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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 Eraser tool is a fantastic way to quickly erase vectors. If you think about it, until now we have always made edits to our vector paths by changing the anchor points. However, the Eraser tool really allows us to just move over any particular and erase parts of it. In some ways it's the exact opposite of the Blob Brush. For example, on this document I have opened right now called eraser_tool, which you will find in Chapter 12 of the exercise files. I'll so ahead and I'll select this piece of artwork. I'll use the Eraser tool right here and I could simply mouse over it and drag away parts of the particular file. I can even just simply erase parts of this path right here. I don't have to use Pen tools or edit any anchor points. I'll just simply erase the same way that I might use an eraser on a regular piece of paper.
Let me press Undo by the way, to back to where I was originally before, and try that if I double-click on the Eraser tool, it has the same exact settings that I saw both in the Blob brush and also the Calligraphic brushes. In fact, if I change the Diameter here based on Pressure as well, and change my Variation to 10, this is the same setting that I had applied to the Blob brush before. If I click OK, I happen to be using right now a Wacom pen. It has a tip on one end of it, and has an eraser on the other end. By using the blob brush, I could start to paint or draw paths, flip over the pen to the other side, and begin to erase parts of it. It feels completely natural the same way that I might use pencil on paper. I'll flip the pen back over again to the other side, and I can start to paint or draw with it.
Working with Eraser tool in this way also illustrates the need for the Blob brush. For example, if I go ahead and I use my regular paint brush, and I choose one of the Calligraphic brushes here, and I create a path that way, I cannot use the Eraser tool on it, because if I erase it I'm simply splitting that one path. Remember if I go into outline mode, I see that I have one path here,. Yes, the Eraser tool work on that one path that's right there, but I can't make this edge thinner right over here. See? That it doesn't work. However, I can use the Eraser tool on something that I used with a Blob brush for. That's because this path is already expanded. So at this point you really have two ways to work inside of Illustrator, a very free form and natural way using the Blob brush and the Eraser tool, or very precise and technical way, using tools like the Pen tool and the Pencil tool, and in either case you will certainly find that the Eraser tool is a really good friend of yours, because it allows you to easily erase parts of paths that you may not need without having to worry about anchor points.
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