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A Beginners Guide In Creating Vector Art

By Expert Author: illustrator s

Creating vector art is not as complicated as you think. All you need is the Adobe Illustrator software and you will be able to get to expert status in no time!

First and foremost, in order to create vector illustration, you must first master the pen tool. This comprehensive guide aims to introduce you to features, shortcuts, and methods for working with what is arguably Adobe's most essential tool.

The Pen tool is the most powerful tool in Illustrator. It allows you to define your own anchor points, as well as manipulate the curve associated with those anchors, simply by changing the two control points associated with each anchor.

Step 1: Generate line segments

The best way to start using the Pen tool is to generate line segments. Note that generating line segments is different from drawing them. That means – in order to generate a straight line with the Pen tool, click once where you want the line to begin, and then click at the point where you want the line to end. As you generate anchors, the Pen tool remains active until you close the path. If the path isn’t closed, you can add points anywhere in your drawing simply by clicking.

Step 2: Control the smoothness of the anchors

Once you’re comfortable creating anchors with the Pen tool, the next step is learning to control the smoothness of the anchors. To define the curve associated with an anchor point.

follow these guidelines:

• Select the Convert Anchor Point tool on the Pen tool display

• Click the desired anchor with the Convert Anchor Point tool.

• Drag the anchor in the direction that you want the curve to go. Notice that the anchor itself doesn’t move. Instead, control points appear.

Step 3: Smoothen out your path automatically

Until you get used to adjusting control points to manage curves, you can choose Object > Path > Simplify to open the Simplify dialog box and clean up selected curves.

The Simplify dialog box has a number of useful options:

• Curve Precision. A higher Curve Precision value increases the number of anchors that will be left after simplifying.

• Angle Threshold. This slider can be used to prevent some angle anchors from being smoothed into curves.

• Straight Lines. This check box changes paths to straight lines.

• Show Original and Preview. Don’t be too concerned about the meanings of all the settings in the dialog box. Instead, click both the Show Original and Preview check boxes to display the original anchors in red and the anchors that result from simplifying in blue. Play with the settings until your preview curve looks the way you want it.

You can also add anchor points automatically between all anchor points in a selected path. Select the path, and then choose Object > Path > Add Anchor Points. This option instantly doubles the number of anchor points, providing more flexibility in manipulating the path.

Step 4: Select, Add or Delete Anchors

To select, move, and delete individual anchors, you can use the Direct Selection tool. The easiest way to select a handle and activate the control lines is to click an anchor point with the Direct Selection tool. As you hover over an anchor point, the Direct Selection tool cursor displays an open square.

To delete anchor points manually, click the Delete Anchor Point tool in the Pen tool flyout, and then click an anchor to remove it. Similarly, to add an anchor point, select the Add Anchor Point tool in the Pen tool flyout. Click anywhere on a path to generate a new anchor. The new anchor point adopts the attributes (curved or straight) of the anchors that define the path you clicked.

At the end of the day, getting good at using the Pen tool takes practice. Make sure to spend the time to really learn how to use the Pen tool well, and you’ll be able to create Vector illustrations in no time!

About Author

Find the perfect vector illustrator to create graphic, vector style illustrations. Preview and download sample high resolution illustrations for use in visuals before commissioning an illustrator. Our website www.illustrationweb.com.

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