Archive for April, 2010

Picking color using swatches with the Shape Builder Tool

If you have already started using the Shape Builder tool, it must be amazing to experience how it cuts the time that you would spend using the PathFinder. However, in this blog entry, I’ll talk about how the color picker works when you use the Shape Builder tool.

You can set the coloring options from the Shape Builder Options dialog box. To open this dialog, just double-click the tool icon in the Tools panel.

Use the option Select the Source for Coloring Objects to set your preferences of either using the color swatches or the colors used in an existing
artwork. Use the Pick Color From drop-down list to select the Color
Swatches or Artwork option.

If you select the Color Swatches
option, you get the Cursor Swatch Preview option. You can select
the Cursor Swatch Preview check box to preview and select colors.
A Live Paint style cursor swatch is provided when you select this option.
It allows iteration (using the arrow keys) and selecting colors
from the swatches panel.

Note: You can iterate using the arrow
keys even if the Cursor Swatch Preview is disabled.

change the color of the stroke, move the pointer over object edges
to highlight and change the color of the stroke. This option works
only if the option, In Merge Mode, Clicking Stroke Splits the Path
is selected.

You can select the fill color of a region by
pointing anywhere on the document.

Note: The Cursor Swatch Preview
is not displayed while merging, to ensure that the shapes are clearly

Illustrator CS5: Community Buzz

With the Adobe CS5 release just around the corner, the design community has come alive with reviews, articles, videos, and sample artwork that showcase the powerful features of this release.

Illustrator’s community experts have come up with some very interesting videos about the new Illustrator features, such as:

  • Perspective Grid
  • The Width tool
  • Using the new Strokes panel
  • Creating complex shapes with the Shape Builder tool

These are of course just some of the features that make Illustrator CS5 so powerful and inadvertantly easy to use.

Look at what Terry White, a reknowned design evangelist has to say about the top 5 Illustrator CS5 features: 

For those of you who are more interested in the design perspective (quite literally), here’s an article that puts design in perspective, by Jackie Dove.

There’s another very exciting video by David Macy, that highlights the power of Perspective Drawing in Illustrator CS5. Take a look:

To get a more basic usage of the tool, you can also check this video that briefly describes how you can bring text into perspective and use the tool more efficiently: