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Knowing the fundamentals of drawing and reshaping paths is only part of the story. In Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Advanced, the second of the popular One-on-One series, computer graphics expert Deke McClelland covers some of Illustrator's most powerful and least understood features. He shows how to merge simple shapes to create complex ones with the Pathfinder palette, as well as align paths to create schematic illustrations. Deke explains how to paint fluid, multicolor fills with blends, and the new and improved gradient tool. He explores seamlessly repeating tile patterns, blobs and brushes, and imported images. He also dives into one of the deepest features in all of Illustrator, transparency. Exercise files accompany the tutorial.
Recommended prerequisite: Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts and color settings for Illustrator from the Exercise Files tab.
The topic of this chapter, Chapter 13 in the grand order of things, is Pathfinder operations. Pathfinders allow you to build complex objects by adding and subtracting shapes. For example align plus an ellipse is a musical note. Two circles next to each other and a triangle underneath become a Valentine. A circle minus a smaller onset circle is a crescent moon. A door, some drywall and a couple of windows, not to mention a big down payment and a 30 year adjustable rate mortgage makes a house.
These are all Pathfinder operations and there are amazing timesavers one and all. To get a sense of how they work, keep watching.
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