Illustration Software

Illustration software is distinguished from photo-editing software in that the result is an original construction, rather than the manipulation of a photograph. Illustration software uses vector-based tools such that the content is stored digitally as resolution-independent mathematical formulae describing lines (open paths), shapes (closed paths), and color fills, strokes or gradients. Vector paths are constructed of anchor points and path segments. Illustration tools typically create precise lines, shapes and patterns with well-defined edges and are superb for working with complex constructions such as maps and typography.

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Interactively Combine Shapes with the Shape Builder Tool in Adobe Illustrator
Illustrator's Shape Builder tool will let you combine shapes visually and interactively. This video shows the Mac version, but the tool works the same way in Windows. To follow along with this video, you can draw your own shapes or download the file I use: www.flisser.com/classfiles/shape-builder-exercise.zip.

Please check out the steps I've listed below.

1. Technique 1: combining two adjacent objects - Select two adjacent objects.


 
Several overlapping shapes
Before combining two objects, decide what fill color you want and make that the fill color in the toolbar. One way to do this is to select an object that has a fill and stroke already applied.

color-boxes.jpg
Two selected overlapping objects

2. Click the Shape Builder tool in the toolbar (or press Shift + M).


3. Roll the mouse over the selected objects. Notice the shading, which means the objects are ready to have the tool applied.



Object with shading

4. Drag from the first object to the second object.


The objects are now combined, and the fill is the color in the toolbox, and the stroke is the color of the first object’s stroke.

5. Undo (Ctrl + Z in Windows or Command + Z on the Mac).


6. Now drag from the second object to the first object.


As before, the objects are now combined, and the fill is the color in the toolbox. But this time, the stroke is the color of the second object’s stroke.
 
After dragging over two shapes
So the stroke color of the object you start dragging from becomes the stroke color of the combined object.

7. Undo, then go on to the next technique…


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1. Technique 2: overlap of two adjacent objects. Again, select two adjacent objects.

2. Roll the mouse pointer onto the overlapping area, and notice just that area is shaded.



Overlapping area selected

3. Click, and that area becomes a new object.


 
After clicking the overlapping area

4. Click the Selection tool (or press V).

5. Drag the new shape out of the way so you can see.



There is now a hole where it used to be, and the new shape has a single stroke color. The stroke colors around the hole match the stroke colors of each object.

New shape dragged away----

1. Technique 3: using an object as a cookie cutter - Undo about three times so you get the original shapes back, and go to the next technique…



2. Select the same two objects as before.


With the Shape Builder tool active, hold the Alt key in Windows or the Option key on the Mac, then drag from the overlapping area into one of the selected shapes.

The overlapping area and the shape you dragged onto now disappear.

Removed circle

3. Undo, then Alt + drag or Option + drag from the overlapping area onto the other object.


You get a similar result.

4. Undo so you get the original shapes back, and go to the next technique…

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LVL 17

Administrative Comment

by:Kyle Santos
Video submission is Approved; the steps provided are a great addition to the work done in this video.  Thanks for your contributions and efforts, Bob!
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LVL 4

Author Comment

by:Bob Flisser
Great, glad you like it!
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Important Lessons on Recovering from Petya
LVL 11
Important Lessons on Recovering from Petya

In their most recent webinar, Skyport Systems explores ways to isolate and protect critical databases to keep the core of your company safe from harm.

Compound Path Clipping Mask in Adobe Illustrator
How to make a clipping mask out of several separate vector objects by using the Compound Path option in Adobe Illustrator.
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Expert Comment

by:Josh 088
Clipping path used for remove background from the main object to closed vector path and shape. It also used to cut out a 2D image in image editor. It's a simple prosess.

it is really important to underscore, first and the element of product photo. Modern marketing campaigns to defined by the quality of photography.

Clipping path used for remove background from the main object to closed vector path and shape. It also used to cut out a 2D image in image editor. It's a simple prosess. It is really important to underscore, first and the element of product photo. Modern marketing campaigns to defined by the quality of photography. There are lot of clipping path service provider on internet. But Tradexcelgraphics is the best clipping path service bangladesh. Its reputation also well known allaround the world.
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Using the Blend Tool in Illustrator
In this tutorial viewers will learn how to create blended and gradiated shapes in Illustrator using the blend tool

1. Draw two shapes, one of them in a different color

2. Select both and create a blend by going to Object > Blend > Make

3. Blends can also be created by using the Blend tool (the icon with a square, rounded rectangle, and circle) and clicking on one shape, then the other, but this is less precise

4. Adjust the blend's appearance by going to Object > Blend > Blend Options

5. Smooth color creates a gradient of smoothly shifting colors between the two objects

6. Specified steps creates a series of intermediary shapes between the two objects. If the user types in 10, there will be ten shapes between the objects, each showing a progression in color

7. To apply a blend as the stroke of a path, draw a path, then select both the path and the shape then go to Object > Blend > Replace Spine

8. To create a line of graduated image "steps", set the objects further apart and select the Blending Options to "Specified Distance". The objects in the line will be spaced apart by the defined distance; there will be as many objects as needed to fill the space

9. Blends can also be created between two objects of different sizes, but the object that is on top will appear to be the "front" of the blend

10. Use the pen tool to adjust the curve of any blend

11. Blends can also be used to apply shading to objects. A smaller shape in a lighter color, blended into a larger shape of a darker color, will produce a highlighted effect that can't be achieved with normal gradients

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Tilde Shape Effect in Illustrator
In this tutorial viewers will learn to create a unique 3D lineart effect using the tilde key combinations in Illustrator

1. Open a new document in Illustrator.

2. Locate the tilde key on your keyboard. It is usually in the top left and looks like a ~

3. Select a shape tool

4. Click on the document as if you are starting a shape

5. Hold down the tilde key

6. Drag the mouse clockwise or counterclockwise to create unique patterns of shapes

7. Select all shapes created and adjust the fill and stroke to enhance the effect

8. While using this effect, hold down the tilde key and the Alt key to make a rotating pattern

9. You can also hold down the tilde key and the Shift key to make an expanding pattern

10. You can use the Unite tool (Windows > Pathfinder) to combine these shapes

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Smart Scaling in Illustrator
In this tutorial viewers will learn tricks for more effective scaling of vectors in Illustrator

1. Open a document with vectors to be scaled in Illustrator

2. Normally, items do not keep their proportions when scaled. To fix this, hold down the shift key while scaling an object! It will retain its original proportions

3. Normally, items when scaled end up in the area of the canvas where it was "stretched" to. To keep an item in one place while scaling it, simply hold the Alt key while scaling an object. It will be scaled in relation to its center point

4. These two tricks can be combined to scale objects that stay proportional and in correct relation to its center point

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Opacity Texture Masks in Illustrator
In this tutorial viewers will learn how to apply a non-rasterized, vector-scalable texture to a vector using opacity texture masks in Illustrator

1. Open a vector in Illustrator. Black and white vectors work best, but this effect can also be used to add texture to colored illustrations

2. Opacity Texture masks work by defining the opacity of certain areas of a vector as more or less transparent. Black, white, and grey areas in the texture will be converted to opaque, transparent, and translucent areas in the vector

3. Select the vector to be Texturized and open the Transparency window (Window > Transparency)

4. With the vector selected, click "Make Mask". A black box will appear next to the thumbnail of the vector; double click it to edit the mask

5. Place the .AI file containing your vector texture in the document, making sure you are still in mask mode

6. Either scale the texture so that it covers the entire vector, or copy and paste it enough times to cover the entire area (the latter preserves more detail)

7. To return to regular document mode, double click the thumbnail of your vector

8. Now that the vector texture has been applied, the vector can be scaled, preserving the texture like any other vector element. Unlike rasterized textures applied in Photoshop, vector textures applied in Illustrator do not compromise the scalability of the vector

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Expert Comment

by:victoria willis
lost me after step 5, nothing worked to place a texture file and then have it do what it's supposed to do to make the texture.
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Creating a Vector Texture in Photoshop
In this tutorial viewers will learn how to create a vector texture to apply a non-rasterized texture to vector images, using Photoshop and Illustrator

1. Open a textured image such as a scanned-in piece of cardboard in Photoshop

2. Convert the texture to black and white by going to Image > Adjustments > Black and White

3. Adjust the contrast by going to Image > Adjustments > Levels. A higher contrast image will yield a more defined texture

4. Save an image as a PSD by going to File > Save As and selecting the .PSD option

5. Open the PSD in Illustrator

6. Convert the texture image to vector shapes using the Image Trace tool (Window > Image Trace)

7. Select a Preset that fits your texture. For scanned-in paper textures, the Shades of Gray preset works best. Trace by clicking the "Trace Button"

8. With the image selected, go to Object > Expand and ensure both "Object" and "Fill" are checked

9. Save the texture as a .AI file

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Aligning Objects in Illustrator
In this tutorial viewers will learn how to use the align and distribute tools in Illustrator.

1. Open a document with multiple shapes to be aligned

2. Open the Align window by going to Window > Align or using the shortcut icons on the top bar of Illustrator

3. The Align tool aligns objects in relation to each other, while the Distribute tool aligns objects in relation to the canvas

4. To align two objects vertically (one on top of the other) select both and click the "Horizontal Align Center" button

5. The "Horizontal Align Left" and "Horizontal Align Right" buttons do the same thing, but align the objects to the left-most or right-most object, not a middle point

6. To align objects horizontally (in a straight line), select all of them and click the "Vertical Align Center" button

7. The "Vertical Align Top" and "Vertical Align Bottom" buttons do the same thing, but align the objects to the top-most or bottom-most object, not a middle point

8. To distribute a straight line of objects to have equal spacing between them, select them all and click the "Horizontal Distribute Center" button

9. The "Vertical Distribute Center" button does the same thing, except for a vertical line of objects

10. To align an object's center with another object's center (for example, a flower center with its petals), select both objects, then click on the bottom object again. Then, click the "Horizontal Align Center" and "Vertical Align Center" buttons. The top object will move on top of the bottom object, perfectly aligned to the center.

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Using the Pathfinder Tool in Illustrator: Shape Modes
In this tutorial viewers will learn how to use the Pathfinder tool's 4 Shape Modes in Illustrator to create advanced shapes

1. Draw two shapes: A circle and a rectangle

2. Select both shapes, hold down the Alt key, click and drag to create 4 copies.

3. Select the first pair of shapes and open the Pathfinder tool using Window > Pathfinder

4. First is the Unite tool. It will join two shapes. Apply this to the first pair of shapes.

5. Select the next pair of shapes and click the Minus Front tool. This will subtract the shape on top from the shape on bottom.

6. Select the next pair of shapes and click the Intersect tool. It will eliminate all but the intersections of the two shapes.

7. Select the next pair of shapes and click the Exclude tool. This will eliminate the intersection of the two shapes.

8. Remember to Ungroup to use the new paths.

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Using the Pathfinder Tool in Illustrator: Pathfinder Modes
In this tutorial viewers will learn how to use the Pathfinder tool in Illustrator to create advanced shapes

1. Draw two shapes: A circle and a rectangle

2. Select both shapes, hold down the Alt key, click and drag to create 4 copies.

3. Select the first pair of shapes and open the Pathfinder tool using Window > Pathfinder

4. First is the the Divide tool. This separates the shapes into sections and eliminates overlap.

5. Select the next pair and click the Trim tool. This is like the Divide tool but the overlap doesn't get its own shape; the top shape is left intact.

6. Select the next pair and click the Merge tool. This is like the Trim tool, preserving overlap, but also merges same-color shapes.

7. Select the next pair and click the Crop tool. The crop tool is a cookie cutter; it eliminates everything outside of the top shape.

8. Select the next pair and click the Outline tool. This is like the divide tool, but converts the shapes to outlines.

9. Select the last pair and click the Minus Back tool. It's like the minus front tool, but the opposite.

10. Remember to Ungroup to use the new paths.

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Free Tool: Site Down Detector
LVL 11
Free Tool: Site Down Detector

Helpful to verify reports of your own downtime, or to double check a downed website you are trying to access.

One of a set of tools we are providing to everyone as a way of saying thank you for being a part of the community.

"Postcard" Effect in Illustrator: 3D Text
In this tutorial viewers will learn how to create a postcard text effect in Illustrator and get an introduction to the 3D tools

1. Open a new document in Illustrator

2. Using a very bold font, type your Postcard text

3. Select the type, and go to Type > Create Outlines

4. Go to Effect > Warp and adjust the "bend" of the text"

5. Go to Object > Ungroup

6. Go to Effect > 3D. Click and drag the image to have the correct 3D effect

7. Go to Object > Expand Appearance and the effects will appear

8. Select all objects and go to the color panel; select a random color. Then use the drop-down to specify RGB (or CMYK) color so it isn't in Greyscale

9. Ungroup all objects

10. Select all objects on top and make them white; Change the color of the 3D objects

11. Select the white letters and add a stroke using the color panel

12. Select the white letters and go to Object > Path > Offset Path. Set the Offset to a negative number to create "inner" layers. Set them to a different color.

13. Copy and paste onto an image in Photoshop.

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Creating Seamless Patterns in Illustrator
In this tutorial viewers will learn how to create a seamless pattern in Illustrator

1. Open a new square document

2. Draw/import icons and images (for this tutorial I'm using original images)

3. Arrange on the artboard

4. Select all objects, then go to Object > Pattern > Make to preview the pattern

5. Adjust the Tile Type

6. Fill in the spaces with extra images

7. Save Pattern

8. To create a PNG to use in web or print, create a new image

9. Select the pattern in "Swatches" and drag it onto the canvas

10. Adjust artboard to match bounding box

11. File > Save for Web, ensure "Clip to Artboard" is selected

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Illustration Software

Illustration software is distinguished from photo-editing software in that the result is an original construction, rather than the manipulation of a photograph. Illustration software uses vector-based tools such that the content is stored digitally as resolution-independent mathematical formulae describing lines (open paths), shapes (closed paths), and color fills, strokes or gradients. Vector paths are constructed of anchor points and path segments. Illustration tools typically create precise lines, shapes and patterns with well-defined edges and are superb for working with complex constructions such as maps and typography.

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