From Adobe Illustrator to Affinity Designer: Basic Tools & Introduction | Lindsay Marsh | Skillshare

From Adobe Illustrator to Affinity Designer: Basic Tools & Introduction

Lindsay Marsh, Teacher & Freelance Designer 14+ Years ✅

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5 Lessons (31m)
    • 1. Class Intro

      1:05
    • 2. Affinity Designer Introduction

      10:02
    • 3. The Pen Tool and other Basic Tools

      6:07
    • 4. Working in Personas

      12:24
    • 5. Shapebuilder Alternative

      1:38
16 students are watching this class

About This Class

Have you ever wanted to check out Affinity designer?

This quick class walks through the basics of Affinity Designer but also how to move from using Adobe Illustrator and moving to Affinity.

Or how to use Affinity designer to get the same work done in Adobe Illustrator.

I created this mini class for those who cannot afford the monthly Adobe Creative Cloud subscription or are wanting to find another vector program option other than Adobe.

I wanted to show you how you can use Affinity Designer (A much cheaper one time purchase) while taking or watching lessons that use Adobe Illustrator.

I have had many students ask for a great cheaper vector alternative and this is it! 

We will review some of the basic tools and learn how personas work all while learning how to transition from Illustrator to Affinity Designer

This course is a mini course designed to give you a quick overview of this program and see if it is good fit for you! 

Transcripts

1. Class Intro: Have you ever wanted to check out a tentative designer? This quick class walks with basics of affinity designer, but also did you have a move from Adobe Illustrator into this program? I created this mini class for those who cannot afford the monthly Adobe Creative Cloud subscription, or they're wanting to find another vector program option other than Adobe. I also want to show you how to use affinity designer, which is a much cheaper one time purchase while taking or watching lessons that may be taught in Adobe Illustrator. I've had many students asked for a cheaper vector alternative, and this is it. It's a fantastic program. We're going to review some basic tools and learn how personas work, alway learning how to transition from illustrator to affinity. Designer. This courses in mini course, designed to give you that quick overview of the program and see if it's a good fit for you . So let's check it out 2. Affinity Designer Introduction : welcome to affinity designer I wanted definitely review. This tool is a great alternative to the adobe illustrator tool and affinity. Designer also has affinity publisher on a couple of tools that can replace Adobe products. If you feel like the Adobe subscription products just gonna cost too much to say updated. The great thing about the Infinity software is it's a one time purchase. Once you purchase the software, you own it. You don't have to pay a monthly subscription rate, which can really be been beneficial for those trying to keep costs down. But using a software that's very, very comparable to the adobe products we use in this class, so do I think this tool is better than Adobe Illustrator. I wouldn't say it's better. I'd say it's definitely different. And there's some ways that affinity designer is very innovative in the way they designed their U Y interface and some of their tools. And there are a lot more intuitive than Adobe illustrator in some areas. They do lack the full suite of tools that Adobe Illustrator has, but you could do probably 95% of what Adobe illustrator does and what I do in the class in affinity designer, maybe even 99.9%. Are there other alternative tools that affinity designer has that? A recumbent Really Close to what you can do an adobe illustrator. So you'll notice how I move throughout the software. It's very, very similar to Adobe Illustrator. Just gonna go ahead and open up a new document. You're going to see a lot of familiar settings. You gonna be able to open up pixels or inches. You could do a web or a print just like you would. An adobe illustrator lets you have bleedin margins and all that fun stuff. So it's gonna open up a standard art board just a 12 80 by 800 um, size. We have a new document here. I'm gonna kind of go over the infrastructure a little bit. First on the dash board really quickly. Just like, uh, Adobe illustrator. You ever toolbar to the left. I can actually double click here to isolate the toolbar so I can shift it around wherever I want. That can double click on the gray area, and it's gonna go ahead and pop on back. And so you'll see there's a little bit less tools here, but I think they're more extensive in a little bit. Have a little bit more options than Adobe Illustrator. In some cases, for example, they're shaped tools. Instead of having the click and hold on, get a wide variety of tools you have from all right here, accessible on your toolbar. So it's gonna grab the Ellipse tool and get a hold down shift to do something dimensionally , which is the same thing you do in Adobe Illustrator. You don't hold down shift. It'll kind of scale it however you'd like. We're gonna hold down, shift and scale toe dimensionally to make a shape. And now you're going Well, now what? How is a little bit different? You go appear to your panels, which you can drag these out just like Adobe Illustrator. There's nothing different in that in that regard. And I'm over here in the color panel and you'll notice right here instantly. This this looks a lot different, and I think it's a much better way to display your color picking abilities here, so I could kind of bring this all the way around the color wheel. I can add more tent and shade to it just by dragging it to the different corners of the triangle. And I find this a much more intuitive way to to pick colors. So that's just like that. You pick colors and you'll notice down here you don't have your filler swatch panel on the lower left hand side to be able to do a fill in a stroke. You have them right here in this area, and you can toggle him back and forth between Stroke and Phil. So let's say I want to add a stroke to the circle. We double click the stroke area and kind of change the color. Maybe we want to make it a lighter purple color, and you can always kind of change that shade right here. So it's not really thick. I'm gonna go ahead and zoom in here. It's not thick it all. So how do I change the stroke thickness? There is a stroke panel just like Adobe Illustrator, but a drag out that stroke panel like I do throughout the class on my Dobie illustrator stuff and go ahead and change the width so you can kind of have this live preview at the with changes, which is really, really nice. And I got to go ahead and do a square really quickly so I can show you how it treats corner . So I'm holding down shift dragging. It's gonna and you notice how it automatically adapts what I just did. I don't have to sit there and use the eyedropper tool and and and get that style. It automatically remembers what my last styling waas in terms of the color. So that's kind of a nice feature of a little bit different feature. So right here, this is kind of similar to Adobe Illustrator. They have different titles for these different caps and round round cap that's actually similar title in Adobe Illustrator. You cantata all these on and do square caps for your corners. You could have different corner shapes to flip that around different alignment. So if you want to tell line to the outside or to the inside, you can. And of course, you can change your stroke with so your stroke panels very, very similar to Adobe Illustrator and what's also similar is your effects kind of area. If you go down here, there's an effects panel. This is by default right down here. So I'm in the effects panel and this is where you can add, you know, Gaussian Blur out of shadow. This is regarded. Have your drop shadow. It's not title drop Shadow and will run into a lot of instances where affinity and Adobe Illustrator are very, very close. But they have some differences and names, and I'm sure that's for legal reasons. So instead of drop shadow, it's called an outer shadow. So we're gonna click on Outer Shadow. It's gonna allow that we could go and drag this out. So I'm gonna add radius to my drop shadow, make it have more of a distance, have a little bit more of an offset. And, of course, stranger change, your transparency might get really strong or make it really light. So this is just in your effects panel. We can add that drop shadow can add a lot of different bevel effects, just like you would in a layer panel and photo shop. We're gonna drag this back over to our panels. You could see already how easy it was for me as an adobe austerity user to transition to affinity. Designer only took me about an hour experimenting with the tools to really feel like I am very comfortable here. So that's what's great. If you take some of the Adobe illustrator lessons, you can apply them if you happen to be an affinity designer user. One of the areas where fending to designer really shines above Adobe Illustrator is its default shapes tools. So you have your typical tools that you also are shaped tools that you also see an adobe illustrator. But you have so many more options here that are built in by default that you don't have to create on your own. You can adapt these to create all sorts of kind of logo design symbols, and Icahn's really, really easily so I'm gonna start with a star tool. It's gonna hold down, shift and drags and get a simple star. And right now I have my stroke on. So I'm just gonna go up here to color and toggle that to fill, just like you would an adobe illustrator. And what I love about this is you double click the shape, and it gives you a little ways to kind of manipulate the shape further so it doesn't give you a standard star and leave you at that. It gives you a little bit of chance to manipulate this even further so you can bring it in or bring it out. And you could do that over here as well. We can expand it out and expanded in. So what? I want to add rounded corners to this. Ah, they have a different way to do rounded corners and offended a designer. You're gonna go up to corner tool, which is this tool right here in the toolbar. You're to go ahead and click that, and you can click on any of these corners and make particular one's rounded go and select all the corners. And then I can change all of the shapes to around it and create a whole combination of different shapes. So I want to explore the pie tool. So I think this is a really neat tool as well. With doughnut tool, we're going to select the pie tool right down here in the toolbar. Hold down shift, go ahead and create the shape. You'll see these little orange notes. They call them nodes and affinity designer, these little anchor points and so you hear the terminology, Anchor points and Adobe Illustrator. But all it is is an anchor point is a note. It's just a different terminology that affinity to designer uses for anchor points. So you have these different colored orange nodes, and it's gonna give you a new ability to customize thes shapes even further. Be grabbed the second orange node. You can click and drag and be able to change the shape just like this. I think this is really powerful. You don't have these built in tools in Adobe Illustrator stock quite as intuitive. You have to use the shape builder tool in a bunch of other tools to make a shape. But look how quickly I was able to make this shape and be able to customize it so we can do a double star tools. Gonna hold down double star. It's gonna give you those orange nodes that you can manipulate further. Bring it out or bring it in. You can round the corners as well. By using that corner tool, you can select all the corners and around everything out to create some pretty quick shapes . So they got some really neat default stuff, so we could go on, hold down shift to do ACOG and remember those orange nodes or hey can manipulate it further . So kind of explore Hey can make that cog bigger. He could make a sunburst out of it. You can kind of widened fat in the different cog wheels, and you could even bring it out so I could see how could make a year all sorts of things. Super super quick. Go ahead and get that corn around. Tool. Select everything around those corners ever so slightly. Create Cobb's. You can do all sorts of things. This is where it really shines. Affinity Designer over Adobe Illustrator I find these shapes tools so powerful in creating those default shapes that I want to create with the icon off iconography. Your local design are certain icons I want to use on a flyer poster. I find this a lot more intuitive and quicker to create a wide variety of unique shapes. I'm over Adobe Illustrator 3. The Pen Tool and other Basic Tools: So you're probably wondering, How does the pin tool work in affinity? Designer Is it like Adobe Illustrator? It's very, very close. I actually think it's, Ah better tool here. It is also still called the pin tool and then the designer as well. So I'm just kind of creating some shapes. And it's just like Adobe Illustrator, where you can kind of click. Make a, uh, say an anchor point that's actually node. Create another node and you can easily bend and change shapes and create all sorts of stuff . So let's say we want to create a circle out of this just to kind of practice, using the pin tool so you can go ahead and create. It works just like Adobe Illustrator. Very, very similar. There's a couple things that are different. You kind of have different modes here. So right now is the pen mode. You can actually do a polygon mode, so if you wanna click and not make curves, you could make geometric shapes or more harsh edges using that mode. So I'm gonna go back to my pen tool. You could just go up here to your mode and you cantata Gle different ways. The pen mode is probably the one you're used to seeing in Adobe Illustrator, and the polygon mode is if you don't wanna kind of click and drag to create those bins and curves, let's create a little shape so we can practice with a pin tool. Kind of see the differences here. So I was gonna make a simple coffee cup click and drag to create the bottom part with the drag. So let's say I want to manipulate Thes will anchor points so we would need the direct selection tool like we do in Adobe Illustrator. But we have something a little bit different, but it's pretty much acts the same. It's the no tool. So it's right here is how you gonna be able to manipulate the particular anchor points and drag him down. So let's say I want to create a nice curve here, kind of like the curvature tool does. And Adobe Illustrator I'm gonna click, and it's gonna be able to create specific bins for me that could change these points at any time up here to convert, so this will convert specific nodes into a sharp points or rounded points or smooth points . So let's say I want that to be a sharp point. So kind of like the double clicking on it, using the curvature tool on Adobe Illustrator. So I'm just gonna click up here. It's gonna convert it to a sharp edge, or you can toggle it to a rounded edge. Let's go ahead and make this a stroke. I can always go to my stroke panel and edit the thickness on add rounded corners. Of course, he had the corner tool. They can add corners to particular edges to make them softer. And then we flip back to that no tool to edit further any kind of anchor point locations or , in this case, nodes. Let's go ahead and add on the lips tool or a circle here onto the coffee cup. We could go to that no tool to be able to match. The perv here could take that corner tool, drag it up to reduce those corners so I can match that ellipse tool. So let's draw little shadings. I just have my pin tool, click and hold to create a curve, and I'm gonna flip this to a fills. I'm gonna go to my color put that to a Phil just adding a little color here. And let's change that. So it's a little bit of a lighter color. I'm gonna send this layers. This the layering system works very similar to Adobe products. You could actually do the same keyboard shortcut to sin layers on top and below. So you want to send that shadow to the back behind the stroke. So I got a whole command and new my left bracket, and he could do your cup, man and hold your right bracket to bring it back up in the layering system so you could bring it back and forth just like you wouldn't. Adobe Illustrator. There's a lot of the shortcuts are the same. If you wanted to group elements, I could go ahead and select All right, click and group, and now I have my whole element grouped together. So that's very, very similar to Adobe Illustrator as well. Let's say I want to create a little handle, so I'm gonna go ahead and use one of these pre built tools because there's just so much more powerful easy to create shapes, So why don't we just get the doughnut tool good and make this a similar color. So I'm gonna take that eyedropper tool and sample the color. I'm gonna double click the shape. I'm gonna get those orange nodes that's gonna give it ability to change the stroke thickness. And I can also change how it goes around the entire circle. So now we have our little coffee cup handle just like that by using those default shapes on , Go ahead, pick it up to match the thickness of the cup. So there's are quick little coffee cup. Nothing too exciting, but just using some of affinity designers, pin tools and no tools to kind of do what we would do. An adobe illustrator. Same kind of method. There's lots of different other names for tools. So let's say I want to add ingredient. So let's go ahead and get rid of our little copy coffee cup here that slide him over there . Let's go ahead and do a doughnut and let's create a greedy in so the grating and tools gonna be right up here. It's gonna be called the fill tool. Instead, I was gonna click and drag. It's good. Go ahead and add a radiant for us when you click on these little areas right here to change the color of our Grady int just like that and we could go ahead, manipulate where that greedy int follows. We could drag this little bar on the inside to go ahead and make it a slower transition or a tighter transition between the two colors. By manipulating the orange nodes, I can round those corners again by using that corner tool, so all sorts of things you could do here. 4. Working in Personas: So let's talk about the different personas are desktops that you could switch between an offended designer. I think this is what really differentiates the program as well, as well as the shape tools is. You have the designer persona, which is kind of the vector environment, where you have your illustrator tools that we've kind of been using, like the pin tool in the shape tool. And you have this other persona you can switch to picks persona, and it switches It's dashboard so that you can do photo editing right here in the vector program, which is fantastic because with Adobe Illustrator, you don't have a whole lot of photo editing capabilities, so this has some built in. It does not replace photo shop, but the affinity has something called affinity photo, which is kind of your photo shop replacement. So this gives you just a few more tools, but not really a total photo editing replacement. But it does give you just enough to get by. And there's also this export persona, which helps you with art boards and size and exporting. So if you ever want to switch between kind of editing photos and doing your vector program . It's up here in your top personas. It's basically glade, different dashboards that you can cause switch between, which is really nice. So I'm gonna go in the designer persona, which is what we started off in, and I'm gonna go down to this tool called the Place Image Tool, and I just go ahead and place an image who can do this dollar bill image. It's gonna go ahead and process. It's a pretty large image. We have a crop tool down here where we can go ahead and crop this instead of it bending Ah and changing to whatever shape it is. It's actually officially cropped, and it's kind of a really nice option here that you kind of see in adobe in design. But you could do it right here, using that crop tool. Or it can un select the crop tool and then drag it and expand it out. This way to make it larger are smaller. So that was the crop tool. So now that we have her photo, we could switch or personas switch into that pixel persona right up here up top. And now we have some of these photo editing tools so we can have the free hand selection tool we can. I can select specific areas and go ahead and change certain aspects of that. Since I wanted to select George Washington here, I can go ahead and get this brush selection tool. So this will be a little bit more like a photo shop tool. And I'm just gonna click and drag and you can change its with the smaller the width of the finer the selections are gonna be. And I'm just clicking and dragging and I'm selecting him. And just like Photoshopped, I can delete war. I can copy and paste have a second copy. So to be able to do this and what's traditionally a vector program is amazing. I've always wanted to be able to manipulate photos and cut particular photos out. It's not as extensive a photo shop. You can select and do some things, but you're not gonna have a lot of the duo tone effects and a lot of the the photo shop type stuff. You're gonna be able to do kind of the bare minimum. You have the paint bucket tool. You have a blur tools they can go and blur certain areas a lot more than others. You can select and blur. So if I just want a blur the center here, I can select my blur tool down here and change the width, My blur tool just like that. Of course, if I want to go back, I could do control or command Z and go back in time in my history, just like I would any other Adobe program. So all those keyboard tour cuts all of this are the same, which makes it really easy to transition. Let's create a quick social media graphic, just a practice. Some of our tools we learn, but also to play around with the type Tulloch's Well, I just went to new document. We're gonna create a Web document, and it's gonna be, you know, 12 80 by 800 was going to create what we have before and click on OK, There's also something called the Art board tool, which is right down here, where you can actually create different art boards just like you can in Adobe Illustrator and create different sized art boards. Here, we can do different social media size post and start to work within the art boards. We're gonna go ahead and work within the confines of this particular document. So let's go ahead and place a photo. We're gonna place a photo I have in my downloads. Go ahead and just create something kind of generic. Got to get the world loaded in here. And once again, you can kind of scale this down. Or it can use the crop tool to crop it in a particular area. Un select the crop tool if you just want to generally make it a little bit bigger. Once again, we can switch into our pixel persona if we want to do any kind of photo editing and kind of selecting certain certain things, maybe we want to blur certain areas. We want to blur the bottom here, and maybe we want a sharp on the top of the image going to give it a little bit more of, ah, lens blur effect. Then we switch or right back into and of her vector mode or designer persona, and we can at some typography here we can scale this back. We can reduce the capacity of this photo by going to fill opacity right here in the effects panel on. Go ahead and drag that out can screen that back a little bit. We can add all sorts of effects. So let's screen that back a little bit. We're gonna go ahead and add just a little bit of color. Was adding a solid box here. I'm gonna bring that back into the layering system, gonna be holding down command and left bracket to send it backwards. And you can also do that manually, using these buttons up top moved to back. There's also back ones. You can kind of click on that several times to move it to the back, and then you can move it forward so you can do the little command shortcut. Where do command left and right bracket Oregon do right here in this area, but to be able to shift that layer back and forth. So let's add some type on hearing to go to our type tool. There's two different types tools. There's the frame text tool, which I can click and drag and just like, uh, adobe in design, I could type an entire paragraph and it could go ahead and scale this just like a text box which is really, really helpful when it comes to lay out design where you can do the other option, which is gonna be your artists artistic text tool. This is what you're gonna be using for his typing, single lines or particular letters. So this is gonna be cheesy, but at least it's showing you an idea what kind of the power of layout here. So I'm gonna go ahead and make this a little bit smaller. You can always edit your type up here manually or do or new keyboard shortcuts. Go ahead and find a typeface here. I think would work. Go and ship that over so we can see a live preview. So I picked Azo Sands Black as our typeface of choice and ice bold typeface. Ah, there's a couple ways we can edit type here. I'm gonna go ahead and click up here by default. Here is kind of where you can kind of select the size and the type base. If you click over here right here on this button right here, says character. Go and click on character. It's gonna give you all your editing options for your typography, and you'll notice instead of by using points like Adobe Illustrator does the use points to determine what's the difference between the different characters here? They actually use a percentage. So I'm doing 440% this. They use percentages. It's just like a little small difference there. So just kind of creating some dramatic spacing. Heroes go ahead and do 1000 percent to some dramatic spacing, and it could do, ah, subscript he could do all these extra things down here. You could do all caps that all this is in the character panel, which you can call up. Clicking right here took me a while to kind of figure out where that character editing panel is. Course you have your paragraph panel right here. So this is just like an illustrator. Your paragraph options right here. And then you also have your character panels okay. Kind of toggle between both of both of those options to get the right alignment and to get the right kind of all caps and spacing. So I'm going close that out. Let's add a little bit of a drop. Shadow him and the effects panel it is dragged that little panel out here and we can do a Gaussian blur effect, kind of create something really neat. We can do a drop shadow, which in this case is called an outer shadow. There's also outer glow, always air very similar to the options. You haven't photo shop in your layers panel. All of that's gonna be very, very similar. So let's say we want to duplicate this effect and make another line. Just get a copy and paste it on. Go back into my character panel. I can quickly edit the size. It's gonna do a little bit of a live preview of what size it's going to be. I can change the tracking, maybe bring it down to 400% you know, just something really cheesy, nothing too exciting. And then we have kind of a little sub little type hierarchy going on here. Maybe, let's say I don't want the drop shadow on here on to go back and change that there. There's also something really neat called the Styles panel. I'm gonna go ahead and strike that out. You can apply all these pre made styles, and they're actually pretty decent compared to the ones you'll find in the Dhobi products going to go and select our main earth and toggle between a few of these to get some really cool effects. Just really wonderful texture work here on some of these really high quality effects. So I'm gonna go ahead and create a solid shape. Good Creek. Kind of a little bit of an effective photo effect here, and I'm gonna use what's called the transparency tools This is similar to the Grady int tool are, in this case, the fill tool, but it's gonna add a little bit of a transparency since a click and drag. It's gonna add that blue, but it's gonna have a transparency node. So it's gonna go from a fill color all the way down to transparency modes is very similar to a Grady int, but it's just transparent on the end. Of course, you could double click this and change. The color doesn't have to be blue can be any any color. So I'm going to send that backwards into the layering system. I can go up here and do it. I could do my little command left bracket and send it slowly back. I was adding a little bit of effect there could go back and change it. So it's facing the other direction. And, of course, with anything I do, I can always reduce the opacity, fill opacity right here in the FX panel. So there we have it, just kind of a little bit of a quick graphic they're using affinity designer. There's a lot of really more polished tools here that I think are some ways superior. They don't have quite as many options as Adobe Illustrator, but you can really accomplish everything that you want to do with logo design, with shapes creating icons, creating layouts, exporting. You have all these different personas, which is really nice to even have this as an option and a vector program to be ableto select particular things in a raster image. You don't have that ability in Adobe Illustrator a lot of really great tools. I've really enjoyed getting to know it. I want to teach Mawr of offended designer, so look for to kind of more lessons on that. But I wanted to give you a brief overview for everyone who wants an alternative to Adobe Illustrator, but they can't afford the Adobe Creative Suite subscription. It could be $50 or Mawr every month. That's very expensive. It's great for those who use multiple adobe programs. Or he liked to use all the extras you get with Adobe like a free portfolio website. Free fonts. You get all that with Adobe Creative Suite. But if you don't need that, or if you can't afford that being able to spend less than $50 for one program and you never have to spend that money again, you already own the program. You don't have toe spend any more money than that one time purchase. This is a great alternative. So hopefully you've seen how close, uh, and how viable it is. As as an alternative to Adobe Illustrator. They have other ones. They just came out with another program called Affinity Publisher, which is very similar to in design. And they also have one that's kind of a photo shop kind of replacement, which is affinity photo. So they really have a replacement for all three of those main graphic designer tools. I just wanted to kind of present this to give you an option, not make you feel like you're stuck using Adobe. I know a lot of students have emailed me and said, I just can't afford adobes tools. Can I use affinity designer in your class? And I wanted to create this section so that you guys are people who are using affinity or interested in using affinity. Designer will feel right at home with some of the tools and some of the lessons I'll be using throughout the class when I switch back to the Adobe products. 5. Shapebuilder Alternative: really quickly as bonus video. I wanted to go over shape Builder two options. So in Adobe Illustrator, there's the shape over tool we can add and subtract vector objects. How did we do that? An affinity designer have a very similar Pathfinder tool. It's gonna be these tools right up here. So I'm just going to do a quick example or to do two circles just like we did with the shape builder tool. We're gonna overlap them. Let's make this a slight different color. Let's overlap them. So how can we build shapes and subtract shapes by the overlapping vector shapes? We're gonna go up. You're gonna go ahead and select. Both of these objects were gonna go up here. It's just kind of like the Pathfinder area. The functions like the Pathfinder, which function functions a little bit like the shape builder tool. We're gonna be able to add shapes. You're gonna be able to subtract them. You're gonna be able to do find the in between area, so it's gonna select, isolate that little in between area and click on that, and were to be able to isolate everything but this overlapping areas. So this is just like the Pathfinder tool and Adobe illustrator. It functions just like that And go ahead and pull up this I'm actually hopped right back into Adobe Illustrator Gonna go into Pathfinder. Here's your pathfinder tools. So any time you use these tools your minus back dividing adding certain shapes, it's similar to the shape pillar tool how you can cut out at objects. That's how you do it in affinity. Designer. I just wanted to show you that real quick so you can kind of know how to do that shape older, tool in and subtract and add objects easily in this program.