Skip to main content

Edit Basic Shapes

Lesson 4 from: Infographic Elements from Scratch in Illustrator

Jason Hoppe

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

4. Edit Basic Shapes

Lesson Info

Edit Basic Shapes

So here's what we're gonna do is, we're just gonna start off with something ridiculously simple and we're gonna make something cool out of it. I'm gonna start with a circle, and I'm gonna take my circle, I'm gonna go and I'm gonna fill it with a color, and I'm gonna put no stroke on this circle. So, there's my circle. What can we do with a circle? So many things. So, with this circle, I would like to go and, actually, I'm going to make it a slightly different color here. There we go, I'm gonna make it yellow, 'cause I would like to make an egg. So, people are like, "How do I draw an egg?" Not a drawing class, we're not gonna draw anything. So I would like to turn this into an egg, and the one way I can take my object and begin to work with this, is I can use this with my Selection tool, and then I've got my little pull handles, which allow me to pull and reshape the object and hover outside and rotate this, as well, which doesn't do much in a circle, But I would like to go in and start...

to edit the individual points that make this up. So, with this, I wanna use my Direct Selection tool, which will allow me to go in and directly select each and every individual point that makes up a shape, as well as the line segments. So, one of the biggest things that I notice when people start off with Illustrator is their understanding of the Direct Selection tool. And this is gonna clear up a whole lot of information for people right here. So many times I hear when people are working with these shapes, I'm gonna create a couple of shapes here for you, so we can see how this works. There we go, and they use their Selection tool. The Selection tool is just that. I call this the fork, okay? If you wanna eat, your fork is your main tool. If you wanna move something, if you wanna quickly chop up something, you wanna pick it up, you wanna move it, you need the fork. That's what the Selection tool is, that's your fork. But if you wanna do any specialized things with this, like go in and specifically move an individual point, you'll need the Direct Selection tool. And when people take the Direct Selection tool, and then they try to go in and they try to select an individual point, they say, "See, it doesn't work. "How do you get it to work?" Here's the trick, okay? The key to using the Direct Selection tool is click off your object first, so nothing is selected, and then you can click on your object. But here's what happens. See all those points right there? Check this out, if I click my object, they're all solid points, but if I take my Direct Selection tool and I click directly on the path, you'll see that those points are now not solid. And here's the difference. If I take my Direct Selection tool and click on my shape, I have essentially selected the entire shape, so it will move just as it does with the Selection tool. But if I go in and I click on the object path, and I click on a specific point, do you see how that is solid, and all the other ones are not filled? That means that only that point is selected, so now when I go in and specifically move that point, only that point is going to move, So, if you click on an object with the Selection tool, all of your points are filled solid, which means they're all selected, which means when you move something, every point is going to move. So, here's a really simple way to go in and select just what you want to move. You can go in and try to find that little anchor point, or, with your Direct Selection tool, just simply click and drag over the area and you'll select the point that makes up that point or that corner or that curve. With this, I'm now able to manipulate it. But here's what people do. They select their shape and they go directly to the Direct Selection tool because it was selected to begin with, you go to your Direct Selection tool, every point is selected. You gotta click off it, then you have to specifically select or click on that individual point. And I'm sure a lot of people are saying, "Oh, my gosh." Because it works some times and it doesn't work other times. Yeah, it's all you, folks. Always has been, always will be. You're the one that's in control and you just never knew it. So, perfect example here. I'd like to go and I'd like to make an egg out of this. And an egg is, kinda, egg shaped. So, how I take that and I move this is I take my anchor points, select it with my Direct Selection tool, and I move it straight up. Now when I move it straight up here, you can see I can kinda get a little bit cockeyed here, and those little lines that kind of line up here are my Smart Guides, which are great. But sometimes they don't pay attention to that and I get a little unstable here, I've had five cups of coffee, and, you know, it doesn't quite work. Well, here's the trick, folks. When I go in and I wanna move a point here and I wanna move it a specific direction, I just use my up arrow, and I can just move it straight up, and it takes too long of a time, because I'm impatient, what I use is, I use my up, down, left, right arrows, but if I wanna move it fast, I introduce the shift key. And the shift key is gonna move it ten times as fast. And so when I do this, I'm making sure that that point is headed directly in the up direction and I click off it, there's my egg. I like that, that looks very egg-like. Sweet! How cool is that? There we go. I didn't have to draw an egg, thankfully. But, one of the cool things with this, is maybe I wanna draw a water droplet. I can do the same thing. I can start with a circle. I'm gonna fill this with blue. And I would like to create a water droplet. I'm gonna go to my Direct Selection tool, and out of habit, and this is what I tell people, Whenever you use the Direct Selection tool, click off your object before you go back and click on the shape of your object. If I click directly on the object, it just simply fills all the points, so every one is active. I just wanna have that point active, so I'm just gonna select that one point. I'm also going to move this up and I have my egg shape, but right now, because this is a circle, I have a smooth point, which is giving me a nice arc at the top there, and a smooth point is always indicated by pull handles. I don't want that to be a smooth point. I want that to end in a corner point, so the sides come up to a nice point. Because I have my Direct Selection tool selected, I can go up into my Tool Bar and I see that I can convert from a smooth point to a corner point, and once I do, I get a water droplet. Awesome, I know. So we just created two things and we had to draw absolutely nothing. Because if you've ever had to draw this, the first part goes really good, the second part, not so well. Yeah. There we are, basic shapes, and we've been able to do just that. Okay? I know, pretty awesome. So, there's our egg, there's our water droplet, as well. This part goes over there because we'll do some other fun stuff with those two. Works pretty good. We start off with a square here. I'm gonna draw a perfect square. I'd like to do a few other things with this. I can always go in and I can rotate my objects, select my object with the Selection tool, go ahead and rotate that by hovering outside. Course, if I hold down my shift key, that allows me to go in and rotate and constrain while I rotate. Shift always constrains, when I'm drawing, when I'm pulling, when I'm moving, when I'm rotating, in so many ways. Shift is going to constrain with all those parameters. So, rotate, scale, whatever it may be.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Infographic Assortment

Ratings and Reviews

Patricia Green

This class is so much fun! I gobbled it up because I enjoyed every minute. It begins my journey into infographics, something I intend to put in my portfolio. Jason Hoppe is a great instructor who really knows his stuff. If you want to have fun with Illustrator, this is the class for you!


I bought the first version of the course of Infographics and I strongly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn how to use Illustrator. Exactly as he explains in the video, this is not a course just to learn how to make graphics. At the end of the course you will be able to develop just about anything in Illustrator. Really! All the knowledge I have today of this tool, started from this course of Infographics to which he refers. Not only the content is comprehensive, but Jason is a great teacher, explaining everything very, very simply. I'm looking forward to watching this update.


Jason, you ROCK! I learned a lot of things during this class. Thank you for being such a great teacher and taking time to share your knowledge. Will continue to purchase your classes. Sandra

Student Work