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In this installment of the Illustrator Insider Training series, Mordy Golding shows how to draw vector artwork quickly, precisely, and efficiently—without having to think about technical concepts like anchor points or control handles. The course highlights intuitive drawing techniques using the Pathfinder functions, Live Paint groups, Shape Builder tool, and variable-width strokes. It also describes the sketching workflow and features in Illustrator that use pressure-sensitive drawing tablets, allowing designers to focus more on their creativity.
After spending a few hours together learning about how to draw inside of Illustrator without using the Pen tool, I would be remiss if I didn't tell you about a really cool plug-in that's available called VectorScribe. It actually adds a few tools to Illustrator to help you create and modify paths inside of Illustrator without having to rely too heavily on the Pen tool. In addition, it has some really cool features that would be very useful to us on a day-to-day basis. For example, I'm just going to start with the Pen tool for a moment here and just draw kind of like a zigzag line like this.
Nothing too difficult. I'm not even adding any curves here. But I'm now going to switch to a different tool here which is called the PathScribe tool. Once I select it, I'm now going to click and drag to marquee-select all of my anchor points, and you notice that when I start mousing over this, little things pop-up. And if I want to convert let's say this to a curve, I can just click and drag to turn this into a curve. This is similar to what we were doing earlier on with the Reshape tool inside of Illustrator. However, the Reshape tool adds anchor points and that requires us to then smooth the path over again, whereas using this PathScribe tool notice that no anchor points were added.
It actually lets you just click and drag to create a really nice curve. Another really cool tool that is part of this VectorScribe plug-in is something here called Dynamic Corners. It allows you to quickly add a rounded corner to any one individual corner on your artwork. Notice that as soon as I mouse over this, a little red highlight there shows, and if I click and drag downwards, I can actually make this line have rounded corners. But it's dynamic, meaning it's almost like a live effect. So if I were to click and drag, I can continue to round little bit more or maybe round it off a little bit less.
I could also use modifier keys, like for example my Option key or the Alt key and click and drag and kind of adjust things this way. So there are lot of cool tools that are like this that exists inside of this plug-in called VectorScribe, and if this interests you, why don't you head over to this website? It's astutegraphics.com. And go over there and you can actually download a trial of this plug-in called VectorScribe. You might also watch some of these movies that describe what each of the features do inside of it. You might find it incredibly helpful and that it might save a lot of time in the work that you do inside of Illustrator.
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