Illustrator Training Courses Articles

 

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The first step is the creation of a new document within Illustrator, establishing the width and height of the document. We are presented with a drop-down list of various Preset page sizes - these can be for either Print or Web output. In the former we would use millimeters or centimeters; in the latter case, we would use pixels as the unit of measurement.

We often create graphs using software like Microsoft Excel, or, for more sophisticated features, Python or Octave. However, we can also create fully-functioning graphs within Adobe Illustrator. To experiment with Illustrator's graphs features we first go to the File drop-down menu and create a new document.

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.

The Illustrator interface is made up of four main elements: firstly, the image itself, of which you can have one or more open at one time. The Toolbox or Toolbar is the second element and sits on the left-hand side of the interface. By hovering your cursor over these tools, a small tooltip appears which reminds you of the tool's function.

If you already use Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Indesign, the workspace we are presented with in Adobe Illustrator will be familiar to some extent. There are basically eight elements to the interface. The first is, of course, the graphic image itself on the art-board. This sits on the Canvas, a white or grey area surrounding the page. Here we can create extra elements of the artwork, to be used or discarded later.

Illustrator's Tool panel or Toolbox is located on the left-hand side of the interface, and contains all the tools you'll need to create stunning artwork in Illustrator. Users familiar with other Adobe software will recognize this layout - indeed many of the tools are the same from program to program.

When it comes to creating professional illustration, Adobe Illustrator has been the world-leader in graphics programs for the past 15 or so years. Specifically geared towards creating vector graphics, Illustrator is used in several industries, including graphic and web design, as well as fashion design and interior design.

We can add dynamism to our Illustrator artwork by the simple means of adding a drop shadow. The image shown here, for example, was first collaged in Adobe Photoshop from several photographs, then imported into Adobe Illustrator via the File menu and Place. We then used the Image Trace function to redefine the bitmap (pixel) information as vector artwork.

Many people ask the question concerning which program to use: Illustrator or Photoshop? The truth is that all programs have their strengths and weaknesses. And both programs perform best within their own realm of expertise. There are basically two types of graphics programs with the main difference as to the method in which they store their digital data.

Fashion Illustrators the world over use Adobe Illustrator for creating vector artwork for professional fashion and accessory production. The main applications are in creating patterns for garment design and for producing repeat prints in textiles manufacturing. The program is used at all stages, from creating the initial conceptual artwork to producing the finished pattern line art which is then exported to CAD software.

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