Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals
Illustration by Don Barnett

Snip and Spin


Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals

with Deke McClelland

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Video: Snip and Spin

In this exercise, we are going to be using a technique that I'm calling snip and spin in order to take this one central path that descends all the way from the eyeball down the body, down the left side of the body and becomes this foot. We are going to snip it and make three paths from it. One that represents the left foot and the other for the right foot and then the central sort of body neck shape right there. If you've checked out of the previous exercise at any point, I have gone ahead and performed the last few steps and saved off the file as PrimitiveZ or if you prefer found inside the 10_select_enhance folder.
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  1. 42m 8s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      1m 58s
    2. The Welcome screen
      3m 3s
    3. Creating a new document
      5m 6s
    4. Advanced document controls
      4m 43s
    5. Saving a custom New Document Profile
      8m 46s
    6. Changing the document setup
      4m 21s
    7. Special artboard controls
      4m 58s
    8. Accepting artboard changes
      2m 19s
    9. Saving a document
      4m 33s
    10. Closing a document
      2m 21s
  2. 1h 0m
    1. Adobe Bridge
    2. Opening an illustration
      4m 45s
    3. Modifying an illustration
      6m 27s
    4. Saving changes
      4m 58s
    5. Introducing Adobe Bridge
      8m 41s
    6. The all-important file type associations
      3m 20s
    7. Navigating inside Bridge
      4m 23s
    8. Previewing and collecting
      5m 55s
    9. Using workspaces
      6m 41s
    10. Customizing a workspace
      6m 14s
    11. Cool Bridge tricks
      8m 17s
  3. 1h 4m
    1. Preferences, color settings, and workspaces
    2. Keyboard increments
      5m 12s
    3. Scratch disks
      3m 48s
    4. Changing the user interface and setting Appearance of Black
      4m 14s
    5. Best workflow color settings
      9m 17s
    6. Synchronizing settings across CS4
      3m 2s
    7. Working inside tabbed windows
      7m 6s
    8. Organizing palettes
      5m 4s
    9. Saving a custom workspace
      4m 12s
    10. Zooming and panning
      4m 19s
    11. Using the Zoom tool
      3m 3s
    12. Navigating the artboards
      5m 5s
    13. Nudging the screen image
      3m 3s
    14. Scroll-wheel tricks
      2m 8s
    15. Cycling between screen modes
      4m 35s
  4. 1h 22m
    1. The Wedjat (or Eye of Horus)
    2. The line tools
      2m 57s
    3. Introducing layers
      5m 10s
    4. Creating ruler guides
      6m 18s
    5. Creating custom guides
      5m 16s
    6. Snap-to points
      5m 25s
    7. Organizing guides
      5m 44s
    8. Making a tracing template
      3m 42s
    9. Drawing a line segment
      4m 29s
    10. Drawing a continuous arc
      5m 28s
    11. Drawing a looping spiral
      6m 5s
    12. Cutting lines with the Scissors tool
      6m 20s
    13. Joining open paths
      7m 31s
    14. Aligning and joining points
      6m 34s
    15. Drawing concentric circles
      4m 41s
    16. Cleaning up overlapping segments
      5m 34s
  5. 1h 4m
    1. The anatomy of a shape
      1m 1s
    2. Meet the shape tools
      3m 5s
    3. The traceable Tonalpohualli
      2m 52s
    4. Drawing circles
      4m 38s
    5. Enhanced Smart Guides
      4m 1s
    6. Aligning to a key object
      4m 29s
    7. Creating polygons and stars
      5m 4s
    8. Using the Measure tool
      3m 47s
    9. The Select Similar and Arrange commands
      3m 56s
    10. Rectangles and rounded rectangles
      6m 8s
    11. The amazing constraint axes
      5m 26s
    12. Grouping and ungrouping
      3m 35s
    13. Flipping and duplicating
      4m 12s
    14. Combining simple shapes into complex ones
      5m 24s
    15. Cutting and connecting with Scissors and Join
      3m 31s
    16. Tilde-key goofiness
      2m 53s
  6. 1h 41m
    1. The ingredients of life
    2. Fill and Stroke settings
      4m 22s
    3. Transparency grid and paper color
      5m 47s
    4. The None attribute
      5m 4s
    5. Color libraries and sliders
      3m 39s
    6. Industry-standard colors
      4m 38s
    7. Using CMYK for commercial output
      6m 39s
    8. Using RGB for the web
      7m 23s
    9. Color palette tips and tricks
      7m 18s
    10. Creating and saving color swatches
      4m 35s
    11. Trapping gaps with rich blacks
      6m 46s
    12. Filling and stacking shapes
      5m 39s
    13. Dragging and dropping swatches
      5m 0s
    14. Paste in Front, Paste in Back
      4m 54s
    15. Filling shapes inside groups
      5m 28s
    16. Pasting between layers
      4m 41s
    17. Joins, caps, and dashes
      6m 50s
    18. Fixing strokes and isolating edits
      7m 12s
    19. Creating a pattern fill
      4m 57s
  7. 1h 50m
    1. The power of transformations
      1m 20s
    2. From primitive to polished art
      2m 42s
    3. Using the Blob brush
      5m 46s
    4. Resizing the brush and erasing
      4m 15s
    5. Selection limits and methods of merging
      6m 39s
    6. Cloning and auto-duplicating
      6m 45s
    7. Customizing keyboard shortcuts
      3m 7s
    8. Moving by the numbers
      5m 15s
    9. Using the Reshape tool
      7m 47s
    10. Modifying, aligning, and uniting paths
      7m 14s
    11. Using the Offset Path command
      4m 43s
    12. Styling and eyedropping
      5m 29s
    13. Making a black-and-white template
      2m 27s
    14. Scale and clone
      4m 57s
    15. Enlarge and stack
      5m 46s
    16. Positioning the origin point
      6m 59s
    17. Using the Rotate tool
      3m 55s
    18. Using the Reflect tool
      4m 15s
    19. Series rotation (aka power duplication)
      6m 48s
    20. Rotating by the numbers
      6m 12s
    21. Transforming the tile patterns
      7m 52s
  8. 2h 4m
    1. Next-generation text wrangling
    2. Placing a text document
      5m 38s
    3. Creating a new text block
      6m 1s
    4. Working with point text
      3m 57s
    5. Selecting the perfect typeface
      5m 44s
    6. Scaling and positioning type
      8m 57s
    7. Leading, tracking, and lots of shortcuts
      5m 54s
    8. Adjusting pair kerning
      6m 55s
    9. Eyedropping formatting attributes
      3m 54s
    10. Flowing text from one block to another
      8m 28s
    11. Creating and applying a paragraph style
      7m 39s
    12. Rendering the text in graphite
      5m 55s
    13. Creating a scribbly drop shadow
      5m 17s
    14. Advanced formatting and bullets
      7m 43s
    15. Setting Area Type options
      4m 57s
    16. Justification and the Every-line Composer
      5m 52s
    17. OpenType and ligatures
      7m 19s
    18. Fractions, numerals, and ordinals
      9m 7s
    19. Swashes and small caps
      5m 40s
    20. The amazing Glyphs palette
      8m 12s
  9. 1h 18m
    1. Points are boys, handles are girls
      1m 20s
    2. Placing an image as a tracing template
      6m 56s
    3. Drawing a straight-sided path
      6m 8s
    4. Moving, adding, and deleting points
      6m 50s
    5. Drawing spline curves with Round Corners
      9m 7s
    6. Smooth points and Bézier curves
      8m 29s
    7. Defining a cusp between two curves
      6m 59s
    8. Replicating and reshaping segments
      8m 31s
    9. Converting anchor points
      7m 55s
    10. Deleting stray anchor points
      5m 1s
    11. Separating and closing paths
      5m 43s
    12. Eyedropping template colors
      5m 55s
  10. 1h 40m
    1. Paths never rest
      1m 34s
    2. Exploring the Appearance palette
      9m 54s
    3. Snip and Spin
      8m 3s
    4. Adding a center point
      4m 12s
    5. Keeping shape intersections
      3m 42s
    6. Lifting fills and selecting through shapes
      5m 54s
    7. Saving and recalling selections
      6m 20s
    8. Rotating is a circular operation
      8m 32s
    9. Lassoing and scaling points
      5m 28s
    10. Using the Transform Each command
      4m 11s
    11. Using the Magic Wand tool
      8m 1s
    12. Eyedropping live effects
      9m 58s
    13. Merging strokes with a compound path
      6m 50s
    14. Selecting and scaling independent segments
      7m 59s
    15. Scalloped edges with Pucker & Bloat
      5m 16s
    16. Expand before you merge
      4m 17s
  11. 1h 26m
    1. The new pleasures of printing
    2. Outlines and artboards in CS4
      7m 35s
    3. Setting trim size and bleed
      7m 17s
    4. Creating custom dynamic crop marks
      3m 41s
    5. Working with the Separations Preview palette
      7m 42s
    6. Trapping an object with an overprint stroke
      8m 20s
    7. Placing multiple artboards into InDesign
      5m 17s
    8. Working with the Print Tiling tool
      4m 56s
    9. Setting the General Print options
      6m 9s
    10. Setting printer marks
      5m 16s
    11. PostScript-only output and graphics
      9m 10s
    12. The Color Management options
      6m 56s
    13. Adjusting the Flattener settings
      7m 32s
    14. Setting the Raster Effects resolution
      5m 33s
  12. 1h 32m
    1. Illustrator does pixels
    2. Illustrator, PDF, and Save As formats
      8m 15s
    3. Saving an illustration for the web
      6m 13s
    4. Saving a continuous-tone JPEG image
      10m 2s
    5. Saving a high-contrast GIF graphic
      6m 27s
    6. The versatile PNG format
      4m 45s
    7. Saving a scaleable Flash (SWF) graphic
      11m 0s
    8. Opening and placing an Illustrator file in Photoshop
      12m 44s
    9. Exporting a layered PSD from Illustrator
      12m 57s
    10. Exporting to Microsoft Office and PowerPoint
      7m 24s
    11. Sharing with InDesign, Flash, and Photoshop
      12m 12s
  13. 1m 4s
    1. Until next time
      1m 4s

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Watch the Online Video Course Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals
16h 48m Beginner Feb 06, 2009

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Adobe Illustrator has long been a popular vector–based drawing program, but for many the learning curve is steep. In Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals, author and leading industry expert Deke McClelland shows users how to get in to the Illustrator mindset and overcome this learning curve. He covers the application's key features in a new way, making it simple and easy to master Illustrator. Deke teaches viewers how to use the core drawing and shape tools, the transformation and reshaping features, text, and the Pen tool. He also explains how to export and print. Even if learning Illustrator has been a struggle in the past, this training can help make sense of it. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Creating continuous arcs and looping spirals
  • Building with geometric shapes
  • Selecting, placing, and scaling type
  • Creating spine curves with round corners
  • Using the new Blob brush to quickly draw and merge paths
  • Working with flattener and raster effects
  • Saving illustrations for the web
Deke McClelland

Snip and Spin

In this exercise, we are going to be using a technique that I'm calling snip and spin in order to take this one central path that descends all the way from the eyeball down the body, down the left side of the body and becomes this foot. We are going to snip it and make three paths from it. One that represents the left foot and the other for the right foot and then the central sort of body neck shape right there. If you've checked out of the previous exercise at any point, I have gone ahead and performed the last few steps and saved off the file as PrimitiveZ or if you prefer found inside the 10_select_enhance folder.

What I'd like you to do, go over to the Layers palette here and I want you to lock down a few layers. Notice this. I believe I've showed you this before but if not, you can Alt-click or Option- click on an eyeball in order to show all layers and then if you Alt-click or Option-click on an eyeball again, you will hide all but that one layer. Then I could just sort of drag up the list like so. So you can drag along eyeballs in order to show them as well. All that works inside the Lock column as well, and we're going to be doing a lot of locking as we work through future exercises because that way, we can isolate the contents of a single layer, and not mess up the other ones.

So in this case what I want you to do is I want you to Alt-click inside of this region right here. That would be an Option-click on the Mac to lock everybody but the Primitives layer right there. Now, it's not really necessary that we lock Articulates and Circle Eye because they are not visible. We can't edit them anyway. So I'm going to go ahead and drag across the Lock icons in order to unlock those two, and then I'm going to press the Ctrl Key or the Command key on the Mac which allows me to switch various layers to the Outline Mode, and I'm going to drag over these two eyeballs to switch them into Orphan Annie mode right there. So that they are appearing in the Outline Mode. That was a Ctrl+Drag across those two eyeballs, a Command+Drag on the Mac.

All right. Let's zoom-in on our Primitive elements right here, and I'm going to select that big path outline right there that descends from what will be the eyeball up there at the top of the illustration. I want to sever this path right at this location, so it aligns to the top of his zany outfit there. So I'm going to make sure that I have the Scissors tool, which you can get from the Eraser tool flyout menu, or you can press the C key. And I'm going to click right at that point in order to divide the line at exactly this intersection.

Then I'm going to go back to my Black Arrow tool and I'm going to click on this top portion of the path like so. Now, I need to rotate it, so that it is centered on his little suit. So I'm going to grab my Rotate tool. Obviously, I could get it by pressing the R key if I want to. I am going to click to set the center of the rotation, rotation origin, right there at the top of the path, and then I'm going to drag in order to rotate the path. Notice now that I'm rotating with respect to that top point. Now, I want to center the path on his outfit, and I think the best way to do that is to put my cursor over the center point inside of this first dapper button right there and that will ensure that I'm centered on the path as well, and that looks good to me.

All right. Now, let's do the foot. Why don't we? Let's go ahead and zoom out a little bit. Grab that foot by pressing the V key, or obviously if I still have the Rotate tool active, what I could do, as I do, I went ahead and switched back to it by pressing the R key. I could press the Ctrl key or the Command Key on the Mac to get my last used Arrow tool and then I would click on this shoe right here in order to select it. All right. I want to rotate it into alignment here. I want to rotate it to the other side, that is to say. So we are going to get that Rotate tool, we still got it. Don't need to get it. I got it.

I am going to click up here. I have to reset my origin point because every time you switch paths, every time you select a different path, it resets to the center of set path. So I'm going to click up here in order to set my rotation point right there. That is the origin of my rotation. Then I'm going to scroll down here a little bit and I'm going to drag like so in order to rotate the leg over to this position. Can you see the top of the path there, right next to where the hands would be? So very much toward the top of the screen there. You can see that green path.

I want to make sure that it's aligned to the top of his suit as it is, and then once I have done it, once I have gotten the leg in the position as I have it here, I'll press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac. Press and hold that key, Alt or Option and then release and then you can go ahead and release the key, and that goes ahead and creates a duplicate. Now, something you can't help, but notice I would think is how off this path is. The leg doesn't align with the suit at all and you might think, you are just really super sloppy Deke. No, of course not, even though I had that straight point in the previous exercise, this is what we are doing.

We are switching to the Scale tool, because I want this forward foot to be sort of in the pseudo perspective. I want the forward foot to be larger than the rear foot, or at least the forward leg to be longer than the rear leg is what we are really accomplishing here. So I'm going to grab my Scale tool as I have done. I'm going to click here on this top point to set the origin right there, and then notice I'm moving my cursor straight down from the origin point, because I want to perform an exclusively vertical scaling here. I am going to drag down and I'm pressing the Shift key as I do it, and I'm just dragging a little bit. See how that green outline is interrupting the black outline and that shows me that I have got things more less aligned as I want them, and then I'll release my mouse button and then I'll release the Shift key, and I now have things aligned properly.

Let's go ahead and switch back to the Preview Mode here by pressing the Ctrl key or the Command Key on the Mac and dragging over those two eyeballs like so. And got a little bit of a problem right here. Notice that we have these little humps. So I'll go ahead and zoom even further in. We are also interrupting the hands. We will take care of that in a moment. But I have got this little hump over on this side and on this side. That's because these rounded caps are sticking up above his suit. We need to join these two points together. I am going to do that using the Pen tool. I could select the two points and choose the Join Command, but I want to use the Pen tool for this. This is a smooth point I should tell you. So we need to sever it off to make a cusp point.

So I'm going to press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and click on this point like so. Then I'm going to move my cursor over, I still have the Alt or Option key down. I'm going to move my cursor over until I see that little segment icon right there. That little anchor point through a segment icon that's showing me, this is where the point is. It's an end point, and I can join these two end points together now. With the Alt or Option key down, click right there in order to join those two together. Now, you might say hey Deke, doesn't that go against the rules you taught us back in the previous chapter when we were talking about the Pen tool? Where a cusp point is concerned, aren't we supposed to have two control handles going out in independent directions of each other? Isn't it a bad idea to have one control handle only going in one direction and none in the other direction? No, that's not it.

Just to be clear here. It's all about the segments; it's not about the points. I'll go ahead and get my White Arrow tool, so I can show you this. Either the segment should have two control handles as it does. This one does, notice that, and so does this one over here. It also has two control handles or the segment should have no control handles as this one does. So it's perfectly okay having a cusp point that just has a single control handle. That is a completely acceptable way to work. All right, anyway, and in fact anyway it's acceptable, but I'm just telling you where the rules are concerned. These silly old rules.

Anyway, notice that the Primitives layer is sitting on top of this little bit of these legs right there, sitting on top of the hands. That's no good. So I need to grab the Primitives layer and move it under other stuff like so. If I click off the shapes, we now have this nice combination. Notice that also moves the neck below the lips, which is a good thing. We have a nice combination of legs, and neck, and lips, and arms, akimbo, and everything else going on this ZORBLE character in progress. So that's snip and spin, people. That's how you perform those tricks right there.

In the next exercise, I'm going to show you how and why you'd want to add a center point from the Attributes palette.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals .

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Q: Adobe Bridge CS4 is not previewing files in the same way for me as it is in the tutorial. All I am seeing is a low-quality thumbnail of the image, not previews of each artboard.  Why is there a difference between the tutorial and what I am seeing?
A: There is a different view in the tutorial because the author used a beta version of Bridge during the recording. The final release of Bridge CS4 displays thumbnails as you describe.
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