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Illustrator can be used to accomplish many different design tasks. For this reason, Illustrator CS4 Essential Training teaches core concepts and techniques that can be applied to any workflow for print, the web, or assets that will find their way into other applications. Mordy Golding explains the elements that make up vector graphics—paths, strokes, and fills—and shows how to use each of Illustrator's drawing tools. He demonstrates how to combine and clean up paths, and organize them into groups and layers. Mordy also covers text editing, working with color, expressive brush drawing, effects, and much more. Exercise files accompany the course.
The Scatter Brush allowed us to take a single piece of artwork and have multiple iterations of that artwork, be distributed along the stroke. With an Art brush however, we take one piece of artwork and only that one piece of artwork gets distributed on that stroke, but that piece of artwork then can be distorted or stretched along that stroke. I have this file called art_brush.ai opened. You will find it in Chapter 12 of your Exercise files. And when we come up here to the Brushes panel, and let's take a look at some of the Art brushes that ship with Illustrator. For example, this on here called Floral Spoke, I'll choose that one, choose my Paintbrush tool, and I'll click and I'll drag, and you will notice that right now that piece of artwork was kind of stretched along this particular path.
Just like any of the other brushes that we have been using till now, if I go into Outline mode by pressing Command +Y or Ctrl+Y, I see that what I have created is this one path, but a piece of artwork, which was defined, which stretched along that path. Just to give you a better idea of what's happening here, should I create a path that looks like this, I'll see that that artwork is now stretched along that particular path as well. Let me delete these, and let's see how we can create our own Art brush. In this particular file here I have this surfboard, I can select that surfboard, come to the Brushes panel, click Create New Brush, and specify New Art Brush. When I click OK, I now see a dialog box over here, which I can now choose to rename, let's call it Surfboard. Again, it's always good to give a name to your particular brushes. I can leave the Width set to 100 over here, and I could set Proportional one so that it will always scale in proportion.
And I'll leave that actually unchecked, because sometimes you do want to see these stretched along a path. You could determine which direction the artwork gets stretched along the path, and you could also choose the flip it along or across, but we will leave everything set to default right now. I'm going to click OK, and now when I use my Paintbrush tool with that particular surfboard, I can click and drag a path, and see that I can basically pull that surfboard along that path. If I draw a very short path, I get something, which looks almost like a leaf for that matter, but I can also create a surfboard that's kind of skewed in other directions as well. There is some really great examples of art brushes inside of Illustrator. I'm going to go over here to this little popup, choose Arrows, and then choose- let's do Arrows_Standard. I can take, let's say for example this one, it looks like a regular triangle for that matter, but notice what happens when I go ahead and I use this brush, it almost creates a line that starts out very thick, but then tapers to very thin. There are many times when you need to create something like this for logos or illustrations, and it's actually a wonderful way of working. You could also of course use Arrows as well, and what's great is that the arrows can be twisted or applied in any particular location.
So definitely playing around with some of the art brushes that Illustrator ships within, and remember it's easy enough to create your own as well.
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