Viewers: in countries Watching now:
In this installment of the Illustrator Insider Training series, Mordy Golding shows how to draw vector artwork quickly, precisely, and efficiently—without having to think about technical concepts like anchor points or control handles. The course highlights intuitive drawing techniques using the Pathfinder functions, Live Paint groups, Shape Builder tool, and variable-width strokes. It also describes the sketching workflow and features in Illustrator that use pressure-sensitive drawing tablets, allowing designers to focus more on their creativity.
In the previous movie, we saw how we can use the Reshape tool inside of Illustrator to turn straight lines into beautiful curves. However, sometimes we struggle with getting our curves to look nice and clean. In this movie, we are going to talk about another tool inside of Illustrator called the Smooth tool. And this allows us to kind of paint over paths and have those paths become smooth curves as we do so. So let's see how that works. So I am going to kind of zoom in on Mister Zee over here, on the back part of this curve that we try to create before that really doesn't look that smooth.
So zoom in just a little bit more over here and kind of center it on my screen. I am going to select the path, underneath the Pencil tool. Right over here I see and we are going to find the Smooth tool. The Smooth tool basically works just like the Pencil tool, meaning you click and drag with it, but as you click and drag over a path, Illustrator is now going to go ahead and smooth that out. Now it's important to realize that smoothing does not mean making fewer anchor points, sometimes when you make a path more smooth Illustrator adds anchor points, but again at this stage we don't really care about anchor points at all.
So, kind of put that out of your mind, and let's just focus on the actual shape and smoothness of the path itself. Now what I can do over here at this part is simply kind of come over it and kind of drag down, and we can see how it's kind of smoothing out as I do so. And if I push upwards over here, I also have ways to kind of make sure that this is going to start matching a curve. Bring it down just a little bit more and I can do a better job on kind of bringing it in or pushing it outwards as well. I can't be very precise with the Smooth tool, but in many cases if I'm kind of looking at a path and I just want to smooth it out just a little bit, I can start to use the Smooth tool to allow me to take things that don't look so fine or clean and kind of even that out just a little bit.
When you're using a tool like the Smooth tool and you are using the mouse, it's kind of hard to do these brush motions with the mouse. And if you do have a pen tablet like a Wacom tablet for example, kind of doing it with the pen is a much more natural motion and that you will find it easier to control the Smooth tool. In fact, that's why the Smooth tool and the Pencil tool kind of work hand-in-hand. But I'll also tell you that there are another other uses for the Smooth tool. In fact, if we kind of come down over here to let's say the foot part of Mister Zee. Let's kind of focus maybe on this section right over here.
And I can actually start by creating this by using a plain rectangle, and then modifying it with various other tools. I am going to start by selecting the Rectangle tool and I am just going to click and drag over here to make a rectangle about this big, and I am going to hit the R key to rotate it, set my origin point here, and kind of rotate it down just a little bit on an angle like this. I am going to switch to my Direct Selection tool here, deselect the path, and only select just this top path over here, because I can now use my Reshape tool to click and drag and kind of bend that curve down right over there.
But I still have like these rounded parts in the bottom that I want to work with. So I am now going to switch to my Smooth tool. I am going to use the Smooth tool. You can actually click and drag over a corner and as you kind of mouse over the corner and adjust it you see how it kind of turns now into a curve. And I can do the same down over here also. So, now I am creating the bottom parts of the shape that I want. Now, of course, when I am using the Smooth tool, because I don't have that much control over my path, I may end up with little wonky areas like this, but I can of course use the Reshape tool to bend that back to where it belongs.
But for now, I have the ability to use my Smooth tool, not only to take existing curves and kind of smooth them out like we did at the top of the body, but I can even take a regular rectangle and have it have nice rounded corners to match to shape that I going for.
There are currently no FAQs about Illustrator Insider Training: Drawing without the Pen Tool.
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.