Archive for September, 2013

September 23, 2013

Top 5 Illustrator Tutorials on Vectortuts+ in August 2013


Welcome to this months showcase of our favorite Adobe Illustrator tutorials available on Vectortuts+. Vectortuts+, part of the Tuts+ network, publishes tutorials, articles and more on all things vector! We publish tutorials on techniques and effects to make awesome vector graphics in Illustrator. My name is Sharon Milne, the Editor of Vectortuts+,  and it is my pleasure to share with the Illustrator community five of our most interesting and popular tutorials published during August 2013.


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September 19, 2013

Times Square by Bert Monroy

Panoramic View of Times Square by Bert Monroy

Panoramic View of Times Square by Bert Monroy

“Adobe Illustrator was crucial for Times Square because of the sheer size. Everything being resolution independent, everything was planned in Illustrator. It’s a 25-foot file. If I had done it completely in Photoshop, it would have been a 130-foot file—which Photoshop can’t handle.”

Artist Profile

Bert Monroy has had a long career in the graphic arts. His first printed piece appeared in 1963, and by the early 1980s he and a business partner had their own ad agency. It was his partner who had the idea to computerize. “I told him fine, get your computer, but don’t expect me to be entering data,” said Bert.

Soon enough, though, Bert was experimenting with early graphic arts programs like MacPaint. “I got hooked,” he remembered, and he even created one of the first graphic arts packages, “Human Forms,” a clip-art collection of more than 1,000 human forms in different positions.

When Illustrator 1.1 debuted in 1987, Bert got hooked once again. Illustrator was “clean and sharp,” and without the “pixelated look of MacPaint.”

“I just went crazy with Illustrator. I started using it for all kind of things. Everything I could, I would do in Illustrator. That became my major tool.”

Bert kept up with every new version of Illustrator, and his own evolution as a digital artist kept pace. One of his favorite tricks became playing with the resolution-independent capabilities of the program: “I could create as much detail as I wanted and then shrink it down as much as I wanted, yet preserve the detail and integrity. I once made a drawing of a Mac Plus into a tiny dot. It added 20 minutes to the processing time on a Linotronic 300—but to be able to do that!”

At Photoshop World 2006, Bert unveiled what was, at the time, his largest and most ambitious work: Damen, a digital painting of a Chicago train stop created in Illustrator and Photoshop. A massive work, it measured 40 inches by 120 inches and 1.7 gigabytes. It took nearly 2,000 hours over the course of 11 months for Bert to create it, and Illustrator was integral to his process.

The complete Damen, a 1.7-gb digital painting.

The complete Damen, a 1.7 GB digital painting.

“These little arches are a perfect example of the blend tool. To get that perspective, I would create a single arch, put it closer to the viewer, then I would duplicate it and shrink it and put it in position at the end. The blend tool was crucial.”

Just a few years later, Bert would outdo himself yet again with his painting Times Square. But through it all, Illustrator was the foundation of many of his paintings. “I don’t touch traditional media anymore,” he said. “With Illustrator and Photoshop, I can get more detail, I can change my mind, I can change colors. It’s enhanced my workflow. My imagination just flows—it’s not hindered by tools.” With traditional media, Bert “would lose the feeling for an image after changing colors and cleaning tools.” Running out of tools would never be a problem in Illustrator.

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September 5, 2013

Spotlight on Teri Pettit–a “developer’s developer”

Does the name Teri Pettit sound familiar? Many Illustrator customers remember seeing her name from the Illustrator splash screens over the years. For Throwback Thursday here’s a look back to an incredible engineer who’s has been associated with Illustrator since Illustrator 88.

Teri Pettit small

Teri Pettit joined Adobe Systems in 1987, but she’d already spent eight years at Xerox shaping the way we use (and see) our computers. As one of the original developers of the Xerox Star system, Teri helped introduce desktop icons and multiple windows to personal computing.

When she joined Adobe (and the Illustrator team) in 1987, she was joining other former Xerox employees like fellow developers Dick Sweet and Doug Brotz, making the switch because she wanted to work for a company where the contributions of her team were a little less… invisible. And Adobe wanted her to do that work on Illustrator.

Teri Pettit and Russell Brown from a booklet on Illustrator 88’s many uses.

Teri Pettit and Russell Brown from a
booklet on Illustrator 88’s many uses.

“It was getting pretty frustrating to feel that the work we were doing at Xerox was so invisible, with most of the public having no idea that our team had invented the whole desktop/icons/windows metaphor for personal computing,” said Teri. “The interview process felt more like they were trying to sell me on Adobe rather than probing my programming skills.”

Teri joined the team during the development of Illustrator 88, and remained a key member of the Illustrator team until she retired from Adobe in 2012. Teri is a developer’s developer, building the features she most wanted to see. Her favorite feature? Group blends, from Illustrator 8.

Teri not only understood the ins and outs of Illustrator, she helped others understand them, too. As a regular contributor to Illustrator user forums, her name became well known among Illustrator’s fans as she popped into forums, answering questions and providing technical insight.

Though she retired from Adobe in 2012 after 25 years on the Illustrator team, Teri’s legacy lives on anytime someone opens Illustrator or double-clicks a desktop icon.

teri-pettit-group-blends“[Group blends were] inspired by a postcard that Russell Brown made as a marketing giveaway for AI 88, with an angel made of lots of little strokes morphing into a devil in a similar style. Since AI 88’s blends could only be done one path at a time, the illustration required using the blend tool separately on each pair of matched strokes. So when I got the assignment to make blends ‘live’ in Illustrator 8, I took the opportunity to lobby for my pet group blends idea.”




Teri as Magenta at Adobe Halloween Costume Contest in 2002

Teri as Magenta at Adobe Halloween Costume Contest in 2002


If you were an Illustrator tool, which one would you be?


Mordy, you ask the oddest questions. Nobody wants to be a tool.



Want to polish your Illustrator Blend tool skills? Check out the tutorials below.


vector tuts Illustrator blend tool guide   veerle's blog -- Illustrator full-spectrum spirographSunset blend tutorial by Teri Pettit

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