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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.
Now let's take a look at some of the open path primitive tools found inside of Illustrator. Again, I'm going to start with just a blank regular document. I'm going to go over here to the Tool panel and click on the Line Segment tool. I'll actually click and hold my mouse button down and use a tear-off here to bring these tools up to into focus. And the Line tool does something very simple. It allows you simple click and drag to draw a line. The release the mouse and you have created the line. Some of the keyboard shortcuts that we used for the closed paths tools work the same here. For example the Shift key allows me to constrain my path to be 45-degree angles. That way I know for sure I get a straight path. I could also be drawing your path and realizing, oh I want to move it somewhere else. Hold down the Spacebar, reposition that path. Again, release the Spacebar and then continue drawing my path there as well.
So that's the Line tool. I'm going to go ahead and delete that for now. Let's create an arc. An arc basically is a just a section of an oval or circle. If I click and drag, I can see that area. Now as I move this around you will see I have the arc changes. What I can do is also use keyboard shortcut. The F key will actually flip that particular arc to be either convex or concave. Then again I can use the up and the down arrow keys on my keyboard to adjust the actual angle itself or how fast that particular angle is actually turning.
So now that I have done that, let me go ahead and delete that particular angle as well. I'm going to now use the Spiral tool, which is a fun tool to use and there are lots of ways to use spiral inside of elements of a design. If I click and drag, and again I'm not releasing the mouse, I now see that I have a spiral. I could use the up arrow keys and the down arrow keys to either add or remove lines in my particular spiral. I could use the Command key to adjust how tightly round this particular spiral is. That basically allows me to control me how I use a spiral. I'm basically moving the mouse around now to actually rotate where that spiral begins and ends and like I said before I can use Spacebar to reposition it and I could also use the Shift key to basically constrain where that particular spiral begins and ends.
So that's how I use the Spiral tool in Illustrator. Let's take a look at the other two remaining here. These are kind of special case ones. This one is called the Rectangular Grid tool. I use this actually often. I just want to draw out a quick little grid to use. Just click and drag. Again hold the mouse button down as you are doing this, and you see now that I have a whole bunch of rows of boxes. Basically it's one big rectangle that has a whole bunch of lines drawn both vertically and horizontally that kind of chop it up into these particular regions or these boxes to create this grid. Now of course without letting go the mouse button, I can do that before I can use the Shift key to constrain this to be a perfect square. I could use the Option key to draw it out from its center. I could use the Spacebar to freeze it and then move it around the screen as I need to. But more importantly, specifically for the grid I can use the up arrow keys to add more rows. I could easily use the right arrow key to add more columns. Again the left arrow key reduced the number of column and the down arrow key reduced the number of rows, which his great as I'm kind of working to do this.
What's also pretty cool? There are some of other keys that you could use on your keyboard. For example the F key, the C key, the V key and the X key, all basically control this queue of how these particular lines are drawn. So you can get some really cool backgrounds as you work with it. I'm going to press the Delete key now, because we move on to the Polar Grid tool, which is also pretty cool. As you click and you drag out, you will see that right now I'm holding the Option keys I'm drawing it out from the center. I have the ability to create, almost like a radar chart or a pie graph or something like that.
In fact as I go ahead to do this, it also looks like the grill of a barbecue for that matter. What I can do is again use the keys of my keyboard here to actually use the up and down arrows to adjust the number of rings that appear in this particular grid. I could use the right and left arrows adjust the number of dividers. Maybe I don't want any of them at all. Maybe I do want a few of them. So on and so forth. I can go ahead and do that very easily. I again reposition this as I want to Spacebar lets me move it somewhere else. I also can use again the keys of the V keys and the F keys to go ahead and adjust this skew of these particular objects, and of course the C and the X keys to adjust the skews for that as well.
So you can get some really cool results using these tools. I'll leave you with one little cute little tip that applies and I'm not really sure I know a use for this, but it's interesting because it's built-in the Illustrator. I'm actually going to use with the Illustrator. I'm actually going to use this with the Rectangle tool just to show you as you are clicking and dragging and drawing a box. If you hold down the Tilde key as you draw to create a whole bunch of them. I'll be honest with you, I'm not sure if this is a bug inside of Illustrator or was it intended to be this way, but it's kind of funky. It can create some wacky abstract art. For example I'm going to hold down now the Option key to draw from the center and also the Spacebar to move this around. But as I hold down the Tilde key also, as I'm moving the rectangle that's creating these copies. So that's pretty cool. It's creating all these multiple copies as I'm drawing it, and again I'm using the Tilde keyboard shortcut to make that happen. That works with all the drawing tools that we have covered both in this particular movie and also the previous one when we spoke about the closed drawing tools inside of Illustrator.
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