January 01, 2009
Pen Zen for 2009
Mordy Golding offers 10 Illustrator Resolutions for 2009–ten great suggestions for getting more out of this amazingly powerful app. My notes:
- If you do nothing else, try double clicking your artwork to enter “isolation mode.” It’s just like editing a symbol in place in Flash. Stop doing the whole lock/unlock, group/ungroup dance. Isolation mode is your friend, particularly in CS4.
- Mordy is right on about the power of the Appearance panel. In CS4 the panel is at last just what I’d hoped it could be–namely, a killer one-stop shop for adding and editing object effects and parameters.
- My personal addition to the list? Envelope distortions. Create some artwork, then choose Object->Envelope Distort, then either Make With Warp or Make With Mesh. I like choosing the latter, then selecting the Free Transform Tool (E), clicking and dragging on one corner, and then while still moused down holding Cmd/Ctrl to do a perspective transform. Bam, instant re-editable Star Wars text.
If you really want to brush up on your fundamentals & really wrap your head around the Pen tool, I recommend a couple of great resources:
- Sharon Steuer’s Zen of the Pen PDF goes back a few releases, but it remains clear and relevant today.
- To learn more about the pen in PS, check out Ian Yates’s Photoshop’s Pen Tool: The Comprehensive Guide from PSDTUTS.
And oh yeah, Happy New Year! We’ll see whether my blogging can hold up under not one but two bambinos. Bring him/her on! ;-)