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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, I'm going to introduce you to the sample project that we'll be crafting over the course of the first half of this chapter and that is this file right here, Anasazi stop.ai, found inside the 07_edit_transform folder. And it's ostensibly the old time Navajo version of the stop sign back in the Plains Indians days and we will be creating this graphic based on two primitives, two very simple paths that you can draw with the Line tools. So let's check them out. I'll go ahead and turn off big unite and I'll turn on elements down here at the bottom of the stack and I'll select these two objects by marking with my Black Arrow tool and notice that we have a spiral drawn with the Spiral tool and a line drawn with the Line tool both of which are stroked with the 24-point line weight, the end. We have got some round caps as well but that's really the extent of it.
Now two things about these primitives. One is because they are stroked lines, that gives us less Flexibility than we might otherwise get with filled shapes. So that's why we will be eventually converting these over the filled shape and these Spiral tools even though you can modify that attribute called Decay, do you recall that from a few chapters back, in order to change how the spiral revolves in on itself. It never really crafts exactly the paths that I'm looking for, which is why we are going to reshape it. So in the next layer here, the one that's called stretch, you will see that I have gone ahead and modified the spiral using the Reshape tool, as we will see.
I have also converted what's going to be the thumb to a filled shape and I duplicated it four times in order to create the fingers and went ahead and offset the position of those objects as well. Then in the next layer up, I converted the spiral to an outline and I joined it, I merged it with the thumb here and then we still have these finger up above that I have moved into place so that everything is where it needs to go. In the next layer, scaled to fit, right here, I went ahead and scaled the fingers downwards in order to meet the spiral of the hand. Then in the stroked layer, I have gone ahead and merged everything together and I have assigned a bit of a stroke as well to make that hand even thicker.
Then in that final big unite layer, I have taken that stroked hand so the thicker version of the thumbs and the fingers and I converted that into this blue shape and then I made yet a thicker outline and turned that into this babbled edge and added a circle in the background and we have given all the objects little bit of a drop shadow. So that's what we will be doing, but first, I'm going to show you how to use the tool that's new to Illustrator CS4, the Blob Brush, and we are going to use the Blob Brush in order to create this cruder variant of the Anasazi stop sign right here. So, whatever you are doing, drop it right now and join me in the next exercise.
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