Chapter 4: Shaping Up, Basically

Chapter 4: Shaping Up, Basically


In This Chapter

  • Creating objects the easy way

  • Customizing basic objects

  • Combining objects to create other objects

  • Spewing objects onto a page with the Symbolism tools

A regrettably large number of people avoid Illustrator because they find the whole point/path thing so intimidating. This situation is unfortunate but not surprising. When most people look at artwork, they see it as complete shapes, not as the lines that form the shapes. Working with points and paths forces you to see your artwork in a way that many people have never thought of before, which creates enough of a hurdle to scare people away from Illustrator.

Fortunately, Illustrator offers the shape-creation tools as a way to get a running start to clear that hurdle. The six shape-creation tools let you create basic shapes, such as rectangles, ellipses, stars, and polygons. With the shape- creation tools, you can create graphics without even thinking about points and paths! (Don’t be fooled — the points and paths are still there, but the tools create them all for you with just a single click-and-drag. Ah, progress.)

In this chapter, you discover how to use the shape-creation tools, which offers you a good foundation for understanding and using the more complex features of Illustrator. You also find out how to combine simple shapes. Although the shape-creation tools create basic elements, they are by no means limited, especially when used in conjunction with the Pathfinder palette. Some people discover that they can create such an astonishing variety of graphics with the shape-creation tools that they can bypass more complex tools, such as the Pen and Pencil tools, altogether!