Today in class Professor Pannafino went over a few more tools in Illustrator. He talked about and demonstrated how to use the Pen tool, the Knife tool, Type tool, and how to work with Layers, Pathfinder, how to align objects, and even how to change type into shape. Then we worked on an assignment in class where we had to recreate different logos.
The Pen tool can be used to create lines and shapes. When making a shape with the pen tool, the first point created is the "point of origin" and in order to close the shape, you must click the point of origin at the end. In order to create curves in the path or shape that is being created, you can either hold down the pen tool and drag or take the Anchor Point tool, click and hold down on a point, and drag. This will curve both sides of the point but if you only want to manipulate one side, just hold down option when you click and drag. It is difficult at first but after working with the Pen tool for a little bit you start to get the hang of it.
The Knife tool is pretty simple to work with. It is located under the eraser tool in the drop-down list. When using the Knife tool, all you have to do is click and drag ( to make the perfect line, hold option), this creates the division but does not break the shape. In order to separate the two pieces created with the Knife tool, choose the direct select tool (the white arrow) to separate the pieces.
The Type tool is one of the easiest tools to work with. You can either click once to simply create one line, in order to create another line just click enter. Another way to use the Type tool is to click and drag to create a text box, then the text you are typing stays within the box.
Everything being created with these tools is being done on either one or multiple layers. To see these Layers, go to Windows then Layers and a box will pop up on the screen showing the different layers. Layer 1 is the default layer but you can add multiple layers.
When you want to manipulate different shapes you've created, you can use Pathfinder. To find Pathfinder, go to Window then Pathfinder, this will bring up a box that has two different categories, Shapemodes and Pathfinder. In order to use this, two or more shapes must be overlapping. You can choose different options from Shapemodes, such as unite which combines the shapes and changes the color to that of the shape on the top, or you have options from Pathfinders, such as separating the pieces.
To align multiple shapes, go to Window and Align, this brings up different alignment options and distribution options.
One can also change text into type by going to the type menu and choosing "create outlines." After doing this, you can no longer change the letter but can manipulate it like a shape.
After using seeing how to use these tools we put them to the test. Our in-class assignment (and homework) was to recreate different logos such as the WWF logo and the NFL logo. At first, it was a bit difficult but once I got the hang of how to use each tool, it did not take too long to finish the logos.
This is what the end product looks like:
The easiest logo to recreate was the Texaco logo while the hardest one for me was probably the WWF logo. With that one I had to take my time and work carefully with the pen tool to create each little curve within the panda.
During class my assignment was to finish recreating the logos on the right side. I finished those up by the end of class and decided to stay late in order to finish the other four which were our homework.
My recreation of the logos are not perfect but the more I worked with the pen tool, the more comfortable I got with it and the easier it was to create each path, shape, and curve.