It took me 6 weeks to finish this project. I’m happy with it, but what I could of done is, I should at least skip one of the steps if it was considered optional, and thought about what was easier creating the components if I got stuck. This would I have made my project so much easier. I’ve also learned that not all the components (the ones in the instructions) are the same. I finally learned my mistakes, and I’ll follow the same thing when I do my next project.
This is my Lily Pad project. The project was easy, but the lily pads were a little hard because of the pen tool. It doesn’t look completely accurate, but I worked it out just fine. I learned how to bend two shapes just like I did on the petals of water lily. I’m really happy of my project and what I’ve done.
Here’s my image of my Yeti project. The project was easy and self-explanatory at the beginning, but got slightly harder when I got to the step where I had to use the pen tool. Using the Clipping Mask part was the hardest, including when adding the details to the feet. To make it easier, I decided to ignore the Clipping Mask and add the details in an easier way. Making the background was not complicated, I copied & paste the triangles, put them where they should be, and add color to make the gradient effect. I grouped all of them, including the Yeti, to finish the project.
Here is my image of the cute basketball player that I created. I decided not to create my own likeness, because I thought it would take more time than following the exact steps when creating this image. Notice that it looks a little different, but I’m happy with my project and what I’ve done. It was very fun.
Working with Panels
Working with panels is the easiest thing to learn when working with Illustrator. I know pretty much about them and how they work, but what I’ve learned is the Application Frame. If I go to the Windows menu and click “Application Frame” (though I don’t see it), I deselect it if there’s a check mark on the left side. This will make the document a free-loading window. I rather have the application on my windows if I did Illustrator on my Mac computer, so if it’s deselected, I’ll click on the “Application Frame” again, and it’ll isolate Illustrator from everything else within the operating system. I’ve also learned the application frame is the Mac-only option, and it behaves almost the same thing as it does on the windows.
The panel side (on the left), is where I’ll be using different kinds of tools when working on Illustrator. If I notice that the window is a bit small, or not in the correct size that I want, I’ll click on the two-way left arrow at the top-left of the panel. When I click it, it collapses. I prefer on the panel side not to be collapsed, because I would see the color and the stroke panel (at the bottom of the tools) a lot easier, and find whatever tool that I want to use. The panel on the right are the ones that will give me additional options of whatever it is that I’m working on Illustrator. If I don’t know what do the icons represent, or their names, I can hover my mouse over them, click and drag the outline to the left to see their names, or even better – click on the two-way left arrow to make them even more noticeable. One thing that I’ve learned if the panel is not expanded, and I want to see it, I go to the window menu and click whatever panel I want. I select the panel that is collapsed, it’ll expanded it. I click the same thing again, it’ll automatically collapse.
The Control Panel
I’ve learned that if I click on the object that is not grouped to another object, it is labeled “path”, and if I click on the object that is grouped, it’s labeled “group” on the very left corner of the control panel. I have the ability to put the control up or down to the screen. To do so, I go to the very right and click on the icon that has 3 dot and 3 lines next to each other, and click “Dock to bottom”. The control panel will be located at the very bottom of the screen. If I click “Dock to Top” the control goes back to where it originally was. I also have many different options when I click on this icon, but I rather not click on one of them because I may be able to use them anytime I need to. I’ve also learned that if I don’t have the control panel, I can go to “windows” and select “control”. This very important to use when you need to select on option if you don’t have one.
Rulers and Guides
I never really used rulers on my projects, but I finally learned how useful they are by watching this video about rulers and guides. I’ve learned I can change the 0,0 reference point of the rulers. Doing that, I go and click on the center (at the top-left of corner) of the rulers and drag to the top-left corner of the artboard. When I let go of the mouse, the 0,0 points are updated. I now understood that selecting an logo or an artboard and using a ruler to come up with a measurement is very difficult, so I go to View> Rulers> Change to Artboard Rulers. When I click on it, the 0,0 anchor point changes based upon the active artboard depending on what artboard I click. The rulers update and become more or less sensitive, when I zoom in or out of the artboard. I will be using guides as well, and some of the aspects that I’ve learned is clicking on the cursor within the ruler, either horizontal or vertical, and drag out a guide. If I picked horizontal and I want a vertical guide, I hold down the Alt key. I don’t want to move the guides on accident when working on other things, so I go to View> Guides> and click on “Lock Guides”. If I wanted to turn off the visibility of a guide, I go to the same thing, but click on “Hide Guides”, and “Show Guides” if I wanted to turn on the visibility back on. To clear the artboards, I click on “Clear Artboards” and all guides are deleted. What’s interesting is I can change the unit of measurement by right-clicking on the rulers. I can select what measurement I prefer, and when I do that, the rulers are updated and displayed based on the unit.
Guides and the Grid
To open a grid, I go to View>Show Grid. The Grid will show up on the artboard. Grid can be very useful to move an object and place it in the right area without any trouble, because as you move the object, it snaps into the gridded lines. But that won’t happen unless I go and click on “Snap to Grid” in the View menu. Another thing that I’ve learned is you can change the color and size of the grid. I go and click on “Preferences”, which is in the control panel next to “Document Setup” on the right side. This opens a dialog box, where you could also change to Style from Lines to Dots, Gridline every (the grid boxes), and the Subdivisions. If I click OK, those changes that I selected are updated. There are times that I don’t want the grid to be noticeable, even I want the object to snap into it, so I move my mouse to View and click on “Hide Grid”. As long I have “Snap to Grid” selected, I’ll still have that behavior when I click and drag the object around. With that been said, I finally learned how helpful Grids can be when positioning any content on Illustrator.
In Bitmap vs. Vector, I’ve learned that Bitmap-based images (right) have pixels, loses quality as we zoom in through the screen, and because it’s based on pixels, it has trouble creating curves. Unlike Bitmap-based images, Vector versions have a higher quality, and no matter how much we zoom in, everything is accurate and crisp. I’ve also learned that it’s easy to change whatever word or text into a color when it comes to Vector-based images, I just click on whatever text, go to the options bar, pick a color we want, and the notice that the text is immediately updated. But changing colors on bitmap-based versions is a bit complicated, because we would have to make a selection of all pixels within that text and change the color, and bitmap images create transition pixels between the foreground color and the background color. So it’s easy to understand that Vector-based images have advantages in certain situations than bitmap-based images.
Fills and Strokes
In this section, I’ve learned if you select a line or shape by using a selection tool and go to the control panel and find the color stroke (upper left corner). When we open it up, we’ll find many different color options, but also the option called “none” on the top left corner. When we select it, it looks like a line or a shape has disappeared, because it’s not noticeable. But this doesn’t matter that the path no longer exists, the points are still connected. We eventually find our path if we hover around it using the selection tool, or we can click and drag a marquee around the area if we have trouble finding it and it’ll automatically select the path.
For applying the style and the color, we go and open the stroke color to select whatever color we want. This updates the color of the path. I used the selection tool to select the line, go to the stroke color panel and picked dark blue. I’ve learned that you can change the stroke of the path by clicking on “stroke” in the control panel. This changes the thickness of the path. If you select 6pt, 12pt, or whatever stroke, we’ll notice that the line or a path has become thicker. I’ve also learned there are additional options like “Variable Width Profile” to change the appearance of the stroke on the path, which I did with the line on the top-left corner. Notice that the path looks a bit more of a brushstroke. I did the same thing for the path on the top-right corner, though, I didn’t change the appearance of the stroke.
Changing the strokes and the color of the shapes are very similar, but because they are considered to be “closed paths”, there’s an additional option of changing the fill, which is interior color of the shape. If we go to the control panel, the corner on the top left, notice that there’s “fill color” next to the “stroke color” menu button. If choose any color you want on the fill color menu, notice that fills the interior. Not only you can fill in the colors, I’ve also learned that you can also fill in some radial gradients or linear gradients, and even some patterns as well, which I did on both the rectangle and the oval. I think the patterns which I saw on the fill panel are very unique because I never knew that you can add them on any paths that are closed paths on Illustrator. I’ve also learned that the key concept to know is that a path is separate from its appearance. You can have a path, but you won’t see it in print or onscreen until you apply some type of an appearance to it though stroke properties or fill properties.
Selections and Stacking Order
In this video, I’ve learned using the selection tool or the Direct selection tool, notice that the car itself is comprised of several different parts as we hover the mouse over them. When I create an illustration like this, its not uncommon to want to move all of these elements together. I’ve also learned when I want to move all of elements together after creating all the contents, I select it all and group it. So if I click and drag the car at any direction, it’ll simply move at a different location because the car is been treated as one element.
I use the Direct Selection Tool if needed to select a certain aspect of the car. If I mouse over it, notice that the car has different parts and individual anchor points, which is different from the Selection Tool. Something interesting I’ve learned about the Direct Selection Tool is if I not hovering over a specific anchor point and click it, I’ll select the entire object of a certain path. If we wanted to move the path into a different location, we could click and drag it and we’ll notice that part of the car is removed. Another thing that is interesting is I can easily toggle between the selection tools when we’re working with them. We have to hold down the Ctrl key, which turns the arrow black, and if I click somewhere on the car I’ll select the the entire thing. The other way is clicking and dragging a marquee around the object.
Selecting an anchor point is going to be different than selecting a certain path of an object. If I select an anchor point, its just one anchor point selected. I use the arrow keys or the mouse to move the anchor point at any direction.
Stacking order is important to know and understand when working with objects in Illustrator. I click on the layers panel (on the right side) to take a look at the stacking order. I’ll notice that each of these objects has its own level within the stacking order, and there are multiple of them depending on how many objects there are in Illustrator. If I don’t have the layers panel, I can go to the Window menu and click on “layers”, which I’ve already learned when working on the previous projects. Like I said, there are multiple objects, so even through I can see that I have only layer titled “Cars”, there’s a stacking order associated within this layer. I expand by clicking on the triangle, and see the three paths (colored squares) and three “groups” which are the cars. I expand the groups to see the individual elements that make up with it. Something interesting that I’ve learned when selecting and moving the sub-layer over the other sublayers will make that object or shape appear on top the other objects, which I did with the yellow square. The other way is I can go to the Object menu, go to Arrange>, and select “Send Backward” the object will be behind the other, but above the other object. Or if I click on “Send to Back” the object will be beneath all the other objects and becomes the most bottom sublayer.
Some things that I’ve learned about the Isolation Mode that it enters when I double click on object using the selection tool. When I’m in the Isolation Mode in Illustrator, I notice there’ a left arrow, “logo”, and “<group>” at the top left corner of the window. I’m inside the group when the isolation mode is on, it means with the selection tool I can select any individual components of the artwork. But when I double-click it, the entire artwork goes blank except the one that I selected, which indicates that I’m isolated just with that object. To get back to the original document, which I’ve learned, I click on the left arrow known as the Back one level down. I click it again to get back to the main document. Double-clicking on the object is another option if I wanted to get back to the main document, and also clicking on the “logo”. Something that I’ve learned which is very important is new users will be confused by this new structure, because they’ll double-click by accident. If they start creating additional artwork thinking that they’re within the document they’ll cause problems because they’re in isolation mode within the group. I thought isolation mode was really weird because I thought I went to a different window when I double-clicked on an object. So when I’m working with groups objects in isolation mode, I have to be extremely careful to be aware of where I am inside of the document and make sure that I’m not drilled down into a group if your intention is to create artwork within the main document.
Creating New Documents
I’ve learned different options in this section when working with Illustrator. When I select different profiles (such as Print, Web, Devices), it changes the default size including the unit of measurement. I’ve also learned there Advanced options, Color Mode, Raster Effects, and Preview Mode. These options update depending on what profile I choose. The profile itself will also update if I did select different units of measurement. For example, if I switch from points to inches, the profile will switch from Print to Custom, or other profiles if it’s possible.
I’ve learned there are also bleed options, and a bleed is essentially values that control the width of the print area for items that extend beyond the artboard. I’d be using the bleed options if I’m working with a professional printer. When working with Web profile, I’ve learned that it’s important to click “Align New Objects to Pixel Grid”, including on Mobile Device or an onscreen delivery profile because it will ensure that your content lands on a whole value within the pixel grid to avoid any blurring when you export out the content. And very important thing to do with creating a new document is to make sure that I’ve selected the right option and default size of the art board because if I didn’t, and I clicked “Ok”, the size of the art board or other components may not be of what I’d expected.
Anatomy of a Document
I’ve learned in this section that if you want to hide or open an artboard, I go to to <View> and click “Hide Artboards”. When I click it, the whole window turns white; but I notice the 3 dotted lines around the edge of the artboard. The innermost set of lines represent the actual printable area, it takes into the account the printer’s non-printable margins at the edge of the paper. And it is also controlled by the specifications set up in the Print Setup dialong box. The second dotted line, which I’ve learned, represents the paper size. The third dotted line, which is the only red line, defines the bleed region. I would typically get these from the print shop, and they can be modified in the Document Setup dialog box, and the Print dialong box. When I want to turn the art board back on, I go to <View> and select “Show Artboards”. When clicked, the artboard is back to normal.
I’ve already learned that there are multiple artboards on Illustrator, but what I’ve learned in this video is when you create a new document choosing multiple artboards, you have the arrangement options available. The options are Grid by Row, Grid by Column, Arrange by Row, and Arrange by Column. There’s also “spacing”. I can control that to adjust the spacing between the artboards. The Bleed options – and this is very important – that bleed will apply all the 4 artboards I selected because individual artboards can’t have individual bleed values. So the best option is to leave it alone unless it is necessary to use it.
When the new document is created, the artboards are in the same size, in the same row, and space out equally. I didn’t have the Artboards panel in the document, so I went to the Window menu, select it, and move it to the other panels on the right side of the document. When I opened the panel, I noticed that there had the names of the artboards, four of them. Artboard 1, Artboard 2, something like that. I double-clicked “Artboard 1” and named it to “Harley Artboard”.
I’ve learned the different options available in the Artboards panel located at the bottom. If I wanted to delete an artboard, I would click on the trash can (Delete Artboard), or if I want to create a new one, I click on the paper with a point folded (New Artboard), which is next to the trash can on the left side. I could also move the artboard layer up or down between the artboards with it selected, by clicking on the down arrow icon next to the “new artboard” icon (on the left side). If I wanted to move back up, I click on the up arrow icon, next to the down arrow on the left.
The Artboard tool is a useful tool to select and adjust the size of the artboard. However, if I’m on selection tool, I can select an artboard, but I can’t move or change it’s size. When I select it with the selection tool, there black highlights around the artboard and the selection is reflected in the Artboards panel. But the highlight on the Artboard tool is different – it’s like a bounding box, I can move the artboard, and adjust it’s size on the tiny boxes on the corners of the artboards. I could also delete it by clicking on the little box with the X, on the right top corner of the artboard. If I want to create a new one with the artboard tool, easy to learn, I simply click and drag from one direction to the other. The new artboard layer appears on the Artboards panel.
I’ve learned some of the additional properties of the artboard selected. I go to the control panel, at the top, and click on the icon that says “Artboard Options”. This opens up the Artboard options dialog box. I can name the artboard, set it’s width and height, X and Y coordinate, and it’s reference point. I can also change the orientation and constrain proportions if I wanted to. All these options, except constrain proportions, are also located on the control panel on the left side, including the new & delete artboard icons. There are some display options that I can choose, when I’m creating a title for the video production, I can make make sure that I’m to stay safe within the safe region of the video. I can also duplicate an artboard, clicking and dragging it and holding down the Alt key. It can be very helpful when I have artwork inside of the artboard. I wanted to create an another business card, I’ll simply duplicate it to make a copy, and make some modifications. I didn’t do anything with it, I just duplicated to test it.
I never done Templates on my document because I never knew how useful it can be. But one thing that I’ve learned about Illustrator templates it can used for creating smaller artworks based on the template I choose. It’s slightly different from the artwork that I create on project. To open a illustrator temple, I go to “File> New form Template…”. The document folder is opened, I click “Blank Templates”, and choose whatever template to work with. I chose “Banner Ads”. When the template is selected, and I click “New”, the new document is created based on that template. Important to know that the extension is “.ait” for Adobe Illustrator Template. When looking at the document template, notice it has several different artboards, in different sizes. I click and drag the canvas using the Hand tool if I wanted see the other artboards. This will be great for graphic designers who want to create letters, envelopes, or small images. It can be very helpful too, because you have all the artboards predefined to the appropriate dimensions if you had a campaign you had to put together.
This is something I’ve always did when I took a moment to stop working on my document to do other activities or when it’s time to move on to the next class. What I saw on the video was this site, basically talking how to save a document his way. When saving a document, I go to File> Save As> and rename the document, and place the document into the correct file so I won’t have any trouble finding it. But this one is different – it’s how to save matadata with your document. To open it, I go to File> File Info, and I notice that the dialog box has several different tabs. The description tab can be very helpful because it has useful options for adding matadata to a particular document. By adding this matadata, I make this document more searchable by programs like Adobe Bridge. Description tab is useful, not only can I contain the document title and information about the author, but more importantly I can provide keywords for this document. Image yourself as if you were working with client. A client needs you to find a particular document and make a small modification to it. Though I’m not probably going to remember the file name when working with matadata, but if I put some type of description inside of the dialog box, along with keywords, I’ll increase my chances of finding this in programs like Bridge so when I need to find it, I have more options of searching it easier. And another thing to learn is the matadata file is into an XML-based file, and it’s part of the illustrator document because it’s attached to the headers of the .ai file.
This is my image of the Coco’s Fine Handmade Chocolates. Building the image was somewhat easy, but pretty hard because I didn’t pay attention to some details, understand what the step is trying to instruct me to do, and understand some of the components. I could of read the steps carefully, look at the pictures, and if I understand it, I would of done of what it instructed me a lot easier and made sure that I didn’t miss any steps, so I didn’t have go back and redo them. The most difficult part was working with brushes and painting the rectangle where it says “Hours Mon-Sat 10am-6pm”. It was difficult because it added a lot of layers meanwhile I was using brush tool and painting through rectangle area, and at some point it didn’t allow me to scroll up or down and zoom in or out. So I had to safe it in a new file name, until I was finished doing using the paint brush tool. I went over the steps until where the instructions says “Working with perspective”, because I didn’t add the two artboards at the very beginning, which is why I couldn’t click the First button in the lower-left corner of the screen. Instead of just starting over, I decided to finish the project and move on. The next time I have a project like this, I’ll read the steps carefully, look at the pictures, and ask help when it’s really necessary, like if there is a detail that I don’t understand or if I can’t figure something out. More importantly, I’ll try not to miss any steps!
This my movie poster from a 1980 movie titled “Airplane!”. I used 3D Graphics and Transform (Ctrl +T) to create the title of the movie, I used the outside stroke before using the 3D. I placed the airplane using the Magnetic Lasso Tool, at the center, but a little further down on the screen. For the clouds, I used the Brush tool, colored in white, at the top (left & right), near the title, and the bottom (also left & right). I add another layer to create the shades of the clouds, using the Brush tool, but colored in gray. I made sure the movie was accurate and detailed.
This is my image of the Elements of Design Project. By using my creativity, I started doing the title first in different font and with each letter having it’s own individual color. With the shapes and the line, I did the circle, pentagon, the square with its own color, and the line in black. I wanted the line to be under the shapes so it will be more refined and accurate.
For value, I made 9 squares in purple from dark to light, making every square the same size and shape, and fully covering the space on the upper area of the blank image. I made the word, “Value” white so it’s conspicuous and easily read. Doing color, I did the circles for the rainbow. I wanted to have the purple at the very bottom and red at the very top, but the circles were automatically overlapping, which was not what I wanted and there’s was nothing I could do about it, so I the rainbow with the red at the bottom and purple at top. I made sure they were the right size to fill enough space around the bottom-right corner. I did all the others and put the word texts near to identify them.
Here is my image of the “About Me” project. I was having to create this type of image because I find it a lot easier into getting it done without any trouble, by placing the images around and my name in the center, and some of them overlapping one another. It look me a little time finding the images for this project, because at some point I had to search the images with “jpg” on google, and not all of them can be put into Photoshop. But I did find pictures that I’m looking for.