Adobe Illustrator: Make Paths Fast & Easy | Hayden Aube | Skillshare

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Adobe Illustrator: Make Paths Fast & Easy

teacher avatar Hayden Aube, Illustrator & Designer

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Excerpt from "Give the Pen Tool a Day Off"


    • 3.

      Creating Organic Shapes


    • 4.

      Applying Live Corners to Your Designs


    • 5.

      Wrapping Up


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About This Class

Live Corners is hands down the BEST feature to come from Adobe Illustrator CC. What might seem like a simple little perk at first quickly becomes an incredibly versatile, time-saving tool when you dig deeper.

Join me in walking through the many uses that can come from Live Corners and show you how they can be applied just about anywhere :)

Meet Your Teacher

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Hayden Aube

Illustrator & Designer


Hayden here and I am an illustrator, designer and most importantly to you, teacher!

I am constantly hunting for the actions that will have me producing my best work possible--I assure you it's no easy feat. That's why my primary goal in all of these classes isn't to give you just any information, but only the information that's going to make the biggest difference in your work. Think of it as optimizing your artistic development ;)

So if you're looking to level up your skills in design and illustration, consider checking out my classes. I've gone to great lengths to keep them short and to the point so you can get the information quickly and jump to creating.

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Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Hello? My name is Eden Beck, and I'm an illustrator and graphic designer. In my previous class, give the pen tool the day off. I went over several different techniques for creating fast and nice looking shapes in Illustrator without ever having to use the pen tool. One of these techniques was using a live shapes and corners. I believe this to be an incredibly valuable and versatile feature of Adobe Illustrator and therefore deserving of a class of its own. In this class, you'll be watching the video from give the pen tool a day off where I introduced this feature and show you what's possible with it when you're not using the pen tool and then from there I'm going to show you what's possible when you do introduce the pen tool and all of the interesting shapes that you can create with it. Finally, I'm going to be showing you examples from my own work where I use these techniques. You will need Adobe Illustrator CC to use live shapes and corners, so it's important that you have that. If you don't consider this an introduction to what's possible if you decide to upgrade. I hope you enjoy this sweet but valuable class and Adobe Illustrator. 2. Excerpt from "Give the Pen Tool a Day Off": Next up we're going to look at Live Shapes and corners, and this technique is only available in the CC releases of Illustrator, so the most recent ones, but even if you are on an older version, I would still recommend that you watch this video, just to really get a sense of what is possible, because even if you don't have it right now, someday you will. Live Shapes, in my opinion, are the main reason that I'll never go back to CS6. They provides so much control, a lot of speed, and they really save me multiple trips to the pen tool. Live Shapes are exactly what they sound like. They are shapes that are interactive, adjustable and can easily be changed on the fly. To best explain Live Shapes I could demonstrate one with the Rectangle Tool. So if I just drew out a shape like this, you'll see the circular widget here on each corner and if you've used CC so far, you would have seen these and I'm sure you know that pulling them in is going to round the corners of the shape and pulling them back out is going to make them just sharper again. So this is something that you could have done in previous versions of Illustrator. So CS6 and earlier. But you would have had to go to "Affect, Stylize, Round corners", and here you could have put in a manual value, so 80 pixels and it'll round all the corners by 80 pixels. That could be done. But what makes this so great now is that you couldn't really do it in individual corner before. If you wanted to round just one corner, it was really strange workaround and it just wasn't too fun. But now you can just use the direct selection tool. So this white arrow here and you can just click on any of the corner and run that individually. That alone gives you tons more freedom. But what you could also do with Live Shapes is if you open up the transform window, you get some extra rectangle properties here. So this once again, you can change the corner radius by a specific amount. You can do it, make one corner more than another and you can also change the actual type of corner. So you have rounded corners, you have inverted round, so they look like that and then you have the chamfer corners as well, like this. So just in these options, you have a lot of freedom to play around with this rectangle. You can also use the Ellipse Tool and get once again another set of properties. In addition to things just like the size, you can create little wedge shapes to take out of this circle. So if you just grabbed this little widget right here, you can actually drag this out and create these kind of pie graph looking pieces and you can manually put in the values of those angles if you really like to do that here. So if I wanted the pie to start at 20 degrees on the circle and end at a 140 degrees. It would give me the exact shape. What's also quite handy is that I could duplicate it and use this invert pie button to create the reverse, which can be quite helpful. Where I find this feature to be particularly useful is that it's not through just the Ellipse Tool, the Polygon Tool, the Rectangle Tool that you get these live corner options. But pretty much any shape that you create, whether it's with the Pen Tool or the Pathfinder Tool or something else, can have these live effects which in result you can create a lot of complex but still smooth looking forms. A very quick example would be that if I wanted to make a nice peanut shape, It's a shape that I like to make a lot. I'll take two ellipses and unite them like this and rather than go through the trouble of taking the Pen Tool and trying to curve out this side right here. I'll just use the Direct Selection Tool and just round out these corners and guess that it looks like that. So that's something that once upon a time was, I won't say super hard, but it took a lot more time than I can just put into it now. These are the kind of things are quite handy to know. I think a great example of this being used in this piece that I've done here. So you can look at these decaying runes right here and it looks very detailed, but it looks quite smooth and this really all it was, was a bunch of shapes that I united and then start to go in with the Live Corners and round out. So far I just start quickly how I would do a top piece like this is I would just create a bunch of rectangles like this. Now once again, it's a very quick demonstration. But maybe just create something like that and then I would unite them. Then I would go through the Direct Selection Tool and just round these out and get it to a point that I quite like it. Again, this is something that is so time-saving and it really does end up looking a lot better than if you tried to get the Pen Tool and manually draw out these curves, you'd probably have to use the grid or something like that to really play with them to get it look perfect. But even just quickly like that, you can see that I've made a shape that's similar to these ruins. So again, quick time-saving and I didn't even have to touch the Pen Tool. 3. Creating Organic Shapes: Because in the previous class I wasn't able to use the pen tool. I wasn't able to show you how powerful this technique can be when it is used with the pen tool. Specifically when it involves working with organic shapes like what I've sketched out here, so what I'm going to show you now is how to go about using live corners to really speed up the process of tracing out these shapes. The first thing I'm going to do is I'm just going to go ahead and trace this shape here as I normally would with the pen tool. I'm not going to be too fussy with it just for the sake of time, but I'm just going to give you a sense of the general workflow for, I normally using the pen tool. It's not terribly slow or anything but actually I'm just going to, yeah. Still really relatively cool. Quickly I was able to trace the shape. Something that I usually notice is when I'm doing like this is very often that I get curves like we're happening right here that aren't super smooth. You can see the same thing over here. I usually have to go in and manually change it around to get something that I think looks a lot nicer. Now that I've shown you the typical way of doing it, I'm going to show you how you can use the pen tool and live corners in tandem with each other to do really quickly and also get a really smooth shape. I'm actually just going to do it right now and I'll explain it. Once I've created a shape like this, shape is going back a little bit. With this shape, I'm going to now use the direct selection tool, and one at a time, bring these corners in to match my sketch. Already you can see this is a much faster way, and I would always also put in that it produces nicer curves as well. When you let the software take care of the geometry for you, it's typically a lot nicer than if you do it by hand. But you're just going to disable the background right here. Now as many of those lumps are those weird edges I was getting as before. Because it's live corners, if I decide that I want to continue to play out these curves, I can, just always just a nice benefit. Now I'm just going to backtrack a bit, see too when I had this shape here. I don't want someone to explain how I knew where to put this, I'm envisioning where the curves are going to happen and placing these points a lot further out. Actually I'm just going to do it over and again, so I know that I met the place to point out here, yeah because when I round this, it's going to be rounding down into this curve, and then I'd then know that the next point at the place is going to be on the inside of the shape here. Because when I run this curve, it's going to be going this way. This is one of those things like the more you do it, the more you get a hang for it, I mean, you understand how the curves work and where you have to place your points. Except first you might not be as quick with this as you are with the normal pen tool. But hopefully just from my demonstration, you can see that it's not hard to get quick with it. The way I'm doing it is just matching. I'm just trying the best to match the curves in-between the points on the shape. By the way, if you want to click here and not have this happen, hold option. If you're on a Mac or on a PC, when you click here and then you can individually do this handle so just like that. As I did before. Your assignment for this class is to download this document from the resources section on this class and to go through all six of these and do them just as I have done with the pen tool and live corners. It's one thing just to watch me do it and to get a sense of how the technique is done. But it's a whole another thing to actually do it yourself and get the experience of actually applying the technique and start to develop that speed, and that eye for where you need to place anchor points to get the right curve. 4. Applying Live Corners to Your Designs: I just want to run through a couple of quick examples of how I've used this in my own work. I'm starting with this slug here. I've used it in many different spots with this piece, like the whole body itself. These blobs that float around and specifically this pink piece at the bottom of the slugs body. That's when I want to quickly demo for you. Is that all this was doing a zigzag pattern like this. I'm not going to do the whole thing. We'll see how just going back and forth like that. I can recreate the shape more or less that I've done. I wanted to do this with just how you normally would use the pen tool. It would take a lot longer. Again, it probably wouldn't look as smooth as it is here. Like I said, I've done it in many different places on this piece, and as a result, there was a lot quicker. Next sample I want to show you is for this piece right here. When I've use it in a couple of different spots. The one that I most want to mention is actually this little running a mushroom down here. Just to create the shape, all I really needed to do was create more or less the mushroom shape that I knew I wanted to be the same. Just a rough idea. But from here is really simple for me to add some curves in until I got a shape that I really liked. I remember that it was particularly helpful that I could come back and forth to this and keep changing the curves around. When I decided I didn't like the shape the way it was really nice that I can quickly and easily change it and get that. The final sample I want to show you is this one here. Again, I'm using a couple different places. For the one I want to mention is with this little pattern on the crown, it's very similar to the shape of the slug or I'm really just doing zigzag pattern. Even in this case, I don't actually have to, like drag out any curves. Why do have to drag out a curve like this? But as I'm drawing with the pen tool, I was just a bunch of straight lines, really. Yeah, I'm still able to use the live corners here to yeah to make this more organic looking pattern. So just like that was really simple. 5. Wrapping Up: So your assignment for this class is two part. The first one I've already gone over, which is to download the document and go through the different exercises of outlining the sketches that I've done using live corners. Once you've done that, you can go ahead and upload it to your project here and get any feedback or any help that you need. After you've done that, the second part to the project is to create any illustration or design your choice using at least three of the techniques we've gone over in the class. That can be changing the corner type, that can be dragging out the corner widgets for different ways. That can also even be creating pie shapes and ellipses in the transform window. Just be sure to explain which techniques you're using where in your project. Hopefully now you have a better sense of what's possible with Adobe Illustrator's Live Corners. When you really take the time to understand it and to practice it and to make it part of your own workflow, you'll not only be amazed by how much time it saves you, but also at how good the results actually are. The more of the classes I create, the more I'm hearing from you guys that is actually making a difference in your own work as long as that's the case I'm going to keep making classes. All I ask is that if you've enjoyed the class, you've gotten value out of it, that you add a positive review here on Skillshare so that it can reach more people because that is the number one way to spread the class. If you didn't like the class, you don't have to leave a positive review. In fact, you could even negative one. I'd be actually quite interested to know what things that I can work on to make these classes better for you. Finally, if there's any classes in the future that you'd like me to cover, I've created a form in the resources section where you can submit your ideas to me. But thank you for taking the class. I hope you now have some new skills to up your Illustrator game. I look forward to seeing you again. Take care.