Illustrator #3: Editing Shapes


Previous Tutorial

Illustrator #2: Manipulating Objects
In this tutorial you will learn how to manipulate objects in Illustrator.


This tutorial will show you how to edit more complex shapes, including:

Set Up

Create new Illustrator file, and call it “Tutorial 3”.

Creating And Editing Complex Shapes

Drawing Shapes Using Pen Tool

Pen tool lets us draw arbitrary shapes, as well as edit basic shapes such as rectangle or ellipse.
To start using it, select Pen Tool from the Toolbar or press “P” key.


Now click on Artboard to start the line, and keep clicking to create a shape (in Illustrator called: Path) with straight lines:


If you want to create smooth curved shapes, then each time you click to add a new point you need to hold the mouse button pressed and drag to define the curve at the newly added point:


And now the video to illustrate the ways of drawing shapes:

Edit Shape By Moving Its Points

3-3-directYou can move and edit every individual point of a path by using Direct Selection Tool (key ‘A‘):

Click on  the Direct Selection Tool (A) icon, and then select one of the shapes you just drew, we’ll see every anchor on the path, and in case of smooth anchors we will also see the handlers that define the curve:


Now you can select and drag each individual point to change the shape of the path:

Converting and Deleting Shape Points

If you pay attention to Control Bar at the top of the screen, you’ll see that it changes when you select an anchor point:


And here is how we use these options. Please note how near the end of the video we selected TWO anchor points (by having key SHIFT pressed) and then used scissors tool to cut the shape in two.

Adding And Removing Anchor Points Using Pen Tool (‘P’)

If we need to quickly add and remove points from a path, we can also use Pen Tool (the one we use for drawing paths).


First select the path you want to edit with Selection Tool (‘V’).

Only then, after you already have an object selected, activate Pen Tool (‘P’).

Then you can click near the anchor point to delete it (please note how cursor pointer changes), or click anywhere on a shape edge to add new anchor point point. Please note near the end of this video we changed to Direct Selection Tool in order to move around the newly created anchor points:

Modifying Basic Shapes

Path tools (Pen Tool and Direct Selection Tool) can also be used to edit basic shapes such as rectangles or ellipses, in the same way as the paths that we create with the path tool:

Finally, we can put it all together and draw a little monster:

Next Tutorial

Illustrator #4: Combine Shapes
This short tutorial will show you how to create more complex geometric shapes combining two or more shapes into one by adding, subtracting or overlapping them.


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