Working with the Ruler tool
Video: Working with the Ruler toolIn this lesson I'll show you how to use SketchBook Pro Ruler tool. The Ruler tool allows you to create highly accurate straight lines wherever you wish in drawings. To begin, let's go to our interface lagoon, here on the lower-left, and select tools and go to our Move and Zoom. What we want to do is we want to zoom out of our canvas so we can see as much of it as possible. Then what we are going to do is deselect, go to our main menu to hit Image, this time go down to Symmetry Y and click on Symmetry Y or lift up, and this creates a center axis in the middle for our canvas.
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In SketchBook Pro 2010 Essential Training, David Lee shows how to use SketchBook Pro's powerful tools and unique marking menu interface to make digital drawing and painting a natural experience. This course covers setting application preferences, selecting brushes, picking colors, choosing the right drawing tools for each project, and working with pen tablet and pen display devices. Exercise files accompany the course.
- Exploring the user interface lagoon
- Customizing brush settings
- Creating a texture brush
- Refining a sketch with blur, smear and sharpen tools
- Creating illustrations with layers
- Using the Symmetry tool to mirror drawings across the X or Y axis
- Using the ruler tool to draw and position precise straight lines
- Using the Ellipse tool to draw and position precise circles, ellipses, and curves.
- Saving projects
Working with the Ruler tool
In this lesson I'll show you how to use SketchBook Pro Ruler tool. The Ruler tool allows you to create highly accurate straight lines wherever you wish in drawings. To begin, let's go to our interface lagoon, here on the lower-left, and select tools and go to our Move and Zoom. What we want to do is we want to zoom out of our canvas so we can see as much of it as possible. Then what we are going to do is deselect, go to our main menu to hit Image, this time go down to Symmetry Y and click on Symmetry Y or lift up, and this creates a center axis in the middle for our canvas.
What I would like to also is to go back to interface lagoon and open Layers and what we are going to do is we are going to have our Layer Editor here because we are going to working on a couple of layers to create a line drawing. To begin our sketch, let's draw a small communications handset. Let's open our Drawing tools, select the Pencil, just double-click on that to make sure that's the pencil we like. Let's go to something a little harder. Let's scroll down to perhaps HB 2.0. Just go ahead and save that. Let's move our Resize Brush tool over here. And from the center line, because we've our Symmetrical tool on, we can draw the whole handset by just staying on one side.
But keep in mind that you are drawing the width and the length to scale. So let's ahead and freehand sketch something and by the way, when you are sketching, I'd like you to focus mostly on straight angled lines. Okay, let's go ahead and sketch that. I'm keeping that up. Let's divide this in half or actually maybe in thirds and what we will do is we will leave this lower half section here for buttons. I think I would like to maybe have some over buttons and you see how the Symmetrical tool helps us to get there? It helps us properly space and we are having a set of 12 buttons and the actual screen.
Now to create our nice ruled lines with the Ruler tool, what we were going to do is we are going to go to this Layer Editor and go to the first layer and we are going to go to the Opacity control and dial that down and the reason why we want to obscure that is because we don't want to make it confusing as we are drawing out separate layer. This is sort of like a guideline or an underlay and that's exactly what we have created. Let's go ahead and add a layer. Let's go ahead and rename that layer by pressing in the middle of the Layer Editor on layer 2, rename layer, let's Clear Image, we're at the number 2, and we'll call this Ruled Lines. Go ahead and say OK.
Let's go ahead and lock down that first layer and let's start using the Ruler tool. Let's select the second layer, go to our toolbox in the interface, and go directly to go right where it says Ruler Hide/Show. We want to show that. So let's go ahead and drag and lift up. What you'll see here is Ruler tool, which has a couple of controls, and let me share those with you. There is a center axis, which is represented with the small square, and handles. You have the handle on the left and the handle on the right. By positioning your cursor on those handles, you can see how you can rotate those lines into position.
You can actually stretch those lines out as well. By positioning in the middle, you can locate the line to where you want it to be. So let's say what we wanted to do is create a set of angled lines and we are going to use underlay, right here, as our guide. So let's go back to our top layer, layer 2, with locked down position in place, select our Pencil tool. This time we are on full Opacity and let's create a line, okay. And you see because we have the Symmetry tool on, the lines are being created on both sides. And we will not worry about any over-drawn lines, which we can always go back in and erase those.
Let's go ahead and wide zoom that angle. We can slightly adjust and draw out the second line. Let's go ahead and move this down by grabbing this handle in the middle. You see how it's right above the Deselection button. Just go ahead and pull that handle down. Let's move our Layer Editor over, grab this handle, and rotate up. Let's grab the other handle and rotate it in position. Let's try to line that up. Now, also what's nice about working on separate layers is that you can actually adjust the line. Let's say this is the originally sketched line but now that I can bear down and give it little more accuracy to this line drawing, I can have the freedom to move it in or out as I please, or even adjust the angles.
Let's go ahead and draft that line. It's okay to draw little bit beyond the object. This will allow you to have an easy cleanup. This is something to also think about as you are using Symmetry tool and the Ruler tool is that you can always keep in mind that if there is an adjacent line, just leave in that position and move the tool over. Let's go ahead and rotate down and also another thing to keep in mind is up in here is a little gauge and this actually tells you if the lines are going to level or not. So this kind of keep an eye on that that gives you positioning, and because it's at zero, it tells me that it's leveled.
Let's go ahead and move down and add this angle line which actually echos what's going on the top. And before I close, I would like to go ahead and create some guidelines because guidelines are going to be really helpful as we start to lay in the buttons later. So I'm going to go ahead and drop those in and then again these are as close as I have can do them without actually have in the button size in mind. So this is just a guideline. I can always go back again and change those. You see how I've taken advantage of that horizontal line being up there to take care of everything else on the drawing. I can rotate it to 90 degrees.
You see how the gauge tells you 90 degrees straight up and I can execute those lines as well. And to turn it off, I simply click on the X and that deactivates it. To finish our drawing, I'll go ahead and while it's still in Symmetrical mode, clean up the rest of the drawing. So to close, SketchBook Pro Ruler tool is a quick way to create highly accurate straight lines in your illustration. Remember to work in layers as it allows you to move easily erase and retouch your sketch.
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