Tools in Illustrator

Imaging Week 2

This class was an important tour of the software we will be working with,Adobe Illustrator.Illustrator is a vector-based software which allows the user to create endless designs of his/her choice with the advantage that the illustration stays the same no matter how far it may be resized/compressed/zoomed.Thus it is a tool very often used for logos,vector cartoons,and vector stock photos.

Some important technical terms that I noted down:

  • Ctrl+N-New file (Artboard in Illustrator,Canvas in Photoshop,Document in InDesign)
  • Print colors-CMYK (Cyan,Magenta,Yellow,Key-Black)
  • Digital colors-RGB(Red,Green,Blue)
  • Bleed-Extension of artwork by 3mm which helps eliminate white borders during printing
  • Pasteboard-Grey space aroung the artboard.This will not be printed.
  • Use Stroke:On,Fill:Off for the outline path of the pen tool to be seen.
  • Holding shift while using ellipse/rectangle or other shape tools will create its perfect symmetrical form i.e. circle,square respectively.
  • The tilt key is used for producing multiple shapes.
  • Alignment window-Helps align selected objects according to choice.
  • Ctrl+D-Repeats last action
  • Clicking on the node of the circle will delete half of the circle,clicking on an arc of the circle deletes only the selected arc.
  • Object>Transform>Transform each-Transforms object in specific ways.
  • Path finder-Helps add/subtract objects.
  • Ctrl+F-Paste in front
  • Ctrl+V-Paste
  • Ctrl+B-Paste Behind
  • Ctrl+R-Ruler
  • The corner where the vertical and horizontal rulers meet is called zero lock.

The Pen Tool

The Pen tool is essentially the backbone of Illustrator.Here are some things I realized I must keep in mind while mastering it:

  • Make sure that stroke is on,fill is off.If the fill is on the path will create solid shapes.
  • Holding shift creates a straight line at a 45 degree angle.
  • Shift+drag brings handles,which can be used to modify curves.In general,presence of a handle means curves.
  • The pen tool tends to join the path left off earlier.If an Open path is necessary on purpose,clicking another tool and coming back to the pen tool can help in doing so.
  • In case a curve is to be followed by a diagonal line,one handle needs to be deleted.

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