Illustrator Layers | How To Use Layers In Adobe Illustrator

Mike Pickett Design Co.

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How To Use Layers In Adobe Illustrator


So I was gonna start this video with a cheesy. Shrek onion, dad type joke. But we’re looking at the layer’s palette. Roll the intro, Welcome by channel designers. My name is Mike Pickett, and I’m here to help you become a better logo and graphic designer. Now whether you’re a seasoned vet or you’re just getting started in your graphic design career. I’ve got content on this channel that I’m sure is gonna help you out so today. We’re looking at the layer’s palette. Now you might think that’s a boring subject, or, you know, the only thing I need to do. There is just click the new layer button. There’s so much more you can do inside of the layer’s palette whether you’re looking to add color to your designs, cuz you’ve maybe been working black-and-white or you want to start adding more highlights and shadows, textures or even if you’re looking to be able to take your work from illustrator over into. After Effects understanding how the layer’s palette works is going to help you out, Let me further get into the tutorial. If this is your first time here, don’t forget to hit that. Subscribe button. Give me a thumbs up. Hit notifications. If you are going to subscribe, leave a comment. All of that kind of stuff really does help my channel out so now that we got all that out of the way, let’s hop into Illustrator and I’ll show you how to use the layer’s palette. All right, so here we are inside of Adobe Illustrator. I went ahead and opened a piece called anchor. Ai, which is an art piece that I did just with a nautical or an anchor theme so to get to our layers, we’re either gonna click this little icon here, which kind of shows to isometric squares, one on top of the other. You can also go up the window down to layers or as you can see. I can hit f7 on the keyboard, so I’m gonna click on the layers, and that’s gonna give us this little flyout menu. There’s quite a bit of things you can do in here as I said. Before it’s not just about making new layers, but let’s cover that first. So at the very bottom, I can go create new layer and that’s going to give us layer 9 I can also delete that layer by just clicking on delete selection. We can create a new sub layer, so let’s say that inside of this artwork layer. I wanted to add a new layer here. I can click on this icon, so it’s gonna give me a new layer. That’s a sub layer of our main layer. Wow, I’m gonna say layer alot in this video, so let’s get rid of that one. Click back on our main artwork layer from there. I can also go up to the hamburger icon up here in the top right corner of the palette, and you can see a new layer here, new sub layer. I can also duplicate the layer or I can delete the layer. Finally, we can go to options now. There’s two different ways you can get to options. You can either come in through that menu, or I just double-click on the layer, and that’s gonna give us layer options as well. So in here, I can name my layer which I always like to name my layers just to make sure. I’ve got everything kind of where I need it to be, and I’ve got all the layers. I’m going to need for each piece inside of this. I can go template, which is a good thing to do, especially if you’re working with something like this where you’re gonna trace out a drawing and I can dim the image, so I normally stick around 50% Sometimes I’ll put it down to as low as 30% before I start working and the nice thing about this Template layer is now I can go ahead and create all my other layers to start drawing and making everything else it automatically locks it, and if I go into outline mode, so let’s go up here to view, and we’re gonna go outline. I can know, let’s go command. Y it stays visible, so I’ll show you what I mean by that. So let’s get rid of this template layer. I’m gonna double-click I’m gonna get rid of template, and I’m gonna go lock and dim images to 30% This is the method I used to use, so I’m gonna click OK now. If I click if I command, click on this, it puts me into outline mode, and you see how I just get that X. That’s a placeholder, so that’s the placeholder for this placed image. I don’t want that, especially when I’m working on a piece. I want to be able to always see what’s in the background. Sometimes I go into outline mode to just clean things up or make adjustments or make sure the lines are showing. So you’re best to use template when you’re placing your images so again, double click template. And I’m gonna go OK, and that way that stays there. Alright, so we’ve got our artwork place now once I start working. I want to be able to see kind of everything that I’ve got, so I always start with my original. Now this would have been drawn right over top of this and what I do is I drag a copy of it out. Keep this off my artboard So to click visibility on these other layers. I can do a few things I can go through and just click each one of them. Be able to bring them all up, but what I like to do is just drag my mouse, so I click and hold on the first one and then just drag up and it changes the visibility to on so that now I can see everything that we’ve got for this piece. I can do the same thing with these locks, so I can actually lock all of them by just dragging down, and you see, it skips over, so if there was one or two of them that are unlocked or locked by just dragging. It skips the ones that were currently locked. So another thing I can do is I can actually come in here and I can look at all my separate pieces, and you’ll see that as I highlight over the separate parts of the artwork to get this stroke on the outside of the colors. So there’s red if I come down here, that’s red, this one’s red, and we got green red. So what that’s telling me is It’s actually highlighting which layer inside of my palette that’s on, you can see these little bars here. Those all correlate to the colors that I’m looking at. So, for example, my fills should all be red, so if I click on this little space beside the circle, so there’s kind of that empty gap there I click there and I get that little Red Square and that’s going to select everything on that layer so highlighting this layer. I can see that there’s a couple of little issues when we turn off this layer real quick, and you can see what I mean, so turned off the highlights and shadows and actually this right here this piece here, and there’s a shadow right in here. Those should all be up here on the highlights and shadows layer. I’m gonna turn that back on. We’re going to twill this down, so I can open that layer up and we can see everything’s highlighted now. I just want to select a few here, so I’m gonna select this one and I’ll hold down shift. I’m gonna select that one, and then I’m also going to come over here and grab a couple of others. You know that one’s on there? Let me turn off my highlights and shadows. So you can see which ones? I needed again right there, so I’ve got those three selected and you can see. I get the little red squares beside them, so I’m gonna grab those three. I’m just gonna drag them up here and then let go and move them up to the highlights later and you can see they disappear now because that layer is hidden. Let’s close that turn our highlights and shadows on and everything’s up on the layer that it should be now, So I’ve got everything else separated out and I normally don’t do this, but just for the sake of the tutorial I’m gonna show you. So if I one of my highlights and my fills to not be on separate layers, so I can highlight both of those layers and then come up here and I gonna should go merge selected. What that’s gonna do is merge everything down into one layer. Now it keeps them all separate, still so inside of this little drop-down. I still have all of my separated shapes, so it didn’t combine them together like a Pathfinder. Anything like that. Would it just merge them into a single layer? The other thing I can do is we can come up here and we can go flattened artwork, and if I flatten the artwork, everything gets put onto one single layer and again everything is here, separated out in the sub layer, So I haven’t combined anything I can still go in and make edits to it, but I prefer to keep everything in separate layers, So I’m just gonna back up a couple of steps here. Get everything back to where it was now. The last thing that I kind of talked about and for this one, I’m actually gonna. I’m gonna hide everything here. I’m even gonna hide this one. I’m gonna pull this back over onto my artboard. I’ll get into more detail on this process in an upcoming video, So I’m just gonna cover some animation stuff, taking something like this, putting it into Adobe After Effects and animating it. But for the sake of this tutorial, I come in, and we actually go to release two layer sequence and release two layers build. So if I go release the layer sequence what that’s gonna do is is actually gonna separate everything out onto its own layer. You may not want everything on its own layer, so you might still have to come in and again. Combine some of these together, so let’s say that. I want like all of the rope, right, so there’s my rope and then I’ve got this top piece. I might want to combine those two together, so I can actually pull those into one layer and then when I do that, it gets rid of both of those pieces, So Imma click on the top one, and then I’m gonna shift-click on the bottom layer and it’s gonna highlight all of them from there. I can drag them out above that original layer, and that’s given me a copy of everything separated out into separate layers. So if I save this file now, each one of these would be something that I could actually animate in Adobe After Effects as a separate piece, so as you can see designers, there’s a lot more to the layer’s palette than just that new layer button being able to flatten your image, break your layers out into separate layers for animation. There’s just so many things that you can do so right up here. You’re gonna find a link to a video. I made a while ago above my process and how I take a design from sketch all the way to finished. It’s a live stream that I did, so you’re gonna find a lot of information in there. There’s not a lot of talking on it. There’s a little bit well. Do some more live streaming in the future. All right, designers, that’s it for me now. Get out there and design something. I’ll see you the next video. It’s Saturday. I’m taking it easy today. Thanks for watching.