Adding a Gradient to Live Type in Illustrator CS4
For those of you who are familiar with Illustrator, you will realize how easy Adobe CS4 has made the process of adding a gradient to live type.
Adding a gradient to live type, means you don’t have to convert your type to outlines just to add the Gradient. If you spell the word wrong, no worries, just retype it.
Live Trace In Illustrator CS4
For this tutorial you will need to use a photograph, you can convert your object into Live Trace. The end product is amazing. Use the features in Live Color; have a little fun.
I will be using Adobe Illustrator CS4 for this tutorial. However if you have CS2 or CS3, you should not have any problems following along.
Create A Photo Snapshot in Illustrator
Adding images to a layout for the web or paper is a quick way to add interest, give information and improve the look of the layout. A fun and easy way to add photos to a design is by creating a snapshot look. This method works especially well if it is necessary to add multiple images to a page.
In this tutorial we will look at how to create the look of a snapshot photo using Illustrator. The following image shows the resulting artwork.
In this tutorial we will use a number of Illustrator's drawing tools including:
- Move command
- Pathfinder panel
- Offset Path command
- Gradient panel
- Blur Effect
- Drop Shadow Effect
- Rotate command
Off the Page - Using Printer's Marks in Illustrator
The goal for most graphic designers is to use their creativity to create attractive layouts with images, colors, text and graphic elements. Unfortunately, those attractive layouts are not very useful unless the designer can get the designs to paper. Getting a design to paper requires the designer to correctly set up a file so the printer knows exactly how to reproduce the artwork. Although not as fun as the artistic part of graphic design, it is just as important.
Printing a project not only involves applying ink to paper, it also requires trimming and often folding. Knowing how to align the artwork, where to cut and where to fold is indicated by Printer's marks. Printer's marks are never seen on the final product but are some of the most important elements in the artwork. Printer's marks include crop marks, registration marks, color bars and fold marks, also known as center marks. Other elements that should be mentioned with respect to printer's marks are bleed and Die-lines.
In this tutorial we will take a look at the function of these items and see how to set them up in an Illustrator file. Even if you don't plan on sending a file to a printer, these marks can be quite useful for printing in-house.
Approximate download size: 2.6MB
Water Drops in Illustrator
Recently I was working on a design job that used water drops in the layout. The water drops created a nice effect and portrayed the refreshing look that the project called for. Drawing water drops are a lot of fun since each drop can be a unique shape, just keep them smooth and rounded.
The drops created in this tutorial are a simple vector graphic that makes use of some of Illustrator's basic drawing and effects tools. It also uses one of Illustrator's older effects, the blend tool, to create shading. In this tutorial we will using the following Illustrator tools:
- Oval tool
- Roughen filter
- Rotate tool
- Scale tool
- Blend tool
- Feather effect
- Move tool
- Transparency effect
Tips & Tricks for Illustrator: Guides and Measuring Tools
I am lucky to have a job that I enjoy doing but I still don't want to spend any more time working than is absolutely necessary, so I love learning any little tricks that can speed up my day-to-day tasks. When you have worked with an application, such as Illustrator, for a long time you learn many shortcuts and handy little tools along the way. On the other hand, sometimes when you do something a certain way you keep doing it that way, not knowing there may be an easier and quicker method.
In this tutorial I will highlight some of the tips and tricks I use almost every day. I will focus on tips and tricks that involve guides and measuring. Some of them are specific just to Illustrator, while others can be used in some of the other Adobe applications. The following list is an outline of the topics we will cover.
- Entering Measurements
- Change the Units of Measurements
- Changing the 0, 0 Position
- Any Guide from any Ruler
- Custom Guides
- Restore a Dialog's Defaults
- Hide and Show Guides
- Aligning Guides
- The Control Palette as a Calculator
- Resizing Images and Text
Reflecting in Illustrator
Sometimes artwork that looks quite complicated is really very easy to create when using the right tools. One such effect is the reflection effect that started appearing all over the web about a year ago. The technique creates a reflection of the object so it appears like the object is sitting on a reflective surface.
In this tutorial we will create this type of graphic using Illustrator. Illustrator's Opacity mask makes this effect quick and easy to do and will help you gain some insight into the possibilities of Illustrator's masking tool.
Extruding and Bevelling Fun
Illustrator has some great effects that make it very easy to create complicated looking artwork. One such effect is Illustrator's Extrude & Bevel Effect. This effect not only produces very cool results, it is also a lot of fun to use.
In this tutorial we will use the Extrude & Bevel effect to create two 3D graphics from simple paths. When using this effect many options such as lighting, shading, bevel, rotation and depth can be controlled to change the appearance of the 3D objects.
Approximate download size: 1.4MB
Spooky Halloween Type
Illustrator is great for drawing spooky Halloween graphics but it is also great for creating spooky Halloween text. In this tutorial we will use Illustrator's text tool and Live Raster Effects to create some scary Halloween text. After completing this simple text effect you will learn how you can go back and customize the effect to suit your own layout.
Approximate download size: 811k
Converting Bitmaps to Vector Art with Live Trace
The Live Trace feature in Illustrator CS2 is hands-down my favorite new feature. It was around in the last couple of versions but there is no comparison to what it can do now.
The ability to convert a bitmap to a vector image gives you a whole new set of design tools and ideas. Further, there are times I have been stuck not having a high-quality logo from a client that needed to go to print. Only low res/quality logos were available. These low quality logos were able to be converted to vector images using Live Trace and re-colored and scaled with exactness to the original logo.
If you are a better sketcher on paper than you are drawing in illustrator, why don't you make a skecth, scan it and then trace it with Live Trace and colorize it and modify it how you want to. Your pencil strokes also get tarced as thick and thin paths so it maintains the "pencil drawn" look. The list goes on.
The best thing with Live Trace is that you can play for hours and create a whole whack of stock art, textures and symbols
A Text Effect Using Illustrator and Masks
Illustrator and its masking tool can create some very nice effects.
Like other applications Illustrator's masking tool uses shapes to hide or mask other artwork. In this tutorial we will use text as the masking object. Once the mask is created Illustrator's drop shadow effect will be applied to produce artwork suitable for web page banners or page headers.
3D Graphs Using Illustrator
A bunch of facts and figures on a page can be pretty boring to look at. Why not make them a bit more interesting using Illustrator's graph tools. Graphs are great for presenting complex information and numerical data in a simple and compact layout that is quick and easy to understand.
In this tutorial we will use Illustrator's Pie graph tool to create a colorful 3D pie chart. Use it in a layout for a brochure or on a web page and quickly spruce up that page full of numbers.
Comparing Illustrator and Freehand
Illustrator and Freehand have worked hard to outdo each other over the years. If one of these applications added a new tool or feature to its resume the other would soon follow with a similar update. Therefore it's not surprising these programs are able to produce very similar results. Both applications specialize in producing vector based artwork for print or the web. As well, both can work with multiple color modes, many different file types and offer drawing tools for producing complex artwork.
Although Illustrator and Freehand have the ability to produce similar results the steps to acheive these results may be quite different. Understanding the different terminology and location of tools in a new application can be frustrating and time consuming. This article will help reduce that frustration by demonstrating how to complete the same basic tasks in each application. In addition we will compare the panels in Freehand to the palettes in Illustrator. If you are a Freehand or Illustrator user and have had the need or interest to use the other application, this tutorial will get you started.