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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.
All right gang, if you ask me, everything I have shown you so far is concrete, practical information, the kind of stuff that you are going to use on a regular basis inside of Illustrator. This last little trick I'm going to share with you is totally goofy. You may find an application for it, but I do want you to know it's there because it is the kind of thing you can use to amaze your family and friends. A lot of fun. I am going to go get the Line Segment tool there, and I'm going to show you this little trick using the Line tool. We are going to combine this tool; let's get this guy out of the way, inside of a new illustration, with the Tilde key.
So locate the Tilde key on your keyboard, just above the Tab key next to the 1 on an American keyboard. Go ahead and start drawing your line, like so, and then press and hold the Tilde key and start dragging around, inside of the illustration, and you will see that you draw a bunch of these lines in short order. We get this kind of cool dimensional effect going on with very little work using the Line tool and the Tilde key. So you may actually find something of a purpose for it. Let's go ahead and Backspace or Delete to get rid of that.
Now let's try it with the Star tool. It really does some really cool things, I think, with the Shape tools here. So I'm going to start by getting a decent star. This guy only has four points, so I'm going to give it several points, like so. Then I'll Tilde drag inward to create that effect right there. It's pretty wicked; I mean, it's a pretty interesting effect. Or another thing you can do; I'll go ahead and Backspace that, you could, for example, with the Tilde key down; and I don't know if I can even pull this off, this is going to be kind of hard, I'm going to put my finger on the Mouse button and my thumb, because I'm left handed. I'm putting my thumb on the Tilde key and I'm going to try something. I'm going to press the down arrow key and see what happens. Huh, I didn't even know. I just thought it might do something.
Now, this is the Up arrow key. Cool! All right, that rocks. Actually, I'm thinking that's pretty cool. It's very difficult to pull off. I'm going to get carpal tunnel or something here. But wow, if you can make it work, this is one time when being left-handed is really helping me out here. I'm going to press Delete to get rid of it. Here is another thing you can try. I'll demonstrate this one with, let's say, the Spiral tool. I'm going to go ahead and draw a spiral, like so; and I'll do a little Spacebar drag to get it onto the page. So pressing the Spacebar allows me to move it. So imagine, if I press the Spacebar and then the Tilde key at the same time, I can draw with the spiral. That's kind of nifty.
So here I was thinking it's just a goofy, ridiculous feature, but actually, I don't know, pretty cool. So remember the Tilde key. It allows you to draw with shapes. You can turn the shape into a kind of live brush or something here inside Illustrator.
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