Getting Used To How Adobe Illustrator Works

Adobe Illustrator is a widely used vector drawing application with three main areas of functionality. Firstly, it allows the creation of corporate and other graphic artwork for high quality printing. Secondly, it can be used in the web design process, allowing you to build the overall design as well as individual items like icons and buttons. Illustrator is also a basic page layout program suitable for originating single page documents like CD covers, book jackets and posters.

Illustrator is often the final member of the Adobe Creative Suite that people will get around to learning. Delegates coming on our Adobe Illustrator training courses will often complain that the program seems less inviting and exciting than Photoshop. And, although Photoshop is a complex package, they find themselves using it for all their graphic work, even things which would much easier to create in Illustrator. Part of this difficulty in getting started with Illustrator is the fact that it often appears to new users that the program is hard work: you create a new file and you’re presented with a blank page. You have to create your drawing entirely from scratch.

Adobe Illustrator training courses need to do more than simply teach delegates how to use the various tools and techniques. Delegates also need to learn how to get past that intimidating blank page they see when they create a new image. We’ve identified four main techniques for curing “Blank Canvas Syndrome”. Firstly, to identify precisely what type of artwork you need to create. Secondly, to use Illustrator’s Live Trace facility to generate useful vector content. Thirdly, to use scanned images as background elements within your drawings which can act as guides and points as reference for the artwork you create. And, finally, to base new elements you create on elements that already exist within your drawings.

The most successful Illustrator training courses that we run are for people who know exactly what they want to use the program for. It could be cartographers, technical illustrators or fabric designers; as long as they have a specific brief, we can show them the best techniques to solve their particular requirement. However, for a lot of delegates, Illustrator is something they feel they could and should be using but they don’t really know where to start.

For users who are using the software in a less clear-cut and focused way, we always try to point out on our Adobe Illustrator training courses that you don’t have to start with a blank canvas. We always recommend that wherever possible you import relevant graphic material such as scanned images, keep them on a background layer and use various Illustrator tools and techniques to either trace the images or simply to use them as guides and points of reference as you are creating your own original artwork.

Adobe once owned a program called Streamline which was a utility for converting bitmapped images into vectors. Though they have now discontinued it, Streamline lives on in the guise of Illustrator’s Live Trace function. This allows you to convert bitmaps imported into Illustrator into vectors, either by choosing one of the preset settings or by creating a custom set of parameters. The program is very fast, so it is easy to experiment with several different settings to see what gives the best results. Once you have got your vectorised version of the artwork, you spend a bit of time cleaning it up and it’s good to go.

Scanned or other images can also be placed on a background layer and used to provide constant points of reference when originating new Illustrator artwork. Background images can help to ensure that elements within the Illustrator artwork you create are of the correct dimensions have the correct relative proportions and so forth. For example, if you are drawing human figures, placing a photo of some people on a background layer can help to ensure that you don’t end up creating figures with disproportionately large heads or long arms.

Almost all drawings you create will contain elements that either repeat or are variations on the same theme. Naturally, you will not create such elements from scratch each time you need them. Illustrator contains a wide variety of useful techniques for duplication and transformed duplication of existing elements within your drawing. It also allows you to apply multiple attributes such as fills and strokes to the same object. Thus, for example, you can create the appearance of several concentric circles simply by adding several strokes to one circle (using the Offset Path effect to get the right position).

The bottom line is that Illustrator’s blank canvas doesn’t have to stay blank for very long. You just need to formulate a clear idea of what you want to achieve with the program. Wherever possible, find images which you can either trace or use as reference points as you originate your own artwork. And, when creating new elements always ask yourself: “Can I base these new elements on items that already exist within the drawing?” If you use these simple techniques, then Blank Canvas Syndrome will never become a huge affliction for you.

If you would like to learn more about Illustrator training courses, visit Macresource Computer Training, a UK IT training company offering Illustrator training courses at their central London training centre.

Image by d-illusion
Ejercicio de pinceles

Illustrator Blend Tool

A very useful tool among the many in Adobe Illustrator is the Blend tool. Specific contexts would be when you need to create a custom border for a design; or when creating an interesting background to a web banner.

The usual method of creating a blend of two or more colours is to select the Fill colour of a shape and add either a Linear or Radial blend via the Gradient tool, the Gradient panel and the Swatches panel.

However, Illustrator allows us also to blend shapes using the Blend tool. We first need two shapes to work with, of different colours and shapes. An example would be a yellow rounded rectangle and a blue elliptical shape. These shapes may be either far apart or overlapping each other, but for the best effect ensure that both shapes have no stroke (outline) colour. To remove a stroke colour select the shape with the Selection tool (the black arrow), click on the Stroke icon to bring it forward at the bottom of the Toolbox on the left-hand of the interface.

Next we select the Blend tool from the toolbox and click on the first shape, then on the second shape. The resultant blend will be a gradient between the two colours, very similar to what you’d get with the Linear or Radial options of the standard Gradient tool. However, there is an advantage over the normal method in that we can now select either of the original shapes with the Direct Selection tool (the white arrow) to edit its colour, or adjust its scale, position, rotation or individual anchor points. Having done so will result in the overall blended shape altering. This presents much greater versatility than the older Gradient tool method allows for.

There are other options available to us with the Blend too. If we now double-click on the Blend tool to open up its dialog box, we see various settings which can be fine tuned. For example we can change the effect from a solid colour blend to Specified Steps, or Specified Distance. With the former we still see what appears to be a gradient, but it in fact consists of over 200 small incremental steps. Change these number of steps to 5 or 6 to get a better idea of how Illustrator conducts the transition. As we can see, as well as progressively changing the colour from one to the other, the shapes also gradually morph from one to the other.

An additional feature is the ability to “explode” these shapes to deconstruct them. To do so go to the top Object pull-down menu (or right-click on the shape) and choose the Expand option. All of the intermediate shapes are now fully editable as individual objects. The blend is itself no longer editable as such, so a degree of care should be taken if taking this step. If there is a possibility that you may want to return to the original effect created by the Blend tool, it’s a good idea to simply copy the blended objects onto the Pasteboard at the side, for future use.

Tom Gillan has been training adobe illustrator to corporate clients in Sydney for seven years. You can learn more about adobe illustrator courses when you visit this link.

Image by moneymakermj

Nice Illustrator From Buckinghamshire

Amy R. Chipping is a book illustrator specializing in visuals for children. Basically, her major disciplines fall under traditional and children illustration.

The artist is located near London, United Kingdom. There, this artist engages in her job as a freelancer for several different kinds of customers.

Amy utilizes copic markers in her work and combines this with detailed pen work. She is greatly passionate about creating illustrations combining the traditional and contemporary techniques.

The Golden Age of Design plays a huge role in uplifting Amy in going after a career found in design. The Golden Age of Illustration would have been a period recognized for unparalleled excellence in publication and magazine art which has never been viewed in the past. It was during this time when a huge need for fresh visual art was first created by the public, and with the help of developments in technological innovation, appropriate and cheap reproduction of fine art was probably made possible.

In the continent of Europe, the Golden Age period was greatly influenced by design-oriented movements of the Arts and Crafts Movement, Art Novuveau, Les Nabis, and by the Pre-Raphaelites. The leading names of artists that surfaced in this era were of Walter Crane, Edmund Dulac, Arthur Rackham, Aubrey Beardsley and Kay Nielsen.

When it comes to the American illustration, the Golden Age was lead by Howard Pyle and continued by his students N.C. Wyeth Maxfield Parrish, Edwin Austin Abbey and Frank Schoonover.

The modifications and advancements within this period where visual design and drawings are concerned significantly impacted upon Amy’s view on the actual art and it reflects on precisely how Amy does her works.

Currently, Amy Chipping actively seeks clients to work with to get added knowledge in her industry, her concepts and further enrich her own expertise in carrying out illustrations. She shares her own designs throughout several websites and is also very much available for communication.

If you are really interested in Amy’s work then check out her childrens illustration work, or you can browse the PNWorldwide site, it also showsases more amazing illustration work.

Tiny birds in my hand..
Image by ~Ilse
To let you know I’m on Twitter too!

Adobe Illustrator CC | 3D Logo Design Tutorial (Claw)

Here is another Illustrator Tutorial for 3D Logo Design from Kdigits using Adobe Illustrator CC. Through this tutorial you’ll learn, how to place same objects with different angle to make an attractive design. This design started with circle shape, then cut it into half moon shape, and gave a 3D look to place a cut section of half moon. I have used 4 copies of the 3d object. Then filled with gradient and added some details like Reflection, Drop Shadow, & Gradient filled background.
As always tutorial has been recorded in a very simple and easy to follow way, hope you’ll like it.

Happy Watching. . . |’◡’|

If you have any further query please do contact Me on following links.

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Illustrator Effects

We can add literally dozens of visual effects to our artwork in Adobe Illustrator, some of which are vector effects and some bitmap effects.

Most of Illustrator’s effects can be found in the top Effects drop-down menu. There are various sets and subsets in the fly-out lists. To test some of these we first need to create some basic artwork, as shown in the simple example here. For example, using the basic shapes tools (Rectangle, Ellipse, Rounded Rectangle, Star shapes), we would create a yellow rectangle, a red rectangle, a blue circle and green line, etc.

In the Effects drop-down list there are two basic types of functions: Illustrator Effects and Photoshop Effects. The first set will result in vector artwork appearances, consisting mostly of hard lines, sharp edges and solid colours. The Photoshop effects subset closely resemble the various filters available in Adobe Photoshop. These result in more of a pixel-based, rasterized effect, a bit like adding graphic noise to the shape.

As we can see, there are dozens of these effects, and by far the best way to understand what they do is to test them on the simple shapes previously created. For example we could select a yellow rectangle with the Selection tool (black arrow) and apply an effect by going to the Effect drop-down menu and choosing Warp then Flag. Note that there are various setting for each effect. Make sure you have the bottom left Preview box ticked in order to see the effect update as you change the slider values.

We could then go to Effect and select Stylize and Drop Shadow. This will result in a subtle shadow appearing usually below the object, giving the effect of standing out from the page. We can change the direction, opacity, distance and even the colour of the shadow. Generally speaking, the more subtle the applied effect the better. Bear in mind also that the drop shadow direction refers to the direction of the lighting, which in most natural settings is from above, either as sunlight or ceiling lights. Therefore, for a more natural effect it’s best to cast the light direction from above, and usually at an angle of 45 or 135 degrees.

Another effect could be added to the red rectangle, for example Effect then Distort & Transform and Zig Zag. We can then add an additional effect of Effect and Stylize and Scribble. On another shape like a blue circle we could some three-dimensional effects via Effect then 3D and Extrude & Bevel. We would then tilt the view cube to the desired angle, adjust the Extrude depth, and change the Bevel parameter to Classic. This would result ina button similar to those found on website navigational commands. On a green line we may wish to add arrow-heads. Do so via Effect and Stylize and Add Arrowheads. We then experiment with the various options on the starting and ending points.

We should note that when we add an effect, this will be listed on the Appearance panel on the right-hand side of the interface. To adjust the effect at a later stage we don’t return to the Effects menu; we double-click on the effect in the Appearance panel to reopen the settings.

Tom Gillan has been training Adobe Illustrator to corporate clients in Sydney for seven years. You can learn more about Adobe Illustrator Courses when you visit this link.

36 layers selected in Illustrator
Image by jk-keller

Comenzamos con la primera práctica haciendo una ilustración, en este vídeo avanzamos vectorizando cada parte y dandole color. No te pierdas el próximo capítulo en donde terminaremos la ilustración dandole detalles.

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