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2.1 Basic Shape Creation Tools

In this lesson, we will take a look at the most basic and frequently used shape creation tools such as the Type Tool, Line Segment Tool, and Polygon Tool.

2.1 Basic Shape Creation Tools

Hello, and welcome to this new chapter, Shape Creation Tools and Techniques. And in this lesson, we're going to focus on basic shape creation tools here in Adobe Illustrator. So first, before we open up a new document, I'm gonna make sure we're looking at the same thing. So up here, where it says we wanna click on Essentials, and then Reset Essentials, just so we're looking at the same thing. So we're gonna go to File > New. And we're just gonna call this Experiment. Number of Artboards 1, I'm gonna make this Web so that we have RGB values down here I'm going to use personally Points. And I'm gonna stick with 860 by 600. And that just fits out very well with this, resolution that I'm using at a 100%. And, everything else is good to go, so let's go ahead and hit OK. Hit Ctrl+1. And I'm gonna expand this area of this tool bar right here, so I'm just gonna click right there. Alright, so looking at this, over here on the tool bar this is where we're gonna be focused on. There's a lot of different ways to create shapes. And so I'm just going to provide a quick overview of those different tools. So, the first tool that we can use to create something here is the pen tool. And I'm going to spend next lesson actually going through exactly how to use the pen tool effectively cuz it, because it's very powerful. But just to let you know right off the bat it, to use the pen tool, you simply left click to create anchor points like this. And you can left click and drag and you can create messy eight curves and do all sorts of very cool things. So, again, next lesson, we're gonna do a a lesson dedicated specifically for how, how to effectively use this tool. All right. And you can also of course use the type tool, which creates obviously type shapes. And this is very simple. We actually have a course here based on Illustrator type that I did recently. And you can I'll go ahead and link that in here, in the description for this video about how to effectively use type. But very simply just to go over it very quickly, for the Type tool, left click, type what you need and select the Move tool. You can enlarge it and you can go to Window and Type > Character and you have all your options for controlling the type down here. All right. Now we're gonna go over here to the line segment tool which is very very simple. I, All you have to do is left click and let go and you have yourself a line segment. Right now, it's not filled in so we can't really see it, if we were to select off of it. So the way you give color to any of the shapes that we create just real quickly. You can give it a stroke with this, this is the stroke portion right here, if we click on gradient you will see stroke. Let's click on swatches, with stroke selected in the foreground we can change the stroke color here. And also the stroke weight. Very simple. And so the line segment tool you can also double click it to adjust different options here and you can also make it fill the line. And if you want to, you can also hold Shift when you left click in order to make it either a 100% horizontal flat-line or a diagonal line at 135 degrees or 45 etc. Alright, and to continue on we left click. We also have an Arc tool. Before I do that I'm gonna delete this. So the Arc tool allows you, very simply to create arcs. So if you left click, you can create arcs like this, you can hold Shift while left clicking and that will give you a perfect, sort of a corner. And you can also hold Shift+Alt at the same time and that will expand the arc based on where you initially clicked. So, this is something that applies to all the other tools as well, when you're creating shapes, to holding Shift+Alt. Will grow it from the center of where you left clicked. Just like that. Very simple. And we also have a Spiral tool. And the Spiral tool allows you to create simple spirals. So by a left click here, we can see that it creates interesting spirals. We can also hold Ctrl, and that will allow us to, you, to really create interesting sort of spirals very quickly, like that. Go ahead and delete that. Then we also have a Rectangular Grid tool and a Polar Grid tool, and just to show you that real quickly. You can left click once, and that'll give you a grid tool options where you can specify the number of horizontal dividers and vertical dividers. So if you ever need to create a grid for some reason, you can use this tool. You could hold Shift+Alt together to get that placed on there correctly. So, and we can also show the polar grid tool, which also has options when you left click. And you can specify concentric and radial dividers. So just to show you what concentric is, I'll put five and then a higher value for radial. It'll get OK, and then automatically it creates that. So, you can also create it with no radial or no concentric divisions. All right. So having said that I, these tools you usually won't use too often, but you will find yourself using these tools quite a bit. So the very basic one is the Rectangle tool and you can create rectangles or perfect squares. So if we left click here you can see we can create any sort of rectangle. We can hold Shift to create a per, perfect square. And you also have certain options right here that pertain to the rectangle properties. And you can rotate it and do all, a bunch of other things, essentially. And what's new in here, Adobe Illustrator CC 2014 are these live corners. So, these little icons right here, we can automatically make this a rounded corners by dragging those in by left clicking. Just like that. And then we also have the rounded rectangle tool, which basically does the same thing that we did. And we could still control the rounded rectangles here. We can, it gives us the option control here in this panel just by increasing the size. But again, you can do the same thing by adjusting these edges or those live corners. So very simple again. And over here we have the Ellipse tool. You'll find yourself using this a lot. You can create ovals or perfect circles holding Shift. There's really not to much more to it than that. And then we have the Polygon tool and this is, and actually a pretty powerful tool that most people don't understand fully how to use. A lot of people just left click and they see that they can create some sort of polygon of sorts. But you can control how many sides there are by left clicking. And you can specify the sides here, or you can left click and hold and then use your keyboard up and down arrows to create however many sides you wish. And that's very, very handy. And then we also have the Star tool, and you could do the same thing there. You can use your up and down arrow keys to control how many sides are evident here. So you can use this create interesting starbursts sort of patterns. All right, so let's move on. Down here finally, we have the Flare tool, which is something I have personally not used very often. You can just left click. You can always, also use the up and down arrows as well and it can affect the, the design that you ultimately or, come out with. Just for creating flares. All right so, that is it for that section. Over here we have the Paintbrush tool. So unlike the Pen tool, where you create shapes and, and paths based on single point clicks. The Paintbrush tool allows you to left click and draw out the shapes, now this also has its own option, so if you double click we have the main option here being Fidelity, which is the smoothness verse accuracy. So if we put the accuracy all the way, we could see, if I draw a line that's a little bit squiggly, it's gonna represent that line perfectly. And by the way there's a shape or a path in here and it's based on a stroke that you can increase and tamper around with. Now, if we come over here and change it all the way to Smooth, and I'll do that same sort of path again. Oops. I need to take that down a notch again. [BLANK_AUDIO] You can see how it automatically smooths out the area, which is very handy if you're trying to create smooth lines in your designs. All right, let me get rid of this. Then over here we have the Pencil tool. And then if we left click it, it functions very much similar to the Paintbrush tool. The difference between these is very subtle but if you have on the brush for example a specific brush definition like a charcoal pencil and we draw out, and I'll increase the thickness of the strokes so you can see it more. And we can continue on drawing paths with this, and it will still remember the brush definition. The Pencil tool won't do that. As you can see, it reverts back to basic the basic brush definition. And so that's essentially the only difference. Then we also have the Smooth tool and so this is a way to modify existing paths. So just to show you real quickly, if use I'm gonna change that accurate and just kind of create a squiggly line right here, but first, let's go ahead and select it. If we go that Smooth tool we can left click on here and it will smooth out areas that may for some reason be a little bit unsmooth. So that's just a way to manipulate paths. And we also have a Path Eraser tool which simply allows you to erase paths here very simply. Like that. And then finally we have the Blob Brush tool which is right here. So we can, I, if I just left click and draw a path right here, we can see that it looks kind of similar to something that the brush or pencil or the pen, yeah, the pencil tool would create. But if we select it and we see the anchors, the anchor points are on the outside, so it creates a path that you can't really add a stroke to or modify the stroke width of, but, you know, again, it has the anchor points already applied to the outside of it. So this could be handy for a certain instances where you, you might want to be able to just quickly draw out a path and then modify certain portions of it to make it thicker or bigger. All right. So that is it essentially, when it comes to Adobe Illustrator's basic shape creation tools. The rest of it obviously deals with manipulating tools and and coloring and all that sort of stuff, but all the tools that we just went over are all you would ever need to be able to create shapes. So in the next lesson, we're gonna focus on the pen tool and how to best use it to create different types of shapes. All right. So I'll see you then.

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