Lesson 5 – Illustrator Essentials

In Lesson 5 I learned how to draw basic shapes, or to use the rectangle/ellipses/polygons tool in Adobe Illustrator.

Before I did that, I tried to get a basic understanding of vector paths, which there are three different types: Straight paths, Curved paths, and Closed paths.



Now these are basics structures of vector paths. In the “Straight Path” the anchor points are represented by squares that indicate the start and stop point, while the line is the path. In the “Curved Path” you see the start and stop points of the anchor points, but there is also one in the center that represents the curvature of the path. Another element to this path are the control handles that can be used to control the curve of the path. Finally the “Closed Path” is exactly what it implies, each anchor point leads back around to the starting anchor path to close the path, and allows me to fill the inside of the path with a color.

Adobe Illustrator has a tool for basic shapes called Rectangle Tool or Ellipses Tool, and you can also switch it to the Polygon Tool.

In the images above, you see that I’ve used a Rectangle tool, by clicking and dragging on the document. By shift-clicking and dragging on the document I can keep the rectangle as a proportioned square. In the left image there are circles in all four corners of the square and you can click and drag on these to create rounded corners like the right image.

Ellipses are the same concept when creating one, but in the right image you can see that you could create a sort of pie graph if you wanted by clicking on that circular tab to the right of the ellipses and drag it till you get it to the position you want.

Polygons and Stars were a little more involved when creating them, especially stars. By shift-clicking I can keep the stars proportioned, but pressing on the command+dragging away from the star I can elongate the points of the star, or dragging towards the center of the star it “fattens” the object. Also pressing the up or down arrow keys will add or subtract points on both polygons and stars, respectively.