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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 I'm still inside my Tonalpohualli.ai file that I opened in the previous exercise and if you were with me, you know that we converted this calendar layer into a tracing template by meatballing it, reducing its opacity value to 25%, and locking that layer down. Now that we've met the Tonalpohualli and I want you to meet the Shape Tools and these are them right here. Go ahead and click and hold on the Rectangle Tool, and then I want you to release on this tear off tab here, in order to get yourself an independent floating Shape Tools palette.
And here's the shape tools that are available to us. We've got the Rectangle Tool for drawing rectangles and squares. We've got the Rounded Rectangle Tool for drawing rectangles and squares with rounded corners. We've got the Ellipse Tool for drawing your ellipses and your circles. We've got the Polygon Tool that draws regular polygons by which I mean equilateral triangles, and squares, you know, it's one of them. And then you got your polygons and your hexagons and your septagons and your octagons and your nanogons and all your gons. It's a real gon tool.
And then this guy, the Star Tool which allows to, you know, draw regular stars, big surprise there. And then finally we have the Flare Tool. Now the Flare Tool isn't really a shape tool. It's not really a geometric shape tool. We will not be looking at it inside of this chapter, but I will tell you right now is that what it does, you basically have to draw an entire illustration. So set up your illustration in advance and then draw on top of it using the Flare Tool and then the Flare Tool lays down a bunch of different paths and automatically fills them in order to create a lens flare effect. Kind of a goofy tool, but it can be useful sometimes. Right now we're going to focus on these core shape tools that allow us to draw everything from the Rectangle Tool over to the Star Tool here and those are the tools that we're going to use to draw the shapes that make up the Tonalpohualli calendar here.
Notice over here in the Layers palette that we have a few additional tracing templates set up. That is I've set up a few additional tracing temples for you. There's the circles layer right here, which contains the circles, all the circles that we'll be drawing. There's the stars layer that contains all the stars that we'll be drawing. And then finally we'll draw a few rectangles. Not that many rectangles, you can just see that there's a couple in this template here, but when we get to the Rectangle Tool, we're going to do some other really fun things that are going to keep it challenging, keep it interesting, keep you on your toes and educated of course.
So why don't you for the moment, go ahead and turn off the rectangles and stars layer. Leave the circles layer on however, and why don't we go ahead and meatball this crazy guy and change its opacity value to something like 50%, so that we can limit its opacity, but also keep it nice and visible in front of the calendar here. And I'm going to go ahead and lock down the circles layer as well, and then I'm going to add a layer, the layer upon which we will be drawing, and I'll do that by clicking on the Create New Layer icon here and then I'm going to go ahead and double-click on this layer and call it My drawing or something along those lines, and I'm going to switch its color to my favorite layer color of all time, which is orange and the reason I like orange so much is that it stands out pretty nicely against other colors.
Just like those orange cones on the road. Those stand out pretty nicely too, don't you think, when you're driving and stuff. Anyway orange is one of those shout it out colors without screaming like yellow does. All right so I'm going to go ahead and click and then I'm going to drag yellow up the list. By the way, that's all my way of saying, Set it to any color you want to. If you like some of the color better, go for it. But make sure that the My drawing layer is active so that we can begin drawing on that layer in the next exercise.
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