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Adobe Illustrator Creative Cloud: Essentials for Creating Projects

Lesson 50 of 56

Curvature Tool in Adobe Illustrator


Adobe Illustrator Creative Cloud: Essentials for Creating Projects

Lesson 50 of 56

Curvature Tool in Adobe Illustrator


Lesson Info

Curvature Tool in Adobe Illustrator

I'm gonna go into some of the tools that we can work with. One of the tools that I think is pretty amazing, that we've gone through over the past couple days here, is the curvature tool. The curvature tool is just something that, it just makes it so much easier to work. Let me see if I have, I think I have a file here I can open. Got a little guitar and if I want to go in and kind of create this guitar right here, instead of going to the pen tool, going to anchors, direction lines and all that kind of stuff, we can start to kind of work this. Now if I used this, if I was smart, I would actually put this out here and trace over it. Let me do that. You guys mind if I do that? Drawing freehand next to it is a pain. Let me just do like 30%. Okay, I'll zoom in here. All right, so if I go to the curvature tool and take a look at it, you can see it right there. I can just simply come out here and what we're doing is we're actually just setting points, so I'm setting anchor points that allow m...

e then to create the curves. So in this case, I'm going to create this guitar. Now I look at and I'm saying- Okay, let me go down just a little bit, let me move down. I'm looking at it and going, "Well, the curve's not exactly right the way I want it. You can see it's filling with a color, but I can come back to these points if I want to and start to re-edit or kind of re-engineer the shape if I see it, like here, like that. I'll go up here and I can also add points, just by clicking. See a little plus sign right there, there we go. And kind of start to work it a little bit, get it looking a little bit more like I want it to look. I could move that one around, but I'll cheat and move that one out there, there we go. So we're just gonna start to kind of work on it and you can see the preview of the pen, is actually giving us a good idea of what it's going to look like. So I'll go around. I still have an instinct to drag. Every time I use, I want to click and drag. I'm like, "Okay, let's get the handles out." But it's just such a different animal and it really, it's actually pretty amazing. The other thing that's kinda nice about this is that, let me just kind of quickly finish here, I'm not gonna make it look perfect, but I'll run around. And let me get rid of the color in there so you can see this. All right, so when I get to a certain point, if I wanted now go to a straight segment for instance, I can double click right on the anchor and convert it to a straight line, so that way I can come straight up over here. Let me zoom out a little bit. Come straight up over here and I can even hold the shift key down if I want to and make a perfectly straight line. Now this isn't perfectly straight, so I'll move it over. And then once I continue out here, you'll see that I'll just kind of keep going. Now you see it kind of curved that one right there again, so I'll come back to this one and double click. And there we go. A lot of times it's, getting used to this thing, you're just trying to figure out where the points are gonna go, how they're gonna be set, how it all works. The other thing you can do too, is- let me just kind of quickly run around this. Once I come down to the neck down here again, I wanna get down here, if I decide that I want to set or I- Well, first of all I don't want this point, I can just delete it. I can click on a point and hit delete. If I realize that I'm about to create a straight line, the two points around the straight line, need to be corner points, not smooth like it does all the time. So far I've been double clicking on a point to make it a corner, not a smooth. What we can also do with the curvature tool, if you come in here, you can hold down the option key and click and what that does is it sets it as a corner point to start. So I can option click and keep things as corner points. Just a little faster way to work with that. But the curvature tool does all the same things, it's creating a shape for us. If we go out here and we select this, let me go to the direct selection tool here and just sneak up on it, click on it, you're gonna see that we actually have all the different direction lines and handles and we select these, just like a regular pen tool. Just like going out and creating it. So if you decide that you want to start with the curvature tool and maybe end with the pen tool or end editing, doing whatever you need to do, you can kinda crosspollinate with these tools and get them to work together, which is pretty neat. The other thing I love about this tool is if I go out with the pen tool, for instance and I decide I'm like, "Oh let me go, let me go jam a flower out here real quick." This is not gonna be pretty. And I'm like, "Let me create a quick thing." Okay, that's enough. And I'm like, "There's a flower." Okay? If I decide, I'm like, "Ah, the pencil's not working out, something's happening here." I can actually go to the curvature tool on just about any path I create, and it's gonna take the anchor points that are already there and let me work with them. So I can come in here now and do this. I can say, "Hey, let's edit this. I want to delete this one." Hit delete and make it start to kind of work and do what we need to do. But that's one thing I love about this tool, the fact that you can go to just about any path and work with it. All right, let me zoom out just a little bit. The other one that we've talked about over these two days here is called the join tool. And this is a tool that I just love. I use it all the time. If you, let me do this real quick. We went over a little bit of the scissors and the knife and all this. In this case, I'm gonna use the scissors tool because I want to do this, I want to take the neck part of the guitar and I want to separate it from the body. Okay, cause maybe I want to do something different, whatever, put a different neck on it. The scissors tool, if I come in here, I can come to an anchor point, and if I click on it, it's gonna cut it right there. So basically if I switch to the direct selection, you're gonna see what it does. So the scissors tool is a different animal from the knife, okay? Now I want to do is this, I want to take this thing and I'm gonna drag it straight down for instance like this and say, "You know what, I'm gonna do something like that." And I'm actually gonna drag this up a little bit, something like that, there we go. Now if I'm drawing and I really decide, I'm like, "You know what, I want to connect these together." Maybe I took two pieces and put them together and I want to make them so they're one path that's joined together, we can actually use the join tool, which is under the, really? Shaper, there we go. Under the shaper tool, there it is right there. And the join tool allows me to go in and we can do a couple things, we can actually join paths that are far apart or we can go in and we can do things like- Let's get rid of some of this, let's actually cut it off. So I can just scrub across this stuff and it will connect the paths and also get rid of the trim, the extra pieces that are outside. I just, I mean, it's great. Switching to the join tool is just, the problem with it, I think, there's no shortcut for it, so, kind of got to go do it but that is it. So the join tool, very very useful. Let me take this path and get rid of it. All right. So we've got some other things that I want to go over. I want to talk a little bit about the apps that we have available, kind of go through some of those too. I'm gonna mix it up a little bit cause we've got some things to do. When we're working in Illustrator, one of the things that, it's kind of interesting, is that if we want to take and capture content, we can bring it directly into Illustrator, okay?

Class Description

The world’s top designers use Adobe® Illustrator® for its powerful, vector-based drawing environment – and now you can gain fluency in it, as well! Join Brian Wood for a dynamic course on everything you need to know about Adobe Illustrator.

By walking you through a series of projects on Adobe Illustrator, Brian will give you a comprehensive toolkit that will answer any need, including:

  • Getting started in Adobe Illustrator and familiarizing yourself with its workspace
  • Creating color using a variety of methods
  • Creating and transforming artwork, working with text, and importing images
  • Tricks and techniques for drawing: selecting and editing, and working with layers
  • Creating custom patterns, brushes, and symbols
  • Exploring built-in visual effects libraries
You’ll also tackle more advanced Adobe Illustrator topics, like the perspective grid, Creative Cloud libraries, effects, live paint groups and selection, blends, and the shape builder tool.


  1. Class Introduction
  2. What is Adobe Illustrator?
  3. Explore the Interface
  4. Create and Save New Documents
  5. Zoom and Navigate
  6. Working with Artboards
  7. Introduction to Layers
  8. Rulers and Guides
  9. Shapes and Drawing
  10. Aligning and Combining Shapes
  11. Pen Tool
  12. Manipulating Stroke and Fill
  13. Creating and Editing with Color
  14. Painting with Gradients
  15. Getting Started with Patterns
  16. Adding Text To Your Document
  17. Formatting Text
  18. Strokes and Variable Strokes in Adobe Illustrator
  19. Rotating Objects in Adobe Illustrator
  20. Effects and the Appearance Panel in Adobe Illustrator
  21. Adding Photo Images in Adobe Illustrator
  22. Working with Linked Content in Adobe Illustrator
  23. Packaging your Project for Handoff in Adobe Illustrator
  24. Best Formats to Save Your Files
  25. Select Like a Pro: Layers, Groups, & Other Unique Tools
  26. Edit Paths Like a Pro in Adobe Illustrator
  27. Editing Paths: Pen Tool in Adobe Illustrator
  28. Creating & Applying Brushes to Artwork in Adobe Illustrator
  29. Editing Paths: Knife & Scissor Tool in Adobe Illustrator
  30. Editing Paths: Join Tool in Adobe Illustrator
  31. Editing Paths: Isolation Mode in Adobe® Illustrator®
  32. Pen Tool Shortcuts in Adobe Illustrator
  33. Other Drawing Tools & Methods in Adobe Illustrator
  34. Transforming Techniques in Adobe Illustrator
  35. Shortcut to Reflecting Artwork in Adobe Illustrator
  36. Get to Know Your Appearance Panel in Adobe Illustrator
  37. Exploring Effects in Adobe Illustrator
  38. Work Smarter with Graphic Styles in Adobe Illustrator
  39. Color Inspiration in Adobe Illustrator
  40. Type Effects in Adobe Illustrator
  41. Masking Your Artwork in Adobe Illustrator
  42. Using Creative® Cloud® Libraries in Adobe® Illustrator®
  43. Capture Artwork with Creative Cloud Apps & Adobe Illustrator
  44. Tracing Raster Images in Adobe Illustrator
  45. Blending Artwork in Adobe Illustrator
  46. Using Symbols in Adobe Illustrator
  47. Using a Perspective Grid in Adobe Illustrator
  48. Crash Recovery in Adobe Illustrator
  49. GPU Performance in Adobe Illustrator
  50. Curvature Tool in Adobe Illustrator
  51. App Integration in Adobe Illustrator
  52. Creative Cloud Libraries in Adobe Illustrator App
  53. Shaper Tool in Adobe Illustrator
  54. Smart Guides in Adobe Illustrator
  55. Text Enhancements in Adobe Illustrator
  56. SVG Export in Adobe Illustrator



I am a pretty computer literate person but an Ai beginner i.e. I am completely new to the Creative Cloud/Adobe Illustrator. (This is also the first time I've used CreativeLive.) I think this course it is fantastic. The pace is good as is the content which progressed logically and covers all the basics you'd hope it would. The course is 2 full days' worth of material but it is broken down into segments so you can revisit or skip through as you need to. The presenter is really personable and easy to watch (even for me, a Londoner!). I would also say I think it is pretty good value for money -- I am currently enrolled on a part time course, basically doing the same sort of stuff, and I have to say this is better and a bit cheaper! I definitely recommend it to you!


A brilliantly designed course. it's almost magic. It's everything you hope for in a follow-along software class. Brian Wood has engineered it so that you start on a project that just needs basics, and then you move on to more & more complicated projects, and almost without realizing it you've learned Illustrator. This doesn't just happen -- Wood has clearly put a LOT of effort into creating this course. Here's one trivial example: he doesn't overload you with a lot of keyboard shortcuts right at the beginning -- you start with the actions themselves, using the (admittedly tedious but easy) pulldown menus, and then after you're comfortable with what you're doing, he'll throw in the shortcut. It may seem obvious, but so many instructors feel they have to give you an extensive foundation of definitions, shortcuts, interfaces, etc., before you ever do anything. Good stuff to know, but you'll never remember it. Wood has you up and working almost immediately. And he's a joy to listen to, at a perfect pace. Highly recommended.

Philippe LIENARD

Top course. Very well explained, clear, good examples, pleasant teacher. I like it and recommend it. One suggestion, it would be nice to have a detailed table of content of the course in the material. For instance, it took me quite a while to find back the part of the course where how to make a gear was explained.