Mastering Adobe Illustrator: 10 New Tips & Tricks to Maximize Your Efficiency and Creativity | DKNG Studios | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Mastering Adobe Illustrator: 10 New Tips & Tricks to Maximize Your Efficiency and Creativity

teacher avatar DKNG Studios, Design + Illustration

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

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.

      Class Introduction


    • 2.

      Class Orientation


    • 3.

      Powering Up the Pathfinder Tool


    • 4.

      Better Pen Tool Techniques


    • 5.

      Presenting with ‘Share for Review’


    • 6.

      Creating a Live Stipple Effect


    • 7.

      Using Artboards More Efficiently


    • 8.

      Building Quickly with Repeat


    • 9.

      Text Tools: Filling and Shaping Text


    • 10.

      Building Realistic 3D from Scratch


    • 11.

      Using the Intertwine Tool


    • 12.

      Working Smarter with Color Swatches


    • 13.

      Class Conclusion


    • 14.

      Want to Learn More?


  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

Join DKNG design and illustration duo Dan Kuhlken and Nathan Goldman for a 45-minute class revealing the Adobe Illustrator tricks of the trade they employ to create unique styles, easily editable, non-destructive elements, and develop a fast and efficient workflow!

In this class you’ll get a peek behind the curtain to see how DKNG works inside their actual project files. Whether you work with clients or develop your own work, or like us do a combo of the two, it’s so much faster and easier to work with live, easily editable files since you never know what curveballs a client might throw your way, or what changes you might want to make as you near the end of a project. 

We’ll take a step-by-step look at some of the newest features in Adobe Illustrator, and the tools we use most often to create our signature styles. 

A basic understanding of Adobe Illustrator is recommended, but not required. Checking out our previous Skillshare Illustrator classes is a good primer before jumping into this latest class. 

The skills used in this class can be applied to a wide variety of projects - some techniques are used to achieve specific looks and styles, while others have more to do with workflow and efficiency. Because each lesson deals with a standalone tool/topic, you can easily come back to revisit specific techniques as you find the need for them in your own workflow. 

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

DKNG Studios

Design + Illustration

Top Teacher

DKNG is a full service graphic design studio with a focus on the entertainment industry. We work directly with bands, venues, promoters and a range of independent and corporate clients.

Dan Kuhlken and Nathan Goldman were both drawn to music and design at an early age, but didnt combine their talents until 2005 when the duo founded a design studio with the goal of fusing these two creative avenues. The pair has found a niche in linking a personal and unique aesthetic to the worlds most talented musical artists.

With dynamically different skill sets ranging from fine art to film production, Dan and Nathan bring diverse talents and artistic perspectives to every project. DKNG strives to provide their clients with the image and recognition that they deserve. Their past client... See full profile

Level: All Levels

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • 0%
  • Yes
  • 0%
  • Somewhat
  • 0%
  • Not really
  • 0%

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Class Introduction: Are you looking to level up your Adobe Illustrator game? Do you want to work faster, more efficiently, and in a broader range of styles? Then this class is for you. We are d, k, and g studios, the design and illustration team of Dan Culkin, Nathan Goldman, and we've been working together for over 15 years now. We've had the chance to work with some amazing clients, including making postage stamps for USPS, working with musicians and festivals like Eric Clapton and outside lands and movie properties like Star Wars. Our work requires that we bring both the high level of efficiency and creativity to everything that we do. The faster that we can work, and the more ideas that we can bring to the table, the more we've been able to build our portfolio and grow our business. In this class, we're going to show you how we use Adobe Illustrator and our ten most recent and favorite top tips and tricks. In this class, we're going to cover lots of different techniques, such as non-destructive ways of creating your artwork. So you have much more editing ability, ways of working and new styles in Illustrator to expand your range of offerings. Sharing progress with colleagues or clients. New ways of working with texts like gradient fills and work and shapes. Tools for maximizing efficiency, like keeping all aspects of your project highly editable and much more. Along the way, you'll get to see a little bit behind the curtain of D Kanji and see our actual working files. One of the biggest themes of this class is gonna be working in non-destructive ways. So by that we mean keeping files as live and editable as possible. And that allows us to prepare for any changes that a client might ask for or that we might want to make along the way. So whether you're a beginner or a seasoned pro, these tips and tricks are sure to help you improve your efficiency and get even more creative. We hope to see you in class. You'll get to see some of our projects and working files along the way. That was good. That was very relaxed. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. 2. Class Orientation: In this class we're going to share in demonstrates some of our favorite tools and techniques within Adobe Illustrator. This is a follow-up to our original ten tips class. But in this newest class where showing some of our most recent techniques as well as the latest tools that are now included in Illustrator. The ten tips and tricks we'll be covering are using the Pathfinder tool in non-destructive ways. Faster pen tool techniques. The New Share for Review feature, everything about art boards and how to use them more efficiently. Adding an organic stipple effect native to Illustrator, the repeat tools, new texts, tools, working with 3D materials, the new intertwined tool, and working with color swatches. In this class, all you're going to need as an up-to-date version of Adobe Illustrator, which you can download as a free trial. If you plan on sketching, you'll just need a piece of paper, pencil, or a digital tablet. In this class, we're going to show you how we use these tools in the real-world with actual projects we've been working on for your project, for this class, we encourage you to try some or all of the ten tips and share your progress, your experience, and the final creations that you make with them. Our hope is that we can also learn from you. So feel free to share any of your own tips or techniques, the project gallery or the discussion boards as well. And with that, let's jump in and get started. 3. Powering Up the Pathfinder Tool: In this lesson, we're going to talk about the capabilities of Pathfinder. Pathfinder is a really interesting tool, especially when it comes to building geometric shapes upon each other, but there's a couple of hidden features that we recently discovered that is super helpful. With Pathfinder, usually, the way we would build something, it's pretty destructive. We create a shape and then we make more shapes within that shape, and then you basically end with a final product that's basically irreversible. We're going to show you a different way to deal with it that's a little bit more adjustable. Right here, Right have our Rocketeer series, which is like this spacescape theme. Planets, stars, rockets, and all these things were created using basic geometry. An example of that would be every planet, it starts off with a circle. If I wanted to create something else to add to this series, let's say a moon, I would probably start off with a circle and try to intersect it with another circle. Just to show you what that would look like in the basic construction, I'd create a circle. Then if I wanted to duplicate the exact same thing, I'd hold down Option and Shift, and then I'd select both those shapes, and I'd use the Pathfinder mode to subtract the shape in front of it, and that would basically make a moon. The problem with this method is that now I have one shape based off that interaction. If I wanted to do something else where it would be a little bit more adjustable in the end, I can actually take both these shapes and hold down the Option or Alt key before selecting this subtract button. What happens here is that it makes the same interaction, but with the white arrow tool, that shape, that intersection is still adjustable. This is super helpful if you want to have a little bit more freedom in your illustration style. You can see as I scroll over the image behind it, it is truly using a transparent knockout. It's really interesting that you can actually create the shape you're looking for and adjust it from there. Let's say I wanted to make it more of a crescent moon or change the shape completely. I could even adjust the shape that's actually knocking it out. You could do this with lots of different things within Pathfinder, this Option key option. I'm just going to show you an example of this outside the art box. Let's say we do the same exact thing and want to do the typical making a leaf Venn diagram shape in the center. We'd usually push this intersect button. Again, we're getting this look of a single shape, the end, and we're stuck with it. But if we hold down the option key beforehand, then we get the same shape. But then again, it's adjustable. You can see as I play around with one of these shapes using the white arrow tool, I can tweak this based off of my liking. Then once you have it to a place that you do like, that's when you can press this expand button and you finalize the shape. This is a great way to have much more editability in your style, and using geometric shapes within Pathfinder, you can actually just use the option key to give you a lot more freedom. 4. Better Pen Tool Techniques: Let's talk a little bit about the Pen tool. The Pen tool can be an intimidating thing within Illustrator because you don't rely as much on geometric shapes to create your imagery. It's just one of those things where you just have to learn it as you go. And the end result of using the pen tool is a much more organic, hand-drawn look than, let's say, using the Pathfinder tool to create an imagery. So what we have up here on screen is an art print that we created that's using the pen tool pretty much for all of its creation. And it has a much more organic vibe. You can see within this flower that basically all these shapes have some sort of stuff, Temperature involved. And typically how I would use the pen tool would be going in. And let's say if I want to draw this purple shape, I'd kinda draw it like this. Where I, as I'm drawing, I'm creating curves in the process of making the shape. So this is kind of a quick and dirty way to get something started. But you can see there's some disadvantages of how this is going to work. In the end, I have a bit more of a wobbly or cruder illustration. But if we start off with straight lines and then use the pen tool features within it, we actually have a bit more flexibility. So I'm going to show you how to recreate that. But instead of using any curves at all, we're just going to use straight lines. So I'm just going to make something like this. And obviously it's not the same shape that we're creating here, but within the actual pen tool, you can actually hold down the button and go into Anchor Point tool. And this is where things get a little more interesting. The anchor point tool, I think instinctively we want to go to these nodes and that's where we would add some rounding. But we're actually going to go more mid segment on the path itself. So I'm going to take anchor point tool and select the path. And what happens here is we're getting some curvature where the handles are starting off as equal length on either side and it gives us really clean, smooth look that way. So I'm gonna give every single straight line a little bit of curvature here. Then I have something a little more organic in the end. It's a much more smoother way to create something and start out with straight lines in the very beginning. Now we can take this even further if you want to create something that looks a little more organic in the sense that it's not as sharp, It's not so geometric looking. We'd use the rounding corner tool and the running corner tool. You basically would take these nodes and you see this little dot that pops up. And that's where you would adjust the corners and kinda get this perfect rounding. And it is a very perfect geometry that you start off with. This absolute rounding is basically creating a perfect circle at the tips. And what ends up happening with that look is you kinda get a bit more of a geometric shape and it looks less like it was hand-drawn. Well, we'd like to do is to take this a little bit further, is go into the corners tool. And instead of having the absolute selected, we go to relative rounding. And that's creating a bit more of like a pointier ellipse shape. And that's a little bit more true to life when it comes to drawing something by hand, let's say with just a pen on paper. And it allows us to kind of get a little bit more of that sharper look. And so that's basically how we create all of these organic shapes. But in the end, they all started off with a straight line, but using the actual anchor point tool within the pen tool, we have a lot more flexibility 5. Presenting with ‘Share for Review’: Share for Review is a new tool in Illustrator That's really handy for sharing progress or getting feedback from clients. Previously there was the invite to edit tool, which was great for collaborating. But now with Share for Review, it's much better for quick and easy client feedback. So you can access it here in the File menu or this new blue button up in the corner. And if you click there, it'll automatically fill in a link name. You have some options of if only invited people can edit or anyone, I'm gonna leave anyone for now so my client can share that link with other people in their organization if needed. And then you click Create Link. Now that our link is generated, I'm going to copy it to my clipboard and open it in a web browser. And in this case, this is a good example of the fact that you don't need to have an Adobe account or login to use this. So it's great for setting the clients that might not use Adobe products. So what it'll do is if you're the client, you have a few options of how to comment on something like this. You can put a pin and make your comment. And when you click Submit, it's going to prompt your client who doesn't have a login to either login or to continue as a guest. So if they are just using this as a guest, they can enter their name and click Continue. And just like that now there are comments we'll start populating in this web browser which they could access from any device. In addition to the pin, There's also this draw a shape options. So for example, they could draw around an area. Maybe here they'll comment, remove this accent color, and post submit. Now that we're starting to get some comments in the web version here I'm gonna go back over to Illustrator. And as you can see, this comments palette in Illustrator has automatically appeared. You can also access that from window comments if it's not open. But you can see our guests login client is now starting to comment on the file and we can actually click on their comments to bring us to the parts in our document where they either drew or made their comments. And just like Google Docs, for example, this will also notify you via e-mail that your client has commented. And then once you're in here, you can just start working on this. So for example, they said to remove this accent color. So I can go ahead and remove that from the file. And if I have a response, I can type that to the client or I can simply click here to mark that as resolved. So as you can see, this is super-fast. I didn't have to look at an email or a PDF from the client. It's all right here in Illustrator. So Share for Review is a really handy tool for tackling revisions like this. 6. Creating a Live Stipple Effect: In this tip, we're going to talk a little bit about native born textures within Illustrator, so no need to use Photoshop. All this stuff can be created within actual Adobe Illustrator program. And it has a much more sandier, organic vibe way outside the realm of just using vector shapes. So what we have opened here is an example of that style. This is a festival map that we created for Harley-Davidson. And you can see that we're kind of getting this stipple noise grain kind of vibe with some of our, some of our elements. One in particular would be our clouds for examples, they kinda fade and transparency, but in a much more binary look with a kind of a sandy or texture. And the way that's created is using opacity masks, but using an opacity mask with the addition of the effects gallery within Illustrator. So you can kinda see with this cloud, it truly is a vector shape, but as I roll it over to the imagery, it does have a transparency to it so that anything that is seen through, you can actually see through to the background. So this actual cloud itself is a pretty easy construction. It's basically clipping mask of ellipses and circles, kind of all inside a box. So you can kinda see that right here. The full shapes are inside this clipping mask. So you can kind of adjust and tweak from here. And I'm going to keep it live like this kinda gives us a little bit more flexibility with illustration the end. And the texture we created is this box right here. This all started off with a gradient and I'm going to show you how to create it now. It uses a couple of different steps within the effects gallery. I'm gonna go ahead and create a very similar shape and give it a fill of a gradient. I'm going to change its angle so that it goes from white at the bottom to black at the top. Then with that selected, we're gonna go into the effects gallery here under effects. And this is where you have all these different options. So we're gonna go into texture, this folder right here and click Grain. And as I zoom in, you can see what it does with that gradient and kinda gives it that noisy kind of Sandy look. The default setting that comes with it is pretty much how we want to keep it. You can see, you can change intensity or contrast. But the magic number for us is basically 50% intensity and zero for the contrast. And it gives it a really smooth look. So that's one step. You can use this as your opacity mask if you'd like, but we'd like to get something a little bit more interesting, little more chunky. This texture that we're going for would be called something like a mezzotint. And that's kind of on the realm of going into the half tone vibe. So I'm actually going to add an effect on top of this effect. So by selecting this shape again, we're gonna go into Effect, Effect Gallery. And we're going to zoom in so we can see what we're doing. And we're gonna go to poster edges that's under the Artistic folder. And this kinda gives it a little bit more of a chunky appeal. We're getting some more gray tones in there. So there's gonna be one more step after the app to remove those grays. But you're seeing that the edge thickness is basically at zero, edge intensity is at zero. And the polarization aspect of this is all the way to the top of all these areas are basically at the fullest away from each other in terms of spectrum. So now we have this look and there's one more step. We're actually going to add three different techniques on top of this. So we're going to go into Effect Gallery One more time. It's the last time, I swear. So we're gonna go into sketch and add torn edges. And you can see something really interesting happens. We kinda get this kind of wobbly mezzotint, wormy texture. And the way this is created is usually using all these different settings. We're getting image balance to ten. The magic numbers are basically 1015. And then I kinda like to bring the contrast up a little bit to 15 as well. So 101515. And that is how you create this look. So in order to get your Cloud to use this texture, this is where I'm at. Opacity masks come in hand. So I'm actually going to take this and habit over my cloud. I'm going to select both items simultaneously. And within transparency, I'm going to click Make Mask. And then what's happening is that texture is basically overlaying on top of your vector shape. Now what's kinda cool about this is that all this stuff is still adjustable. So if you click on your clipping mask or shape that you're trying to add texture to. And you click into this box right here, you can actually have access to that texture we just created. And you can even adjust the gradient itself so that we're getting a little bit more variety within the cloud. Then if you want to adjust the shape itself, you can click right back into this box. And let's say with our white arrow tool, you'll want to change the shape of the cloud itself. This kinda gives you a lot more freedom in terms of getting it to look unique each time. So you don't have to do the whole thing where you're just duplicating a cloud over and over again. You can use this kind of body of a cloud and create several clouds within your illustration. I'd recommend keeping this textured outside of your art box. So then you can add it to any illustration that you create as you go through this process of making your illustration 7. Using Artboards More Efficiently: The ability to have multiple art boards in your Illustrator file is really handy, but at the same time it can be frustrating if you're dealing with trying to organize or reorder or name lots of different art boards. So I want to show you some of the techniques we use to kinda keep our art boards in control. So as an example, this is a project that we did for StubHub with lots of different illustrations representing the different types of events that they sell tickets to. And I know that when we submit these files, these images to the client, we're going to want to name them, send them a specific sizes, things like that. Right now it's divided up into approved illustrations and illustrations that we're currently revising. The first step is in window to open up the artboards panel. And you can see a list of all the artboards here. One thing right off the bat that's pretty handy is you can double-click on any of these artboard numbers and it will automatically take you directly to that art board. I can also start naming them here because I know I'm an export these files. I could export jpegs, PNGs, whatever, just using these default names. But then I'm going to have to go in and rename all those files later. So to save myself that I'm going to start naming these art boards now. So for example, I'm going to call this one StubHub wide receiver. And the nice thing about naming them is that you can kinda confirm here that now when you're going to Edit Artboards, you can see this one does have that name and number associated with it. When we go to export these files, one quick way to do that is this Export for Screens option. We used to use Save for Web similar, but Export for Screens is the latest and greatest. And as you can see here, all the art boards we can select which ones we want to include in our export. This one number ten, RD is reflecting the new name that we gave it. You can see there's lots of other options in this Export for Screens pallets such as which images you want to include. These all have bleed, so we'll probably export a set with bleed and one without. You can change the scale of these as well as the file format. So pretty powerful options just quickly export your art boards and all different file types and sizes. A few other things that we can point out here. One thing that I used to always struggle with was if I did want to start rearranging these artboards manually, I would kind of drag and drop them so I could move an art board around just to change the visual layout. But this is art board eight and it's still art board Number eight, even if I move it later in the series. So sometimes what I would do is copy and paste in art board and then basically like delete the contents from one and paste from another. But that's all pretty convoluted. So the better way to do that, which I use now is to use this art boards palette. And there's an up and down arrow here. And this is actually moving the art board within the document orders. So if you were to export this as a PDF, for example, this is the order that would be reflected. You can also just drag and drop within this panel. So if I drag that up to number one, now, if I double-check it, edit artboards, I can see that this is art board number one with our wide receiver name on it. A couple other things to take a look at here is if you are getting kinda disorganized with lots of art boards. Down in the bottom left of this panel is this rearrange all art boards button. And that's helpful because you can decide on a number of columns that you want spacing between the artboards. And then if you want to move the artwork with the art boards, which I think typically you would want to keep that checked. Click. Okay, and now that rearranges everything into a nice grid that's a little bit easier to work with. Then the last thing I'll mention is up in this hamburger menu in the upper right, there's a few options here including Delete Empty Artboards. So we can click that, that'll get rid of any blank ones in your file. So a few quick and easy ways to keep track of your artboards. Named them, export them, and just keep them more organized. 8. Building Quickly with Repeat: In this tip, we're going to talk about the repeat tool within Illustrator. The repeat tool is super useful when it comes to creating new shapes just by creating a single shape and let's say rotating it or creating a grid. But the ideal solution would just be to create a single shape and then repeating it using this tool. An example of this would be, let's say, a simple flower shape. And I have a file open that we created for a gig poster for Pete Seeger. And you could see that a lot is going on, but it's essentially a lot of different flower illustrations. And you can see a couple down here that I'm going to use as my example. I'm pulled one outset of our art board to replicate here. Now, when it comes to illustrating a flower, I would say our instinct is to start off with a single shape. Let's say I want to create a pedal. And we're going to use the rotation tool to let say it rotate this shape over and over again. So you can see like if I did something like this and I copied and pasted, I would kind of get this five. And this is kind of like kind of a way to make a flower, but it's not exactly the best way to make a flower. And I'm using stringent like math here, that's not allowing for any flexibility. It's basically just using like 45 degrees, 90 degrees, whatever. But let's say I wanted to create something a little bit more unique where I'm creating five specific petals going around the circumference. That's where the repeat tool comes in handy. So what I'm gonna do is actually start off with a simple shape. It's going to just be a square and I'm going to turn it sideways so it's a diamond. I'm going to go into my Shape Modes within Pathfinder and actually unite the shape. And this is going to allow me to squeeze it and turn it into a true diamond. And I'm trying to create basically this shape right here. So I'm going to give it some rounding at the top. And I'm going to give some rounding to the sides. And I feel like that's a good starting point. So everything's live here. And this is where I go into Object, repeat. So if you go into object, scroll down to repeat and go to radial. This will allow you to turn it into a flower almost immediately. Now what's interesting about this is that there's a couple areas where you can adjust. I can make the circumference a little bit wider. I can remove petals if I want to. I can even change the amount of petals that are shown here. So you can see we're basically have a lot more flexibility. And if I'm trying to create this look, let's say I want to have only five petals and I'm trying to bring the circumference in. You can see I have a lot more adjustability here. What's really cool is if you actually right-click on this and you go to isolate selected, repeat, it, finds the original image that you created and you can actually make micro adjustments from there. Let's say I don't really like the rounding that happened. Or I can make it a little bit more narrow looking. But it basically gives you as much flexibility as possible. And what's also interesting too, is that this could be like the basis of the beginning of a series of flowers. Let's say I want to move this over and create another one. I can go in and basically make it, make adjustments from there. So let's say I want to change this, the petals for this guy. I can do the whole isolate, repeat again and change this one just to be a little bit more unique. Maybe change its color. And once I click out, I can also adjust the repeat functionality of it. So I can also add more petals if I want to. And you could see that the options are pretty limitless. So this becomes really in handy when it's creating a shape that requires it to repeat around itself. And flowers is a really good example of that. 9. Text Tools: Filling and Shaping Text: In this lesson, we're going to look at a few texts tools in Illustrator. This first one has to do with alignment in Illustrator. And one thing that can be tricky is based on this bounding box that's around certain texts shapes. It can be hard to align text perfectly with other texts or shapes. So for this example, I'm using a cover page of the document we use with clients. And I'm going to select everything. Click again on this red stroke because I want that to be what we aligned to. And if I click a line, you can see it didn't actually align everything correctly. Even though things are aligned to the left. It was this bounding box of the large text and not the actual edge of the text. So to fix that in our Align menu, there's a couple of features added up in this hamburger drop-down. This one here, a line to glyph bounds, select point text. And now let's try that again. So I'm going to select all of my texts, highlight my key shape, click Align. And now as you can see, it's ignoring that bounding box. It's literally just taking the edge of all my glyphs and aligning those to the left. So now we have perfect alignment with that text. One other texts thing I wanted to take a look at was how you can warp and Phil text. So for that, we're going to take a look at this poster we did with Mondo for the movie big. And you can see up at the top here we warped this custom title treatment into this kind of bow tie shaped container. Now at the time we just did this all by hand in a pretty manual, time-consuming way. But there is a good way to kind of get a head start with that. So I have that bow tie shape over on the side of my art board here. And I have some live text and I'm going to keep this live for now in case I want to edit it as I go. So I'm gonna kinda put that near this shape. I'm going to make sure that I send the text to the back and then I'm going to select both. And the reason for that is we're gonna go over to Object Envelope Distort. And we're going to say make with top object. So in this case, our top object is that bowtie shaped. And as you can see it now fit the text into that shape. It's a little wonky at this point because it's kind of like forcing the text into some pretty extreme angles. But it's a way easier solution than what you would have had to do in the past, which is using mash or some other Envelope Distort method to kind of push and pull things. Now it just snaps into place right away. Now if we do want to make changes to this, we can go back to our object menu, go into Envelope Distort, and I can click here and say edit contents. And now I'm back to being able to edit my text. So for example, I could change that to a different weight. And another thing I wanted to point out was how you can now fill live text with gradients. Used to not be able to do this in Illustrator. You would have to expand or outline your text first and then apply the gradient. But in this case, what you're going to need is your appearance palette. Because if you just tried to apply a gradient directly from the toolbar, it won't work. But what we're gonna do in our appearance panel down here, you have the option to add a stroke or a fill. So I'm going to click Add New Fill. And now here is where we can apply a gradient. And this is really helpful because we could basically create exactly what we had going on in this file, which is a gradient fading from light to dark, top to bottom. So I can make those adjustments in the gradient panel here. And the cool thing about this is you can also use opacity in this gradient. So if we want it to show through to the background, we have that option as well. Then one other thing I'll point out is that gradients can also be used for strokes. So if you select the stroke here, you can fill that with a gradient as well. So you really have a lot of options with how to manipulate text. Lastly, if we did decide we wanted to change our container shape again, we can go back to that object menu Envelope Distort, and this time it's toggled to edit envelope. Now we're back to that shape and we can adjust that as well. So some pretty handy text features to keep everything lives and editable in Illustrator 10. Building Realistic 3D from Scratch: Adobe Illustrator has come a really long way when it comes to 3D realism, the 3D tools within Illustrator nowadays are super hyper-realistic. I'm going to play around with a couple of those tools now. One being the Extrude and Bevel tool, It's one of the more common ways to make something look 3D. But I'm gonna do it and really simple way. I'm going to start off with just a square to show you the capabilities of this tool and actually how robust it really is. So I have a simple vector square started up here. And to get your 3D tools open, you can go into effect 3D and materials and click on any of these selections here. Extrude and Bevel is what we're going to be playing around with. So by clicking that you can see it. It gave it a kind of a default angle, gave it a little bit of depth, some light source. I'm going to give it a bit more of an interesting angle. I'm going to play around with some of these presets here and go to isometric top for example. We'd like to draw things sometimes in an isometric styles. So this is a great way to create something more complex in that actual angle. And you can see that you have also options in the world of beveling. So the default selection is to have bevel off, but I'm actually going to turn it on. And you can see that it turned on a kind of a tapered look to this actual square. And you have all these presets inside it. So right now the classic is just to add a bit more of that angle, but I'm gonna give it an actual stair-step look. And even within this, you have adjustments that you can make. So I'm going to add some repeated steps. And you can see that I'm kinda turning this square into an ancient ruin that looks a lot like a pyramid, for example. I'm going to play around with the height and maybe give more steps to this whole thing and get it to a place where it feels a little bit more like my intention to make it look like a pyramid. Again, I'm still just playing with a square, but I'm adding so many more features to it. And it doesn't stop with just the object itself. You can actually add in materials. So this is basically like making it look like a certain texture. The default is just basically a plain color, but you can see in all materials and graphics, there's all these presets that you can choose from. I'm going to try to find one that looks a little bit more like a rocky texture. And I think maybe this one right here might be a good choice. You could see it already adds a lot more realism to it. Now as I scroll in, you can see that even have adjustments that you can make from here, you can change its resolution. You can change how many repeats you get within that pattern so it can make it a little more fine. Can even change, let's say like the color of this, the default is this brown, but let's say I want to turn it back to this gold color that we're going for. So that seems like a better choice and it's still using a textured mind. Then lastly, let's talk a little about the lighting that's involved. Now with the 3D tools, you can see that there's some standards here. You can do like a top-right lighting, top-left. There's diffuse, which is basically just right in the center. I'm going to start off with top, right. And then kind of play around with the light source here. This little button right here is that you basically can grab it and change your light source as you see fit. So I'm going to find an angle that feels a little bit more interesting. That to me feels better than what the defaults were. Then as I scroll down, you can see that we also have options in the shadows area. This also is typically just unclicked as a default, but if you click that shadow, you can see that adds a base shadow to this actual element. And within height, you can actually give the shadow a little bit more length. And now it's really looking like a three-dimensional pyramid. Now, this is not where you need to stop. Like this whole thing can actually be even more rendered. This is actually just the preview rendering to see what this looks like fully rendered. This top button at the top right is the Renderer with ray tracing. When you click on that, basically allow for it to process for a little bit. And then you can see that all of this added detail comes into effect. So the shadow itself actually disperses as it goes towards the edge. You get a lot more realism on the shape itself and even the shadows and textures within it are a little more realistic. And again, this is just using a square. So let's say that you wanted to go back to that preview and change the shape of the square. Everything completely is adjustable. You can even give it some rounding if you wanted to. Get to a point where it looked completely different form where we started and then go back to ray tracing. And you've got a completely different look. So the 3D tools with an Illustrator are just crazy realistic these days. And we can start off with just a really simple shape to get started, but definitely dig in and see all the options that you have. 11. Using the Intertwine Tool: One of the most talked about new tools in Illustrator is the intertwined tool, which is super handy if you've ever tried making something like Olympic rings where part of the shape you want to have in front and part is in back. It can be difficult to use that. Do something like that using other tools. Because it often requires a destructive approach where you're using Pathfinder to break things apart. But with intertwine, it's really easy to do live. Custom overlaps in that way. So let's take a look at this monogram example. I'm going to select both objects, choose Object, intertwine, make. And in this latest version of Illustrator, we have three ways of working with this tool. We can either hover over these different areas and click in order to change the overlap. You can see in some cases, it doesn't pick the exact right area where we want the overlaps to be. So in that case, I might use this Lasso tool so we can get a little bit more specific with our selection. And then the other third option is to hold down shift and that changes that lasso to a rectangular marquee. You can drag that. And I like to drag it fairly large so that then if you do want to come in with your white arrow and adjust the shapes you can see. The larger you make that Marquis, the less you have to worry about reaching the edge of your intertwined selection area. So that's an example with two colors, which is pretty straightforward. But let's look at if we wanted to just do a one-color monogram using strokes, I'm first going to make sure that both letters are filled with black. And then using the appearance panel up here, I'm going to add a white stroke. And the reason I'm doing that in the appearance panel is because we have the option to move this stroke in front of or behind the text. I'm doing that so I can move it behind. I maintain the width of the appearance of the text and the stroke I can adjust behind it. So I'll keep that as a one-point stroke for now. And then let's go back to Object, intertwined make. And now we can do what we did before. You can see in some cases the automatic selection doesn't quite give you what you want. So here's another area where all select there. And then the cool thing about this is that this text is still all lives. So I can go in and in this case with a variable font, I can update the width or the weights. Same thing with the G. So there you have some easy ways to work with the intertwined tool in completely live settings so you can update how the letters overlap, their color, their stroke, and even the font 12. Working Smarter with Color Swatches: Let's talk a little bit about color within Adobe Illustrator, more specifically, color swatches. We've mentioned this a bunch on other classes. But I just want to start by saying definitely use global colors. It's a great way to start a project. I'm going to show you how to create one just really quickly because we're going to use that in our example. So go ahead and just make your swatch that your using. I'm going to use purple as an example here. I'm going to add it to my swatch palette as a global color. A quick way to do that is just have it selected and click "New Swatch". You're going to have the global check mark created. It's going to add it to your swatch. You'll know it's global because at the bottom right corner is a little white triangle. This is something that you can adjust in the future. So if you wanted to change its color, you can just change it by double-clicking that swatch. So the reason I'm mentioning this, I just want to show how versatile color swatches are, if they are global. So this is an example of all the ways colors can technically be used within Illustrator. More commonly known, you have the fills, you have strokes. You can use color within a gradient. I haven't used in actual live texts. So this is actually completely versatile in the sense that I can change in the future, but it's using that swatch. I even have a linked texture within this file. So this texture is just a grayscale image, basically a JPEG that's gray scale. I have its fill set to the screen. Now, for the sake of argument, I want to change this green within this file. I'm using the global color green. So I basically have to do is double-click that "Swatch" within, my swatch panel to make any adjustment I want. So typically how we would normally do this, our instinct is to go to select "Same Fill Color "or select "Same Stroke Color". Make adjustments that way. But this is a much more efficient way to deal with things. So you just double-click on "Your Swatch". As long as you have preview on, you can see that I can make adjustments. All of those elements that's using that color are changing on the fly. So pretty cool. Let's say you're dealing with a client that requires Pantones, for example. The print files that we would send off to actually produce a beer label. You're trying to make your file as clean as possible. You can see we have two different labels that are using the same color scheme. One thing that I'm noticing prior to sending this off is that, the darkest green I have in this file is not exactly the same as the darkest green in this file. I want to unify them. Since I'm using global colors throughout, you can see that I have a swatch designated here, that's using this darkest green on the file on the left. I have a swatch that's using this darker green on the right. I want to change all my colors to be that dark green and unify them. One easy way to do that is to grab both those swatches and make your first selection, the swatch that you want everything to be merged into. So I'm going to go ahead and click on this "Forest Green" that I would like everything to be merged into. Hold down Shift or command depending on where your swatches is. As long as you select the first one that you want to merge into first. Then go into the hamburger icon in the top right of your swatch panel. I'm going to merge swatches. Now, what that did was it basically took both those swatches and turn them into one. You can see on the left here that file that was using that darkest color is now unified. So now I've really reduced down the amount of colors in my file. But as a final step, I also need to convert these CMYK swatches to Pantones. Typically we would either do it one of two ways. We would get our Pantone book out and start looking for the right Pantone. Try to match it to the screen. Which sometimes depending on the lighting in your room, can be cumbersome. You can also pull up, let's say, your Open Swatch Library and go into color books. Open up CMYK coded, for example, and try to match things based off just eyeballing them. This too is an issue. I'm going to try to find a green that's similar to this lime green. You click on one of them and you compare and contrast. May be that's a little bit more labor than you're looking for. There's actually a shortcut to all of this. So what I'm going to do is go and click "Out" and delete some of these things I just created. I'm going to take the three swatches I'm trying to find Pantones for. [NOISE] I'm going to duplicate them on top of each other by holding down "Option" and "Shift" and get them right next to each other. With those three duplications selected, I'm going to go into edit. Edit colors, and recolor artwork. This panel will show up. So this basically will choose what those colors are, based off of any selection of your choice. So you can go into color library and click on a specific "Color Book", for example. So we're trying to find actual Pantones. I'm going to go into color book, Pantone, CMYK coded. What it does is it basically finds the nearest neighbor. Basically within that book, what it thinks is the closest match. If you click outside of that box, you can see now we have our CMYK selection. You can see that it pops up as this. Or you have the nearest neighbor, which is this Pantone that was specifically chosen, that's pretty close to basically what you find out a Pantone book. You could do micro adjustments from there. So what I would typically do at this point is use this as a basis and be like, I think that it's pretty close to this Pantone that was selected within Illustrator. I'm going to check my work and see if it looks right in the book. This is definitely a much more easier and quicker way to find Pantone colors within Illustrator 13. Class Conclusion: Congrats, you made it through. You now know ten new tips and tricks within Adobe Illustrator. We covered non-destructive ways of building arts, how to work faster and more efficiently, and ways of working in new creative styles. We hope this class inspired you to use Illustrator in a whole new way. We're excited to see what you come up with. So please share how you use one or more of the tips in the project gallery. And if you have your own techniques to share, The more the merrier, we'd love to learn from you as well. If there's one thing we hope you take away from this class, it's that there are ways to work faster and more efficiently at almost every stage of a project. Well, we hope you enjoyed the class and we'd love it if you left a review. You can also learn more from us in some of our other classes, ranging from rock poster design to productivity for designers. So thanks again and hope to see you in another class. 14. Want to Learn More?: If you enjoyed this class and you're looking to take your Skillshare instructions to the next level. We're now offering Skillshare one on one sessions, where you can book a direct private video call with us to answer any remaining questions you have or cover other specific subject matter. We're currently offering three types of sessions starting at $99 The first one being a portfolio review. The second offering is a business consultation. And the third is an art instructional session. That's a deep dive into Adobe Illustrator. You can find a link below to book a session. Or you can also learn more in our Skillshare profile. We look forward to connecting with you. It's gonna be Awesome 0.