Day 45 – Lesson 10 (Illustrator Essentials)

Illustrator deals with lots creating shapes for artwork and in lesson 10 I learned how create more complex shapes for artwork.

To start, I worked with creating compound paths, which is pretty simple to do.

In the left image above, you see three different shapes (circle, square and star) that have their center punched out. Actually, each of those shapes are two different objects, but I want to make them into compound paths so that they are a single shape. Using the selection tool, I select both the outer circle and inner one, then go to the Object menu where I will scroll to the Compound Path then click on Make. Or simply press command+8. Now when I move the circle, it moves as one object.

Next, I learned how the pathfinder tool works on objects on this cheat sheet.


So far, nothing has been done to any of these objects, but by opening up the Pathfinder panel and selecting both the star and circle on the “Unite” section, then clicking on the corresponding “Unite” button in the pathfinder panel I can see what that does to the objects.

Below, you can see what each of the Shape Modes in the pathfinder panel does to their corresponding objects.


Finally, I learned how to use the Shipbuilder tool in Adobe Illustrator, which you can use on simple shapes to create more complex ones.


Above you see various complex shapes made by combinations of simple shapes like circles, triangles and rectangles.

Starting with the shape in the upper, left-hand corner, I used the shipbuilder tool (found in the left-hand panel) to combine the rectangle and triangle to transform the two objects into one arrow. I do this by drawing a line from the rectangle, through their intersecting points to the triangle.

With the shapes in the bottom, left-hand corner, I did the same with the triangle and the circle to connect them to make a fish, but you have probably noticed that there is another triangle that I want to take out of the object. To do that I simply press and hold the option button while drawing a line over the triangle and the point it intersects with the fish’s head.

Finally, with the rings in the bottom, right-hand corner I wanted to show them overlapping and underlapping at certain points, and filled the individual rings with a color to give a better visual of this happening.



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