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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.
In this exercise we're going to add stars to our Tonalpohualli document here. And if you want to catch up with me, you can by opening the illustration called Stars.ai, that's found inside of the 04_Geometric_Shapes folder. Now let's go ahead, because I've already drawn all of the five circles that we need inside of this calendar, and note by the way there's a lot more circles in the final version of the calendar but it's just a matter of adding more circles to the document. So you've already gotten the sense of how that works.
We no longer need the circles template, so go ahead and hide it by clicking on it's eyeball to get rid of it. We now need the stars template so go ahead and turn on the stars layer by clicking on its eyeball. Meatball that layer, so we can make it into a template. Let's reduce the opacity value to say 35% just to shake things up a little bit, something different here. And then finally lock it down by clicking in that second column. Now go back to the My drawing layer, which is where we're going to draw our stars.
And let's start things off by looking at the Polygon Tool. First of all because you need to know how to use the tool and secondly because the Star Tool's functionality is based on that of the Polygon Tool. So I'm going to grab the Polygon Tool here. As I mentioned a few exercises ago, the Polygon Tool draws a regular polygons, so they're already symmetrical shapes, so you don't need to press the Shift key, and it always draws from the center outward so you don't need to press the Alt or Option keys. So I'm not pressing any keys at this point, in order to get this pentagon, which is the default polygon shape.
If I do happen to press and hold the Shift key then I will make the polygon nice and upright like that. All right I don't care about that. I want to show you these other keys that I do care about. You can press the down arrow key to delete sides from the shape and you can only go down so far as the triangle here. Nice regular equilateral triangle. Press the up arrow key in order to add sides to the shape, and you can go pretty nuts, pretty quickly here with the Polygon Tool, so that it appears to be almost just a circle.
All right so I'll take some of those sides away by pressing the down arrow key. You can also press and hold one of these keys in order to delete a lot of sides at a time. So that's the Polygon Tool. There it is. Go ahead and release mouse button and press the Backspace or Delete key to get rid of that shape. Now let's move along to the Star Tool here. Same difference, it's always drawing regular stars and it's always drawing from the center outward. So I'll go ahead and start my five-pointed star, good old American star here, from the center outward, and if I press and hold the Shift key, then I make it nice and upright, the American way. Dun-da -da. All right so that's good. Now what I want though is nothing American at all. Originally these were the Americans, weren't they? The Aztecs, and they were working, in the case of this specific version of the calendar, they were working with eight-pointed stars. So I'm going to press the up arrow key three times in a row in order to get a nice eight-pointed star right here.
And I notice I'm having problems for whatever reason, I'm having problems getting my inside points and my outside points aligned with each other. All right, so I want to trace that outer star right here, your difference may not be so remarkable, but I need to get the inside points aligned and the outside points aligned. How am I going to manage to do that? Well it turns out you can. Start off by getting those inner points aligned like so, so that inner radius of points needs to be aligned first, and then press and hold the Control key or the Command key on the Mac, and now drag and notice that you move the outer points independently of the inner points, and you can even take them all the way and like this, so that they become inner points, your outer points become inner points and so on. Anyway so one ring remains stationary as you press and hold that Control key. As soon as you get the inner points and the outer points more or less aligned like this, then release your Control key or your Command key and then I invite you to also press the Shift key so that your star is nice and upright, nice upright eight-pointed star here, and then release.
Now it happens to be the wrong color for me. I accidentally picked up the star attributes here. The star shape attributes, that is the attributes of the shapes on the stars layer. So I need to go ahead and lift the attributes of the circles that I drew, and I'll do that of course using the Eyedropper by clicking on the inside of that star shape there, and I went ahead and lifted the stroke, but I filled the shape with white for whatever reason, so the fill is active. I'm just going to press the slash (/) key in order to make it transparent or I could click on this little transparent icon there. All right that looks good. Now let's draw the next star shape, the next one in, and those of you who know a thing or two about Illustrator might say, Why don't we just go ahead and scale it and duplicate it in order to create the center star? The reason is because the inner points and the outer points wouldn't be precisely aligned the way that they need to be so it's just as easy and in fact it's more precise in this case to draw a new star. So I'm going to start another star from the inside. Notice that it's once again an eight-pointed star. I will get the inner points aligned where I want them. Notice that the outer points aren't quite aligned where want them now, so I'll press Control or Command on the Mac and get those outer points aligned, then I'll release the Control key or the Command key on a Mac, I'll press and hold the Shift key, I will release the mouse button, and I've got my inner stars set up the way that I want it. Now I'm going to actually take that stroke down to one point for this specific star because it has a slightly thinner stroke as you can see. Now we're ready to draw the inside star, and by the way you can click with this tool as well in order to bring up the Star dialog box. This works for polygons too, and that way you can say what your outer radius is going to be and what your inner radius is going to be and how many points you want, but I'm going to cancel out. I just want you to see that, and it does, and as when clicking with the Ellipse Tool, that dialog box is always remembering the last applied settings, so that's what is showing us is the settings associated with the last star we drew. Now I'm going to draw yet another star here, but this time it's a four-pointed star, so I'm going to press the down arrow key four times in order to go from an eight- pointed star to a four-pointed star, get that inner ring of points in the right location, then press and hold the Control key and position the outer ring of points.
And it looks like the inner ring wants to be tucked in a little bit, so that it goes inside of that inner circle there and then I'll Control drag out again or Command drag on a Mac out again until I get all of my edges lined up exactly right. Now I'll release the Command or Control key, I'll press and hold the Shift key in order to make sure that I have an upright shape and then I will release my mouse button, and I will take that stroke back up to two points for this inner shape and that's it. Wunderbar. We have managed to create all three of the stars inside of the calendar. What's coming up next, in the next exercise? Rectangles friends, rectangles.
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