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Adobe Illustrator has long been the most popular and viable vector-drawing program on the market but, for many, the learning curve is steep. In Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials , author and leading industry expert Deke McClelland teaches the key features of Illustrator in a way that anyone can understand. He also goes beyond that, showing users how to get into the Illustrator "mindset" to make mastering Illustrator simple and easy. The training covers how to use the core drawing and shape tools, the transformation and reshaping features, text and gradients, and color management and printing features. Even if learning Illustrator has been a struggle in the past, this time it is going to make sense. Exercise files accompany the training.
All right cats and kittens, in this chapter we're going to begin using Illustrator in the manner in which it was intended to be used. We're going to actually start drawing stuff inside the program, yay. And we're going to start things off with the simplest of the drawing tools. These guys right here and notice that I'm pointing at a single tool and saying these guys right here. Well that's because if you click and hold on this tool and this is the Line Segment Tool, by the way, the one that looks like a backslash (\). You will reveal a flyout menu of five tools in all, and we'll be taking a look at all of these guys. Things like the Line Segment Tool, the Arc Tool, all the way down to the Polar Grid Tool.
Now you might say to yourself, Gosh how tough can these tools be Deke? I mean I know how to drag across the screen and draw a straight line, thank you very much. I don't need your help, Mr.Man in order to do that kind of thing. Well I'm here to show you all the cool background stuff that's going on with these tools. There is a ton of stuff you can do with these tools. They're actually quite powerful as a group. And we're actually going to be drawing something. I'm not just going to say drag inside of this new document in order to draw a line or something silly like that. We're going to draw this illustration right here: the Eye of Horus, something really cool and rad like that. And in fact why don't you go ahead and open up this illustration right now. It's called Horus.ai and it's included inside the 03_Line_Art folder, and that's inside your Exercise Files folder.
Another thing I'd like you to do is go ahead and grab that Line Segment Tool. Click and hold on it that is to say, and then let's go ahead and tear off this fly out menu by releasing on this vertical bar right there. So move your mouse over the bar and release and then you get the flyout tool as a separate tool palette that you can drag around on screen, and go ahead and deposit it wherever you like. Now don't worry about the fact that we have this little, no can draw icon here, the pencil with a slash through it. That just means that we can't draw on the current layer because the current layer is turned off. Now, what in the world am I talking about? All this crazy current layer lingo.
Well what I mean is down here we've got the Layers palette and I'm going to introduce you to the Layers palette right now inside this exercise, because it's integral to everything we're going to be doing throughout this and the following chapters. We're going to be hanging out in the Layers palette an awful lot, because the Layers palette keeps track of each and every line and shape and other object that you create inside the program. So notice that I've set up two layers in advance here. And by the way if you don't see the Layers palette on screen you can go up to the Window menu and you can choose Layers or you can press the F7 key.
If you tried choosing the command or pressing the F7 key and you don't see anything happen, try it again. Sometimes what happens especially when you press the F7 key is you hide the palette in the background and then you need to press F7 to bring it up again. At any event, we need to see the layers palette on screen and notice that I have two layers created two layers already for us. One's called the Draw here layer and that is where we w'll be drawing inside of Illustrator, inside of this illustration and in the background we have the lucky eye of Horus here already set up and ready to go and we'll be using this layer as a tracing template ever so shortly. I'll show you how to convert it into a tracing template so that we can trace over these objects to make sure that you and I are on the same page that nobody gets lost throughout this chapter. All right, I'm going to go ahead. Notice this Horus layer right here has a little triangle in front of it. That's the twirly triangle. That's really what's called it's a twirly.
I want you to go ahead and twirl open the layer by clicking on that triangle. And notice what happens. You reveal of big long list of all of the items that are included on this layer, which is really great that means you can just grab one of these items and drag it around and change its layering order and so on. It affords you a lot of control over your illustration. We'll see that this comes in very, very handy. All right, for now there's only one thing I really want you to do to make sure that you've done, if you're following along with me inside of this exercise. I want you to click on the Horus layer to make it active. That's all, that, you need to make sure you've done that, and if you want to, you can go and twirl the Horus layer closed for right now because we don't need to see its contents. I just want you to know that those contents are there. That's it for now.
In the next exercise we're going to see how we can set up some guidelines so nobody gets lost and every single line is drawn in exactly its proper place.
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