Teaching at the Adobe MAX Conference in San Diego this week and one of the classes I am teaching involves file formats and what they are used for. JPG, PNG, GIF, EPS, PSD... what do they mean and what are they used for? Here is a quick infographic overview of the most used file formats.
Just some spooky fun icons to create just in time Halloween. And a fun tip, use Apostrophesas stems! Why try to make a stem when you have all these fonts to choose from and they all have the perfect pumpkin "stems". And, if you want to carve pumpkins I have an older video down with CreativeLive here: Pumpkin carving with Power Toolsand a NEW video just done with CreativeLive that you can find here: Creative Pumpkin Carving
Start with an oval, then duplicate it over itself to create an overlap. Copy one of the oval (for later use).
Select both ovals, then use the Pathfinder to unite the 2 together as one shape.
Past the copied oval and then make it narrower.
Select the oval and then the Scale Tool. OPTION + CLICK on the oval with the scale tool to open the scale dialog box. Set the Horizontal width to be 150%, then click COPY.
Once you have clicked COPY, then use COMMAND + D to duplicate the scale a few more times. This will create wider ovals in the same center location as the original.
Select the lines and change the stroke color to white.
Set the Align Stroke to the inside of the ovals inside the Stroke Panel.
Click with the Type Tool and choose an apostrophe, search through the type faces to find the right "stem".
Place the stem behind the pumpkin and you are done!
Copy the original compound shape from the first pumpkin just completed.
Using the Direction Selection Tool, select the bottom center "peaked" point on the shape and delete it. This will leave an opening in the shape.
Select the shape with the Selection Tool and click COMMAND + J (Join) to close the path and create a flat line on the bottom of the pumpkin.
Draw a line down the middle of the shape, add a white stoke and round (hotdog) the ends of the line.
Using the Curvature Tool, select the center of the line and pull off to the side.
Copy the new line then curve the new line more. Duplicate the left curved lines and then rotate the lines for the right side.
Pick your apostrophe from a type face for a stem, outline the font then fill with a dark brown.
Use the same base shape created in pumpkin #2 for this pumpkin.
Draw a line down the middle of the shape, add the same color stroke as the outline and round (hotdog) the ends of the line.
Use the Curvature Tool to curve the lines, then use the Width Shape Tool to widen the middle of the lines. Copy the new lines then curve the new line more. Duplicate the left curved lines and then rotate the lines for the right side. Add you "apostrophe" stem!
For the 4th pumpkin, use the same base shape created in pumpkin #2 for this pumpkin.
Click on the shape then click on the Draw Inside Mode at the bottom of the Tool Bar. Far right of the 3 dar option icons.
Draw Inside mode is indicated by a dashed line (Clipping Mask). Anything drawn in this mode will "appear inside" the selected shape. This is actually Clipping Mask mode just made a little easier.
Draw multiple ovals while in Draw Inside mode, set them to be different colors an opacities to give the shaded/shadow look.
This is what it looks like in Outline Mode (COMMAND + Y).
Add a stem and an outline to the main shape and you are ready for Halloween.
4 different style pumpkins for your Halloween Fun. Enjoy!
9-Slice scaling is not something that you hear often, however it is quite effective for scaling complex objects without distorting certain attributes. Using Symbols, the 9-slice features allows to scale/resize objects quickly and efficiently without using the Direct Selection tool to select and move only portions of a shape.
I created a shape with rounded corners and an inset path.
When I scale the shape, the corners get pulled out of proportion. And I see this numerous times when rounded corner shapes are used. I see this on ATM machines and credit card machines... AND IT DRIVES ME NUTS!
Here is a ribbon used for a headed or infographic element.
However, when the entire shape is pulled, it gets distorted.
Open the Symbols Panel. Window>Symbols. Select the object you want to turn into a Symbol and drag the shape onto the Symbols Panel to save it as a Symbol.
This dialog box will open…. Name the Symbol. Check Dynamic Symbol. Check Enable guides for 9-Slice Scaling. Click OK.
It will become a symbol as indicated by the + shape in the middle of the object.
As a Symbol, it can be scaled without skewing attributes out of proportion... all thanks to the 9-Slice Scaling.
Double-click on the object to call up the 9-slice scaling. The guide indicates the area in which the scaling occurs.
The red highlighted area will scale, everything outside will not scale, keeping the appearance intact. Adjust the guides to the edge of the area you want to scale but do not go into the areas that are to be left out of the scaling effect. Then click ESCAPE to get out of 9-slice edit mode.
Setting up the ribbon with the 9-slice allows the ribbon to go wider without distortion.
However, scaling this ribbon vertically distorts the ends since they were not included in the 9-slice area. Horizontally does not distort the shape.
With this ribbon, creating a scalable symbol is more tricky. The 9-slice is only set up on the right side making only that section scalable.
Scaling one portion of the shape to make the ribbon longer or shorter can be helpful when you need more area for type or icons but don't want to change the overall height.
Making symbols that are scalable can make creating icons for websites much easier!
I can say for certainty, that many people who use Illustrator have some confusion over all the Align/Distribute icons in the AI control bar. "They all look the same" is the most common comment I hear. Then what is this Align to... drop down and what does it really mean. Using the Distribute section of the Align, it seems to not distribute things with equal spacing... or it does sometimes but not others. Here is the definitive guide on how to use and UNDERSTAND all the ins and outs of the Align/Distribute options. They can be very useful... once you know how they really work!
To begin with the Align Options, you have to have at least 2 objects selected in order for the Align/Distribute functions to show in the Control Bar. You can always open the Align/Distribute Panel under the Window Menu>Align.
(Or, if you have 1 object selected AND the Align to Artboard option selected, then these option will show up... but that is explained a few lines later...)
With 2 or more object selected, you can align the Right edges, Left edges, Top edges and so on. Simple.
When you have multiple objects selected and you choose an alignment options, ALL of the selected objects will align. ALL of them!
In this case, I chose Align left, so ALL of the objects aligned left. Illustrator does not pay attention to the edge of EACH column, just the absolute edge/center OF EACH OBJECT. Thus, ALL get aligned to the left.
When choosing the Align functions, how does Illustrator know WHICH OBJECT to align things to? Well, if the TOP align is chosen, it picks the top most object. Left align, the left most object, Bottom align, the bottom most object. In the Align Panel this is called Align To Selection.
How can you change which object it will align to otherwise? Easily, by using the Align to Key Object.
Once you select your objects, click on the Object you wish to align all the other objects too. This will be indicated by the thicker blue outline on the object. That is now your Key Object.
You will see in the Align Panel that the lower right icon now shows up as a key, indicating alignment on the object you selected. But wait... you can't see that because Illustrator doesn't show all the options in the Align Panel by default!!!
You have to click on the "Cheese Grater" on the Align panel to get the Show Options to see all the rest of the Align panel. This still annoys me that it doesn't show by default.
However, those options do show up in the Control Bar as well.
Now with your Key Object selected, all the objects will align to THAT Key Object once you click on how you want them aligned.
You can also Align to the Artboard if you want to position a single shape or multiple shapes to the center, left right, top, bottom of the art board.
3 objects selected, aligned to the center (vertically) on the Artboard.
To use the DISTRIBUTE FEATURES, you need to have 3 or more object selected. (Or just 2 if you use the Distribute to Artboard... again, getting ahead here...)
To many, this means it will space the object out equally. YES and NO!! This will space out the object equally from the CENTER, LEFT, RIGHT (depending on which align you choose). It looks fine when you use object that are the same size. So YES!
Objects of different sizes, NO it does not look right.
The Distribute works by setting the first object and the last object in the position you want them ( I call this "fence posting"). All the other object fall in between and get distributed in between the 2 ends.
If the object are different size, when I choose the Distribute (in this case, vertically align the CENTERS), I end up with spacing that is not the same in between the objects.
Here is the vertically distributed objects that are equally spaced apart when measure from their CENTERS.
Yes the spacing is off, but the space between the centers is EXACTLY the same.
So you want the spacing BETWEEN the objects to be the same, even when the objects are different sizes! So you need to choose the Distribute Spacing options at the bottom of the Align Panel.
Select 3 or more objects, then use the Distribute Spacing between the object, either horizontal or vertical. Then the SPACING will be the same BETWEEN, regardless of the size of the objects.
But I want to give it an amount of spacing between, not just have it balanced between my first and last object. I can't, the box is not active!!!
The "key" to this is you must have all your objects selected AND choose from the Align To options: Key Object. Then and only then will the spacing option come to life. Set the actual measurement in between AND press the Distribute Spacing options you want (vertically or horizontally).
Many times people will enter the value and nothing happens... you MUST press which spacing option you want after you enter the value.
You can also Distribute the spacing between 2 or more objects between the edges of the Artboard as well.
Select 2 or more objects, choose Align to Artboard in the Align to options, the click on the Distribute Spacing option you want.
Note: it put the object EDGE on the edge of the artboard, these objects have strokes that are aligned to the middle of the object so half the stroke is inside and half outside the object, giving the appearance that the objects are not really at the edge of the artboard.