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Adobe Illustrator Creative Cloud: Essentials for Creating Projects

Lesson 53 of 56

Shaper Tool in Adobe Illustrator

Brian Wood

Adobe Illustrator Creative Cloud: Essentials for Creating Projects

Brian Wood

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Lesson Info

53. Shaper Tool in Adobe Illustrator


  Class Trailer
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1 Class Introduction Duration:01:23
2 What is Adobe Illustrator? Duration:06:24
3 Explore the Interface Duration:11:45
5 Zoom and Navigate Duration:07:23
6 Working with Artboards Duration:18:11
7 Introduction to Layers Duration:18:53
8 Rulers and Guides Duration:09:05
9 Shapes and Drawing Duration:45:27
10 Aligning and Combining Shapes Duration:15:31
11 Pen Tool Duration:30:59
12 Manipulating Stroke and Fill Duration:14:39
14 Painting with Gradients Duration:10:36
15 Getting Started with Patterns Duration:08:11
16 Adding Text To Your Document Duration:08:43
17 Formatting Text Duration:11:35

Lesson Info

Shaper Tool in Adobe Illustrator

Let's take a look at the Shaper Tool. We didn't really cover this in the class here, in the course of the two days we went through, but I wanna give you a heads-up of what this is. The Shaper Tool is something that we can do. Let me just flip this over, sorry. Shaper Tool is something that we can use now that's meant for touch devices. It's meant for a Wacom, it's meant for a Cintiq, using a pen to create shapes. So I'm gonna come over here, and you're gonna see that, by default there is what's called a Shaper Tool now. So I'm gonna tap or click on the Shaper Tool and come out here. When you first click on it, it's gonna come up with a dialog that says, "Hey, here's how this thing works." You can just dismiss it or watch it. The whole idea here is to draw by using free-form paths, and it's gonna take your gesture and turn it into that thing. So I can create a really rough circle, for instance, and it's gonna try and turn it into a circle. I can create circles, I can create squares, rec...

tangles, I can create triangles, I can create polygons that- Wow, that was the worst polygon ever. I can create polygons, I can create a lot of different things. We can create line shapes, a lot of different things like that. This isn't where it ends, though, okay? This tool is actually pretty amazing. I'm gonna draw something here. So, what I'm gonna draw is- In the tutorial I did, I drew a little moon, okay? So I'll draw a little moon. So I draw a circle. Now, I can copy that circle if I want, because after we draw these things, we can actually start to edit it a little bit if we want to. Right now, I could go here, and if I click on this thing, I can start to use a lot of the different features that we could use by using the circles and different things like that. Once I click off, I can start to use the Shaper Tool again. So we can edit it after we create it. Let me draw another circle right here. I could have just copied that one, I know. This is the best part. I wanna take that circle, and I wanna cut it out of the other one. So watch this. Scribble, scribble, scribble, scribble, scribble. Cool. There we go. I'll show you how to merge and subtract shapes over these two days. This is probably the easiest way to do it. (laughs) Shaper Tool is pretty phenomenal. Here's the best part: it's not final, meaning you can go back and edit. Notice the shapes are still there. So if I click on this thing once, it's gonna say, "Okay, well there it is." It's kinda hard to tell, but the shape that got pulled out isn't showing, but I could click on it. If I click one more time, you can actually use this tool to click on parts of this thing and color it. So I can go up here and say, "Let's make this one yellow." Now, you're gonna notice there's a little arrow right here, as I dig into this, if I click on that, it's gonna say, "Oh, let's dive in. "Let's look at all the shapes you used," even if you cut some out, even if they're missing, I can now go in here if I wanted to and I can click on, let's say the edge. It's kinda hard to click on. I'll click right here. Click on the edge of the shape, and say, "You know what, "let me resize this thing a little bit." And they're dynamic. It's all live. So we can fix what we want. Let me just pull it up a little bit here, so I can move it around. It's kinda hard with these, you guys. It's really hard. Let me pull it up just a little bit. There we go. And make it look a little bit more like a crescent moon. There we go. And, once we're done, we can press escape, get out, I can use the arrow up to get out, click off and I've got myself my shape. So it's a bunch of tools in one, that's the whole idea. I can't tell you how many times I've- I've been using this more and more, even though I don't have a touch device, necessarily, but I was creating a mountain the other day, and I was like, "Okay, let's do this. "Let's create that, let me create a little triangle here," I can go in now and I could do something like this. I could say, "Let's take this, "and let's get rid of that." Scribble, rather, across that. Let me take these two and I'm gonna scribble across this. Can you guys see what I'm doing here? I can then click on these, if I click a couple times and go in. I can click on each individual shape, and start to do things like round the corners, maybe. I can edit them independently still, which is pretty crazy. So I can rotate these. This is gonna look dumb, but I can rotate them still, do different things like that. The whole idea is that we are still editing shapes independently. That right there is the Shaper Tool. Pretty interesting. Alright, let me get rid of that. So, something else that we can work with. We have live shapes now, which are actually relatively new in this version, almost all the shapes are live, and I just wanna mention what that means. If I come to the Rectangle Tool here, The Rectangle Tool, Rounded Rectangle, Ellipse, and Polygon are now live. The Star is not, the Flare is not. That means that the the Rectangle and all these, I could click, drag, create, do my thing, without switching tools- In the past, with Illustrator, we would actually have to now switch to something like the Selection Tool to go and edit it. We can stay on the Drawing Tool, and do something like move it around from the center. We can do that little pie chart thing I showed you. We can start to resize it if we want to, without holding a key down, that's the key. No Shift key, right? But we can still, in some cases, go out and do some edits independently. You could see something like that. If I switch over to the Selection Tool, I can kinda do the same thing. We're still doing all of this, so we can go in and fix it a little bit, and there we go. Pac-Man. Awesome. Gotta do a little yellow. There we go. So shapes are live, you can always edit them. Now, the only thing about live shapes with these polygons, rectangles, et cetera, if you do come to the shape, and you use the Direct Selection Tool or some other method, like I come up and click on a point, and I do this, you're gonna see "Shape Expanded." It means it's no longer live. I'm not gonna be able to go out with the Selection Tool, for instance, and do all those cool things with it. I can still change the size and things like that, but once you do something a little weird to it, like change a point, move a point around, it's gonna be expanded.

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.



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.