Layers and Appearance Palettes
A free video tutorial from Anne Bracker
Graphic Designer and Teacher, Adobe Max Speaker, Adobe Live
4.6 instructor rating • 3 courses • 3,080 students
Learn more from the full courseCreate Icons in Adobe Illustrator for Beginners
Are you a beginner to Adobe Illustrator? In this intro to Illustrator, you'll learn the basic AI tools and palettes.
01:23:05 of on-demand video • Updated February 2019
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English [Auto] Now we can show you how all of these pallets work. So I'm going to click over here on my rectangle tool and draw three rectangles that overlap each other. OK so right now my three rectangles have a fill of white and an outline of black another word for outline in the design world is stroke. So we have a fill. That's the color the white. And then we have an outline or stroke. So if we want to switch these we can just hit this arrow right here by these two colors. And now you can't really see the white outline but it's there. And then we've got a black fill. So we could switch these back and forth. Now I'm going to click on my foreground color and choose red and then I'm going to click on my stroke color and she is green and will increase the stroke. That's right up here at the top 2 4. So you can't see it a little bit better. Now with this selection tool selected you probably will still have that selected click on the second one. And we're going to give this a stroke of magenta. We're going to increase that stroke a little more. And then I'm going to click on this last one and we'll fill this one with orange and we'll leave the black stroke. So we have three pretty ugly rectangles right now but these are great for just showing you what each of these palettes does. This is a character palette and since we're just creating icons and not working with type today we're going to skip that. But basically it allows you to change all the settings in the current selected text. If you have any the layers palette is really great. If you want to just lock a layer that you don't want to touch anymore. So let's say we wanted to keep that orange from being selected I could create a new layer highlight the orange block which is on Layer 1 as you can see in this little blue square indicates what is selected on Layer 1. Now we click this little square move it up now that we're in design Layer 2 because the little eyeball it will hide everything on Layer 2 and we click the eyeball on Layer 1. It hides everything that's on Layer 1 and we can also just create a new layer and draw something on that layer. So I'm going to get my rectangle tool and draw another rectangle there. And once I've done that it's still highlighted and it shows the selected art that's on Layer 3 so if we only wanted to work on layer two and never select the things on Layer 3 and 1 we can lock those and that's what this face right here is so we can click this and click this. And now if we move back to our selection tool and highlight everything here we're only going to get what's on Layer 2. A lot of people who use Illustrator use these layers to make sure things are behind and in front of other things. And I think that's a very good purpose for it but it's also a great thing to be able to lock layers and not accidentally be moving things on them. Like I just said these are also ways to move things in front of or behind the top layer is the front most layer in our document as you can see it's on top of this white. Right now we have this rectangle which is on Layer 2. And if I move this whole layer behind layer 1 it will move behind it. If you're used to Photoshop it's the same concept except I feel like in Photoshop you really lose layers all the time for everything and you really don't need to use layers in the same way an illustrator. I usually only use layers to lock things down but it's whatever works for you. OK. Moving on to the appearance palette. This palette is a way that you can stack different pieces onto the same object. This rectangle has a one point black stroke and I feel right now the stroke is in front of the fill. So if we zoom in on this what's happening here is half of this stroke is going over top of the orange part and the other half is going off the edge. So if we move this behind the orange part by clicking over here in the space you can't click right on this number or you'll get this but if you click it over here in the space and drag this below the fill. Now since the stroke is underneath it we're only seeing half of it. Right now we're only seeing point five. That's the part that was kind of falling off the edge. The other part is underneath the orange. If we increase this now we have a five point. So that means two and a half is what we can see in the other two and a half is underneath the orange part. What's really cool about the appearance palette is you can do several strokes or even several different bills on the same object. So if we hold option and click and drag we can create another stroke. And another way to do the same thing all command Z to undo is the click and drag on to this little cage right down here that does the exact same thing. It just duplicates the stroke when we copy it. It just puts an exact copy right behind it. So I'm going to change the color of the stroke to Green and I'm going to increase to 10 so you can just keep on adding strokes different widths. And that's a really nice way to do things because then you don't have a bunch of copies right behind each other. You just have one object to deal with and then you can always come in here and just click and change this. Let's say we want to change it to thirty five and when I click on it and now I'm going to come down here and add yet another one. Change the color and increase that. So this is all one shape and you can just keep adding different pieces to it. So the appearance palette is a really handy way to have one shape have a lot of different outline. Things like that.