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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.
Our next task is to take this better spiral, the spiral that we reshaped in the previous exercise and unite it with the five fingers in order to create a single continuous path outline. And you can do that inside of the document that you've been working inside of, or if you want to catch up with me you can open this document called The better spiral.ai, which is found inside the 06_Edit_transform folder. Now my first step is going to be to grab the black arrow tool and click on the spiral in order to select it, and then I'm going to go up to the Object menu, choose the Path command and choose Outline Stroke, in order convert the stroked spiral into a filled shape. And that happens like that of course, very easily. And notice how many points there are now, all along this shape outline, and you can get a sense of how difficult it would be to actually draw this kind of path by hand using something like the Pen Tool, where it's fairly easy if a bit frustrating to that Reshape Tool, but still pretty darn easy to just go ahead and draw a spiral and then reshape it.
What I need to do now is make sure that my thumb and my spiral are aligned with each other and I'm not sure that they are so I'm going to go ahead and zoom in here a little bit, and then I'm going to Control-click on the eyeball in front of the elements layer here in order to switch it to the outline mode, and I want to see where the points that are associated with the thumb are. They're right there and there, those points thad define this portion of the outline, because I want these points, these anchor points right here, to directly align with them. So I'm going to drag these points over until they snap into alignment like so.
Now we should get a very smooth transition smoother than my template transition in fact. I wasn't that careful when I created the template so, good for us now. Now I'm going to go grab the white arrow tool because we need to take these fingers and we need to take the bottoms of the fingers and move them down into the spiral area. Armed with the white arrow tool, I'm going to marquee very delicately, that is to say without to overlapping the spiral around these three points right here, and then I'm going to drag them down while pressing the Shift key to constrain my drag and ensure that it's exactly vertical, so I don't go dragging the points at an angle, which would be fairly disastrous for this vertical finger here. All right I'll release at this location, because we're missing some alignment with the spiral, and that's going to be the spiral's fault, at least that' who I'm going to blame.
So I'm going to go ahead and click on some spiral points here. I'm clicking and Shift-clicking notice that. And after I've selected these four points right here, I'm going to go ahead and nudge them over to the left. Now notice that was a bad thing to do because there's more than four points here, there's some coincident points that Illustrator has created for me. So I'll go ahead and undo those last movements there until the points are on top of each other again, and then I'm just going to go ahead and marquee across these points, like so and I'm going to need to deselect the finger and I'm going to do that by, this is a weird thing that you have to do but you have to press the Shift and Alt keys, or the Shift and Option keys on the Mac, click on the finger and click a second time on the finger. So the first time you click on the finger you select the entire thing because you Shift+Alt-clicked on it and the second time you deselect the whole thing. So that's Shift +Alt-click twice in a row on the finger, Shift+Option-click twice in a row on the finger on the Mac. All right now I've selected all of these points and I'm going to nudge them over to left by pressing the left arrow key and that does a pretty fantastic job of it there, and I don't see anything going wrong with these arcs here, so I think everything is going good.
All right, now I'll grab these points by marqueeing them at the bottom of the third finger and I'll drag these points down while pressing the Shift key to ensure a nice vertical drag. Now I'll move over here, go ahead and drag around these points. The safer, I think because I just selected some of the spiral as well, the safer thing to do is to just go ahead and click and Shift-click on these points I think. And then go ahead and drag them down while pressing the Shift key. Another unexpected thing going on there, my goodness.
All right so I'm going to have to go ahead and marquee, so I'll undo that modification there, and I'll marquee around those points once again. Now the good news is that I marqueed through a segment here in the spiral. And so I can deselect the segment by Shift- marqueeing through the segment again. See how that works? So that way I deselected the arc of the spiral without deselecting my points. Now I can Shift-drag downward and I managed to get all the points that time, nice.
Same thing again, I'm going to go ahead and marquee anticipating that there are some weird points in there this time. So I'll drag a marquee around the lower region of the pinky and then I'll Shift-drag a marquee just around this segment here, this arcing segment of the spiral to deselect it, and then I'll drag downward on the pinky while pressing the Shift key. All right, we again have an alignment problem. Again I'm going to blame the spiral. So I'm going to Shift-drag around this region and see what I select, and I end up selecting several points actually, good.
Now I'm going to do that Shift+Alt-click twice in a row, Shift+Option-click on the Mac. So I will Shift+Alt-click once, Shift+Alt-click twice on the pinky. You Macintosh people would Shift+Option-click, Shift+Option-click on the pinky. And then I'm going to nudge the remaining selected spiral points over to the right like so, in order to get them aligned. All right looks like I've done the deed here. Everybody is on top of each other. Everybody's overlapping each other, which is very important. Now I'll go grab my black arrow tool, and marquee the whole bunch of paths, or I could of course just press Control+A or Command+A to select all the shapes since these are all the shapes in this layer.
And finally I'm going to bring out my Pathfinder palette, either by clicking on my Pathfinder icon here or by going up to the Window menu and choosing the Pathfinder command. And once I've done that I want to go ahead and click on this Add to shape area icon, which I called the unite icon because it unites shapes together. When I first click on this icon notice that my shapes don't appear to change on screen. And that's because I've converted the shapes into what's called a compound shape. In order to actually fix the relationship between these paths, I need to click on the expand button. So click here and then click on Expand and you'll get this effect right there and we have now successfully combined spiral and fingers into one continuous path outline.
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