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- Drawing artwork versus building artwork
- Sketching ideas on paper
- Creating curves with the Reshape tool
- Recording actions for speed and accuracy
- Working with the Pathfinder functions
- Understanding how Live Paint works
- Using the Shape Builder tool
- Building and coloring artwork at the same time
- Turning variable-width strokes into filled paths
- Adjusting the behavior of the Pencil tool
- Drawing with the Calligraphic brush
Skill Level Intermediate
After spending a few hours together learning about how to draw inside of Illustrator without using the Pen tool, I would be remiss if I didn't tell you about a really cool plug-in that's available called VectorScribe. It actually adds a few tools to Illustrator to help you create and modify paths inside of Illustrator without having to rely too heavily on the Pen tool. In addition, it has some really cool features that would be very useful to us on a day-to-day basis. For example, I'm just going to start with the Pen tool for a moment here and just draw kind of like a zigzag line like this.
Nothing too difficult. I'm not even adding any curves here. But I'm now going to switch to a different tool here which is called the PathScribe tool. Once I select it, I'm now going to click and drag to marquee-select all of my anchor points, and you notice that when I start mousing over this, little things pop-up. And if I want to convert let's say this to a curve, I can just click and drag to turn this into a curve. This is similar to what we were doing earlier on with the Reshape tool inside of Illustrator. However, the Reshape tool adds anchor points and that requires us to then smooth the path over again, whereas using this PathScribe tool notice that no anchor points were added.
It actually lets you just click and drag to create a really nice curve. Another really cool tool that is part of this VectorScribe plug-in is something here called Dynamic Corners. It allows you to quickly add a rounded corner to any one individual corner on your artwork. Notice that as soon as I mouse over this, a little red highlight there shows, and if I click and drag downwards, I can actually make this line have rounded corners. But it's dynamic, meaning it's almost like a live effect. So if I were to click and drag, I can continue to round little bit more or maybe round it off a little bit less.
I could also use modifier keys, like for example my Option key or the Alt key and click and drag and kind of adjust things this way. So there are lot of cool tools that are like this that exists inside of this plug-in called VectorScribe, and if this interests you, why don't you head over to this website? It's astutegraphics.com. And go over there and you can actually download a trial of this plug-in called VectorScribe. You might also watch some of these movies that describe what each of the features do inside of it. You might find it incredibly helpful and that it might save a lot of time in the work that you do inside of Illustrator.
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