Modifying Shapes

Brad Colbow
A free video tutorial from Brad Colbow
Freelance Designer and Illustrator
4.7 instructor rating • 9 courses • 63,126 students

Lecture description

Squares and circles are cool but they are just the beginning of what you can do with shapes. All shapes in illustrator are made up of encore points and in this section we’re going to be learning how to modify those anchor points to make more complex elements

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English [Auto] Nash what. No it's it's not ready yet. I know it looks like a hand but we need to add some detail to it right. We need some fingernails. We need to give it a place to attach to the bone we're disconnected. It's kind of gross. So would it mean that your gross or that your arms gross. Listen that's just who you are I'm not. I'm not judging. All right. What I'm saying is that we still have some work to do. So let's get to let's start drawing the rest of this on. Now up to this point we've drawn everything that you see here just with squares and rectangles. But what about circles. Let's go over here to our left and let's select our shape tool again. And if I click in hold down on it let's pull up these options. The option that we're going to want is the ellipse tool. Now before we do that I want to show some of the other options associated with the shapes for example on this rectangle tool. I've shown how I can click drag to draw a rectangle but what if I just tap on the canvas what happens. I've shown how I can click drag to draw a rectangle but what if I just tap on the canvas what happens. I get this little dialog and it tells me OK well now I can choose my shape so what if I want a rectangle that's two inches by one inch. I'm good to go I click OK and it has created that for me. So if I want to get really specific with my measurements I can totally do that here. I'm going to go ahead and delete that and I'm going to go back to this rectangle tool over here and get a hold it down so I can get my options and I can do that with any of these. I can make a perfect circle. I can use my polygon tool which is another one of those tools that I can get a shape from and if I hold down the Shift key it's going to come out at a certain shape just like the square tool. Also if I tap on the canvas I'm going to get my options. This one's going to give me an option of the radius but also the number of sides. So if I want to make a triangle I can say I want three sides instead. When I click OK it's just created a triangle for me. I'm going to tap it again and this time I want 10 sides. I click OK and it has created this 10 sided shape. I'm sure that has a name but I can't remember the name. I can't remember anything past octagon right now so that is totally possible here in Illustrator to make these kind of different sided geometrical shapes. So I got to get rid of these and show you the starch fill neck so I hold down on that icon again and I'm going to go to the star tool and of course I can draw a star and if I hold down the Shift key it's going to be straight on and if I hold down the option key while I'm drawing you see that it snaps to the angles that we're used to with the star if I tap on the canvas you can see here up and given to radiuses is it radiuses or Radie I. I'm not sure but we're given two of them. And we're also given the number of points that we want. So if I want a 22 point star I can get a 22 point star. This is like one of those advertising glass that says like 80 percent off or something like that. We can do that. And if I tap again maybe I this this radius is point four. Maybe we make this radius point three five and this time when we get it we get a different shape. You see how those different radiuses that we just entered are affecting the shape that we've created. That's pretty cool. We can do a lot of stuff with that. So I'm going to get rid of those and I'm going to go back to that shape menu and pull it open again. And the last thing that we can do with this is that there is this long thing on the right hand side when I hover over it it turns darker it's got a little arrow on it and fight click on that it actually breaks this pallet out for us. So if we wanted to draw with this palette I could stick it anywhere I want since it is a tool you see it will not go over here it will not stick to there but it can be kind of just sit here where I need it if I want to just easily grab any of these. I can do that here. So I've got my elipse tool or circle tool and I can draw a circle by holding down shift. If I let go or shift I can draw an ellipse in any shape I want. Works really well. So I'm going to draw some fingernails on this guy so I'm going to zoom in so I can see it really well actually in concert with these fingers and maybe I'll start here and I'll draw a fingernail and I want this to be a lighter color because you can't see it because it was sitting on the finger there. I want it to be a lighter shade like the fingernails are going to be lighter. Well with this you've selected I can go over here to the left to my colors and part of the reason I like these sliders sometimes and I like the color picker other times is that if I want a lighter shade of this color I can actually drag all these sliders down a little bit and I'm going to get a lighter color. That's one way to do it. Another way to do it is if you hold down the Shift key and you grab one of the sliders all three move at the same pace so I can make these a darker shade of the same color of green or a lighter shade of that same color green. And it's great because you can stay within the same color family but just adjust the lightness or the darkness of that particular color that you've grabbed. So I've done that. I have a lighter fingernail now when I move it on to the finger I'm going to try to center it just kind of eyeball it. There we go. We have a lighter colored fingernail. I'm going to just duplicate it by holding down the Alt key and dragging. And I'll do it again. It's really nice because you can see my smart guys as I pull it down is trying to guide me to where it thinks I want to go with those little purple lines. And usually it's pretty spot on. And there we go. Now we have some rough fingernails in there. Now finger nails usually aren't that shape. They're not perfect circles and that's OK. I'm going to show you how we can edit these shapes. Every shape is made up of anchor points. And so if I select this shape you can see that this is four anchor points that have curves on it. If I select one of these anchor points it has these handle lines coming out of it and by dragging those handles I can warp this shape. And I can drag these any which way I want and we're going to talk a little bit more about this when we jump into the pen tool a little bit. But I wanted to touch on it now to kind of give you an idea of how this works. So I'm going to undo that. What I can do is I'm just going to grab this anchor point now and I'm going to pull it in. Not too much just a little bit to make it look more like a fingernail. So there we go. And now that looks kind of fingernail ish. Now here's the thing I want all of these fingernails to look identical so I'm going to undo that. And what I'm going to do is going to hold down the Shift key and when I see the little pink anchor text above there when I hover I'm just going to grab these while holding down the Shift key and I have just grabbed all four of those and I can drag all four of those in at the same time and change them in the same way. I'm going to undo that really quickly because there's another way if I just want to move it in a little bit I can use my arrow keys and by pressing up I can move these anchor points up using the arrow keys or down. I can move them out and make them longer or I can move them in the way I was thinking about it originally. That lets me kind of see maybe I want to go like this maybe like this. OK that looks good. And then when I sliced off there just like click anywhere on the canvas. There we go. I've created some fingernails.