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2.4 Creating Objects

I've closed Illustrator just so we can cold boot and get a feel for what creating an object from scratch is like. So first open Illustrator. Then we're going to create a new document, right? So that's Cmd+n or File > New. Let's call this my first object. I'm excited. [LAUGH] I have my width and height still set to ten by six from our previous lesson so I'll hit OK. Are you ready to make something? God I'm excited. Let's go over to our tool's pallet and the first thing we're gonna make in Illustrator is a line. Okay I know it's a little boring, but it's our first thing. When I grab my line tool and I come over, you can see I get a target. Now should be I just click and it makes a line right? Well what kind of line, what size is the line? Almost everything that you create in Illustrator, in fact I will say, everything you create in Illustrator, is all about clicking and dragging. So we're gonna make a line by clicking at one point anywhere in our art border canvas, as I call it. And then we're just gonna simply drag. And you can see, Illustrator's giving us a preview of what this line is gonna look like. I'm not letting go of my mouse because I'm not really sure where I want that line yet. Now, here's something interesting. I can click and drag a line and try and make it straight. Okay, I didn't try too hard, but that's definitely not straight. When I make a line it doesn't matter which direction I make a line in. They can cross, and they can zigzag, and I can make a bunch of them, but none of these are straight. None of them. Well, I don't know how to do an exactly straight line. Don't worry about sitting there and trying to line it up until it looks perfectly straight here, though. You can do it like that, see? That's perfectly straight, right? But that was a lot of effort. So when you click and drag something in Illustrator we're going to hold down the Shift key. Holding down the Shift key, you can see, will take your crooked line and straighten it out. So I can click and drag, and then Shift will keep it straight. When I move it around, it'll do it in degree increments. So here is a straight, maybe 180, this is a 45, and this is a 90. So right here, you can see holding down Shift will give us perfectly straight lines every time, straight, straight, straight, straight, whoa, pretty good. So we just made a bunch of lines. Not entirely exciting. What is different from Paint, right? Well, a lot of things. [LAUGH] And we can get into it but, the first one that you remember from lesson one is when we zoom in on these lines, holding down Space bar to use our hand tool like we talked about. These lines are so, so smooth and perfect and crisp. That is awesome to me. Objects though, in Illustrator aren't just sitting there. They're not like something that you drew and now there's nothing you can do. It's just there. You're gonna have to erase it. Right? That would be the typical way of thinking if you're saying oh that's no good I want to erase it. Well you can't do that cuz you made an object. You didn't make a line. You really made an object. What do I mean? Well let's grab our selection tool and we'll find out. Grabbing our selection tool, let's take one of our lines that we made and I'm gonna choose this guy right here. This one stood out to me. I like him. I'm going to call him Arthur. Now this line is an object. When I click and select it you can see I get this box around it. That is the selection box. That let's me take this line and click it with my mouse and I can move it. I can move it around because it's a separate object. In fact all of these are movable. They can intersect other lines. And don't worry if you think it's overlapping and that piece of the line is gone. It's not. There's no gaps. They're exactly the lines that you originally created. To prove even further that these things are objects that we've created, when you take one of these and select it, you can double-click it. When you double-click on something, Illustrator makes everything else gray, and it's telling you you're inside of this object. Objects can be endlessly complex or they can be extremely simple. Even this line can be an object. Even this line can have other things in it. What do I mean by that? Well while we're inside this line, let's grab a shape tool. It doesn't matter what shape. I'll do a star. And I'll click and drag. And you can see. I can rotate this. It's a star. And if you wanna get out. You can use right up here in Illustrator, and I click on these, I can move them around. They're independent. So I'm going to zoom out and you can see our stars here, our lines are here. Now we're making objects, so it's not just a line, it's an object. Try going and just making something with each of the tools. So make a shape or make two shapes. Take your paintbrush and paint a squiggly line. Take your pencil make another squiggly line. You can see it gives you a dotted line, so it is different, and it does different things with it's stroke, it's called. You can even come and grab your type tool. If you type something. And you can move each of these things around. Now I'm gonna zoom out, and say I want to get rid of all this. I want to erase it. Drag a square around everything you want to delete, so say I want that guy at the end there to stay. And you see I didn't have to grab everything. I just have to grab a piece when it's an object. So I can click and drag. And because I'm getting half of the line at the bottom, it's gonna get the whole line. I'm gonna tap Delete on my keyboard and you can see it's all clear. So this is the fundamentals of creating things in Illustrator. They exist as independent things. Finally there's a couple other things I just wanna show you real quick. When it comes to creating things, lets grab out ellipse tool and that's underneath the shapes, so if you have a rectangle it's inside there. The ellipse tool makes circles or ovals. And we're gonna make them in three ways. First we're gonna make an oval. Doesn't matter, unperfect, that's fine. Now we're gonna do a similarly sized circle. But we're gonna hold down shift. Well that makes a circle, it keeps it as a perfect circle. I can't make an oval if I tried holding down Shift. I can only make a circle. Now you can also see it starts at the top. Top left. It starts where I clicked my mouse. Well, if I hold down Option, you can see my cursor changes. And it starts in the center of where I started clicking. The center origin. So now we can do an oval this way. And finally we're gonna use both at the same time. First I'm gonna hold down Option. That starts at the center. And then when you're dragging, maybe out here, hold down Shift as well. And now it's a perfect circle that starts at the center. So there's a lot of different ways to create each of these objects. If you say I want a perfect circle, hold down Shift. If you want a perfect circle that starts in the center, hold down Option, then hold down Shift after you start dragging. Once you start getting comfortable creating these shapes, it's time to move on to the most important tool in your Illustrator handbook. The Pen Tool. I'm really excited about this next chapter, so maybe you wanna do two in one day? Give it a shot.

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