that you can barely see what in the world that you should drawing in the first place. And ,now I'll go ahead and instead of close things off and, there is ambiguity here, right, I can't often closing it, I'm not getting the little close cursor as I would with the pen tool. And as soon as I release I get this lumpy shape, right here, which I would never submit as an actual piece of art work. I would never accept that. Now, you can make things a little better by double-clicking on the pencil tool icon.

And then you've got this Fidelity and Smoothness values right here. More ambiguity because, who knows what they really do. And so let's say I want more smoothness. I do want my heart to be smoother. So I'll just go ahead and crank up the smoothness value to what? 50%, maybe. And then I'll click Okay. And now I'll draw another heart. I'll just go ahead and delete this one by pressing the Backspace key. And I'll go ahead and draw from the bottom up this time, let's say. And I'm dragging around, and I can barely see what I'm doing.

And I'll release at some point, I guess. And, I end up getting this tragic shape right here. It is smoother, but again, it's not acceptable. Well, let me show you how things look in Illustrator CC. We'll go ahead and switch over to that application right here. It looks pretty much the same, but I'll go ahead and grab the Pencil tool. Again you press the N key, so it's still the same keyboard shortcut as ever, looks like the same tool, its got a little pencil with the little asterisk next to it, and that asterisk tells you that you're about to create a new shape.

So, I'll start dragging and oh my goodness, I can actually see what I'm doing, that's awesome. And I'll just go ahead and drag around, I'm doing pretty bad job it looks like. Oh, I've gotta close cursor now. So that I can see that I'm closing the shape and I'll go ahead and release. And, it's pretty bad actually it's got a ton of points in it. Well, I'll go ahead and press the Backspace key or the Delete key on a Marc. And I'll double-click on the tool. And now I notice that I have just one fidelity control, and I have a lot fewer options associated with it. So I've just got four tick marks here, and so you can select to be very accurate, for example, if you're drawing with a stylus, which we'll see later.

Or if you're drawing with the mouse you probably want to increase the Fidelity value. You probably want to drag this slider over to Smooth instead. You don't need to worry about these options down here. Just go ahead and click Okay. And now I'll draw a new heart, like so. And again, I'm doing kind of a sloppy job here. But as soon as I release, I can see my close cursor right there. So that tells me, that the shape is going to close and I end up getting a pretty smooth heart. And it actually looks pretty darn good. Let me see if I can do any better.

By possibly drawing more carefully. So I'll go ahead and drag down here and I'll draw an upright heart instead of one that's kind of crooked. I'll go ahead and close the shape, and I end up getting this really great heart shape. It looks awesome and I have nice fluid arcs, as you can see right there. Which is to say, that we finally have a great free form drawing tool in the form of the pencil tool, here inside of Illustrator CC.

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