My name is Nathaniel Dodson. And in today’s Adobe Illustrator Tutorial we’re going to cover 13 essential tips and tricks that you just have to know, especially if you’re beginner in Adobe Illustrator. Some of these are going to change the way you work with this application. You’re absolutely gonna love it. Lots of cool stuff coming right up. So let’s jump into Illustrator right now and check it out. Let’s get into illustrator and start it right away with tip Number 1 and that is smart guides. If you aren’t using these, you’re really missing out up here. Under the View menu. You have smart guides. You’ll want to turn them on. See, that’s got the little check next to it. What our smart guides gonna do for ya? Well, let’s just create a black rectangle here, and I’m going to make a black square and I’ll drag it and I’m gonna hold down alt or option and drag out a copy. See that all, like automatically snaps to the middle and it’s gonna snap to the edge. I can take it even and snap it just to the exact corner and just get two boxes aligned perfectly or maybe what I’ll do is. I’ll align them like that. And then I want to drag out a third box. What smart guides will do is? I’ll say hey, look there. You go! You’ve got matching gutters. The same same amount of spacing in between all of your shapes, lots of cool and amazing things like that. Smart guides are going to be incredibly helpful for you. Just align the center of shapes with the exact edges. Snap stuff together. You are going to find smart guides to be incredibly helpful. Sometimes it’s annoying, having all the little stuff appear, and that’s why you can go and shut it off very easily, but definitely creating precise shapes and movement here in Illustrator. Using smart guides incredibly helpful. Tip number two. When you’re creating a shape. Let’s say we want to create an ellipse. I dragged it out and as I’m dragging it out, I realized well. I’ve got a white fill and a black stroke. Well, here in the color panel. I can see my stroke is to the foreground, which means I’ll edit that If I change the color, my fill is to the background, which means I have to select it, and then I can edit it and change the fill, but let’s say we don’t want in this case the fill, so we select the fill to bring it to the foreground. You could manually Click the little none icon, but you can also just use the backslash key on your keyboard, and that cancels out whether you have fill or stroke a brought to the fore, So I’m gonna maybe flip a flip stroke into my fill and I’ll give stroke some kind of crazy lets. Just give it like a bluish color. Write something that doesn’t really match, so we select it. When, like, you know, we really don’t want the stroke. You can just make sure stroke is in the foreground, hit the slash boom, no stroke. We just have a green circle and we’re looking good and I could, by the way, duplicate the circle and perfectly align it one on top of another thanks to smart guides now moving on to tip number three. Let’s talk about live shapes or what you may use it for more often rounding corners. Let’s say we want to create a wing. I’ll grab my rectangle tool and just drag out a rectangle, right, And then I will take my direct selection tool and I can select any of these little circles. Drag them inward and boom. I’ve rounded the corners. Maybe that’s too much. I can drag them back and just get a little bit of rounding right or I can drag them. All the way back out and have my straight, cornered, rounded rectangle. Now, quick side tip within this tip. You can go to your transform panel here in the properties panel hit the triple dot to bring up more options. And you have all of your rounded corner options in here, so you can edit them all at the same time by linking the corners or you could unlink and just choose a specific corner to tweak and edit. You can even change whether or not it’s this chamfer, the inverted or just your traditional rounded corner. That’s not usually how. I edit my corners. Sometimes if I have to get them exact, I do, but you can also just use your direct selection tool. Click on the donut for the corner. You want to edit and just drag that point way over, So I’m gonna drag it about that far and there we have the base of our wing shape. This rolls us nicely into point number four or tip number four. I should say, and that is snap to point. Now snap to point can be turned on here view. Snap to point! I keep it on a lot of the time. Let’s duplicate this wing by holding down alt or option and dragging out a copy of it. Now, let’s say we want to align it so like this little if I can get over this little anchor point here aligns perfectly with this anchor point, right, and then we’ll stack this wing up a few times so we could take this and try to select it and drag it exactly into place. Smart guides will allow us to align nicely to the bottom, but in terms of aligning to the exact same point for each step of the wing. We can’t really do that with the smart guide. So this is where snap the point saves us. Here’s how. I like, do you snap the point. You turn it on and you select the object that you want to move then. I grab my direct selection tool. I select the point that I’m looking to snap to another point. Click it your drag the whole shape and just move over and then boom, you’re gonna feel it. Click right to that anchor point, and voila, we have created the second part of the wing. I can then duplicate the wing, drag it out and I can quickly Click another piece of the wing into place and just wash. Rinse and repeat until I’m finished now. Another use for snap to point here if we want to take these wings and get rid of the stair-step Enos, The top piece of the wing is actually extra in this case, but we can take each anchor point and just click it to the bottom left anchor point of the top shape or the shape right above it right, and this is going to give us this perfect diagonal line, no masking needed. We don’t need to worry about the Pathfinder, and then I can select the top piece of the wing and just get rid of it because these four pieces. I knew I was going to use to make up my wing now. Speaking of the Pathfinder, this brings us to our fifth tip and that is just basic Pathfinder functions. If you aren’t using the Pathfinder panel, you are missing out in a big way. You’re gonna want to open your Pathfinder panel and you have all kinds of cool things you can do here number. One thing you’re probably going to be doing is using the subtract or minus front option here in the shape modes. And what that’s gonna allow you to do is say, alright? I want to lop off the edge of one of my one of my wings here, right, So let’s say we have this wing out here. I’m just gonna take this out here as our sort of test dummy, and I want to just lop it off and make the edge straight. I could just draw a rectangle over it. Select both shapes and hit – front and it gets trimmed. Just like that, and you have yourself a little butter knife. Something else that can be really really helpful is let’s say we duplicate this, and we sort of stagger it and overlap it like this. You can select both of these shapes. Of course, you could – front and create this more complex shape. You could also use something like divide, which is really helpful. You divide the shapes and what it does is. It cuts them into all the pieces that are possible to be made. You got to ungroup it because it’s placed as a group and you can grab pieces of the artwork, and you have three separate pieces of artwork that have just been created and last, but not least the other. Pathfinder that I do use a lot. Is this option right here? The merge and it just takes adjoining pieces that have the same color and style and just joins them right together like so so. I’m going to delete that. I’m going to come back to the wing, and that’s exactly what I’m gonna do here. I’m gonna select all these pieces of the wing and I’m going to merge them together. I’ll drag my Pathfinder back to where it goes. I might actually undo that merge. I just wanted to show you how it was done because we’re to talk about some alignment options here, so I’m gonna take this the series of shapes. If I open up the layer, its four separate shapes. I’ll size the whole thing down a little bit, just scale it down a little and let’s say I wanted to align it exactly to the middle of the artboard. Well, this is easy, right you. Open up your alignment, You say, hey, go ahead and align to the artboard from our little drop-down menu, and you go align Center and vertical. But, oh, look at what happens, everything gets all piled up. Well, of course, when you want to align groups of things, group them up first go object group and illustrator will align that entire group to the center of your document and not each individual piece of artwork. That’s number one other than that. Check this out. Let’s say we have a couple little circles. For some reason. Maybe it’s part of a logo or something. And this is this wing shape and two circles to be on the outside. And we want to take all these. We don’t want to group them together. What we want? Is this wing to be exactly in the middle of our two little circles? How do we do that well? We use a technique called aligning to a key object and the way that works Is you select all your objects and then you simply click on the object. You want to be the key object, so in this case, the big set of wings in the middle. It’s that whole group. I want that to be the key object. Notice it’s got the thick blue, The thick blue outline and also aligned the key object is now a possibility here in our line panel. And I can say look, align the vertical center just like that and maybe distribute these guys horizontally, but you can see that just kind of piles them together, so we really don’t want that undoing that what I’ll do is just say, look align to the selection, and in this case, I’ll say now treat everything equally, no key object and just distribute them, and now we have our little circles, aligned perfectly top the bottom with our wing shape and also spaced evenly left to right, so try not to forget about the ability to distribute objects and also that very powerful align to key object option that you have in your line panel. All right, so here. I’ve tweaked my shapes a little bit and let’s say I want to go ahead and add maybe a body to this moth or this owl or this flying creature that we’re creating. Well, there’s a lot of different ways. You can do this, but I want to show you some cool stuff you can do with regard to paths, so if you just create a line and you add a stroke to the line, you’re going to have this little bit of artwork here, And, of course you can go and make the stroke bigger in this case. Maybe we’ll make this like, 30 points. Just make it nice and wide. One of the cool things you can do with. This kind of artwork is number one. We can select all these objects and we could distribute these horizontally right off the bat just to try to align them a little bit better and maybe also line them up with their horizontal or vertical. I’m sorry, vertical centers there. But what if we want to convert our stroke to a fill better yet? What if we want to change the shape of it? Well, we can actually begin the shape changing process here with our width tool and that means. I could come in here and just say, you know, pull out. The body of our little bug pinches nose together. Pinch the tail end together. Maybe we’ll even pinch the body here a little bit just to give it more of this sort of arrow looking shape, something kind of like that, and I’ll push this back and pull it out a little bit or just kind of making a bit of a random shape here, but it’s still just this one piece of path, and that’s a really ugly looking shape. I’ll grant you that we can go object here and we could do a couple things. We can just go path outline stroke, and there you go, you have your shape or what I normally do is go object and just expand the appearance and this is now wrapped inside a couple groups as you can see here in our layers panel group, so we can just ungroup this a few times to see what we’ve got ungroup, and we have both our paths and we still have that central spine piece of our original path. We can just get rid of that if we don’t like it. And now, of course what I can do, I could just drag this over a little bit select. All three shapes and let’s move this guy closer and then take them all and just distribute them again side to side to make sure everything is centered up and lined up nicely. So when in doubt, and particularly when you have to create, you know, cylindrical or very symmetrical shapes, a really nice, easy way to go or to begin with is to just use a stroke, use your width tool and then expand to that stroke out to a fill. Because you can see obviously now. This is, in fact, a fill and no longer a stroke, so speaking of strokes and things like that, let’s talk about tip number eight, which is a calligraphic brush. I have here a sketch of an owl. One of the cool things about the calligraphic brushes is we can go ahead and create this owl and draw it much like we would in any sort of drawing application or even just sketching it, so by using a brush, creating a calligraphic brush, we can treat illustrator more like a drawing tool and less like this, Oh! I’m creating shapes and using the Pathfinder to combine CheY and, you know, work with the pen tool and very calculated paths. You can get very organic looking drawings and inking S and paintings and stuff like that. So let’s go window brushes, open up our brushes panel and we’re just gonna hit the little new brush icon here at the bottom of it, and we’re gonna choose the calligraphic brush. We don’t need to worry about any of the other types of brushes right now, just hit. OK, and we’ll name this brush just new brush so we can easily distinguish it. You can change the roundness of your brush here if you like, maybe. I’ll change mine a little bit. Maybe make it about 70 a size of 9 is great, but I’m gonna change here and this is important to pressure my little sort of fixed option. I’m gonna set it to pressure for the size and I’m gonna make the variation quite a bit the entire nine points. I’m going to say you can vary that great, and this is very, very useful. If you have a tablet, so it’s gonna, it’s gonna be a big thing. If you have the tablet, it’s gonna make this a much much better and much easier for you to do hit. OK, and there is our brush we’ve created, so we’ve created the calligraphic brush. I can close my brush panel and here on my new layer. I can begin drawing, so I’m gonna reach over and grab my tablet here. And at this point, I just begin inking the lines of my owl, so I’m gonna click and just create nice thick lines here, so I’ll begin thin. I’ll finish much thicker and just go through and create as many of these lines as I want for my owl, and it’s really, really easy. You can take your time doing it. You can even double click here on the brush and say look instead of making this smooth. I want it to be a little bit more accurate. The nice thing about that is if I hit OK here. I can just go ahead and I can add a little bit of like organic Ness to my owl, and it’s gonna look pretty good, because that’s just, you know he has. His feathers are gonna naturally have a bit of that kind of Jaggi. Nough stew them so going in here and playing with the calligraphic brushes can be really really cool, and after having a little bit of fun tracing that out, we can shut off our sketch and see what we’re left with a we’re left with this now Fully Vectorized version of our sketch, all thanks to the calligraphic brush. This moves us along to tip number 10 and something that’s cool. If you do create some line art like this. Well, you might want to color it so. I’m gonna show you how to establish the base color. The rest is gonna be up to you for now. Select all your artwork and we’re going to group it up by going object group. And then I’m gonna duplicate it. Just in case I mess it up, so I’m gonna go command to see in command fib Control C Control F If you’re on the PC and shut off the bottom group. So we just have an extra copy of this. In case again, we mess it up. Let’s expand these lines to shapes by going object. Expand appearance. Now our strokes our fills. Next, what we’ll do is choose a color. Well, we’re gonna choose the rectangle tool first. I should say, and then we’ll choose a color here, so we can double Click on our fill Swatch. We’re gonna choose a color that we would like our owl to be so. Maybe we wanted to be like a flat blue or maybe an orange, let’s go. Orange orange might be more owl like well. Go with one of these oranges hit. OK, and I’ve made all my shapes that color. I’m gonna deselect. I’m actually gonna undo. We’ll leave them black, and I’m going to just select that color again there. We go the orange, grab our rectangle tool and drag a rectangle out that covers the entire owl. You want to right, click on the rectangle and choose. Arrange, send to back. So now the are, the color is underneath the artwork and then drag a selection over the whole thing, artwork and color selected. Now we go back to our trusty. Pathfinder panel. And in here we simply use the merge Pathfinder that may sound terrifying. No, I don’t want to merge everything, but it groups it together and all we need to do here is go object ungroup and check this out. We can select the bulk of the orange around our shape and just delete it, and now all in-between our lines is filled at this point. You can go in and add some highlights and shadows and really push and pull and mess around with things to make them exactly how you want them to be now. Speaking of changing colors, let’s say you know that while you want the fill to be this orange. Maybe the line are the black paths. You want to be a different color so you can select all the black paths using the Magic Wand tool. You just select the black path. It’s gonna select everything with a black fill, and we open up our color Swatch now! This is tip number 10 you can when you use your pop out menu and choose the RGB color editing mode. You can punch in manually A hexadecimal code like zero zero three, three, six six. If you want those lines to be kind of a darkish purple blue color there, we have it now. We have an orange and blue owl as our little piece of art, but maybe what you’ve done Is you’ve taken this copy of the owl and you’ve duplicated it a bunch of times across the screen here. I can, I can get my duplication key, right, and then you decide. Oh, you know what the client actually wants this? Let me just redo placate here. I messed it up there. The client actually wants the orange to be green or something like that, then. I would go in here and have to select all the pieces of orange, and, you know, maybe I could use the Magic wand, but let’s say we couldn’t use the magic wand for whatever reason. We’ll check this out. We can open up our swatches panel here, and when we’re creating a Swatch, we can make it What’s called global color, so lets. Take a color here. Let’s say we’re gonna go with another orange for our owls and I’m gonna drag this Swatch down here. Dua swatches panel to save it there. It is well! I can double Click on this Swatch and say you don’t want to give me. Some global color hit, okay. What does global color do? Well, nothing right now what I’m going to do is I’m gonna select all the orange again. Alright, and we’re just going to apply that global color Swatch to it. Well, once you’ve applied global color, We now don’t even need to select the color if the client says. Hey, can you change that orange color to be something different? We can double tap the Swatch and say yeah. What do you want? You want it to be sort of this orange? I can tick on a preview here. Do you want it to be more of a pink color? Don’t you more of a blue color, a darker blue, more of an aqua color. Whatever you want hit, OK? The Swatch updates. It’s a global color, so every color that you’ve used in your project That’s sampled from that Swatch will automatically update when you change the global color Swatch, an absolute must know now. Tip number 12 12 of 13 were almost done. You can double click most tools and find some hidden options and editing features much like we did with the brush tool before simply double click on a tool in the tool bar. And you get some awesome options, so I can come up here to pen tool. I can double Click that nothing happens. I can double click on the rectangle tool, nothing happens. I can double click on the shape or tool and still nothing happens, But if I bring up the pencil tool and I double, click on that well. I get the pencil tool options, so try double-clicking on a bunch of different tools, and you may find that there’s some cool features and edit ability that you get with the twirl tool. Double click. You get all these options, a lot of different tools. You have a whole entire menu that will open and allow you to customize it, right there from the tool and for tip number 13 I’d be remiss if I didn’t show you how to make text a little bit more editable. So you add some text and you want to change the shapes of the? Oh, maybe, or you know it. Get rid of the central part of the. Oh, that the doughnut part of oh, you can right-click on your text and choose create outlines, which will convert it to this editable artwork. You can then zoom in, use your direct selection arrow and begin selecting individual anchor points and you can delete whole parts of letters, so you keep the font intact, but you essentially make your own custom font, so I can go through and get rid of those shapes and you can see. We’ve converted those OHS to just solid disks, and, oh, by the way, remember global color? If we decide we don’t like this being teal, we can double Click on that teal global color and make it green or something like that tick on preview. And you really see what you’re getting. So again, 13 essential must know, tips and tricks, especially for those of us that are beginners in Adobe Illustrator. I hope you enjoyed it. Well, that’s gonna about wrap it up for this one, folks. If you enjoyed the video, of course, make sure you subscribe to the channel but also turn on the notification Bell and check out this other cool illustrator tutorial about creating this sweet sunset scene from a Vietnam. I think you’ll really enjoy that. If you enjoyed this video and you’re doing your illustrator thing, thanks for watching the video all the way till the end. The ladies and gentlemen, that’s it. Get it got it good. Nathaniel Dodson, Tuck vidcom. I’ll catch you in the next one.