Adobe Illustrator CC Classroom in a Book 2015 release (2016)
3. Using Shapes to Create Artwork for a Postcard
In this lesson, you’ll learn how to do the following:
• Create a document with multiple artboards.
• Use tools and commands to create a variety of shapes.
• Understand Live Shapes.
• Round corners.
• Work with the Shaper tool.
• Work with drawing modes.
• Use Image Trace to create shapes.
This lesson takes approximately 60 minutes to complete.
Download the project files for this lesson from the Lesson & Update Files tab on your Account page at www.peachpit.com and store them on your computer in a convenient location, as described in the “Getting Started” section of this book.
Your Account page is also where you’ll find any updates to the chapters or to the lesson files. Look on the Lesson & Update Files tab to access the most current content.
Basic shapes are at the foundation of creating Illustrator artwork. In this lesson, you’ll create a new document and then create and edit a series of shapes using the shape tools for a postcard.
In this lesson, you’ll explore the different methods for creating artwork using the shape tools and various creation methods to create artwork for a postcard.
1. To ensure that the tools and panels function exactly as described in this lesson, delete or deactivate (by renaming) the Adobe Illustrator CC preferences file. See “Restoring default preferences” in the “Getting Started” section at the beginning of the book.
2. Start Adobe Illustrator CC.
If you have not already downloaded the project files for this lesson to your computer from your Account page, make sure to do so now. See the “Getting Started” section at the beginning of the book.
3. Choose File > Open. Locate the file named L3_end.ai, which is in the Lesson03 folder in the Lessons folder that you copied onto your hard disk. These are the finished illustrations that you will create in this lesson.
4. Choose View > Fit All In Window; leave the file open for reference, or choose File > Close.
Creating a new document
You will now create a document for the postcard that will have two artboards, each with content that you will later combine.
1. Choose File > New to open a new, untitled document. In the New Document dialog box, change the following options:
• Name: Enter Postcard.
• Profile: Choose Print (the default setting).
• Number Of Artboards: Enter 2 (to create two artboards). (When you change the number of artboards, Profile changes to [Custom].)
• Arrange By Row (): Selected.
• Make sure that the Left To Right Layout arrow () is showing.
Next, you’ll jump to the units so that the rest of the changes are in inches.
• Units: Inches
• Spacing: 1 in (The spacing value is the distance between each artboard.)
• Width: 6 in (You don’t need to type the in for inches, since the units are set to inches.)
• Height: 4.25 in
You can set up a document for different kinds of output, such as print, web, video, and more, by choosing a profile. For example, if you are designing a web-page mock-up, you can use a web document profile, which automatically displays the page size and units in pixels, changes the color mode to RGB, and changes the raster effects to Screen (72 ppi).
2. Click OK in the New Document dialog box.
To learn more about the New Document dialog options, search for “New document dialog” in Illustrator Help (Help > Illustrator Help).
3. Choose File > Save As. In the Save As dialog box, ensure that the name of the file is Postcard.ai (Mac OS) or Postcard (Windows), and choose the Lesson03 folder. Leave the Format option set to Adobe Illustrator (ai) (Mac OS) or the Save As Type option set to Adobe Illustrator (*.AI) (Windows), and click Save. In the Illustrator Options dialog box, leave the Illustrator options at their default settings, and click OK.
4. Click the Document Setup button in the Control panel.
If the Document Setup button does not appear in the Control panel, it may mean that content in the document is selected. You can also choose File > Document Setup.
The Document Setup dialog box is where you can change the artboard size (by clicking the Edit Artboards button), units, bleeds, and more, after a document is created.
5. In the Bleed section of the Document Setup dialog box, change the value in the Top field to 0.125 in, either by clicking the Up Arrow to the left of the field once or by typing the value, and all four fields change. Click OK.
Notice the red line that appears around both artboards. The red line indicates the bleed area. Typical bleeds for printing are about 1/8 of an inch, but it can depend on the printing vendor.
You could have set up the bleeds when you first set up the document in the New Document dialog box by choosing File > New.
Working with basic shapes
In the first part of this lesson, you’ll create a series of basic shapes, such as rectangles, ellipses, rounded rectangles, polygons, and more. A shape you create is composed of anchor points with paths connecting the anchor points. A basic square, for instance, is composed of four anchor points on the corners with paths connecting the anchor points (see the figure at right). A shape is referred to as a closed path.
A path can be closed, or it can be open with distinct anchor points on each end (called endpoints). Both open and closed paths can have fills applied to them.
You’ll begin this exercise by setting up the workspace.
1. Choose Window > Workspace > Essentials (if it’s not already selected), and then choose Window > Workspace > Reset Essentials.
2. Choose 2 from the Artboard Navigation menu in the lower-left corner of the Document window.
3. Choose View > Fit Artboard In Window, if necessary.
As you go through this section, know that you don’t have to match the sizes of the drawn shapes exactly. They are just there as a guide.
Creating and editing rectangles
First, you’ll create a series of rectangles that will be the start of a satellite on the postcard. All of the shape tools, except for the Star tool and Flare tool, create what are called Live Shapes. This means that attributes such as width, height, rotation, corner radius, and corner style are still editable later and are retained even if you scale or rotate the shape.
1. Select the Rectangle tool () in the Tools panel. Position the pointer near the center of the artboard, and click and drag down and to the right. As you drag, notice the gray tooltip that appears indicating width and height. Drag until the rectangle is approximately 1.25 in wide and has a height of 1.5 in, as shown in the tooltip next to the cursor.
As you drag to create shapes, the tooltip that appears next to the pointer is called the measurement label and is a part of the Smart Guides (View > Smart Guides), which will be discussed throughout this lesson. When you release the mouse button, the rectangle is selected. Also, by default, shapes are filled with a white color and have a black stroke (border).
Holding down Option (Mac OS) or Alt (Windows) as you drag with the Rectangle, Rounded Rectangle, or Ellipse tool draws a shape from its center point.
Next, you’ll create another rectangle by entering values (such as width and height) rather than by drawing it. Using any of the shape tools, you can either draw a shape or click the artboard with a shape tool selected to enter values in a dialog box.
2. With the Rectangle tool still selected, position the pointer below the rectangle you drew, and click. In the Rectangle dialog box, you will see the same values as the previous shape you drew. Click OK. Leave the rectangle selected for the next step.
The values may not be exactly 1.25 in for width and 1.5 in for height, and that’s okay.
3. With the rectangle still selected, position the pointer over the center of the rectangle. When the pointer changes (), drag the shape to center it horizontally with the rectangle above it. A magenta guide will appear when the shapes are aligned. It should still be below the rectangle above it.
4. Option-drag (Mac OS) or Alt-drag (Windows) the center-right bounding point of the selected rectangle to the left to resize from the center. When you see a width of 0.7 in, release the mouse button and then the key.
You can also change the size, position, and more of a selected shape by entering specific values for width, height, position, and more, which you need at times.
Depending on the resolution of your screen, you may also see the Transform options such as Width and Height in the Control panel. The Transform panel contains most of the transformation properties for Live Shapes.
5. Choose Window > Transform. In the Transform panel, make sure Constrain Width And Height Proportions () to the right of Width (W:) and Height (H:) is off. Change Height (H:) to 0.1 in. Typing the in for inches isn’t necessary; it is added automatically. Close the Transform panel.
From the Transform panel, you can change the appearance of your Live Shape, including its dimensions, rotation, and corner properties. The center point of the rectangle lets you drag to align the object with other elements in your artwork.
You’ll learn a lot more about the Transform panel and transformations in general in Lesson 5, “Transforming Artwork.”
Working with the document grid
The grid allows you to work more precisely by creating a series of nonprinting horizontal and vertical guides behind your artwork in the Document window that objects can snap to. To turn the grid on and use its features, do the following:
• To show the grid, choose View > Show Grid. To hide the grid, choose View > Hide Grid.
• To snap objects to the gridlines, choose View > Snap To Grid, select the object you want to move, and drag it to the desired location. When the object’s boundaries come within 2 pixels of a gridline, it snaps to the point.
• To specify grid properties such as the spacing between gridlines, grid style (lines or dots), grid color, or whether grids appear in the front or back of artwork, choose Illustrator CC > Preferences > Guides & Grid (Mac OS) or Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid (Windows).
—From Illustrator Help
Rounding corners on rectangles and rounded rectangles is easy since the shapes you create are Live Shapes. In this section, you’ll learn a few ways to be able to round corners of the rectangles you created.
1. Choose Select > Deselect.
2. Select the Selection tool () in the Tools panel, and click the top (larger) rectangle. A corner widget appears next to each corner point of the rectangle. Drag any of the corner widgets toward the center of the rectangle to change the corner radius without worrying about how much right now.
3. Double-click any corner widget to open the Transform panel. In the panel, ensure that the Link Corner Radius Values () is on, and change any of the Radius values to 0.15 in to change them all.
4. Close the Transform panel.
You can Option-click (Mac OS) or Alt-click (Windows) a corner widget in a shape to cycle through the different corner types.
5. Select the Direct Selection tool () and double-click the upper-left corner widget (first part of the following figure). In the Corners dialog box, change the radius to 0 (zero) and click OK. Notice that only that corner changed.
6. Double-click the upper-right corner widget (last part of the following figure) and change the value to 0 in the Corners dialog box. Click OK.
In the Transform panel, with a Live Shape selected, you will see the Scale Corners option. With this option selected, if you were to scale the Live Shape larger or smaller, the corner radius would scale as well. Otherwise, without the option selected, the corner radius would stay the same.
The Corners dialog box allows you to edit the corner type and radius, but it also has an extra option called Rounding for setting absolute versus relative rounding. Absolute means the rounded corner is exactly the radius value. Relative makes the radius value based on the angle of the corner point.
You can also drag a corner widget away from the rectangle center to remove the corner radius. The measurement label will show as 0 in (in this case).
7. Select the Selection tool in the Tools panel. Click in a blank area to deselect. Shift-click both rectangles to select them.
8. Click the Fill color () in the Control panel. Click the black color to apply it.
9. Choose Select > Deselect.
Creating a rounded rectangle
Next, you’ll create a rectangle with rounded corners using the Rounded Rectangle tool. Similar to rectangles, rounded rectangles are Live Shapes, which means you can edit properties such as the corner radius after the fact.
1. Click and hold down the mouse button on the Rectangle tool (), and select the Rounded Rectangle tool () in the Tools panel.
2. Position the pointer to the right of the larger rectangle. Click and drag down and to the right until the rectangle has an approximate width of 1.1 inches and a height of 2 inches, but do not release the mouse button yet. With the mouse button still held down, press the Down Arrow key a few times to see the corner radius become less rounded (the R value in the tool tip). Press the Up Arrow key to see the corner become more rounded. Don’t worry about the R (radius) value in the tooltip since you can edit it later, and release the mouse button. Leave the shape selected.
You can also press and hold the Down Arrow or Up Arrow key to change the corner radius faster.
The values you see in the measurement label may not be the same as you see in the figure, and that’s okay.
3. With the rounded rectangle selected and the Rounded Rectangle tool still selected, drag any of the corner widgets until the measurement label shows a value of 0.05 in.
It may be difficult to see the corner widgets because the shape is filled with black. You may want to zoom in or you can choose View > Outline to temporarily remove the fill of the shape.
You can also edit the corner radius and type for all corners at once in the Control panel if the resolution of your screen supports it.
4. Click the Corner Type button in the Control panel and select Chamfer to change all four corners of the rectangle.
If you don’t see the Corner Type button, you can either select the Selection tool or access the corner types by clicking Shape in the Control panel and editing the corner type for each corner.
5. Choose Edit > Undo Corner Type as many times as necessary to return the corners to round or Click the Corner Type button in the Control panel and select Round.
6. Choose Window > Swatch Libraries > Patterns > Basic Graphics > Basic Graphics_Lines. In the Basic Graphics_Lines panel, choose the 10 lpi 90% swatch to apply to the fill.
7. Close the Basic Graphics_Lines panel.
8. Select the Selection tool () in the Tools panel. Drag the rounded rectangle so that it’s centered horizontally with the rectangle to the left, as shown in the figure. When a horizontal magenta line appears (Smart Guides), release the mouse button.
Make sure the horizontal distance between the original rectangle and the rounded rectangle is roughly like you see in the figure.
The color of the Smart Guides can be changed to another color by choosing Illustrator CC > Preferences > Smart Guides (Mac OS) or Edit > Preferences > Smart Guides (Windows).
9. Option-drag (Mac OS) or Alt-drag (Windows) the rounded rectangle to the left to copy it. Drag it to the left of the original rectangle filled with black. When you see a magenta horizontal Smart Guide appear (indicating that all three shapes are aligned horizontally) and you see the equivalent gap hint appear, indicating that the distance between the three shapes is the same, release the mouse button and then the key.
Smart Guides (View > Smart Guides) are on by default and can be really useful when trying to align shapes and other artwork to each other.
10. Choose Select > Deselect and then choose File > Save.
You may need to move all the shapes onto the artboard if they currently aren’t. You can select all 3 and move them at one time.
Creating and editing an ellipse
Next, you’ll draw and edit an ellipse with the Ellipse tool ().
1. Click and hold down the mouse button on the Rounded Rectangle tool () in the Tools panel, and select the Ellipse tool ().
2. Position the pointer above the center black rectangle and aligned with its left edge. A magenta Smart Guide will appear when the pointer is aligned. See the first part of the following figure.
3. Click and drag to make a circle that has a width of 1.25 in and a height of 0.3 in.
The pointer will most likely “snap” to the right edge of the black rectangle, and a magenta alignment guide will appear.
4. Press the letter D to apply the default fill of white and stroke of black.
5. Drag the Pie Angle widget off the right side of the circle clockwise around the ellipse a bit.
Dragging this widget allows you to control the pie angle of an ellipse. After dragging the widget initially, you will then see a second widget. The widget you dragged initially controls the end angle. The widget that now appears on the right side of the circle controls the start angle.
6. Click the word “Shape” in the Control panel, and change Pie End Angle to 180°. Press Escape to hide the Shape panel.
7. Drag the circle from what was the center down until the center snaps to the top edge of the black rectangle.
Make sure that the magenta alignment guide is showing in the center of the black rectangle to ensure that it is center-aligned horizontally with the rectangle.
8. Click the Fill color in the Control panel, and select a gray color. I chose a gray with the tooltip that shows “C=0 M=0 Y=0 K=50.”
9. Choose Select > Deselect, and then choose File > Save.
Creating and editing a circle
Next, you’ll draw and edit a perfect circle with the Ellipse tool ().
1. Choose 1 from the Artboard Navigation menu in the lower-left corner of the Document window.
2. Choose View > Fit Artboard In Window, if necessary, to see the whole artboard.
3. With the Ellipse tool still selected, position the pointer over a blank area of the artboard. Begin dragging down and to the right to begin drawing an ellipse. As you drag, press the Shift key to create a perfect circle. When the width and height are both roughly 2 in, release the mouse button and then the Shift key.
If you draw an ellipse so that the width and height are close to the same (a circle), a magenta “crosshair” will appear in the circle. This makes it possible to draw a circle without holding down the Shift key (Smart Guides need to be turned on).
Without switching to the Selection tool, you can reposition and modify an ellipse with the Ellipse tool, which is what you’ll do next.
4. Press the letter D to apply the default fill of white and stroke of black.
5. With the Ellipse tool selected, position the pointer over the left-middle bounding point of the circle. When the pointer changes (), click and drag away from the center of the circle to make it larger. Drag until the measurement label shows a width and height of approximately 5.5 in.
6. Choose View > Zoom Out a few times until you see the whole circle.
An ellipse is also a Live Shape like a rectangle or rounded rectangle.
7. Option-drag (Mac OS) or Alt-drag (Windows) the top middle bounding point down until you see a height of approximately 3.9 in. Release the mouse button and then the key.
8. With the circle selected, change Fill color to a blue with the tooltip “C=85 M= 50 Y=0 K=0.”
9. Choose Align To Artboard from the Align To Selection menu in the Control panel. Click Horizontal Align Center () and Vertical Align Center () to align the ellipse to the center of the artboard.
10. Choose Object > Hide > Selection to temporarily hide it.
Creating and editing a polygon
Polygons are drawn from the center by default, which is different from the other tools you’ve worked with so far. Now you’ll create a triangle to add to the satellite artwork using the Polygon tool ().
1. Click the Next Artboard button () in the lower-left corner of the Document window.
2. Select the Zoom tool (), and click a few times near the bottom of the artboard.
3. Click and hold down the mouse button on the Ellipse tool () in the Tools panel, and select the Polygon tool ().
4. Choose View > Smart Guides to turn them off.
So far, you’ve been working in the default Preview mode, which lets you see how objects are painted with fill and stroke colors. If paint attributes seem distracting, you can also work in Outline mode, which you’ll do next.
5. Press the letter D to apply the default fill of white and stroke of black.
6. Choose View > Outline to switch to Outline mode.
Outline mode temporarily removes all paint attributes, such as colored fills and strokes, to speed up selecting and redrawing artwork. You can’t select or drag shapes by clicking in the middle of a shape, because the fill temporarily disappears.
7. Position the pointer in a blank area of the artboard. Drag to the right to begin drawing a polygon, but don’t release the mouse button yet. Press the Down Arrow key three times to reduce the number of sides on the polygon to three, and don’t release the mouse yet. Hold down the Shift key to straighten the shape. Release the mouse button and then the key.
Notice that you cannot see the size of the shape in the gray measurement label (the tooltip), since the tooltip is part of the Smart Guides that you turned off. The magenta alignment guides are also not showing since the shape is not snapping to other content on the artboard. Smart Guides can be useful in certain situations, such as when more precision is necessary, and can be toggled on and off when needed.
8. Choose View > Smart Guides to turn them back on.
9. Drag the Radius widget either away from the center or toward the center of the shape until you see a radius of approximately 32.
As of the writing of this book, the measurement label does not show a unit. This may be different than what you see. Look at the figure for relative sizing.
10. With the Polygon tool still selected, drag the small white square on the bounding box to change the number of sides. Make sure you wind up with three sides again.
In one corner of the triangle (in this case), you’ll see a corner widget. You can drag the corner widget away from the center or toward the center of the shape to change the corner radius.
11. Drag the triangle from its center into position below the first rectangle you created. Drag until the vertical magenta guide appears, indicating that the triangle is aligned horizontally with the rectangle. Use the figure as a guide.
12. Choose Select > Deselect.
Changing stroke width and alignment
So far in this lesson, you’ve mostly edited the fill of shapes but haven’t done too much with the strokes (a visible outline or border of an object or path). Every shape and path, by default, is created with a 1-point black stroke. You can easily change the color of a stroke or the weight of a stroke to make it thinner or thicker, which is what you’ll do next.
1. Select the Zoom tool () in the Tools panel, and click the small rectangle beneath the triangle a few times to zoom in more closely. Make sure you can still see the triangle above it.
Your rectangle may be under the triangle and that’s okay since you will drag it into position next.
2. With the Selection tool selected (), click the border of the bottom rectangle beneath the triangle to select it. Press Command (Mac OS) or Control (Windows) to switch temporarily to the Direct Selection tool. Drag the upper-left point to the lower-left point of the triangle. When the anchor point appears (gets larger), release the mouse button and then the key.
You can also turn off the bounding box by choosing View > Hide Bounding Box so that you can drag a shape by the anchor points with the Selection tool without reshaping it.
3. Drag the upper-right bounding point of the rectangle to the right until the right edge is aligned with the right edge of the triangle. The word “anchor” will appear when it’s aligned.
4. Choose View > GPU Preview or View > Preview On CPU if GPU Preview is not available.
5. Change the stroke weight to 0 in the Control panel, and change the Fill color to Black, if necessary.
6. Choose Select > Deselect.
7. Click to select the triangle, and then click the word “Stroke” in the Control panel to open the Stroke panel. In the Stroke panel, change the Stroke weight to 5 pt, and click the Align Stroke To Inside button (). This aligns the stroke to the inside edge of the triangle.
Going forward, you will find that by opening a panel in the Control panel (such as the Stroke panel in this step), you will need to hide it before moving on. You can do this by pressing the Escape key.
You can also open the Stroke panel by choosing Window > Stroke, but you may need to choose Show Options from the panel menu ().
The fill you see on the selected shape may not be the same as the figure and that’s okay right now.
Strokes are aligned to the center of a path edge by default, but you can change the alignment as well using the Stroke panel.
8. With the triangle still selected, click the Stroke color in the Control panel (to the left of the word “Stroke”), and change the stroke color to a gray with the tooltip “C=0 M=0 Y=0 K=80.” Change the fill color to Black in the Control panel.
9. Choose Object > Arrange > Send To Back.
10. Choose Select > Deselect.
Next, you’ll work with straight lines and line segments, known as open paths, to create the last part of the satellite. Shapes can be created in many ways in Illustrator, and the simpler way is usually better.
1. Choose View > Fit Artboard In Window.
2. Choose View > Outline to switch to Outline mode.
3. Select the Line Segment tool () in the Tools panel. Position the pointer on the left edge of the rounded rectangle (see the red arrow in the first part of the following figure). When a magenta alignment guide appears indicating that the pointer is aligned with the center of the rounded rectangle, Shift-drag to the right edge of the rounded rectangle on the right (see the figure). Release the mouse button and then the key.
4. Choose View > GPU Preview if available or View > Preview On CPU if GPU Preview is not available.
5. With the line selected, change the Stroke weight to 10 pt and change the Stroke color to Black in the Control panel, if necessary.
6. Choose Select > All On Active Artboard, and then choose Object > Group.
7. Choose Object > Transform > Transform Each. In the Transform Each dialog box, Transform Objects is selected by default, but change the following:
• Scale Strokes & Effects: Select
• Scale Corners: Select
• Scale Horizontal: 50%
• Scale Vertical: 50%
• Angle: -30%
You’ll notice that the pattern in the satellite rounded rectangles was not rotated with the artwork after you click OK. I didn’t want to, but if you want to rotate the pattern along with the artwork, you could also have selected Transform Patterns in the Transform Each dialog box before clicking OK.
8. Select Preview, and then click OK.
9. Choose View > Fit All In Window.
10. Select the Selection tool, and drag the group to the left, onto the first artboard. Don’t worry about positioning right now.
11. Choose Object > Hide > Selection.
Creating a star
Next, you’ll use the Star tool () to create a few stars. The Star tool does not create Live Shapes, which means editing the star after the fact can be more difficult. When drawing with the Star tool, you’ll use a few keyboard modifiers to get the number of points you want and to change the radius of the arms of the star (the length of the arms). Here are the keyboard modifiers you’ll use in this section when drawing the star and what each does:
• Arrow keys: Pressing the Up Arrow and Down Arrow keys adds and removes arms from the star as you draw it.
• Shift: This straightens the star (constrains it).
• Command (Mac OS) or Ctrl (Windows): Pressing the key and dragging while creating a star allows you to change the radius of the arms of the star (make the arms longer or shorter).
Next, you’ll create a star. This will take a few keyboard commands, so don’t release the mouse button until you are told.
1. Choose 1 from the Artboard Navigation menu in the lower-left corner of the Document window. Choose View > Fit Artboard In Window, if necessary, to see the whole artboard.
2. Choose View > Zoom In a few times to zoom in closer.
3. Click and hold down the mouse button on the Polygon tool () in the Tools panel, and select the Star tool (). Position the pointer somewhere on the artboard.
4. Click and drag slowly to the right to create a small star shape. Drag until the measurement label shows a width of about 0.2 in. Notice that as you move the pointer, the star changes size and rotates freely.
• Without releasing the mouse button, stop dragging and press the Up Arrow key twice (to increase the number of points on the star to six). See the second part of the following figure.
You can also click in the Document window with the Star tool () and edit the options in the Star dialog box instead of drawing it.
• Press Command (Mac OS) or Ctrl (Windows), and continue dragging to the right a little. This keeps the inner radius constant, making the arms longer. Drag until you see a width of approximately 0.3 in, and stop dragging, without releasing the mouse button. Release Command or Ctrl, but not the mouse. See the third part of the following figure.
• Hold down the Shift key, and drag until the measurement label shows a width of about 0.4 in. Finally, release the mouse button, and then release the Shift key, and you should see a star. See the fourth part of the following figure.
The next time you draw a star, it will have the same settings. If you want to practice creating another star, try using the keyboard modifiers you’ve explored. Remember, do not release the mouse button until you are sure you are finished drawing the star. If you do try a few more, delete them, and then select the star you made in this step before moving on. Your star doesn’t have to exactly match the stars in the figures.
5. Change the Stroke weight of the selected star, to the right of the word “Stroke” in the Control panel, to 0.
6. Change the Fill color in the Control panel to the color with the tooltip that shows “CMYK Yellow.” Press the Escape key to hide the Swatches panel.
7. With the Selection tool selected, Option-drag (Mac OS) or Alt-drag (Windows) the star from its center to a blank area of the artboard. Release the mouse button and then the key.
Do this a few times so that you have five or so stars out there.
You may want to zoom out a bit by choosing View > Zoom Out.
8. Choose Select > All On Active Artboard, and then choose Object > Hide > Selection.
Working with the Shaper tool
Another way to draw and edit shapes in Illustrator involves the Shaper tool (). The Shaper tool recognizes natural gestures and produces Live Shapes from those gestures. Without switching tools, you can transform individual shapes you create and even perform operations such as punch and combine. In this section, you’ll get a feeling for how the tool works by exploring the most widely used features.
The Shaper tool is present in the Tools panel of the classical workspace. In the Touch Workspace, it is a top-level tool in the toolbar. This tool works best with a stylus on touch surfaces, such as Surface Pro 3 or Wacom Cintiq, or through indirect inputs such as the Wacom Intuos.
To get started with the Shaper tool, you’ll draw a few simple shapes that will eventually become an asteroid.
1. Choose View > Fit Artboard In Window.
2. Select the Shaper tool () in the Tools panel.
You may see a window appear the first time you select the Shaper tool, which gives a brief description of the capabilities of the tool. Click to close it.
3. Draw an ellipse anywhere on the artboard. Use the following figure as a guide.
When you finish drawing the shape, the gesture will be converted to a Live Shape such as an ellipse. If the shape you draw doesn’t look exactly like what I drew, don’t worry. As long as it’s an ellipse of some kind.
4. Draw a rectangle, and then draw a triangle in a blank area of the artboard.
There are a variety of shapes that can be drawn with the Shaper tool including (but not limited to) rectangles, squares, ellipses (circles), triangles, hexagons, lines, and more.
5. Draw a scribble over the rectangle, and then draw another over the triangle to delete them.
If you try to draw a scribble and draw more of a straight line, a line will be created instead. Simply scribble across all the shapes to remove them.
This simple gesture is an easy way to delete shapes. Note that you can scribble across more than one object to remove it, and you simply need to scribble over part of the artwork, not the whole thing to delete it.
6. Choose File > Save.
Editing shapes with the Shaper tool
Once shapes are created, you can also use the Shaper tool to edit those shapes without having to switch tools. Next, you’ll edit the ellipse you created previously.
1. Click the ellipse with the Shaper tool to select it. Drag any corner of the ellipse until you see a magenta crosshair in the center.
The magenta crosshair is a part of Smart Guides and indicates that the ellipse becomes a circle (an ellipse with equal width and height).
2. Drag the shape from its center toward the upper-right corner of the artboard. Use the figure as a guide.
Your shape most likely doesn’t look like mine and may or may not be rotated (like mine). Don’t worry about that.
3. Drag either widget that looks like a hollow circle away from the center or toward it until it looks something like the figure. You can look in the Transform panel (Window > Transform) to see the width and height. My circle is roughly 1.2 inches in width and height.
Shapes drawn with the Shaper tool are live and dynamically adjustable, so you can draw and edit intuitively without the extra hassle of switching between tools.
As of the writing of this book, measurement labels don’t show for most transformation operations on live shapes using the Shaper tool.
Combining shapes with the Shaper tool
Not only does the Shaper tool let you draw shapes, but you can then combine, subtract, and continuously edit them, all with a single tool. Next, you’ll draw a few more shapes and use the Shaper tool to add and subtract them from the original circle.
1. Select the Zoom tool, and click several times on the circle in the upper-right corner to zoom in closely.
2. With the Shaper tool selected, click in a blank area to deselect the circle. Draw a series of small ellipses around the edge of the circle. It doesn’t matter if they are perfect circles.
It’s important to deselect in this step, or you may wind up editing the existing circle.
If need be, you can always click within one of the circles you created to select it, and then press Backspace or Delete to remove it.
3. Position the pointer in a blank area, close to one of the little circles. Scribble across the circle shape, stopping before the pointer reaches the edge of small the circle that is closest to the center of the larger circle.. When you release, it will appear to be removed from the larger circle.
4. For the next small circle, position the pointer inside the larger circle, and scribble across the smaller circle. Stop just short of the stroke of the smaller circle (see the following figure).
5. Scribble across the other smaller circles to either add them the larger circle or remove them. I did it in an alternating pattern.
6. Click any of the merged shapes with the Shaper tool to select the merged group (called a Shaper Group).
7. Click again, and you’ll see crosshatching, which means you can change the color of areas of the merged group (called a Shaper Group Select). Change the Fill color to a gray swatch with the tooltip “C=0 M=0 Y=0 K=50” in the Control panel.
Make sure that the entire shape is selected. If not, try deselecting (Select > Deselect), and then clicking twice, slowly, on the shape.
8. Click the arrow toward the upper-right corner of the dotted box surrounding the artwork to edit each shape independently (circled in the first part of the following figure).
With the Shaper tool selected, you can also double-click one of the shapes within the Shaper Group to access the individual shapes.
9. With the Shaper tool selected, click one of the smaller ellipses. Drag the ellipse from within to reposition it. Notice that it is still merged with the larger shape. If after dragging, the fill color of the small ellipse changes, change it back to C=0 M=0 Y=0 K=50.
10. Try clicking each ellipse to resize, rotate, reposition, and more. See the following figure. When finished, click in a blank area of the Document window to deselect.
11. Choose View > Fit All In Window.
12. Choose Object > Show All to show the ellipse, satellite, and stars.
To learn more about clipping masks, see Lesson 14, “Using Illustrator CC with Other Adobe Applications.”
Working with drawing modes
Illustrator has three different drawing modes available that are found at the bottom of the Tools panel: Draw Normal, Draw Behind, and Draw Inside. Drawing modes allow you to draw shapes in different ways. The three drawing modes are as follows:
• Draw Normal mode: You start every document by drawing shapes in Normal mode, which stacks shapes on top of each other.
• Draw Behind mode: This mode allows you to draw objects behind other objects without choosing layers or paying attention to the stacking order.
• Draw Inside mode: This mode lets you draw objects or place images inside other objects, including live text, automatically creating a clipping mask of the selected object.
Working with Draw Behind mode
Throughout this lesson, you’ve been working in the default Draw Normal mode. Next, you’ll draw a rectangle that will cover the artboard and go behind the rest of the content using Draw Behind mode.
1. Choose View > Fit Artboard In Window.
2. Click the Draw Behind button () at the bottom of the Tools panel.
As long as this drawing mode is selected, every shape you create using the different methods you’ve learned will be created behind the other shapes on the page. The Draw Behind mode also affects placed content (File > Place).
If the Tools panel you see is displayed as a single column, you can click the Drawing Modes button () at the bottom of the Tools panel and choose Draw Behind from the menu that appears.
3. Select the Rectangle tool () in the Tools panel. Position the pointer off the upper-left corner of the artboard in the corner of the red bleed guides. Click and drag off the lower-right side of the artboard to the corner of the red bleed guides.
4. With the new rectangle selected, click the Fill color in the Control panel, and change the fill color to Black. Press the Escape key to hide the Swatches panel.
5. Change the Stroke weight to 0 in the Control panel.
If artwork were selected, clicking the Draw Behind button would allow you to draw artwork behind the selected artwork.
6. Choose Object > Lock > Selection.
7. Click the Draw Normal button () at the bottom of the Tools panel.
Using the Draw Inside mode
Next, you will learn how to draw a shape inside another using the Draw Inside drawing mode. This can be useful if you want to hide (mask) part of artwork.
1. Select the Selection tool () in the Tools panel. Click to select the blue circle.
2. Click the Draw Inside button (), near the bottom of the Tools panel.
This button is active when a single object is selected (path, compound path, or text), and it allows you to draw within the selected object only. Every shape you create will now be drawn inside the selected shape (the circle). Notice that the ellipse has a dotted open rectangle around it, indicating that, if you draw, paste, or place content, it will be inside the circle, even if you were to choose Select > Deselect.
If the Tools panel you see is displayed as a single column, you can click the Drawing Modes button () at the bottom of the Tools panel and choose Draw Inside from the menu that appears.
3. Select the Ellipse tool () in the Tools panel. Position the pointer off the left edge of the blue circle and draw an ellipse that has a width that is just wider than the blue circle and a height of approximately 2 in.
4. Change the Fill color of the new circle to a light gray with the tooltip that shows “C=0 M=0 Y=0 K=20.”
5. Choose Select > Deselect.
Notice that the ellipse still has the dotted open rectangle around it, indicating that Draw Inside mode is still active.
When you are finished drawing content inside a shape, you can click the Draw Normal button () so that any new content you create will be drawn normally (stacked rather than drawn inside).
If you draw a shape outside of the original blue circle, it will seem to disappear. That is because the blue circle is masking all shapes drawn inside of it; so, only shapes positioned inside of the ellipse bounds will appear.
6. Click the Draw Normal button at the bottom of the Tools panel.
You can also toggle between the available Drawing Modes by pressing Shift+D.
This ensures that any new content you create will not be drawn inside the blue circle.
Editing content drawn inside
Next, you will edit the ellipse inside of the blue circle to see how you can later edit content drawn inside.
1. Select the Selection tool (), and click to select the light gray ellipse (that is inside of the blue circle). Notice that it selects the blue circle instead.
The blue circle is now a mask, also called a clipping path. The ellipse and the circle together make a clip group and are now treated as a single object. If you look on the left end of the Control panel, you will see two buttons that allow you to edit either the clipping path (the blue circle) or the contents (the gray ellipse).
2. Click the Edit Contents button () on the left end of the Control panel to select the light gray ellipse.
You can separate the shapes by right-clicking the shapes and choosing Release Clipping Mask. This would make two shapes, stacked one on another.
You can also double-click the blue circle to enter Isolation mode and press the Escape key to exit.
3. Drag the light gray ellipse from within the light gray fill color down to match the figure as best you can.
Sometimes it can be helpful to choose View > Outline to more easily see and select shapes when in Isolation mode.
4. Click the Edit Clipping Path button () on the left end of the Control panel to select the blue circle.
5. Change the Stroke weight to 0 in the Control panel.
If you find it difficult to change the Stroke weight to 0 (zero), try changing it to another value first and then 0.
6. Choose Select > Deselect, and then choose File > Save.
7. Choose View > Fit Artboard In Window, if necessary.
Using Image Trace
In this part of the lesson, you’ll learn how to work with the Image Trace command. Image Trace traces existing artwork, like a raster picture from Adobe Photoshop. You can then convert the drawing to vector paths or a Live Paint object. This can be useful for turning a drawing into vector art, tracing raster logos, tracing a pattern or texture, and much more.
1. Choose File > Place. In the Place dialog box, select the rocket-ship.jpg file in the Lessons > Lesson03 folder on your hard disk, and click Place (shown in the figure). Click within the artboard to place the image.
You will learn more about placing images in Lesson 14, “Using Illustrator CC with Other Adobe Applications.”
Use Adobe Capture CC on your device to photograph any object, design, or shape and convert it into vector shapes in a few simple steps. Store the resulting vectors in your Creative Cloud Libraries, and access them or refine them in Illustrator or Photoshop. Adobe Capture is currently available for iOS (iPhone and iPad) and Android.
2. Click the Image Trace button in the Control panel. The tracing results you see may differ slightly from the figure, and that’s okay.
This converts the image into an image tracing object using the default tracing options. That means you can’t edit the vector content yet, but you can change the tracing settings or even the original placed image and then see the updates.
Tracing a larger image or higher-resolution image will most likely result in better results.
3. Choose 6 Colors from the Preset menu on the left end of the Control panel.
Illustrator comes with preset tracing options that you can apply to your image tracing object. You can then make changes to the tracing settings, if need be, using the default preset as a starting point.
4. Choose Outlines With Source Image from the View menu in the Control panel, and take a look at the image. Choose Tracing Result from that same menu.
You can also choose Object > Image Trace > Make, with raster content selected, or begin tracing from the Image Trace panel (Window > Image Trace).
An image tracing object is made up of the original source image and the tracing result (which is the vector artwork). By default, only the tracing result is visible. However, you can change the display of both the original image and the tracing result to best suit your needs.
5. Click the Image Trace Panel button () in the Control panel. In the panel, click the Auto-Color button () at the top of the panel.
The buttons along the top of the Image Trace panel are saved settings for converting the image to grayscale, black and white, and more. Below the buttons at the top of the Image Trace panel, you will see the Preset and View options. These are the same as those in the Control panel. The Mode option allows you to change the color mode of resulting artwork (color, grayscale, or black and white). The Palette option is also useful for limiting the color palette or for assigning colors from a color group.
The Image Trace panel can also be opened by choosing Window > Image Trace.
6. In the Image Trace panel, click the toggle arrow to the left of the Advanced options to reveal them. Change only the following options, using the values as a starting point:
• Colors: 8
• Paths: 4%
• Corners: 5%
• Noise: 13 px
• Ignore White: Selected
7. Close the Image Trace panel.
8. With the rocket image tracing object still selected, click the Expand button in the Control panel. The rocket is no longer an image tracing object but is composed of shapes and paths that are grouped together.
9. With the Selection tool selected and the rocket artwork selected, choose Object > Transform > Rotate. In the Rotate dialog box, change the Angle value to 30, select Preview, if necessary, and click OK.
10. Drag all the artwork into position like you see in the figure. I scaled some of the stars as well.
11. Choose File > Save, and choose File > Close.
1. What are the basic tools for creating shapes?
2. What is a Live Shape?
3. How do you select a shape with no fill?
4. What is the Shaper tool?
5. How can you convert a raster image to editable vector shapes?
1. There are six shape tools: Rectangle, Rounded Rectangle, Ellipse, Polygon, Star, and Flare. As explained in Lesson 1, “Getting to Know the Work Area,” to tear off a group of tools from the Tools panel, position the pointer over the tool that appears in the Tools panel, and hold down the mouse button until the group of tools appears. Without releasing the mouse button, drag to the triangle on the right side of the group, and then release the mouse button to tear off the group.
2. After you draw a rectangle, rounded rectangle, ellipse, or polygon using the shape tool, you can continue to modify its properties such as width, height, rounded corners, corner types, and radii (individually or collectively). This is what is known as a Live Shape. The shape properties such as corner radius are editable later in the Transform panel, in the Control panel, or directly on the art.
3. Items that have no fill can be selected by clicking the stroke or by dragging a selection marquee across the item.
4. Another way to draw and edit shapes in Illustrator involves the Shaper tool. The Shaper tool recognizes natural gestures and produces Live Shapes from those gestures. Without switching tools, you can transform individual shapes you create and even perform operations such as punch and combine.
5. You can convert a raster image to editable vector shapes by tracing it. To convert the tracing to paths, click Expand in the Control panel or choose Object > Image Trace > Expand. Use this method if you want to work with the components of the traced artwork as individual objects. The resulting paths are grouped.