Learn tools, features and techniques to create vector illustrations using Adobe Illustrator - the graphic industry's premier software application.
Take your existing Photoshop knowledge and use it to quick start learning Illustrator.
Avoid going over information that you already know and get to grips quickly with what is new to you in Illustrator.
Learn and master Illustrator
A Powerful New Skill for your Creative arsenal
Learning Illustrator is your entry ticket to the world of graphic design. Illustrator is the industry standard application for Mac and PC. Knowing Illustrator will prepare you for working in the field of graphic design. Using it you can turn your art into scalable shapes, make saleable vector stock and design anything from fabric to infographics.
Combined with your existing knowledge of Photoshop your new Illustrator skills can open up a world of creative opportunity and job prospects.
Content and Overview
Suitable for Photoshop users this course of 35 lectures and over 3 hours of content, gets you up and running with Illustrator. Many lectures close with exercises for you to practice what you learned in that lecture.
Starting with the similarities and differences between Illustrator and Photoshop you'll progress quickly to creating complex vector shapes from simple shapes. You'll learn to edit and combine shapes and get familiar with the range of tools for creating and editing shapes.
You will learn how to color and recolor your art, create and style type, and paint with vector paint brushes. Advanced topics such as pattern making, tracing bitmaps, and creating blended shapes are covered.
You will finish the course making a piece of vector art.
When you complete this course you will have a solid grounding in using Illustrator and the ability to create vector artwork for yourself or for work.
Learn how this course will harness your Photoshop knowledge to help you learn to use Illustrator faster.
Understand what this course will cover and what you will learn from it.
Be introduced to the resources and challenges that you can use to reinforce and to practice what you have learned.
Learn the difference between vector and bitmap images and how Illustrator is best for working with vector shapes and how Photoshop is best for working with bitmap images such as photos. Learn the importance of being able to enlarge images without loss of quality.
Learn which features of Illustrator are already familiar to you from your work in Photoshop. It is this knowledge that will help you learn to use Illustrator more quickly than someone without your Photoshop experience.
Understand that some things you know from Photoshop aren't treated the same way in Illustrator eg Layers and Transparency
Here you will learn the tools you are most likely to use regularly in Illustrator and which will be covered in this course. You will also see how, like in Photoshop, some tools share a single position on the toolbar.
Many Illustrator tools, unlike those in Photoshop, have configurable settings associated with them. In this lesson you will learn how to reveal the dialogs that let you perform tasks such as change rotation of an effect, create an exact size square or circle and even set the number of points for a star or sides of a polygon.
In this lesson you will learn where the most important and useful menu options and panels can be found in Illustrator. You will notice that some are familiar to you from your work in Photoshop and some are not.
Learn how to create a new document in Illustrator. See how to set the size of the document and learn about the other selections you should make including why you should work in RGB mode when following this course.
Learn how to save your work as an Illustrator .ai format file. Understand how to save a file that has already been saved and learn how to close a file when you are finished working on it.
Learn how to save your files as .gif, .jpg or .png format files suitable for displaying on the web. Also learn why it is important that you also save your work as an .ai file when you save for the web.
Learn to draw simple shapes in Illustrator including circles, stars and squares. Learn how to constrain a shape to a perfect square or circle and how to select the desired number of points for a star.
Learn to add and change the stroke and fill on a shape. See how to copy a shapes appearance and how to use the Appearance panel to discover and alter the appearance of a shape. Learn how to add a dotted stroke around a shape.
Learn to use the Pathfinder tool to merge shapes together in various ways to make more complex shapes. You will see how each of the options in the Pathfinder panel work and how you can use them to make shapes from multiple smaller shapes. This lecture includes a copy of the shape sampler that you can use to practice with.
This is part 1 of a 3 part lecture. In this part you will learn to make the first three shapes - a teardrop (from an ellipse), a donut (from two circles) and a hear (from two ellipses). These shapes grow in complexity starting with a simple shape. Across this set of three lectures you will see how to build more complex images from simple starting shapes - allowing you to make artwork even if you don't want to use the pen tool!
This is part 2 of a 3 part lecture. In this part you will learn to make the next three shapes - a cup (from multiple ellipses), a house (from a polygon and rectangles) and an arrow (from a 4 pointed star). These shapes are more complex than the previous shapes and use tools such as Crop, Grouping and Minus front as well as layering to create.
This is part 3 of the 3 part lecture. In this part you will learn to make a pear complete with stem, leaf and with a shadow and a highlight. Each shape is simple to create and you will learn to rotate and layer shapes as well as assemble a more complex multicolored illustrated object from multiple shapes. In the resources for this lecture is a file called Shape Sampler.ai which contains all the shapes from these three lectures that you can study and then practice making yourself to help revise your learning.
Learn why a shape like a flower may sometimes really be a star
Learn how Expand can be used to change the path that defines a shape and why you might want to do this.
This short lecture shows some simple techniques for drawing using the Pen tool. The techniques shown are important as they can be applied to work with other shapes in Illustrator - not just those drawn using the Pen tool.
Learn how to add multiple appearances such as two or three strokes and multiple fills to a shape to create a complex design that is just a single shape.
Learn to combine multiple appearances such as multiple strokes and fills and how to adjust and distort these using effects to create complex shapes. See how the order of items in the Appearance panel affects the look of a shape.
Learn to make shapes by drawing them using the Pencil tool. This tool was enhanced in Illustrator CC & CC2014 and its functionality improved. You will also learn how to use the Smooth tool to smooth the drawn lines and the final shape we create will have a drop shadow applied to it.
Learn to use the Shape Builder tool to create complex shapes from simple ones. This easy to use tool is often simpler to use than the Pathfinder tools when joining and subtracting smaller shapes from larger ones.
Learn how the Blob Brush can be used to paint vector shapes in Illustrator. See how to set it up so that painting with can let you add to an existing shape.
Learn how the Live Paint tool lets you paint shapes by filling the shape or its stroke with color. See how to use it to create cartoon style art from simple lines.
Learn to create a color group of colors from existing art and then how to recolor the art using the Recolor tool.
Learn the basics of using point type and area type in Illustrator. You will also see how to create type on a path, how to use the new Touch Type Tool to create fun type effects and finally how to convert type into Outlines.
Learn the basics of using and configuring Brushes in Illustrator. You will see how to use pattern and art brushes and how to create your own art brush.
Learn how to use the Adobe Color tool (formerly Kuler) to find color schemes and to select them so they can be made available inside Illustrator. See how to copy these color schemes into your Swatches panel.
Learn to trace a bitmap photo to make a vector image in Illustrator. Learn too how to recolor the completed vector illustration.
Learn to create a simple swatch for a repeating pattern. You will learn how to use this pattern swatch, how to scale it and how to save it so you can use it anytime in future. You will also learn to create a more sophisticated pattern which contains an overlap.
Turn a bitmap photo into a vector texture and then apply it to a shape using a mask. You will learn how to create a mask in Illustrator, how to add the texture to it and configure it so that it creates a textured surface for your shape.
Learn to use the Blend tool to make shapes by blending seamlessly from one shape and color to another. Also learn to use Rotate and Transform to create complex elements from simple shapes.
Learn how to take a design from Illustrator to Photoshop in such a way that it can still be edited in Illustrator if required. Also see how to take a custom shape from Photoshop to Illustrator.
Helen Bradley is an expatriate Australian designer and photographer. She specializes in teaching photo-editing with Lightroom and Photoshop, and designing in Photoshop and Illustrator. She has created video training for designers for various online sites and she blogs about post production techniques at Digital Photography School. She also trains Craft Designers in Illustrator and Photoshop for the Craft & Hobby Association.