Illustrator learning

Illustrator learning - C H A P T E R Learning the...

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Learning the Illustrator Interface N ot too long ago, commercial artists and illustrators worked by hand, not on computers. It might seem hard to believe, but they spent hours and hours with T-squares, rulers, French curves, and type galleys from their local typesetters. Now, of course, most artists and artist wannabes spend hours and hours with their computers, mouses (or should that be mice?), monitors, and onscreen type that they set themselves. Some traditional artists are still out there, of course, but more and more make the transition to the digital world every day. Once that transition is accomplished, computer artists usually come face-to-face with Illustrator, the industry-standard, graphics-creation software for both print and the Web. The following is a typical example of how people get to know Illustrator. Picasso Meets Illustrator: Getting Started Illustrator arrives and the enthusiastic artist-to-be — we’ll call him Picasso — opens the box, pops in the CD-ROM, and installs the product, while glancing at the quick reference card and thumbing through the manual. A few minutes later Picasso launches Illustrator and is faced with a clean, brand new, empty document. A world of possibilities awaits, only a few mouse clicks away. But Picasso is a little intimidated by all that white space, just as many budding young writers 1 1 CHAPTER ✦✦✦✦ In This Chapter Getting Illustrator started Learning the user interface elements Navigating around Illustrator Using the Edit commands
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4 Part I Illustrator Basics wince at a new word processing document with the lone insertion point blinking away. So, Picasso decides he’ll “play” with the software before designing anything “for real.” He chooses the rectangle tool first, clicks, drags, and voilà! A rectangle appears on the screen! His confidence soars. He may try the other shape tools next, but sooner or later Picasso starts playing with some of the software’s other features. Eventually, he eyes the dreaded Pen tool. And thus starts his downward spiral into terror. Confusion ensues. Hours of staring at an Illustrator document and wondering “Why?” take up the majority of his time. Picasso doesn’t really understand fills and strokes, he doesn’t understand stacking order and layers, and he certainly doesn’t under- stand Bézier curves. Even Picasso’s painting-factory boss can’t help him much with Illustrator; questions result in a knowing nod and the customary tilt and swivel of his head toward the Illustrator manual. Picasso goes through the tutorial three times, but whenever he strays one iota from the set-in-stone printed steps, nothing works. Picasso becomes convinced that the Pen tool is Satan’s pitchfork in disguise. Patterns make about as much sense as differential equations. Then he encounters things such as effects that can be edited later (huh?), miter limits for strokes (yeah, right), and the differ- ence between targeting a group or all the objects in that group (huh? again). All are
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This note was uploaded on 04/14/2010 for the course NUR 221 taught by Professor Siham during the Spring '10 term at Alexandria University.

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Illustrator learning - C H A P T E R Learning the...

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