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Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials
Illustration by John Hersey

Rectangles and rounded rectangles


From:

Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials

with Deke McClelland

Video: Rectangles and rounded rectangles

All right, who's ready to create rectangles? C'mon gang, let's go. Woo-hoo! Rectangles! Admittedly they're kind of a boring shape, really, when you come right down to do it, but they're a very popular shape. They're the kind of thing that you're going to need inside of your illustrations on a regular basis. So I want to make sure that you understand how to use the Rectangle and Rounded Rectangle Tools. So I'm going to introduce you to those tools inside of this exercise and show you a couple of weird things about rounded rectangles that you might want to know, especially if you're coming from another program such as say FreeHand. All right, so here's what we're going to do. I'm working inside of course, my calendar image, my 260-day Aztec calendar here, and you may be too if you're working inside that original Tonalpohualli document, why then keep working inside of it. If you want to catch up with me, you can open this document right here: Now for the rectangles.ai, inside the 04_Geometric_Shapes older. All right, I am now going to go ahead and switch to the Rectangle Tool, and notice that it's Rectangle Tool (M). M is the keyboard shortcut for the Rectangle Tool and I sort of told you why back in chapter 3, but I'm going to tell you why again with a little bit more background, because I always feel like when training, it helps to make sense.
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  1. 59m 53s
    1. Welcome to Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials
      2m 0s
    2. The unwelcome Welcome screen
      6m 35s
    3. Browsing Illustrator artwork
      4m 53s
    4. Bridge workspaces and favorites
      6m 8s
    5. The anatomy of an illustration
      7m 2s
    6. Examining a layered illustration
      5m 38s
    7. Customizing an illustration
      5m 21s
    8. Creating a new document
      6m 12s
    9. Changing the document setup
      6m 51s
    10. Saving a document
      6m 14s
    11. Closing multiple files
      2m 59s
  2. 1h 3m
    1. Preferences, color settings, and workspaces
      55s
    2. Keyboard Increment and Object Selection
      5m 52s
    3. Scratch Disks and Appearance of Black
      6m 43s
    4. Establishing the best color settings
      5m 35s
    5. Synchronizing color settings in Bridge
      4m 3s
    6. The new CS3 interface
      3m 55s
    7. Organizing the palettes
      9m 4s
    8. Saving your workspace
      2m 33s
    9. Zooming and scrolling
      3m 39s
    10. Using the Zoom tool
      5m 27s
    11. The Navigator palette
      3m 37s
    12. Nudging the screen image
      2m 50s
    13. Scroll wheel tricks
      3m 11s
    14. Cycling between screen modes
      5m 56s
  3. 1h 4m
    1. Why learn Illustrator from a Photoshop guy?
      1m 32s
    2. Introducing layers
      4m 37s
    3. Creating ruler guides
      6m 34s
    4. Creating a custom guide
      3m 28s
    5. Organizing your guides
      5m 50s
    6. Making a tracing template
      3m 34s
    7. Drawing a line segment
      4m 10s
    8. Drawing a continuous arc
      4m 17s
    9. Drawing a looping spiral
      5m 17s
    10. Cutting lines with the Scissors tool
      6m 45s
    11. Aligning and joining points
      7m 58s
    12. Drawing concentric circles
      3m 45s
    13. Cleaning up overlapping segments
      6m 21s
  4. 1h 9m
    1. The anatomy of a shape
      1m 1s
    2. Meet the Tonalpohualli
      4m 8s
    3. Meet the geometric shape tools
      3m 47s
    4. Drawing circles
      6m 36s
    5. Snapping and aligning shapes
      7m 0s
    6. Polygons and stars
      7m 0s
    7. Rectangles and rounded rectangles
      6m 16s
    8. The amazing constraint axes
      6m 30s
    9. Grouping a flipping
      7m 37s
    10. Combining simple shapes into complex ones
      6m 36s
    11. Drawing with Scissors and Join
      6m 3s
    12. Cutting and connecting in Illustrator CS3
      3m 49s
    13. Tilde key goofiness
      2m 55s
  5. 1h 22m
    1. Three simple ingredients, one complex result
      33s
    2. Introducing Fill and Stroke
      3m 42s
    3. Accessing color libraries and sliders
      7m 8s
    4. Using the CMYK sliders for print output
      5m 6s
    5. Using the RGB sliders for screen output
      4m 39s
    6. Color palette tips and tricks
      4m 46s
    7. Creating and saving color swatches
      4m 14s
    8. Trapping gaps with rich blacks
      7m 58s
    9. Filling and stacking shapes
      5m 17s
    10. Dragging and dropping swatches
      6m 16s
    11. Paste in Back, Paste in Front
      5m 43s
    12. Filling shapes inside groups
      5m 16s
    13. Pasting between layers
      3m 34s
    14. Joins, caps, and dashes
      5m 50s
    15. Fixing strokes and isolating your edits
      7m 35s
    16. Creating a pattern fill
      4m 38s
  6. 1h 22m
    1. The power of transformations
      1m 25s
    2. From primitives to polished art
      4m 4s
    3. Clone and Duplicate
      6m 15s
    4. Moving by the numbers
      4m 16s
    5. Using the Reshape tool
      6m 30s
    6. Modifying, aligning, and uniting paths
      7m 0s
    7. Using the Offset Path command
      4m 25s
    8. Styling and eyedropping
      4m 11s
    9. The wonders of the translucent group
      5m 37s
    10. Making a black-and-white template
      3m 48s
    11. Scaling and cloning shapes
      4m 26s
    12. Enlarging and stacking shapes
      5m 6s
    13. Positioning the origin point
      6m 50s
    14. Using the Rotate and Reflect tools
      5m 16s
    15. Series rotation (aka power duplication)
      4m 3s
    16. Rotating by the numbers
      5m 15s
    17. Rotating repeating pattern fills
      4m 32s
  7. 1h 4m
    1. Points are boys, control handles are girls
      2m 16s
    2. Tracing a scanned image or photograph
      4m 34s
    3. Placing an image as a template
      5m 32s
    4. Drawing a straight-sided path
      5m 36s
    5. Moving, adding, and deleting points
      5m 51s
    6. Drawing spline curves with Round Corners
      7m 56s
    7. Smooth points and Bézier curves
      8m 12s
    8. Defining a cusp between two curves
      4m 37s
    9. Adjusting handles and converting points
      7m 4s
    10. Cutting, separating, and closing paths
      7m 31s
    11. Eyedropping template colors
      5m 11s
  8. 1h 28m
    1. Paths never rest
      1m 42s
    2. Meet Uzz, Cloying Corporate Mascot
      2m 22s
    3. Exploring the Appearance palette
      5m 37s
    4. Snip and Spin
      7m 28s
    5. Adding a center point
      3m 57s
    6. Keeping shape intersections
      3m 8s
    7. Lifting fills and selecting through shapes
      4m 14s
    8. Saving and recalling selections
      5m 18s
    9. Rotating is a circular operation
      7m 35s
    10. Lassoing and scaling points
      6m 8s
    11. Using the Transform Each command
      5m 9s
    12. Using the Magic Wand tool
      6m 46s
    13. Converting paths and text to rich black
      2m 27s
    14. The overwrought lace pattern
      3m 21s
    15. Eyedropping Live Effects
      5m 39s
    16. Merging strokes with a compound path
      6m 32s
    17. Selecting and scaling independent segments
      6m 30s
    18. Pucker & Bloat
      4m 49s
  9. 1m 59s
    1. See ya for now
      1m 59s

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Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials
9h 36m Beginner May 18, 2007

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Subject:
Design
Software:
Illustrator
Author:
Deke McClelland

Rectangles and rounded rectangles

All right, who's ready to create rectangles? C'mon gang, let's go. Woo-hoo! Rectangles! Admittedly they're kind of a boring shape, really, when you come right down to do it, but they're a very popular shape. They're the kind of thing that you're going to need inside of your illustrations on a regular basis. So I want to make sure that you understand how to use the Rectangle and Rounded Rectangle Tools. So I'm going to introduce you to those tools inside of this exercise and show you a couple of weird things about rounded rectangles that you might want to know, especially if you're coming from another program such as say FreeHand. All right, so here's what we're going to do. I'm working inside of course, my calendar image, my 260-day Aztec calendar here, and you may be too if you're working inside that original Tonalpohualli document, why then keep working inside of it. If you want to catch up with me, you can open this document right here: Now for the rectangles.ai, inside the 04_Geometric_Shapes older. All right, I am now going to go ahead and switch to the Rectangle Tool, and notice that it's Rectangle Tool (M). M is the keyboard shortcut for the Rectangle Tool and I sort of told you why back in chapter 3, but I'm going to tell you why again with a little bit more background, because I always feel like when training, it helps to make sense.

So here's the deal. Basically M is assigned to the Marquee Tool, to the Rectangle Marquee Tool inside of Photoshop, and Adobe's all about cross application harmony between these various Creative Suite programs, so they decided the equivalent of the Rectangular Marquee Tool in Illustrator is the regular old Rectangle Tool. So we'll give it the same keyboard shortcut M. So you just need to remember, rectangles, Mmmm, mmmm, good. All right and then you'll remember that keyboard shortcut. So I'm going to draw a rectangle and it's a pretty easy shape to draw. You draw from corner to corner, but you've got to select the tool first. You'll find that if you're drawing a star, it's not going to work so well. All right I forgot to select the tool.

A common mistake. I'll go ahead and click on the tool to select it, there we go, nicely done Deke. And now I'll go ahead and drag with the tool in order to draw an authentic rectangle and you press the Shift key of course to constrain it to a square, or I'll go ahead and undo that, press the Alt key or the Option key on a Mac and drag in order to draw from the center outward. Press the Shift key as well in order to constrain it to a square. This actually isn't a square, so I'll just go ahead and leave it as an almost square rectangle there. And then release when it's done. Okay so that's your rectangle. What about your rounded rectangles? Well Illustrator encourages you, this isn't the only way to work, it encourages you to draw your rounded rectangles with the Rounded Rectangle Tool. So I'm going to go ahead and grab my Rounded Rectangle Tool and then I'm going to start dragging. Now I have pretty round corners going on right now, your corners probably won't be this round. They're less round than this by default, and you can edit them on the fly.

If you want to make your corners more round press the up arrow key. You can even press and hold the key in order to animate that roundness. Press the down arrow key to make those rounded corners less round and more sharp, like so. All right, so I've drawn my rounded rectangle. What if I want to modify the roundness of my corners after the fact? Something that you can do very easily inside FreeHand for example, but now that Adobe owns FreeHand, Adobe's not really going to update it anymore, so over time I think a lot of people are going to be coming to Illustrator from FreeHand just because FreeHand will be frozen in time, which it kind of has been anyway over the last few years, but what do you do? What do you do inside Illustrator? Well Illustrator doesn't have a classic method for adjusting the corners of a rectangle.

Instead you have to apply a live effect, this is the best way to work anyway, and it's kind of weird. I'm going to go ahead and undo that rectangle, and I'm going to draw a new rectangle just a standard, old, everyday rectangle right here with the regular old Rectangle Tool. Now let's say I want to round off those corners. The best way to work is to go up to the Effect menu, choose Convert to Shape. This is really totally bizarre especially if you're coming from a FreeHand background, but this is the way you do it. And then go to Rounded Rectangle, and then you say, once you get this dialog box up on screen, you turn on the Relative checkbox and you set both the Extra Width and Height values to zero because you don't want to add any width and height to this point you just want to round off the corners, and then you specify a corner radius. For example if you say, Hmmm let's do a corner radius of 50 points. Press Tab and it updates on the fly. Now the originals shape is still a rectangle, but now it strokes, inside the preview mode, it's now stroked as a rounded rectangle. So it's a nice dynamic shape.

And this may seem pretty peculiar at first but as we get farther and farther into Illustrator, particularly after I show you how live effects work, I think this will make a lot more sense to you and it actually works really nicely. It's actually a good thing, but right now it probably doesn't seem like it. I'll click OK in order to accept that modification. Now let's say you want to edit those rounded corners further. You change your mind and you say, No, no, I want it to be like 100 points of roundness, why then here's where things get a little strange. Since we're just, you know, since we're pretty early into the program here.

But you go to the Appearance palette, I'm going to click above the Appearance tab in order to reveal this palette because I collapsed it, and you'll see Assign to the selected path is this attribute right here rounded rectangle, and notice it's a live effect. You double-click on that live effect, brings up the Shape Options dialog box here and you change your mind by changing this value. You want 100 corner radius, then you click OK, and that's how you go about establishing a dynamic corner radius and modifying that corner radius inside of Illustrator.

Just one of those weird things. As I say, it will make a lot more sense as we get deeper into the program, but for now, I'm going to press Backspace key or the Delete key on the Mac, in order to get rid of that big, old rounded rectangle cause we don't want it. What we wanted was the rectangle I drew up there and these rectangles right here. I'm going to set up these rectangles at an angle and you're going to set them up with me in the very next exercise.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials.


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Q: When trying to synchronize color settings between all Creative Suite programs in Bridge, the Creative Suite Color Settings command either does not appear in the Edit menu or does not work. What is causing this?
A: If the Color Setting command is not available or does not function, it's because Bridge thinks that a single application (such as Photoshop or Illustrator), is installed and not one of the many versions of the Creative Suite.
If only Photoshop or Illustrator is installed, skip the exercise and move on.
If the entire Creative Suite is installed, then, unfortunately, there is no easy fix. Either contact Adobe or completely reinstall the Creative Suite.
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