Adobe Illustrator Creative Cloud: Mastering the Upgrades

A Step-by-Step Guide to using the New Upgrade Features of Adobe Illustrator - Creative Cloud.
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  • Lectures 57
  • Length 2 hours
  • Skill Level Intermediate Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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    Available on iOS and Android
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About This Course

Published 3/2015 English

Course Description

In SECTIONS 1 - 11 of this Adobe Illustrator CC course, I will show you how to work with the New Features, Tools and Techniques that were released with the First Version of Adobe Illustrator - Creative Cloud. These updated features were first released in 2013. This simple course was designed for the experienced Illustrator user who recently upgraded to the Creative Cloud version of Adobe Illustrator.

The Step-by-Step Tutorials in this course are perfect for anyone who already has a basic working knowledge of the application. It is for those who just want to know the "New Stuff".

This course will start off with a brief discussion of the newest Preferences and then jump right in to such topics as updated Guide Features, Placing Multiple Images, the New Free Transform Tool Widget and even new Font Search Methods. We will then go through an in-depth and very entertaining discussion of the All-New Touch Type Tool and all the fun things you can now do with type editing.

The bulk of the rest of this course will cover the use of another All-New Feature: The Image-Based Brushes. You can literally paint photographs right into your Illustrator files! We will go through the methods to paint realistic ropes, thorny vines and leafy branches right before your eyes.

This course will then wrap up with a discussion of the new updated features for working with Pattern Brushes along with the All-New Image-Based Pattern Brush option as well… really fun stuff to play with!

In SECTIONS 12 - 20 of this Adobe Illustrator CC course, I will show you how to work with the New Features, Tools and Techniques that were released with the Second Version of Adobe Illustrator - Creative Cloud. These updated features were released in 2014.

I will start the second half of this course with a brief demonstration on Resetting the CC 2014 Illustrator Workspace. Then you will go through the steps to Creating a New Custom Tools Panel. After the initial Workspace Setup, you will work with the New Live Rectangles Feature and then go through the All-New Pen Tool Previews Feature. This course will then continue on to show you the new ways of dealing with Pen Tool Direction Handles.

After your work with the Pen Tool has wrapped up, you will go through the Snap to Grid Feature and go into further work with the Live Corners Update in Illustrator CC 2014. All-New Path Segment Reshaping and Spacebar Shortcut Anchor Point Moving will also be explained.

This course will then finish with an in-depth series of lectures and demonstrations for working with the All-New Pencil Tool Upgrades. You are really going to finally appreciate working with the updated and more powerful Pencil Tool here in Adobe Illustrator CC 2014!

After all of that, the course will end with a brief mention of the Synch Missing Fonts Feature to finish things up

You will be up and running and working even more efficiently with these All-New, more powerful tools and options at your disposal with this introduction to the New Updates to Adobe Illustrator.

What are the requirements?

  • Students should have the Most Recent Creative Cloud version of Adobe Illustrator to be able to follow along and work on the same tools as shown in the tutorials. However, this course can also be beneficial to those who have not upgraded to Creative Cloud yet, but might be using the application at work or school. The best way to follow along is to download the supplied working demo files in Section One so you can work along with me.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Incorporate the New Creative Cloud Illustrator Tools into your own projects. Students will be able to work with the following: Placing Multiple Images onto an Artboard, Understand and work with the New Transform Tool Widget Options, Learn to Manipulate Text more efficiently with the New Touch Type Tool, Create and Paint with the New Image-Based Illustrator Brushes, Apply the New Pattern Brush Corner Upgrades, Create Image-Based Pattern Brushes, Set Up a Custom Tools Panel, Draw and Edit Live Rectangles and Apply Changes with the Live Corners Feature and Create More Efficient Shapes with the Pencil Tool Upgrades.

Who is the target audience?

  • This course was designed for anyone who has already worked in Adobe Illustrator and just wants to know the “New Stuff” that came out in the Creative Cloud Upgrades of Illustrator. This NOT a fundamentals class for anyone who is trying to learn Adobe Illustrator from the ground-up. This is not a beginner’s course. You should have some prior experience with the basic working concepts of the application. Again, this course will ONLY COVER the most recent upgrades to Adobe Illustrator.

What you get with this course?

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Section 1: The New CC Preferences

A great way to learn is to work along with the lecture videos in this course. So, with that in mind, I recommend you Download the Attached Illustrator Course Demo Files so you can work right along with me, at your own pace, on your own copy of Adobe Illustrator CC.


I ALWAYS caution my students Reset the Workspace on their computer lab stations when starting up an application. It is best to start off fresh, rather than work with the previous settings from the last work session. So, before you begin, I would suggest you go to Window Menu - Workspace - Essentials. And then go right back again to Window Menu - Workspace - and Reset the Essentials so your screen will match the instructional videos as you go through the learning process with me.


With Illustrator CC, you can "Synch" your Settings to those that were recorded on the Cloud. That way, you can set things up on your workstation at home, then come into an outside computer lab, like at your school or workplace, and Synch, or Match Up, the Settings on one computer with the same settings that you were using on another one at home! Pretty cool and consistent...

Section 2: The New CC Guide Options

Creating a structured layout is easy with the use of Guides on the Artboard. And in this lecture, you will learn all about the updates to ways you can continue working with Guides in Adobe Illustrator CC.

Section 3: Placing Multiple Images onto an Artboard

Working, or Tracing, from a Template has always been the best way to go in Adobe Illustrator. However, you used to only be able to Place one image at a time… and usually on different layers. Well, No More! Now you can Place Multiple Images at the same time to speed things up.

3 questions

You might be used to Placing One Reference Image on the Artboard to being an Illustrator File. But, how much do you remember about your new abilities to Place Multiple Images?

Section 4: The All-New Free Transform Tool and the Transform Tool Widget Buttons

Transformations are now a breeze with the New Transform Tool Widget! Now you don't have to remember all those pesky keyboard shortcuts when the New Transform Tool Buttons can help you to get the job done faster. Try them all out with the Instructor-Supplied Demo File and you will soon wonder how you ever got your work done without these amazing new upgrades.

3 questions

How well are you prepared to work with all the New Transform Tool Widget Buttons?

Section 5: The All-New CC Font Search Feature

In Adobe Illustrator CC, now you can find your fonts even faster by Typing Out the Name of the Font in the New Font Search Bar located at the top of the Character Panel.

3 questions

Since Illustrator Files typically work well with Fonts, it is time to see how well you are going to be with the New Font Searching Features in Illustrator CC.

Section 6: The All-New CC Touch Type Tool

As I have mentioned before, it is so much easier to learn about the New Illustrator CC Upgrades by working along with me in your copy of Adobe Illustrator. So, Download and Open the Touch Type Tool Demo File and let's put this new tool through its paces to really see what we can do with typography now.


Each Letter can be isolated with the New Touch Type Tool. And when doing so, the Touch Type Tool has 5 different Transformation Options for each selected letter. This lecture will introduce you to those 5 Options.


It is one thing to just sit and describe what the 5 Touch Tool Transformation Options are… It is quite another thing to actually sit and Select the Type and Apply those Transformations yourself. So, that is exactly what you are going to do in this lecture - Put the Touch Type Tool to use right on the Artboard.


Just trying out the Touch Type Tool on one letter is certainly not enough to really get the hang of it. In this lecture, you are going to use the Touch Type Tool in multiple ways to really enhance the playful look of a selected word.


The greatest thing about using the Touch Type Tool on active fonts is that you can go back and Change Your Fonts at any point in the process! With so much flexibility at your fingertips, the solutions and type explorations are virtually limitless here.


Giving that added sense of legibility with the simple addition of a Graphic-Style Drop Shadow is just what the final typographic solution sometimes needs. Here, you are going to do just that to really make an impact with your text.

5 questions

You need to really ACE this test so you can work well with the New Touch Type Tool in Illustrator!

Section 7: The All-New CC Point Type Updates

Adobe Illustrator CC also now includes a simple method of Converting Point Type to more Editable Area Type with just a single Click of the mouse! And, you can go vice versa by Converting Area Type back into single lines of Point Type as well.

3 questions

I might be a fan of this new conversion process, but that doesn't mean you won't see some great benefits in using it.

Section 8: Pattern-Making Changes and Suggestions

The Pattern Options Dialog Box has been around for a short while before this lecture, but it was limited in its capacity to really efficiently edit Patterns. I now recommend that you pay close attention to the Pattern Tile Option for better Pattern Edits on the Artboard.


It is one thing to try out the Pattern Tile Tool on one sample piece of Pattern Artwork. But to really get the hang of it, I would recommend that you practice with the supplied Demo File and go through and explore some more options for future Pattern Editing.

3 questions

The process of Making Patterns was upgraded in CS6, but I have added some new tips into my lectures on the best way for you to make your own custom patterns in Illustrator. Time to see what you remember.

Section 9: The All-New CC Image Brush Upgrade

Illustrator Brushes have been around for a while now. But with Adobe Illustrator CC, you can now literally Paint Photography right onto the Artboard! I am not kidding here! To learn all about this new way of working with Illustrator Brushes, Download and Open the Demo File to follow along with me.


In order to work efficiently with Image-Based Illustrator Brushes, you first have to understand the nature of the photographic image itself and what type of image it takes to work well in Illustrator.


Photographic Images must be set up the right way in order for them to work correctly back in Adobe Illustrator. Here, you will learn all about the Photoshop Puppet Warp Transformation feature to edit the Rope Segment so that it is set up right to work correctly on the Artboard in Adobe Illustrator.


In order to put an Image-Based Brush to use, you must first familiarize yourself with the Brushes Panel. So, Open the Brushes Panel in the Illustrator Workspace to get ready.


Now that you know where to find the Brushes Panel, you will Add the Rope Segment Photo to the Brushes Panel itself and turn it into a New Pattern Brush!


Now that you have Created a New Image-Based Pattern Brush, it is time to paint with it.


Using a Rope Segment is fine… But what if you are creating a graphic for a flower company? Ropes are not the right image for this solution. So, now you are going to work with a Thorny Vine for a more organic look. Open the supplied Thorny Vine file and let's take a look at what I have set up for you.


Whatever type of image you are using, both ends of the image must meet at the same enter and exit points in order to work correctly back in Adobe Illustrator. Once again, you will use Photoshop's Puppet Warp Transformation feature to manipulate the ends of the Thorny Vine to get it to work better when you are ready to use it back in Illustrator.


Once you have Placed the Thorny Vine Image into your file, you can then Drag it Over to the Brushes Panel and Convert the image into an Image-Based Pattern Brush just like you did with the Rope Segment.


Time to paint in Realistic Thorny Vines around your Flower Shop Sign.


Even more complicated and detailed images can be made into Pattern Brushes. It all depends on how much details you are willing to work with and show off in your final image. So, let's check out some of the other instructor-supplied demo file images to work with.


Illustrator does not handle large photographic images too well, so this is the time to be aware of Resolution Issues when it comes to dealing with Image-Based Pattern Brushes.

3 questions

Illustrator Brushes are totally awesome now that you can literally Paint Photography right into your Illustrator files. Time to see what you learned about these amazing new brushes.

Section 10: The All-New Pattern Brush Corner Upgrades

Applying Pattern Brushes to objects is nothing new. However, there was usually a visual issue with the way Illustrator rendered the look of Corners on selected objects when Pattern Brushes were applied. Well, now that has all changed, and it is changed for the better for all of us. To see the dramatic differences, Open the supplied Demo File and get ready to work with Graphic Pattern Brush Corner Options.


Time to Apply the Graphic Pattern Brush to a simple rectangle and check out the results. Then, you will Preview and Choose an appropriate Pattern Corner Option from the list of Automated Pattern Brush Corners in Adobe Illustrator.


Practicing once is never enough. So, in this lecture, you are going to try out different graphic shape combinations to see the various results and possibilities when working with the Automated Pattern Brush Corner Options.


In this lecture, you are going to explore some of the appearance issues pertaining to the use of Pattern Brush Graphics and the subsequent changes that can be made to those shapes for new Pattern Brush Results.


Just to really make things clear for you, this time around you are going to test out the Pattern Brushes once again so I can make sure you really "get it". You are welcome.


I thought I would end this discussion on Graphic Pattern Brushes with some notes and suggestions on how to approach the idea of making your own, original shapes that can then be converted into future Pattern Brushes. There are a few design issues to think of, so we will talk about them here.

3 questions

Corners are really elegant now with the recent upgrades to the way in which Illustrator Generates Corner Options for the Pattern Brush. Tell me what you know about them.

Section 11: Image-Based Pattern Brushes

Graphic Shapes can easily be converted into Pattern Brushes. But did you know that you can also Convert Single Photographic Objects into Pattern Brushes as well? I guess you know now...


Converting a Photographic Object into a Pattern Brush is a simple enough process. But what about the way Illustrator Generates Corners? In this lecture, you are going to test out the Corner Options and the visual results for your new Brushes.


Image Resolution can sometimes become an issue, so it is here that you will experiment with the actual image resolution for a subsequent Pattern Brush.


As if I didn't say it enough here… but Practice, Practice, Practice! In this lecture, you are going to test out some of the other Automated Corner Options for an image-based Pattern Brush.

3 questions

Although drawn shapes work well for Pattern Brush Tips, you also now know that Singular Images, like a leaf, can also be converted into Pattern Brushes. Time to review what I talked about.

Section 12: The All-New Illustrator CC 2014 Custom Tools Panel

This is the Section where I will introduce you to the OTHER UPGRADES that came out for Adobe Illustrator CC 2014. This is the starting point for the discussion of the 2nd Set of Illustrator Upgrades that were introduced back in mid to late 2014.


In order to work more efficiently and follow along with my lectures, I would always suggest that you Reset the Workspace in Illustrator… or, in this case, Illustrator CC 2014.


Just to really make my point clear, you will Reset the Illustrator CC 2014 Workspace once more here.


I almost never work with Smart Guides enabled when I first begin my work in Illustrator. I like to draw where I want to draw on the Artboard. I do not want Illustrator to try and force me into areas that might not work for my artwork. So with that in mind, I always suggest that you TURN OFF the Smart Guides and the Snap to Point Options from the View Menu. I always tell my students that, when they are starting, there should be No Checkmarks showing on the View Menu.


In some instances, you are probably going to use the same limited choice to tools over and over. So with that in mind, you are going to experience the All-New Custom Tools Panel option for setting up and saving a Custom Tools Panel that helps you to work more efficiently in Adobe Illustrator CC 2014.

3 questions

No more wasting time looking up and down, all over the length of the Illustrator Tools Panel since you can now create your own Custom Tools Panel. Do you remember how to do it?

Section 13: The All-New CC 2014 Live Rectangles Feature

In the past, Rectangles were Rectangles and they all came out with Sharp Corners. That was it. Well, that is not the case anymore! Now you are going to learn to work with the All-New Live Rectangles feature that was introduced into Adobe Illustrator CC 2014. With the added features on the Tranform Panel, you can now Edit Corners on the fly quite easily for combinations of different visual effects.

3 questions

I always thought "a rectangle is a rectangle". Now, that is the farthest thing from the truth when you can Transform Rectangular Shapes right on the spot with the new Live Rectangles feature in Illustrator. Time for your Rectangles Recall...

Section 14: The Updated Pen Tool Previews

Drawing Curves is a bit more difficult for beginners. So, if you want to literally "see" where you curves are going to land, then the Rubber Band Pen Tool Preview is just for you. In this lecture, I will introduce this option to you so you can see what it does. I am personally not a fan of this feature, but that doesn't that you won't like it, so I will show it to you.


As I had mentioned in the previous lecture description, I am not a fan of the Rubber Band Pen Tool Preview. I already have a very solid knowledge of where my curves are going to end up. With that in mind, I am going to show you how to TURN OFF the Rubber Band Preview so you can work just like you have always worked with the Pen Tool before.

3 questions

I already thought the Pen Tool was perfect, but the good folks at Adobe somehow managed to upgrade it and make it even better if you can imagine that! What do you remember about the new Pen Tool Upgrades?

Section 15: Pen Tool Handles Updgrades

Even the Pen Tool Direction Handles have been slightly upgraded in Illustrator CC 2014, so this is where I will show you some of the new ways of dealing more efficiently with the Curve Direction Handles.

3 questions

Since the Pen Tool itself was upgraded, then why not add some new features to the way we deal with Direction Handles along the curves that we draw with the Pen Tool. Get these answers right and make me proud!

Section 16: The Updated Snap to Grid Feature in Illustrator CC 2014

When compositional integrity is a must, the ability to work with Grids is always there waiting for you in Illustrator CC 2014. In this lecture, I will introduce you to the new way to Snapping to a Grid and what that can do for your own work on the Illustrator Artboard.

3 questions

Grids are great when precision is the key to your final compositions. You might not use them much, but you can still see what you remember about them...

Section 17: The All-New CC 2014 Live Corners Feature

Live Corners is an awesome new upgrade to Illustrator CC 2014. This is where you will really get the hang of working with Live Corners and some of the great visual possibilities that are waiting for you.

3 questions

Live Corners are a great way to edit and update the look of your objects on the Artboard by simply adjusting the radius of the corners on your selected object. You know that because I just told you. Now tell me what you know about them.

Section 18: The All-New CC Path Segment Re-Shaping Options

Editing parts, or segments, of a Path are now even more efficient with the All-New Methods of Path Reshaping in Adobe Illustrator CC 2014. This is where you are going to learn the New Methods for Editing Path Segments.


Making Perfect Curves has always been the main goal of drawing with the Pen Tool. If perfection is not what you are getting on the page, then the All-New Spacebar Trick for Moving Anchor Points might just be the option you were waiting for. This is where you are going to learn all about it.

3 questions

Re-Shaping your lines, or curves, in Illustrator is now even easier with the new Path Segment Re-Shaping Options. Please show me that you remember how they work!

Section 19: The All-New CC 2014 Pencil Tool Upgrades

Double-Clicking the Pencil Tool to Set Up the Options is nothing new in Illustrator… well, at least for most users. But now you have some new options to help set up the Pencil Tool to work better than ever before.


Now you can use the Option or Alt Key to help the Pencil Tool to CLOSE UP the outline of a particular shape you are trying to make on the Artboard. The Option or Alt Key can be used when the Pencil Tool is within a certain distance of the Starting Anchor Point to allow Illustrator to Close Up a shape border. This is where you will learn how to use this option.


Drawing with the Pencil Tool has never been one of my favorite things to do in Illustrator. But now you can use the Pencil Tool with the Option or Alt Key and/or the Shift Key for better Pencil Tool results. Open the Demo file and follow along to see how it all works out!


The All-New Upgraded Pencil Tool can also be used to Reshape existing lines into better results on the page and this is where you will learn how to do just that.

3 questions

I have to admit that I was never a fan of the Pencil Tool until the most recent upgrades in Illustrator CC 2014. I hope you remembered what I told you so will come to appreciate the New Pencil Tool changes as much as I have now.

Section 20: The All-New Synch Missing Fonts Feature and Goodbye!

The last thing I will talk about here is the Synch Missing Fonts feature that was added to Illustrator in 2014. This is a great way of keeping track of your fonts in a project and to learn about the great lengths Adobe has gone to in order to make sure your work prints correctly each and every time.

3 questions

Missing Fonts were always a hassle in your Illustrator Documents, but now that is almost a "thing of the past" with Adobe's New Adobe Typekit Dialog Box and its direct relationship to the Missing Fonts Synching Feature. Last Quiz. Time to ACE THIS THING!


Just a few parting notes from the instructor as you finish up this Udemy Course on Mastering the New Upgrades in Adobe Illustrator CC and CC 2014.

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Instructor Biography

Chris Nielsen, Digital Arts Instructor

Chris Nielsen is a Computer Graphics Professor at 4 Colleges in southern California. He teaches Digital Media and Design classes including Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign. He has been teaching at the college level for the past 17 years and has been working in Adobe Illustrator since 1989. He has worked in Adobe Photoshop since 1994. His original and entertaining Tutorials are broken down into individual steps with fun examples and shortcuts to make his students more productive in today's classroom and professional environments. His students now call him SENSEI due to his enthusiasm and love for teaching.

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