CS 325 and Film 385: Introduction to Illustrator

Highlights of this lab:

  • What is Illustrator?
  • Illustrator's Work Area
  • Using the Pen Tool
  • Constructing the "Aqua" Button
  • Blending Text (3D)
  • Assignment

:: What is Illustrator? ::

With Adobe Illustrator, you can produce artwork that can be published with ease on Web pages, PDAs, wireless devices, and in print. It is industry-standard vector graphics software.

:: Illustrator's Work Area ::

The Adobe Illustrator work area includes:

The first time you start Illustrator, the toolbox appears on the left side of the screen. The tools in the toolbox let you create, select, and manipulate objects in Iluustrator.

:: Using the Pen Tool ::

The Pen Tool (Shortcut: P) is definitely the most important tool to know how to use in Illustrator. Mastering this tool will give you a firm grasp on drawing custom objects, which is a skill that will serve you well as long as you use this program.

The Pen Tool draws curved and straight lines in order to create objects. In order to create straight lines, simply select the Pen Tool, click once to create a start point, then click again anywhere else on the image. In order to create points in 45 degree increments, simply hold the shift key and then click somewhere else on the screen.

In order to draw curves, click hold and drag in the direction you want the curve to go in using the Pen Tool, as shown in the first part of the image above. Next, click hold and drag at another position (the end of the curve) and drag it in the opposite direction in order to complete the curve. Next, you can either: draw the next segment of a continuous curve by positioning the pointer where you want the next segment to end, and then drag away from the curve OR you can change the direction of the curve in order to create a noncontinuous curve by releasing the mouse button, pressing the Option/Alt key, dragging the direction point in the direction of the curve, Releasing the Option/Alt key and the mouse button, reposition the pointer, and drag in the opposite direction to complete the curve segment. See the image below in order to create a noncontinuous curve.

:: Constructing the "Aqua" Button ::

There are several tutorials on the web for creating the "Aqua" button using Adobe Photoshop. Creating the same style of button using Adobe Illustrator 10 is just as easy, and perhaps even easier. Below is a picture of the "aqua" button.

:: Blending Text (3D) ::

The second part of this lab we will go into creating 3D Text effects. Again, there are a number of online tutorials and if you're interested, you should check them out!

:: Assignment ::

For this lab assignment I want you to design a concert or promotional poster for your favourite musical artist.

Submit your illustrator project file(s) on Web-CT before the due date...which is October 18th at 11:00am, in the assignments folder using the link for this lab assignment.

..:: Online Source(s) ::..