Basic Tools: Pen, Text, & Blob
I'm gonna introduce the Pen tool to you first. Gonna just come right over here and I have a couple of, this is just a couple of lines I drew on pen and paper and scanned in, we're gonna go over that later, but I just wanted to give us a base for how to use the Pen tool in Illustrator. So the Pen tool is right over here in your toolbar. Keyboard shortcut for that is P. And I'm gonna zoom in. The way this works is that if you drop a point and you drop another point, it will create a line. And I want my stroke to be black, so I'm gonna select my stroke over here and turn it to just something dark here. So in Illustrator, you have your stroke and your fill, and these squares over here would tell you what you're working with. So the big, solid square is your fill. That's like my little odd shape up here, its fill is orange. If I hit this, see it has no stroke, but if I wanna add a stroke to it, then I can add a stroke to it, and now it has an outline. It's kind of hard to see, but now it ha...
s an outline. So when you're drawing straight lines, usually you want a stroke so that you can see the line, unless you're drawing complete shapes, then you'll want a fill. So the Pen tool can draw straight lines, but what the Pen tool is really good for is drawing curve lines. So if I drop a point and come over here and start to drop a point but don't release my mouse, I can start dragging this line to make a curve. And this is something you'll get the hang of really quickly. If you go up, it curves down. If you go down, it curves up. And it previews what the line is gonna show you with that blue line before you drop it. So if I drop it here, I have a fill on so it's got this kind of half fill but I'm gonna take that off so that all we have is the line. Okay, I've dropped two points, if I drop another point, it automatically curves in the opposite direction. So you can't really curve up yet, but it's gonna do this kind of S shape if you wanna go down, but it's gonna assume that you're kind of gonna go with a smooth line, so it automatically does that. And we can just keep drawing like a little curve over here. If you need to go in and edit these anchor points, you just hit A for your Direct Selection tool and you can come in and move these around and also change the handles. Okay. So I'm just gonna try to trace over my little sketch right here with the Pen tool. I'm gonna start here. Let's zoom in a little bit. Come down here and try to draw that kind of lower curve. It's just gonna be really easy to do a line like this because it's already going in the direction that I want it to go. So the key with the Pen tool is to not just drop a point. Drop your first point and then hold and drag. It can also do straight lines, like I said before, and if you wanna do straight lines, you just don't hold and drag. So I'm gonna click. Did you see? I clicked off that because if I came over here and started it would have continued this line with me, so I just wanna end this line by hitting Command and that takes me back to either the Direct or the Indirect Selection tool. And just click anywhere in the artboard to drop the line that I was working on. Release Command, I get back to the Pen tool. I'm gonna drop a point here, and if you don't drag your line, you just get straight lines all the way. So zigzags are really easy. So what if you want to draw something like this up here where the Pen tool, by nature, is not gonna be happy with this corner point? So I'm gonna show you how to do that. Drop your first point and come over here and just start to drag to follow that curve. And then this one is gonna automatically work really great, just like that. But if I try to do this kind of thing, it's just not gonna let me get a nice point. So I'm gonna hit Command + Z. What you need to do is with your Direct Selection tool, deselect this last point. So I'm gonna hit the Command tool and just click right there. Need to make sure I'm telling you right. That's not working. There we go. I was using my Direct Selection tool. I was using the black arrow tool, you have to use the white arrow tool. So just go back and hit on that. I'm just gonna start over for you so that this is not confusing at all. Okay. (chuckles) Hit your first point, start to drag and drop this curve, this point comes straight down, and then with your, let's see, let's change this so that it looks good, and then with your Direct Selection tool, just come in here and click on that point right there. Then it's gonna work for us. I lost that. Okay, so I lost that key, but if you go back and click on it with the Pen tool, it picks it right back up. Now you can just start following this curve. And back out. Okay, we're gonna be using the Pen tool a whole bunch. See that curve? This is now a vector, and my sketches, I can delete. We're gonna be using the Pen tool a whole bunch. It's gonna be really easy for you to fall in the groove with that. The Pen tool also has a flyout menu. So if you come over here and click on the Pen tool, you have Add Anchor Point, Delete Anchor Point, and Convert Anchor Point. The Convert Anchor Point tool will turn a point into a curve and a curve into a point. So if I select that and come in here and want to change my point here, all I have to do is come in and start dragging that point and it changes that into a curve. You can do the opposite as well. Now I'm gonna get into adding and taking away anchor points. So if I just wanna draw a banner, I'm gonna start with a rectangle. I think for this, we'll fill it and take away the stroke. So to take away a fill or a stroke, you just hit this white box with a red slash in it, which is None. Okay, so you can see this right here, I have four anchor points, which is all you need for a square, but if I wanna make this like a banner, I wanna come in here and add an anchor point. I'm gonna zoom in. And I have my Smart Guides on, so you can see the center here. I'm gonna just click once on that line to add an anchor point and once over here to add an anchor point. So now I've added two anchor points. If I hit the A on my keyboard to get to the Direct Selection tool, I can come in and grab that anchor point and just start bringing it in. And because I have my Smart Guides on, it snaps to my center line. Do you see that? So I can do this on both sides. And in just a second, I made a little banner. If you want to delete anchor points, like if I wanted this to just be half banner, you can select Delete Anchor Points, come in here and just click on the one you wanna delete and it takes it away. Let me introduce to you the Type tool. Type tool is right beside the Pen tool, and this is how you're gonna add text to any of your documents, and we use this in illustrating all the time, either to label things like I've done on this, or typography in pattern sign right now is really popular, so you can work with text. So I'm just gonna delete these little lines I've been working on. And the Type tool keyboard shortcut is T. So that brings up our Type tool, and if you just drop anywhere on the page, it will give you your cursor and you can start typing. Hello, world. I'm gonna make this bigger, and to do this, there are a couple of different ways to do just about everything in Illustrator, so you're just getting a snapshot and seeing how I chose to do them, but I'm gonna use the Scale tool. So Scale tool, keyboard shortcut is S. We'll zoom in so we can see this. So that automatically puts a marquee right at the bottom left-hand corner of my text. So from there, I can start dragging to make this bigger. So it doesn't keep it proportional, unless I hold down the Shift key. So usually, you wanna hold down the Shift key if you're scaling text with the Scale tool. The other thing is that the Scale tool is much more accurate if you drag at a diagonal, any diagonal, just not vertical or horizontal. So if I'm dragging from straight here, you can see, like, oh, it goes upside down. It's really hard to control. And if I go straight up, it's also, it's just, you'll feel with your mouse that you feel out of control. So drag from a diagonal gives you the most control. You can do it from any diagonal. The other thing that you can do with the Scale tool is move where it's gonna scale it from. So if you wanna scale from the middle, you drop your marquee right in the middle and then you start dragging from a diagonal. Middle is usually what you'll be scaling from, but text, you'll usually be scaling from the bottom left-hand corner. Okay. So to get off this, I hit the Command, which takes me back to my Direct Selection tool and get off of it. I can move this around. The other thing you can do in Illustrator is type on a path. And so if you want curved text, Illustrator makes it so easy. I'll grab my Pen tool and draw a curve first, so I'm gonna hit P. And I'm just gonna come in here and draw a line like so. And this looks funny because I have a fill and no stroke, and I'm gonna just change that to no fill and a stroke. So to come in here and type on this, all you have to do is hit your T for the Type tool. And once you get close to the beginning of this line, it will change to a curve line. This works on any path that you've drawn, whether it be a shape or a line. So if I drop my cursor there, then I get to say something. I'm so excited to teach for CreativeLive. And it's typed on a path. So my line has disappeared, but my text is now on a curve. Command + O to zoom out for that. We'll be doing more with text and typography, but that is the intro. If you need to know how to change your text or your font, you'll have Character, the Character panel. If you choose that, it will pop up, and this is where you can find all the things that you're used to using, like your font. You can change the font. You can change, let me, I'm gonna scroll this over so you can see it as I work. Your Character panel, you'll be able to change the font size. You'll be able to change the distance between your letters. Bullseye, yeah. And then this is where you'll find your All Caps or your Low Caps or whatever, but everything you're used to using with regular font programs, you'll find under the Character panel. Okay, let's move on to some more drawing tools. So in addition to the Pen tool, we also have the Pencil tool. So the Pen tool is all about dropping anchors and curved lines. The Pencil tool is more of a freehand draw. And so I'm gonna use the Wacom tablet tomorrow for our drawing, but today I'm just gonna use the mouse and I'll show you it gets a little iffy with your mouse but you can do it if you don't have access to anything else at home, you can totally still do it. So the Pencil tool, keyboard shortcut is N. I'll click on that and then just start drawing in here. And you can see when I drop this and give it a stroke, I mean, that's not terrible, but it is a pretty simple line. You can draw shapes with the Pencil tool. It can be a little difficult to get them really smooth and great-looking. One tool that is here to help you is the Smooth tool. So if you come out to the flyout menu of the Pencil tool, you can select the Smooth tool. And I have this kind of zigzag selected right now, but if I hit Command and come up here and grab this curve line and come off of Command, then you'll have your Smooth tool back. You can come in here and start smoothing this out. So I use this all the time. Smooth lines out with the Smooth tool. If I come down here and grab the circle, you can do the same thing. So this just allows you to go back in and correct some of that rickety mouse motion that you get from drawing with your mouse.