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By Colleen Wheeler | Monday, November 07, 2011

The evolution of Illustrator: what have you missed?

In October 2011, we released the fourth entry in Mordy Golding’s series designed specifically for seasoned users of Adobe Illustrator—Illustrator Insider Training: Drawing without the Pen Tool. This particular entry is close to my heart because I’m one of those people for whom the Pen tool has always been daunting. Mordy’s Drawing without the Pen Tool tutorial joins three other entries in the series—Rethinking the Essentials; Coloring Artwork; and Seeing through Transparency—which all seek to provide Illustrator veterans a chance to refresh their insider knowledge and workflow habits, without having to start from scratch.

One of the most effective (and sympathetically reassuring) ways Mordy helps you rethink Illustrator is to provide each course of the series with a movie that explains historical developments of the software. This context can really help identify where the learning gaps may have occurred for long-time users of the program. By providing an understanding of where key paradigm shifts might have happened in color, transparency, or drawing tools, Mordy paves the way for you to get back up to speed while maintaining all your hard-won experience and creativity.

In this new course, my own trepidations are comforted to some extent by the discovery that Adobe released a VHS video featuring Pen-Tool inventor John Warnock demonstrating how the thing was supposed to work when the Pen Tool was originally invented. Mordy also gives the broader strokes on how the various vector drawing tools have evolved over the years, including the birth of Pathfinder and the advent of the Blob brush:

In Illustrator Insider Training: Rethinking the Essentials, Mordy works in  historical contextualization by revealing how some instabilities in the earliest versions of Illustrator 9 might have meant designers missed out on some of the innovations that came with that particular version, and explains the foundation of the entire series in his timeline movie:

In his Illustrator Insider Training: Seeing through Transparency course, Mordy takes a closer look at the advent of vector transparency, including an explanation of his Illustrator Historical Eras: B.T. (Before Transparency) and A. T. (After Transparency).

Finally, in Illustrator Insider Training: Coloring Artwork, Mordy takes a close look at how color control has developed over the iterations of Illustrator:

Illustrator has been around for almost 25 years, and in that time, it’s gone through an understandable amount of change. Mordy’s approach in the Illustrator Insider Training series is to acknowledge that AI veterans don’t want to start from square one, but do want to make sure they’re getting the most out of the most recent developments to the program. It can be hard to keep up when you’re doing your best to thrive creatively and meet deadlines, but with a little context and a whole series of instruction from Mordy, you can rebuild your own Illustrator infrastructure without completely closing down your design highway.

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