How to Draw Using the Shape Builder Tool in Adobe Illustrator CC
Hi there in this video, we're going to look at the shape builder tool. I love this tool, it's absolutely my most favorite tool out of all of the tools in illustrator and we're gonna take this drawing that we did off the fox with simple shapes and add some kind of shadows to it. We're not so much exciting about the shadows, but more the technique that we use the shape builder tool to kind of be able to carve out extra colors within other shapes. I love it. Let's go and learn how to use it now. All right, to get started with the shape builder tool. Let's start with a really simple file. Go to file open there is a file in here called shape builder click open. This file is not very exciting, ill it is is I'm on my black arrow. It's just a couple of circles on top of a rectangle. Okay, so what I'd like to do is I would like to say this circle to join this rectangle. So I'm going to use my black arrow and select them all. And we're gonna go to the shape builder tool. This guy here, he is the...
absolute best thing that ever happened to illustrator. Okay, and what allows me to do is you can see by default there's a little plus next to my cursor there. Okay, what I can do is watch this, I can hover above this, click, hold down my mouse and just drag a line. You see a dragon across all three of these kind of parts and they are fused Now as one thing and that is just awesome. No more pathfinder and trying to join things. It's really easy, simple shapes using the shape builder tool and they join. Another cool trick is that if I hold down the option key on a Mac or the old key on a pc, you can see it changes from a plus to a minus. So what I can do now is I want to minus this and this. I'm holding down my mouse key. Okay, and I can drag across those two bits to minus those bits off. Okay, so that is, its main two uses joining things and minus ng things. It also has another little trick where I've got these two bits selected right? And what I can do is I can pick a field color, let's say this and use it for not minuses or adding, but just coloring in bits. So I'm gonna click off in the background here and watch this. I can just click on that. Okay, and it uses that as the field color. Just really handy to go through. Pick a color, click off, click in there and it just fills shapes and go back to my black arrow. And now if I click off, it's actually just three separate shapes that are being colored in. Let's use it in a kind of a practical sense now. So let's close this guy, I don't want to save him because it wasn't that exciting. Okay, so before we go and create our own kind of like custom shapes with the shape builder tool. I'm gonna show you how I use it mostly. So I want you to open up the fox that we made earlier. If you haven't done that tutorial, you can cheat. Go to the exercise files and download one chord shape builder too. Open them up. So what I'd like to do is I want to kind of add some shadows to this like you saw at the beginning of this video. Okay. And so first thing to do is with the black arrow, let's just grab this background and just move it over to the side just to make life a little easier. Let's go to the layers and turn off the view of the template. We'll move it back in later on. So what I'd like to do is I'm just going to start with the head. Okay, I'm gonna grab the line tool, I'm going to draw a line that goes from this air. I'm going to go all the way through his kind of face here just to show you how good the shape builder tool is. I'm going to grab the black arrow and I'm going to have this selected plus holding shift and grabbing this selected. So I've got the head and the line, they're just those two and go to properties. Okay, I'm gonna go to my shape builder tool and I want to color it. So like we did earlier with the red and the blue. I'm gonna pick a fill color. I'm going to go to my swatches here. I'm going to pick the orange. I'm gonna move to this like color mixer, pre made swatches here. Color mixer here and I want to make it a bit dark. Watch this this K. Is black. Okay you can see if I drag it up, it gets a bit dark. I'm going to go to maybe 10%. Okay you can be a bit more flexible with yours and now I just need to click anywhere out to close that box. Cool. Now when I hover above click once and I've got this lovely dark, lovely. Okay it's fine. And so yeah cast the shadow here. Now the next thing I want to do is grab my black arrow and just click off in the background. Okay there are some bits left over that thing there. If you've got some black hanging off the end here you just select it and hit delete. Don't need it anymore. Next thing I wanna do is maybe cast a shadow underneath its chin. Same thing line tool cast some sort of fake casting shadow thing. Okay black arrow hold shift. So I've got both the line and this body selected go to actually you can't go to fill yet. You gotta go to the shape builder tool. Okay then go to fill and then I'm going to use that. You can see it's the last color that I used and it's premixed it. If it hasn't, you can go back to the swatches, click This one, go here, do 10%. Hopefully you can use the last mixed, save some time. Okay. And I'm just gonna hover above, we're gonna click out hover above this, click once and this is going to run into our first problem with the shape builder tool. Okay, grab the selection tool, click off in the background, you can see this has ended up above everything. Okay, which is fine. Okay all I need to do is with it, selected with the black arrow, click a range and send to back Now we've been using center back. You might just need to send backwards backwards. Goes back one step. Okay if I click backwards now it's not gonna quite work, it's probably going behind. I don't know this and you can keep going backwards and it's just one step at a time backwards backwards and eventually you'll get there. Okay, I'm going to go arrange send to complete back awesome. Now I'm going to do a couple more shadows, you can follow along if you like, I'm going to grab this copy and paste it, make it bigger. I'm going to use it like for a shadow for his bum it's like both of these holding shift. Okay with my black arrow moved to the shape builder tool, pick a field color Last year's color. didn't work. Okay, I'm gonna go to here and pick Click off and then click that one back to my black arrow, click off in the background, grab him. I don't need you anymore buddy. I'm going to the same with the tail here, copy paste it, make it a bit bigger and use it to kind of make some sort of hail shadow. It's like both of them holding shift. Go to my shape builder tool. You will get it after a time like shape builder tool is one of the shortcuts. I use loads if I hover above the tool. Can you see it says shift em. Okay, that's both for Mac and PC so I can hold down the shift key on my keyboard and type M it jumps to the shape builder tool and the black arrow is V. So very often I'm going v shift in. You can see in my toolbar, I'm kind of jumping between the two by just clicking those keys. All right, Phil um let me use this 1 10% take off and I'm going to say you go back to my black arrow, which is the wiki delete this one. I'm going to create some sort of line here now I'm just mucking about. You can skip on if you like Okay slick both of them shift him, pick a darker color than I had before from my switches about that. It looks like he's doing casting a shadow from the moonlight. Okay, I'm gonna grab this one, drag it back in. Okay, snap it up. You'll notice that it's it's in the wrong kind of layer order. So I'm going to do is slip them arrange and send her back. And that's kind of how I use the shape builder a lot. I kinda get the basics in with some shapes and then use other shapes and the shape builder tool to kind of construct some more sophisticated artwork. Alright, so that's kind of updating an existing drawing. Let's go and make something cool in the next video totally with the shape builder tool. It's pretty nice and it's one of those styles that are trending at the moment. So let's go and look how to do that in the next video.