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This course reveals how designers can create vibrant web graphics, wireframes, and complete web site mockups with the strong layout and color management tools in Adobe Illustrator. Author and Adobe Certified Expert Justin Seeley covers topics such as building responsive layouts with artboards, producing custom color palettes and swatches for web graphics, and making vector shapes and text that seamlessly scale. The course also explores adding drop shadows and other live effects, setting up interface elements such as forms and tabbed interfaces, optimizing and exporting different types of graphics, and speeding up your workflow with reusable image sprites and Smart Objects.
In the previous movie we discussed how to create more complex shapes by utilizing something called the Pathfinder panel. In this movie, I'm going to take that one step further and show you a method that's even easier, and also a lot more visual, for creating complex shapes with very little effort. So I've got the same file open here. I'm going to close the Pathfinder panel because I don't need it anymore, and I'm going to start building this robot the same way I did before, but this time I'm only going to use one tool. I don't even need to open up a panel. I'm going to use something called the Shape Builder tool, and the easy way to use the Shape Builder tool is to press Shift and the letter M on your keyboard, or you can find this icon right here, Shape Builder tool. With the Shape Builder tool selected, when you first bring it out on the canvas, if you don't have anything selected, you're going to notice that you're not able to do anything.
I'm clicking and dragging right now and I can't get it to do anything. So what we need to do is we need to select some things and then use the Shape Builder tool to allow us to build shapes with it. So I'm going to grab my Selection tool and I'm going to start off with the neck, just like I did in the previous movie, just like this, to select that. And I'll press Shift+M to select the Shape Builder tool. And I want to use all of these as a single shape, I want to unite them as a single shape, so I'm going to hold down the Shift key, click and drag out a selection until all of them turn gray, like this.
And once I release my mouse, they are united into one single shape. And if I click away from it, you can see one single shape. Now I'm going to do the same thing for the head. So I want the head up here. I want that to be united with this top part here, the stem, and the top of the antenna, and I'm going to include the ears in this as well. And so then I'm going to press Shift+M on my keyboard to access the Shape Builder tool again, and this time I'm going to simply draw across.
And when I draw across, you're going to notice that it tries to get everything, but it has trouble getting everything, so I'm going to let go somewhere outside of it so it doesn't do anything and then from here I'm going to come up to the top-left corner, hold down the Shift key, click and drag a selection out, and unite those shapes that way. When you click and drag with the Shape Builder tool, it allows you to create a shape, as long as it's within the eye line of that straight line, but if you hold down Shift, you can make a selection with it. With this object selected, I'll switch back to my Selection tool and then I'll use Command or Ctrl and the left bracket key to place that back behind everything.
Now I'm going to select the eyes, the one on the left first, Shift+M. And so remember, we want to take out the middle part of the eye, so in order to do that, I'm going to hold down the Option or Alt key on my keyboard. You'll notice when I do that the plus sign turns into a minus. And when I click, it just removes that portion from that shape. So now this shape is just like a donut. Let's do the same thing over here. I'll Shift+Click to select both of these, Shift+M to bring up the Shape Builder tool, go to the middle, hold down the Option or Alt key, click, and remove the middle piece.
Last part here, I'm going to select the head, select the mouth, and just Shift+Clicking to select it. I'm going to grab the Shape Builder tool one last time, go to the mouth, hold down Option or Alt, click, and now the mouth has been subtracted from that. And I can then add the color in, like I did before. So now I'll just come over here, give this a no Stroke, go to the Swatches panel, give this a light gray, select both the eyes, no Stroke, dark gray, the neck, and here's a cool trick here: If I want this to look just like the eyes, I'll just grab the Eyedropper tool and click on one of the eyes. It automatically changes it over to look just like that. And then we'll select the body, no stroke, and an orange body, like so.
So there you have it. We have designed this little robot icon here in just a few short measly steps by utilizing the Shape Builder tool inside of Illustrator. It makes it so much easier to design in a visual way and combine shapes without having to worry about, well, what does this Pathfinder operation mean, or what does this Shape tool mean? All you have to do is know how to draw basic shapes, overlap them on top of one another, and then either subtract or add them together using the Shape Builder tool, and you can create some amazing artwork with very little effort.
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