Sams Teach Yourself Illustrator 8 in 24 Hours

Overview

This step-by-step tutorial uses a friendly, conversational, and non-condescending approach to teach readers the basics of Illustrator 8. The book's tone is one of a teacher sitting with you explaining how to use the program. This title covers both the Macintosh and Windows platforms. Sams Teach Yourself Illustrator 8covers the following topics, and more:

  • The Interface, Tools, and Palettes, - Setting ...
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Overview

This step-by-step tutorial uses a friendly, conversational, and non-condescending approach to teach readers the basics of Illustrator 8. The book's tone is one of a teacher sitting with you explaining how to use the program. This title covers both the Macintosh and Windows platforms. Sams Teach Yourself Illustrator 8covers the following topics, and more:

  • The Interface, Tools, and Palettes, - Setting Preferences, - Drawing & Editing Objects, - Layers, - Working with Selections, - Bezier Paths, - Masks, - Transformations, - Color.
  • The fast, easy, and non-threatening way to learn Illustrator 8 or update/upgrade your skills in only 24 hours
  • Day-and-date 2nd edition update by original author, with 50% new material- improved lessons, artwork, and examples
  • Covers major revisions of Illustrator interface and new ways in which you use the tools
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780672313547
  • Publisher: Sams
  • Publication date: 10/16/1998
  • Series: Sams Teach Yourself Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 379
  • Product dimensions: 7.43 (w) x 9.16 (h) x 1.04 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 Getting to Know Illustrator 3
2 Customizing Illustrator 25
3 Drawing Basic Objects 47
4 Working with Selections 63
5 Working with Layers 87
6 Drawing Bezier Paths 105
7 Editing Bezier Paths 121
8 The Paintbrush Tool 133
9 Coloring Objects 147
10 Fills 161
11 Strokes 177
12 Compound Paths and Masks 189
13 Transformations 199
14 Adding Text 225
15 Advanced Typography 239
16 Working with Raster Images 259
17 Vector Filters 273
18 Filters with Style 287
19 Charts and Graphs 297
20 Saving/Exporting Files 309
21 Working Smart in Illustrator 319
22 Printing 333
23 Web Graphics 345
24 Cross-Platform Issues 359
Index 365
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First Chapter

[Figures are not included in this sample chapter]

Sams Teach Yourself Illustrator 8 in 24 Hours
- 3 -
Drawing Basic Objects

Now the fun begins: You actually start drawing something. You will start with the easy shapes, such as rectangles and ovals, and move up to polygons, stars, and spirals. One of the great things about Illustrator is that you usually can accomplish the same thing in more than one way. As you progress, you will get a feel for using different techniques and determining when one might be better in certain situations than another.

Specifically, this hour covers the following topics:

  • Drawing rectangles
  • Drawing ellipses
  • Drawing polygons, stars, and spirals
  • Saving your work

TIP: Probably the most important thing about Illustrator--let me correct myself--one of the most important things about Illustrator is the modifier keys--Shift, (Option)[Alt], and (Command)[Control]. Using combinations of these keys when you are drawing with the mouse controls different options. It's important that you become familiar with these key combinations to the point where they become second nature, and you don't even think about them. You just do it.


Working with Rectangles and Ellipses

The most primitive shapes, rectangles, and ellipses are also the easiest shapes to create in Illustrator. You can draw these shapes in several different ways, each a slight variant of the other, and as you work more in Illustrator, you'll get a better feel for when to use each method.

As you learned in the first hour, Illustrator is a vector art program. A vector rectangle or ellipse consists of three elements: a starting point, an ending point, and a center point. You define the start and end points, and Illustrator calculates the center point for you automatically. As the saying goes, the best way to learn is to do it yourself, so get ready to draw.

Drawing Rectangles

Start by drawing a rectangle as shown here:

1. Select the Rectangle tool (see Figure 3.1). Notice your cursor becomes a crosshair (see Figure 3.2).
FIGURE 3.1 The Rectangle tool.
FIGURE 3.2 The Rectangle tool's cursor.
2. Position your cursor to the place where you want the upper-left corner of the rectangle.

3. Press and hold the mouse button, and drag down and to the right (see Figure 3.3). Do not let go of the mouse button until the end of this exercise.

FIGURE 3.3 Dragging to draw a rectangle.
4. Hold the Shift key while dragging, and Illustrator forces your box, or constrains it, to be a perfect square--with even lengths on all sides. [[SilentlyIgnored]][[SilentlyIgnored]]

5. Press and hold the Option button while dragging, and Illustrator draws your shape out from the center, as opposed to from the upper-left corner.

6. Press and hold the Spacebar while dragging, and Illustrator "freezes" the state of the shape you are drawing. While you're still dragging the mouse, you can position the shape you're drawing anywhere on the screen. Release the Spacebar to continue changing the shape of your rectangle.

7. Release the mouse button. You have now drawn your first shape.


TIP: In Illustrator, the Shift key is almost always the constrain key. Using it often takes the guesswork out of creating and manipulating your illustrations, as Illustrator does the work for you.

Using the Rounded Rectangle Tool

A rounded rectangle is one in which the corners don't come to a point but are rounded. Now that you've drawn a regular rectangle, you can draw a rounded rectangle as follows:

1. Select the Rounded Rectangle tool (see Figure 3.4).

2. Position your cursor to the place where you want the upper-left corner of the rounded rectangle.

3. Press and hold the mouse button, and drag down and to the right (see Figure 3.5). Do not release the mouse button until the end of this exercise.

FIGURE 3.4 The Rounded Rectangle tool.

FIGURE 3.5 Dragging to draw a rounded rectangle.
4. Hold the Shift key while dragging, and Illustrator constrains the rounded rectangle to be the same length on all sides.

5. Press and hold the Option button while dragging, and Illustrator draws your shape out from the center, as opposed to from the upper-left corner.

6. Press and hold the Spacebar while dragging, and Illustrator "freezes" the state of the shape you are drawing. While you are still dragging the mouse, you can position the shape you're drawing anywhere on the screen. Release the Spacebar to continue changing the shape of your rounded rectangle.

7. Release the mouse button.

NEW TERM: To change the corner radius of the rounded rectangle (how rounded the corners are), see "Drawing Rectangles Numerically," next.


TIP: If you have the Rectangle tool selected, and you want to draw a box out from the center, hold down the (Option)[Alt] key before dragging. See how your cursor changes between the regular and centered crosshairs.

Drawing Rectangles Numerically

The previously mentioned ways of drawing a box are great when you want to draw something freely, but often you need to create a rectangle or square with exact proportions. You can do so as follows:

1. Select the Rectangle or Rounded Rectangle tool.

2. Click once anywhere on the screen, and let go of the mouse button. Illustrator opens the Rectangle dialog box (see Figure 3.6).

FIGURE 3.6 The dialog box for drawing a rounded rectangle numerically.
3. Enter the width and height (and corner radius if necessary); then click OK.

If you click while holding the (Option)[Alt] key, Illustrator places the center of the rectangle where you clicked. If not, Illustrator makes the spot you click the upper-left corner of the rectangle.

Ellipses

Ellipses (also known as ovals or circles) are slightly different from the rectangles you've been drawing. Whereas a rectangle is made up of four straight line segments, an ellipse is made up of four curved segments. In Hour 6, "Drawing Bézier Paths," I'll talk in more detail about straight and curved segments. Actually, drawing an ellipse in Illustrator is similar to drawing a rectangle.

To draw an ellipse, follow these steps:

1. Select the Ellipse tool (see Figure 3.7). Notice that your cursor becomes a crosshair (see Figure 3.8).
FIGURE 3.7 The Ellipse tool.
FIGURE 3.8 The cursor for the Ellipse tool.
2. Position your cursor to the place where you want the upper-left edge of the ellipse.

3. Press and hold the mouse button, and drag down and to the right (see Figure 3.9). Do not let go of the mouse button until the end of this exercise.

FIGURE 3.9 Dragging to draw an ellipse.

4. Press and hold the Shift key while dragging, and Illustrator constrains the ellipse to be a perfect circle.

5. Press and hold the Option button while dragging, and Illustrator draws your ellipse out from the center, as opposed to from the upper-left corner.

6. Press and hold the Spacebar while dragging, and Illustrator "freezes" the state of the shape you are drawing. While you are still dragging the mouse, you can position the shape you're drawing anywhere on the screen. Release the Spacebar to continue changing the shape of your ellipse.

7. Release the mouse button.

Drawing an Ellipse Numerically

As with the rectangles, you can create an ellipse numerically. You can do so as follows:

1. Select the Ellipse tool.

2. Click once anywhere on the screen, and let go of the mouse button. Illustrator opens the Ellipse dialog box (see Figure 3.10).

FIGURE 3.10 Creating an ellipse numerically.
3. Enter the width and height; then click OK.

If you click while holding the (Option)[Alt] key, Illustrator places the center of the circle where you clicked. If not, Illustrator makes the spot you click the upper-left of the circle.

Now that you can draw primitive shapes such as rectangles and ovals, you're ready to move on to drawing more complex shapes. Of course, after you create a shape in Illustrator, you can edit it in all sorts of ways. You get to editing and transformations in Hours 7, "Editing Bézier Paths," and 13, "Transformations."

Drawing Other Shapes

NEW TERM: The next three creation tools--the Polygon tool, the Star tool, and the Spiral tool--are really cool. They first appeared in Illustrator 6 as plug-in tools, in their own little palette. Now they are fully integrated into the interface (grouped with the Ellipse tool in the Toolbox), with all their coolness intact. These interactive tools create complex shapes in a fraction of the time it would take to draw them manually.

The Polygon Tool

The Polygon tool is used to create shapes such as triangles, pentagons, and octagons (for those of you who like making stop signs). Here's how to get started with this tool:

1. Select the Polygon tool (see Figure 3.11).
FIGURE 3.11 The Polygon tool.
2. Because the Polygon tool always draws out from the center, press and hold the mouse button and drag outward (see Figure 3.12). Do not let go of the mouse button until the last step of this exercise.
FIGURE 3.12 Dragging to draw a polygon.
3. Rotate the polygon by moving your mouse in a circular motion (see Figure 3.13).
FIGURE 3.13 Rotating the polygon in real-time as you're creating it.
4. Add more sides to the polygon by pressing the up-arrow key on your keyboard (see Figure 3.14). If you hold the key down, it adds sides repeatedly.
FIGURE 3.14 Adding sides to your polygon.
5. Remove sides from the polygon by pressing the down-arrow key on your keyboard (see Figure 3.15). Holding the key removes sides repeatedly.
FIGURE 3.15 Removing sides from your polygon.
6. To keep the polygon straight (constrained at 90° or whatever the Constrain Angle is set to in Preferences), press the Shift key.

7. Press the Spacebar, and the polygon "freezes," enabling you to move the mouse and position the polygon on the page.

8. Press the tilde key (~) to create duplicates of the polygon as you drag and move it.

9. Release the mouse button.

You can use any combination of the modifier keys simultaneously as you create your polygon.

Creating a Polygon Numerically

You can also create a polygon numerically. Just follow these steps:

1. Select the Polygon tool.

2. Click the mouse button once, anywhere on the screen. Illustrator opens the Polygon dialog box (see Figure 3.16).

FIGURE 3.16 Creating a polygon numerically.
3. Enter the radius size and the number of sides.

4. Click OK.

The Star Tool

The Star tool is one of the great timesavers. Creating stars and starbursts used to be a real drag. Now it really is just a drag!

1. Select the Star tool (see Figure 3.17).
FIGURE 3.17 The Star tool.
2. Because stars are always drawn from the center, press and hold the mouse button and drag outward (see Figure 3.18). Do not let go of the mouse button until the end of this exercise.
FIGURE 3.18 Dragging to create a star.
3. Rotate the star as you are dragging it by moving the mouse in a circular motion (see Figure 3.19).
FIGURE 3.19 Rotating the star in real-time, as you draw it.
4. Press the up-arrow key to add points to the star (see Figure 3.20).
FIGURE 3.20 Adding points to your star.
5. Press the down-arrow key to remove points from the star (see Figure 3.21).
FIGURE 3.21 Removing points from your star.
6. Press the Shift key to keep the star straight and aligned with the baseline.

7. Press the (Option)[Alt] key to align the segments on either side of each point of the star--the point's shoulders--with each other so that they form a straight line (see Figure 3.22).

FIGURE 3.22 Aligning the shoulders on your star.
8. Press the (Command)[Control] key to adjust the inner radius of the star (see Figure 3.23). This step controls how "pointy" the star is.
FIGURE 3.23 Changing the inner and outer radius with the (Command)[Control] key.
9. Press and hold the Spacebar to "freeze" the star, and position it on the page.

10. Press the tilde (~) key to make numerous copies of your star as you drag (see Figure 3.24).

FIGURE 3.24 This figure was created by holding down the Option, Shift, Spacebar, and tilde keys simultaneously while dragging the mouse.

You can use any combination of the modifier keys simultaneously as you create your star.

Creating a Star Numerically

You can also create a star numerically by following these steps:

1. Select the Star tool.

2. Click the mouse once, anywhere on the screen, and release the button to open the Star dialog box, as shown in Figure 3.25.

FIGURE 3.25 Drawing a star numerically.
3. Enter values for the outer and inner radius (Radius 1 and 2, respectively) and the number of points. The outer radius, Radius 1, is the place where the points facing outward extend to, whereas the inner radius, Radius 2, is the place where the points facing inward
extend to.

4. Click OK.

The Spiral Tool

At one time, drawing spirals was very difficult, but it's easy now, thanks to the Spiral tool. By simply clicking and dragging, you can create interesting spirals while controlling the number of winds (how many times it goes around) and attributes, such as whether the spiral goes clockwise or counterclockwise. Do not confuse the Spiral tool with the Twirl tool, which looks similar. I'll cover the Twirl tool (and accompanying filter) later in Hour 17, "Vector Filters."

Follow these steps to use the Spiral tool:

1. Select the Spiral tool (see Figure 3.26).
FIGURE 3.26 The Spiral tool.
2. Because spirals are always drawn from the center, press and hold the mouse button and drag outward (see Figure 3.27). Do not let go of the mouse button until the end of this exercise.
FIGURE 3.27 Dragging to create a spiral.
3. Rotate the spiral as you are dragging it by moving the mouse in a circular motion (see Figure 3.28).
FIGURE 3.28 Rotating the spiral as you draw.
4. Press the up-arrow key to add segments (or winds) to the spiral (see Figure 3.29).
FIGURE 3.29 Adding segments to your spiral.
5. Press the down-arrow key to remove segments from the spiral (see Figure 3.30).
FIGURE 3.30 Removing segments from your spiral.
6. Press the Shift key to constrain the rotation of the spiral to 45-degree increments.

7. Press the (Option)[Alt] key to control the style of the spiral. This action determines whether the winds go clockwise or counterclockwise.

8. Press the (Command)[Control] key to adjust the decay of the spiral (see Figure 3.31). This step controls how tightly the spiral winds.

FIGURE 3.31 Adjusting the decay of the spiral with the (Command)[Control] key.
9. Press and hold the Spacebar to "freeze" the spiral, and position it on the page.

10. Press the tilde (~) key to make numerous copies of your spiral as you drag (see Figure 3.32).

FIGURE 3.32 Many spirals can look like waves.

You can use any combination of the modifier keys simultaneously as you create your spiral.

Creating a Spiral Numerically

You can also create a spiral numerically by following these steps:

1. Select the Spiral tool.

2. Click the mouse and release the button to open the Spiral dialog box, as shown in Figure 3.33.

FIGURE 3.33 Creating a spiral numerically.
3. Enter values for the radius, decay, and segments, and choose a style (clockwise or counterclockwise).

4. Click OK.

Saving Your Work

No doubt, after this lesson, you have created a masterpiece that you want to keep forever, so be sure to save your work. Here's how:

1. Choose Save from the File menu.

2. Select a location for your file.

3. Give the file a name and click OK.

You just learned to save a file. The very nature of a computer is to crash when you least expect it to, and when you are relying on it most. So, it's a good idea to get into the habit of saving your files frequently and keeping backups of them in case you lose them or they become corrupt.

Summary

After this hour, your feet are definitely wet, as you learned to draw simple shapes. You created polygons, stars, and spirals, and you learned about the power of using the modifier keys as you draw. Next, you'll learn to edit and manipulate the shapes you created today.

Workshop

The Workshop contains quiz questions to help you solidify your understanding of the material covered in this hour and exercises to provide you with experience using what you have learned. You can find the answers to the quiz questions at the end of the hour.

Quiz

1. Holding down the (Option)[Alt] key while drawing a shape
a. Constrains it
b. Draws it out from the center
c. "Freezes" it to allow for repositioning

2. Holding down the Spacebar while drawing a shape

a. Constrains it
b. Draws it out from the center
c. "Freezes" it to allow for repositioning

3. Holding down the Shift key while drawing a shape

a. Constrains it
b. Draws it out from the center
c. "Freezes" it to allow for repositioning

4. When you are using the Star tool, pressing the up-arrow key does what?

a. Adds points
b. Removes points
c. Makes duplicates

5. You can rotate a rectangle as you are drawing it.

a. True
b. False

Exercises

1. The keyboard shortcuts for the Rectangle and Ellipse tools are M and L, respectively. Practice drawing rectangles, squares, ovals, and circles without going back to the toolbar; use only the keyboard shortcuts.

2. Get comfortable using the modifier keys while drawing your shapes. Keep your left hand over the bottom-left part of the keyboard while holding the mouse in your right hand.

3. See how many modifier keys you can use at one time while drawing a star. Can you use the Shift, Option, Command, Spacebar, and tilde keys all at once while dragging? It's like playing Twister with your fingers!

Term Review

Corner radius--The amount of curve at the corners of a rounded rectangle.

Interactive tools--Tools that let you change options on-the-fly as you are drawing with them.

Modifier keys--The Shift, Control, (Option)[Alt], and (Command)[Control] keys found on your keyboard.

Answers to Quiz Questions

1. b
2. c
3. a
4. a
5. b
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