Comprehensive Guides For Understanding The Basic Fundamentals Of Illustrator

TimothyBlake • October 11th, 2010

Tutorials

illustratorbanner Comprehensive Guides For Understanding The Basic Fundamentals Of Illustrator This is a guide aimed more at beginners in order to understand the fundamental aspects of illustrator. These tutorials are simple tutorials which will teach you how to master the basics of illustrator, to help build your confidence familrise you with some tools features as well as what can be accomplished using illustrator. This is a essential resource for any keen designers looking to learn illustrator a fantastic vector software.

Understanding The basic Tools

This a collection of tutorials which will teach you how to use the basic tools available in illustrator.

1. An Introduction to Illustrator’s Color Tools

colortools Comprehensive Guides For Understanding The Basic Fundamentals Of Illustrator

You may know about RGB and CMYK, but how about LAB or HSB? With all these color choices and ways to use them it’s often easy to get confused. In this introduction to Illustrators color tools you will learn about the different color spaces, how they work and what tools you can use to get the most out of them. Let’s get familiar with the powerful color tools that Illustrator offers!

2. Adobe Illustrator Shortcuts

shortcuts Comprehensive Guides For Understanding The Basic Fundamentals Of Illustrator

Here are 26 Illustrator shortcuts that can help you to speed up productivity. I use most of them (in fact, I can’t work without them). Most of shortcuts listed in this article aren’t documented in the software, so keep reading and you’re sure to find at least one new trick to put up your sleeve.

3. Illustrator’s Blend Tool: A Comprehensive Guide

blen Comprehensive Guides For Understanding The Basic Fundamentals Of Illustrator

In Adobe Illustrator, the Blend Tool can help you create impressive color blends. But there is more to it than you might know. This comprehensive guide can help you unlock your creative potential and teaches the features, shortcuts, and in depth methods that the Blend Tool has to offer.

4. Pathfinder: Explained

pathfinder Comprehensive Guides For Understanding The Basic Fundamentals Of Illustrator

If you aren’t familiar with Illustrator’s extremely handy “Pathfinder” palette, you might sit down for a few moments to play with it, because it is a true time saver, and an excellent tool for manipulating paths. First, of all let me say that “Pathfinder” is a horrible name for this palette. It doesn’t actually “find” paths. It makes it easy to combine paths, divide objects, subtract shapes, etc.

5. Math Functions in Illustrator

MATHS Comprehensive Guides For Understanding The Basic Fundamentals Of Illustrator

I’m not that great at math, but luckily, Illustrator is. Illustrator uses points, lines, curves, and shapes all based on mathematical equations to create artwork. Even with its complicated computations on the back-end, Illustrator also has some basic mathematical functionality to adjust objects within panels and dialogs.

6. Illustrator’s Type Tool: A Comprehensive Introduction

typetool Comprehensive Guides For Understanding The Basic Fundamentals Of Illustrator

Type is an essential part of Illustrator; whether you’re desktop publishing, designing logos, or using type for image building, you’ll be reaching for the Type Tool. This guide comprehensively covers the essentials of what is a huge amount of Illustrator functionality, which is type.

7. The Power of Smart Guides

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When ever I would install a new version of Illustrator, I would quickly turn off the Smart Guides. They always seemed confusing to me, but after working with Illustrator for a while, I have become reliant on Illustrator’s Smart Guides. If you don’t use Smart Guides, you should! It will help you create cleaner files, speed up productivity, and be more precise when creating artwork in Illustrator.

8. Quickly Change Fills and Strokes

strokes Comprehensive Guides For Understanding The Basic Fundamentals Of Illustrator

I like to work efficiently, so I get a little annoyed when something slows me down in Illustrator. Have you ever been cruising right along and accidently added a color to the Stroke of an object when you meant to add it to the Fill? Now you have to go back and do it all over again, wasting time. Luckily, there are a few useful keyboard shortcuts to help with Fills and Strokes.

9. Tips for Working with the Gradient Mesh Tool In Illustrator

gradientmeah Comprehensive Guides For Understanding The Basic Fundamentals Of Illustrator

One of the most amazing and confounding tools in Adobe Illustrator is probably the Gradient Mesh tool. Working with this feature allows the user to divide almost any shape into a mesh. Each intersection of two lines (horizontal/vertical) can be colored with a solid color. This tutorial takes a different format than some of our other tuts, and will help you work with the Mesh tool better.

10. Wacom Settings In Illustrator

wacomb Comprehensive Guides For Understanding The Basic Fundamentals Of Illustrator

I have been using a 6×8 Wacom Intuos3 for the past 4 months, and can’t live without it. It has become a important tool in my Illustrator work. Not only is it more natural using the Wacom compared to a mouse, Illustrator has some tool features you can only use with a pen tablet. With some tools you can set how the tool responds to the Pressure, Stylus Wheel, Tilt, Bearing, and Rotation of the pen.

11. Opacity Mask Basics: Illustrator

opacitymasks Comprehensive Guides For Understanding The Basic Fundamentals Of Illustrator

An opacity mask is essentially like a mixture of a clipping mask and a layer mask at the same time. in other words, you can use an opacity mask to control the appearance (transparency of a shape) using, in most cases, a black to white gradient. Because you can’t fill an object in Illustrator with a gradient that has transparency, we can use a mask to take away all of the areas covered by the black part of the gradient (or gray in some cases). There are many uses, which I’m sure you will discover rapidly on your own, and soft opacity gives illustrator a whole other dimension to work with.

12. Select Effects Plugin

selectalleffects Comprehensive Guides For Understanding The Basic Fundamentals Of Illustrator

I love coming across a plugin or script I haven’t used before that really solves a problem for me. I figure if I get frustrated with something in Illustrator, there is probably someone else out there that has the same problem. A recent frustration of mine was selecting Effects in Illustrator. Luckily I stumbled across the Select Effects Plugin from Worker 72a.

13. Improve Your Illustrator Workflow with Layer Masking

workflow Comprehensive Guides For Understanding The Basic Fundamentals Of Illustrator

You may or may or may not know/use this Illustrator feature, but Layer Masking is a very under-used feature of the Adobe Illustrator series of software. I’m not talking about making a clipping mask. This is entirely different altogether. By making a “layer mask,” you can save precious time by not having to release and reapply clipping masks, and even better – there’s a toggle button in the Layers Palette! Tutorial below.

14. Quickly Toggle a Perspective Grid’s Visibility

gridget Comprehensive Guides For Understanding The Basic Fundamentals Of Illustrator

The Perspective Grid Feature is a nice addition to Illustrator CS5. With any new feature, it’s a good idea to get familiar with keyboard shortcuts so you can use the new feature more efficiently and cut down the learning curve. One tip that is helpful when using a perspective grid is to quickly toggle a perspective grid’s visibility.

15. Illustrator’s Pen Tool: The Comprehensive Guide

pentool Comprehensive Guides For Understanding The Basic Fundamentals Of Illustrator

If you use Adobe Illustrator, then it’s almost certain that you use the Pen tool when creating your paths. This comprehensive guide aims to introduce or remind you of features, shortcuts, and methods for working with what is arguably Adobe’s most essential tool.

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  • http://www.stefanvella.com Stefan

    Great stuff man tnks!!

  • http://www.colddesign.it Giacomo Colddesign

    Really great article! thanks!

  • http://www.lukavivid.tv Dragan

    great!!!

    Thank you!

  • http://www.creativenerds.co.uk TimothyBlake

    Thanks guys really appreciate the feedback, I hope its useful.

  • http://www.gregspradlin.com greg spradlin

    Thank you for putting these guides together….I know it be overwhelming at times with all of Illustrator’s options…..I really like the army boot mesh tool guide.

  • http://www.justsearching.co.uk Ben

    Sweet collection thanks for putting it together. When you come from Photoshop like me it is actually quite hard to get into Illustator. Hopefully this will help.

  • http://www.paolalozano.com.mx Paola Lozano

    Pretty useful, thanks a lot

  • Miguel

    Nice collection. The link in the point 14 directs to point 13.

  • http://www.brettwidmann.com Brett Widmann

    This was really helpful! I love these overview articles because its a great review.

  • http://blogs.courant.com/capitol_watch/2010/09/murphy-slams-caligiuris-poll-i.html Claire Plume

    Hmm it appears like your site ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I submitted and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I too am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to everything. Do you have any recommendations for novice blog writers? I’d really appreciate it.