Tutorial: Blender Basics – Introduction and Interface

  

Read on Medium Button

Welcome to the first tutorial of the Blender Basics tutorial series. In this tutorial we will be introducing Blender and taking a look at Blender’s interface.

Blender Reference Manual – https://docs.blender.org/manual/ja/dev/index.html

Blender Hotkeys Reference – https://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Doc:2.4/Reference/Hotkeys/All

 

What is Blender?

Blender is the free and open source 3D creation suite. It supports the entirety of the 3D pipeline—modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing and motion tracking, even video editing and game creation. Advanced users employ Blender’s API for Python scripting to customize the application and write specialized tools; often these are included in Blender’s future releases. Blender is well suited to individuals and small studios who benefit from its unified pipeline and responsive development process.

-About: https://www.blender.org/about/

Where can I download Blender?

You can download Blender for free at blender.org.

As of the time of this recording Blender 2.78c is the latest stable release from the Blender Foundation. To download it, go to the download page at blender.org and select your platform and location. I would recommend using the Installer option. Once you download the file you run the downloaded Installer just like any other executable file.

Can I use Blender on a laptop?

You can use Blender on a laptop however there are a couple of things that you will need in order to easily use Blender.

First, you will need a mouse. Using a trackpad in Blender can be very tricky and not very comfortable. It is recommended that you purchase a mouse to use instead of the trackpad.

Second, you will need to make a change to the User Preferences if you do not have access to a Number Pad. Simply go to Users Preference and open the Input Tab. Under the Input Tab place a checkmark next to “Emulate Numpad.” This will permit laptop users to use the numbers at the top of the keyboard in lieu of a numpad. Don’t forget to “Save User Settings.”

Helpful Addons

There are some useful addons that I would recommend you activate for future use.

Click on the Add-ons tab…

Import-Export: FBX Format – Allows for FBX meshes, vertex colors, materials, textures, cameras, lamps, and actions

Import-Export: Import Images as Planes – Imports images and creates planes with appropriate aspect ratios

Import-Export: UV Layout – Export the UV layout as a 2D graphic

Import-Export: Wavefront OBJ Format – Allows for importing and exporting OBJ meshes, uvs, materials, and textures

Don’t forget to “Save User Settings.”

Blender Interface

When starting Blender, the splash screen appears in the center of the window. It contains help options under links and the recently opened blend-files.

To close the Splash Screen and start a new project, click anywhere outside the splash screen (but inside the Blender Window) or press ESC. The splash screen will disappear revealing the default screen.

*Note: Your Blender interface will appear gray since I have a theme applied to my interface.

To reopen the Splash Screen select Help > Splash Screen.

After starting Blender and closing the Splash Screen your Blender window should look something similar to this. Blender’s user interface is consistent across all platforms.

The Default Screen

By default Blender starts up showing the default screen, which is separated into five areas containing the:

  1. Information Editor
  2. 3D viewport
  3. Outliner
  4. Properties Editor
  5. Timeline

Screens

Screens are essentially pre-defined window layouts. Blender’s flexibility with areas lets you create customized working environments for different tasks such as modeling, animating, and scripting. It is often useful to quickly switch between different environments within the same file.

Default Screens

3D View Full: A full screen 3D View, used to preview your scene.

Animation: Making actors and other objects move about, change shape or color, etc.

Compositing: Combining different parts of a scene (e.g. background, actors, special effects) and filters (e.g. color correction).

Default: The default layout used by Blender for new files. It is useful for modeling new objects.

Game Logic: Planning and programming of games within Blender.

Motion Tracking: Used for motion tracking with the movie clip editor.

Scripting: Documenting your work and/or writing custom scripts to automate Blender.

UV Editing: Flattening a projection of an object mesh in 2D to control how a texture maps to the surface.

Video Editing: Cutting and editing of animation sequences.

Areas

The application window is always a rectangle on your desktop. It is divided up into a number of re-sizable areas. An area contains the workspace for a particular type of editor, like a 3D View Editor, or an Outliner.

Arranging

Blender uses a novel screen-splitting approach to arrange areas. The idea is that you split up the application window into any number of smaller non-overlapping areas. That way, each area is always fully visible, and it is very easy to work in one area and move over to work in another.

Changing the Size

You can resize areas by dragging their borders with the left mouse button (LMB). Simply move your mouse cursor over the border between two areas, until it changes to a double-headed arrow, and then click and drag.

Splitting and Joining

Area Split Widget

In the upper right and lower left corners of an area are the area split widgets, and they look like a little ridged thumb grip. It both splits and combines areas. When you hover over it, your cursor will change to a plus symbol (+).

Use the left mouse button (LMB) and drag it inward to split the area. You define the direction of that border by either dragging horizontally or vertically.

In order to join two areas, use the left mouse button (LMB), and click and drag the area splitter outward.

The area that will be closed gets a dark overlay with an arrow. Now you can select the area to be closed by moving the mouse over it.

Release the left mouse button (LMB) to complete the join. If you press ESC before releasing the mouse, the operation will be aborted.

The Properties Editor is being merged “over” the Outliner.

Tool Shelf

To open and close the Mesh Tools panel, use the T key. Most of these tools are also available as shortcuts (displayed in the Tooltips for each tool) and/or in the Specials menu (accessed with the W key), the Edge menu (accessed with CTRL E), and Face menu (accessed with CTRL F). The properties of each tool are displayed in the operator panel at the bottom of the Tool Shelf.

Even more mesh editing tools can be enabled in the User Preferences > Add-ons.

Properties Region

To open and close the Properties Region panel, use the N key.

In the Properties Region Panel, the panels directly related to mesh editing is the Transform panel, where numeric values can be entered for location, rotation, scale, and dimensions. We also have access to the Grease Pencil which allows you to write notes or draw in the 3D Viewport.

Rendering Engines

Blender has two options for rendering engines: Blender Render and Cycles. For the most part we will be using Blender Render for this video series but I will explain Cycles at the end of the series.

The Blender Internal Render is Blender’s non photo-real render engine.

Cycles is Blender’s ray-tracing production render engine. To use Cycles, it must be set as the active render engine in the Information Editor.

Cycles may be able to use your GPU to render. To see if and how you can use your GPU for rendering, see the documentation on GPU Rendering.

https://docs.blender.org/manual/en/dev/render/cycles/gpu_rendering.html

Saving Your Work

In order to save your work you simply go to File > Save. The native file extension for Blender is .blend.

Share

Witch’s Brew – Game Level Design

Witch’s Brew is a game that I am in the process of developing. It is intended to be a side scrolling, maze game. This is simply a prototype of a game level that I am using to further refine the game. This is not the final version of the level or the final version of the character.

Share

Tutorial: Illustrator CC Basics – Basic Shapes

File Download: oldetinkererstudio.com/tutorials/illustrator-cc-basics/basic-shapes-tutorial-paths-example.ai (FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY)

VECTOR PATHS

In this tutorial I will be teaching you how to create and edit Basic Shapes within Illustrator.

In Illustrator we use Paths or Vector Paths to make shapes. There are three basic types of Vector Paths: straight paths, curved paths, and closed paths.

The most basic form of a path is a straight line path. This basically means a straight line that is comprised of two anchor points and a path.

The anchor points are the little squares at the end of the path. The anchor points indicate the starting point or stopping point for a particular path. The path is the line that connects the anchor points.

A curved path is a path with anchor points and a path connecting them but these types of paths also have a control handle. The control handle is a small dot coming off the anchor points where the path curves. These control handles permit you to adjust the curvature of the lines between two anchor points.

It is possible to “fill” a curved path but it will only fill in the area inside the curve.

The last path type is called a closed path. A closed path is what you will have when you have drawn out shapes like this star. A closed path has anchor points and paths but this type of path also has a starting and ending point that encompasses the entire area.

Closed paths permit you to add a fill color to the path which will fill up the entire inside shape – unlike what happens when you “fill” a curved path.

LINES AND CURVES

Now that you have a basic understanding of Vector Paths I will show you how to make basic lines and curves.

Let’s move to Artboard 2 and choose the Line Segment Tool. The basic way of drawing inside Illustrator is to simply click and drag. You can always hold down the Shift key while you are drawing in order to draw straight and proportional shapes.

For this example we will draw a simple line to start with. Holding down your Shift key simply click once and then drag out a line. When you have the length of line that you want, release your mouse button and then your Shift key.

You can also draw on angles. Holding down the Shift key begin drawing a straight line and then move your cursor to any angle you desire. By holding down the Shift key you snap into different angles. Once you are done drawing release your mouse and then the Shift key.

Now we will learn how to draw a simple arc.

Go back to your Line Segment Tool and click and hold down your mouse button until you see the fly-out menu and then choose the Arc Tool. Hold down the Shift key and click on the artboard and drag to draw out the arc. By moving your mouse up and down you can change the direction of the arc.

The Curvature Tool allows you to start drawing curved lines. Choose the Curvature Tool and click on the Artboard. If it is trying to starting drawing from your last shape simple hold down the CTRL key on a PC or the CMD key on a Mac and click anywhere outside that shape.

Release your CTRL or CMD key and begin drawing. Instead of dragging as you do with the other tools your simply click and then click at another location to start the curve. When you click at the second location move your cursor and Illustrator will show you a preview of the curve. Once you like the curve shape simply click again.

Once you get back to your starting point you will see a small circle appear next to the tool. Once you click back on the starting point you will close the path.

SPIRALS

Now that you know how to draw basic lines and curves I will show you how to make spirals.

Let’s move to Artboard 3. Go back to your Arc Tool and click and hold down your mouse button until you see the fly-out menu and then choose the Spiral Tool.

To make a spiral, click on the artboard, and drag out a spiral. When you are done, release your mouse button.

In order to move the spiral around the artboard, hold down your Shift key as you are drawing.

In order to add rings to the spiral hold down your mouse button and press the up-arrow key on the keyboard. In order to remove rings hold down your mouse button and press the down-arrow key.

RECTANGLES AND ELLIPSES

Now that we know how to draw basic lines in Illustrator let’s learn how to start using shapes.

Let’s move to Artboard 4 and select the Rectangle Tool. Simply click and drag on the artboard with the Rectangle Tool and you will see a preview of the rectangle you are drawing. If you hold down your Shift key while dragging you will draw a perfect square.

If you hold down your ALT key on a PC or the OPT key on a Mac you can draw a rectangle from the center out. If you add the Shift key you can draw a perfect square from the center out.

After you draw your square or rectangle you will notice small dots in the corners of the squares or rectangles. These small dots are Corner Controls. If you click and drag on one of the Corner Controls you are able to round off the corners of the square or rectangle. If you accidently rounded the corner you can simply click on the Corner Controls and drag outward.

If you want to have more control over the rounding that you apply, double-click one of the Corner Controls to open the Transform panel. Under the Rectangle Properties you will find the controls for each of the Corner Controls.

To apply an even rounding keep the chain link active and change one Corner Control. For example, if I change the upper-left control to 10 and hit my Tab key, you will notice that all of the controls change to 10 and the rectangle now has 10 pixel rounded corners.

You can also apply un-even rounding by unchecking the chain link and changing the Corner Controls separately. For example, if I change the lower-left and lower-right controls to 20 and the upper-left and upper-right controls to 0 you will see the affects appear on the rectangle. It will have 20 pixel rounded corners on the bottom and no rounded corners on the top.

In addition to squares and rectangles you can also draw circles and ellipses inside Illustrator.

Go back to your Rectangle Tool and click and hold down your mouse button until you see the fly-out menu and then choose the Ellipse Tool. Simply click and drag on the artboard with the Ellipse Tool and you will see a preview of the ellipse you are drawing. If you hold down your Shift key while dragging you will draw a perfect circle.

If you hold down your ALT key on a PC or the OPT key on a Mac you can draw an ellipse from the center out. If you add the Shift key you can draw a perfect circle from the center out.

POLYGONS AND STARS

Now that we know how to draw rectangles and ellipses in Illustrator let’s learn how to draw polygons and stars.

Let’s move to Artboard 5. Go back to your Ellipse Tool and click and hold down your mouse button until you see the fly-out menu and then choose the Polygon Tool. Simply click and drag on the artboard with the Polygon Tool and you will see a preview of the polygon you are drawing. If you hold down your Shift key while dragging you will draw a polygon that sits on its flat bottom.

You can add or subtract sides from the polygon as you draw it by using your up and down arrows on the keyboard. For example, if I wanted to add another side to the polygon I will simply start dragging the polygon and hit my up-arrow once. And then, using the Shift key, I can continue to draw out the octagon shape. If I wanted to subtract sides from the polygon I will simply start dragging the polygon and hit my down-arrow three times. Then, using the Shift key, I can continue to draw the pentagon shape.

Go back to your Polygon Tool and click and hold down your mouse button until you see the fly-out menu and then choose the Star Tool. Simply click and drag on the artboard with the Star Tool and you will see a preview of the star you are drawing. If you hold down your Shift key while dragging you will draw a star that sits on its bottom points.

You can change the look of the star’s points by holding down the CTRL key on a PC or the CMD key on a Mac while you are drawing out the star. You will get a star that looks like a bunch of spokes. If you hold down your Shift key while dragging you will draw a star that sits on its bottom points.

You can also change the star’s look by holding down the CTRL key and ALT key on the PC or the CMD key and OPT key on a Mac while drawing out the star. You will get a star that has sharper, more uniform lines. If you hold down your Shift key while dragging you will draw a star that sits on its bottom points.

If you want a chubby star all you need to do is start drawing out a star and hole the CTRL key on a PC or the CMD key on a Mac and drag inwards. Once you release the CTRL or CMD key you can hold down your Shift key while dragging and you will draw a star that sits on its bottom points.

Just like the Polygon Tool, the Star Tool can also be manipulated by using the up and down arrow keys on your keyboard. For example, if I start drawing out a standard five-pointed star and hit my up-arrow three times I now have an eight-pointed star. If I then draw another, now eight-pointed, star and hit my down-arrow three times I go back to a five-pointed star.

FREEHAND PENCIL

Now that we know how to use the tools to create basic shapes in Illustrator let’s learn how to draw freehand.

Let’s move to Artboard 6. Go to your Shaper Tool and click and hold down your mouse button until you see the fly-out menu and then choose the Pencil Tool. In order to draw with the Pencil Tool simply click and drag your mouse on the artboard.

You have the ability to choose the Fidelity of the Pencil Tool by double-clicking on the tool. By default it is set to be in the middle but you can choose to make the pencil strokes more Accurate or more Smooth.

If you choose Accurate then the Pencil Tool will pick up on the subtle movements you make with your hand. For example, let’s change the Fidelity to Accurate and draw out a wavy line. You will notice that even though I used a smooth action to make this line it is very rough looking. The choice of Accurate is really only helpful if you are using a drawing tablet or a touchscreen monitor.

If you choose Smooth then the Pencil Tool will smooth out the stroke as you draw. For example, let’s double-click on the Pencil Tool and change the Fidelity to Smooth and draw out a wavy line. You will notice that the wavy line is very smooth looking. The choice of Smooth is really helpful if you are using a drawing tablet or a touchscreen monitor but it is especially helpful if you are drawing with a mouse.

One other option I want to show you for the Pencil Tool is the Close Paths option. Double-click on the Pencil Tool to bring up its options. Place a check mark in the box next to “Close paths when ends are within:” to turn on this option. What this does is it tells Illustrator that when you are within so many pixels – in this case 15 – of the beginning of your path you want to close the path.

For example, if I draw a very crude circle, when I get to within 15 pixels of the beginning of the path you will notice that a small circle appears by my cursor. This indicates that I am within the 15 pixel threshold for closing this path. All I need to do is release my mouse button and Illustrator will automatically close the path.

Share

Tutorial: Illustrator CC Basics – Layers

File Download: http://oldetinkererstudio.com/tutorials/illustrator-cc-basics/layers-tutorial-icon-example.ai (FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY)

LAYERS PANEL

In this tutorial I will be teaching you how to create and edit Layers within Illustrator.

Let’s begin by looking at the Layers Panel. Go to the right side of the workspace and open the Layers Panel. If you do not see the Layers Panel icon go to Windows and choose Layers.

When you create a new document, Illustrator will create a brand new layer called “Layer 1.”

Inside the Layers Panel you see several options at the bottom. There is a search option which allows you to find a specific object. You also have the Make and Release Clipping Mask button. Next is the Create New Sublayer Button which allows you to add a sublayer within your layers. Then you have the Create New Layer button. Finally, you have the trash can.

In Illustrator there are two kinds of layers: Regular Layers and Sublayers. Sublayers are layers that are nested inside the regular layers. For example, if I draw a square on the Artboard you will see a sublayer under the Layer 1 layer.

Within the Layers Panel you have the ability to control the visibility of any layer or sublayer. Simply click on the eyeball to turn the visibility of a layer or sublayer off. You can also lock layers and sublayers by clicking next to the eyeball and turning on the lock.

The circle to the right of the layer name allows you to target a specific object or layer and then move it to another layer. For example, if I make another layer – Layer 2 – I can then target the square and move it to the new layer. Simply click in the circle (notice it turns into a double-circle) and then move the square to the right up to the new layer.

Now let’s look at the Layers Panel dropdown in the upper-right-hand corner. Under this dropdown menu we have several options.

CREATING AND EDITING LAYERS

Now that we have explored the Layers Panel let’s learn how to use it.

If I open up the Layers Panel you will see that I have a layer titled Layer 1 where this graphic currently resides. Let’s say I want to break this graphic into three separate layers. The first thing I need to do is to add two more layers.

At the bottom of the Layers Panel you will see the Create New Layer Icon. Click on this icon twice to make two new layers in the Layers Panel. Now we have Layer 1, Layer 2, and Layer 3.

It is good practice to name the layers in the Layers Panel as you create them. If you have more than just a few layers it can become very confusing as to what is on each layer. Also, if you are sharing or collaborating the file the other person will also need to know what is on each layer in the Layers Panel.

In order to rename a layer simply double-click on the layer name and type in a new name. Then hit the Enter key to accept the changes. I will rename Layer 1 to Graphic since this is where I will keep the pen-tip graphic. Layer 2 will be renamed Circle and Layer 3 will be renamed Text.

If you want to make any changes to a layer you can go to the top-right and open the drop-down menu. Here you will choose Options for “Layer Name.” When you click on this option you will be presented with a dialogue box. Here you can rename your layer, change the color of the layer, and choose multiple options such as making the layer a template or printing the layer. When you have made all of your changes hit OK or Cancel if you do not want to make any changes.

TARGETING OBJECTS

Now that we know how to make new layers we are going to begin to move the different pieces of the icon onto their respective layers.

Let’s begin by moving the circle to its own layer. Open up the Graphic layer by clicking on the small white arrow to the left of the thumbnail. In order to target the Ellipse sublayer, click on the small circle to the right of the layer name. Notice that when you do that a small blue box is shown next to the target and the object is highlighted with a bounding box on the Artboard.

In order to move the Ellipse sublayer onto the Circle layer simply left-click on the small blue box and then, while holding down your mouse button, drag it up onto the Circle layer. When you see a red box appear next to the target on the Circle layer you can release your mouse. If you open the Circle layer you will now see the Ellipse layer and the Ellipse is surrounded by a red bounding box on the Artboard.

Now, let’s do the same thing for the Text sublayer. Click on the small circle to the right of the layer name. Notice that when you do that a small blue box is shown next to the target and the object is highlighted with a bounding box on the Artboard.

In order to move the Graphic/VectorArt sublayer onto the Text layer simply left-click on the small blue box and then, while holding down your mouse button, drag it up onto the Circle layer. When you see a green box appear next to the target on the Text layer you can release your mouse. If you open the Text layer you will now see the Graphic/VectorArt layer and the layer is surrounded by a green bounding box on the Artboard.

HIDE, LOCK, AND DELETE LAYERS

You also have the ability to hide, lock, and delete layers within the Layers Panel.

If you wish to hide a layer or sublayer all you need to do is click on the eyeball for that layer or sublayer. This will temporarily hide the layer. For example, if I click on the eyeball next to the Text layer that text will become hidden. To unhide a layer or sublayer simply click in the box on the far left to unhide the layer or sublayer.

It can also be useful at times to lock a certain layer or sublayer. In order to lock a layer or sublayer simply click in the box next to the eyeball and you will see a lock icon appear. For example, let’s say I want the Text layer to be locked so I cannot accidently select it or make any changes to it. If I click next to the eyeball for the Text layer you will see a small lock icon and if I try to select it on the Artboard I am unable to do so. In order to unlock a layer of sublayer simply click on the lock icon.

If you want to delete a layer or sublayer simply target the layer or sublayer by clicking on the layer name. Then, on the bottom of the Layers Panel click on the trash icon. For example, if I want to delete the Text layer I will choose that layer by single-clicking on the layer name and then click on the trash icon at the bottom of the Layers Panel. You will then receive a dialogue box asking if you wish to delete the layer. If you say yes the layer will be deleted.

If you accidently deleted the layer you can restore the layer by using the keyboard shortcut CTRL + Z (on a PC) or CMD + Z (on a Mac).

Share

Tutorial: Illustrator CC Basics – Artboards

MULTIPLE ARTBOARD DOCUMENT

In this tutorial I will be teaching you how to create and manipulate Artboards within Illustrator.

Let’s begin by making a new document that contains multiple Artboards. Go to File and choose New. Let’s name the document Business Card and choose Print from the Profile drop-down menu.

Change the Units to inches and make the document 3.5 inches wide and 2 inches in height. Make sure the chain icon for the Bleed is active and the make the Bleed an eighth of an inch (0.125).

Let’s say that our client wants three different versions of the business card – both front and back. This means that we need to make six Artboards. So under the Artboards section we need to change the number of Artboards from one to six.

Now we can change the layout of the six Artboards using the icons to the right. We can arrange the Artboards via Grid by Row, Grid by Column, Arrange by Row, Arrange by Column, or Change Right-to-Left Layout. You can also change the Spacing and number of Columns manually. Let’s choose a spacing of 0.5 inches and three columns.

ARTBOARDS PANEL

You can also use the Artboards Panel to create multi-Artboard documents.

Go to File and choose New. Under the Profile drop-down menu choose Web and leave the number of Artboards at one.

In the right-side Panel System, open up the Artboards Panel. If you do not see this icon, go to Window and choose Artboards. It is in the panel that you can manage your Artboards.

Let’s rename this Artboard by double-clicking on the Artboard 1 name and then changing the name to Home. Hit your Enter key to accept the change.

We can create another Artboard by clicking on the New Artboard icon at the bottom of the panel. Double-click the Artboard 2 name and rename it About. Let’s add two more Artboards and rename them Store and Contact.

Using Control-Minus on a PC or Command-Minus on a Mac zoom out until you can see all four Artboards. Choose your Type tool and type out the names of the Artboards. Now, using Control-Plus on a PC or Command-Plus on a Mac, zoom back in so you only see one complete Artboard.

To move to another Artboard you need to simply double-click on the blank space beside the name in the Artboard Panel.

You can also arrange the Artboards within the Artboard Panel by either dragging the Artboard to a different location in the stack or using the up and down arrows at the bottom of the panel.

You can access even more options by clicking on the drop-down menu in the upper right-hand corner of the Artboards Panel. This menu allows you to create a New Artboard, Duplicate Artboards, Delete Artboards, Delete Empty Artboards, Convert Artboards, and Rearrange Artboards. You also have an Artboard Options which allows you to change the Artboards.

To see how this option works zoom back out so you can see all four Artboards. Let’s work on the Contact Artboard. Make sure the Contact Artboard is active and then zoom out so you have some room to work.

Using the drop-down menu choose Artboard Options. You can change the Preset of the Artboards. Let’s change the Preset to 800 x 600 and change the Orientation from Landscape to Portrait. You can choose whether or not to show the Center Mark, the Cross Hairs, or the Video Safe Areas. When you are done making your changes simply hit OK.

ADDING ARTBOARDS

You can also quickly add Artboards by using the Artboard tool.

Let’s create a new document by going to File and choosing New. Choose Web from the Profile and make the Size 640 x 480.

Zoom out so you have room to work.

Choose the Artboard tool from the Tool Panel. Once you have chosen the Artboard tool you will notice that the active Artboard now has a marquee selection surrounding it. Also notice that the Control Panel changes to show the option available to you when using the Artboard tool.

Let’s add another Artboard to our document. Start by going to View and make sure you have Smart Guides checked. Click on the New Artboard icon. When you move back down into the Document Window you will notice you now have a loaded cursor. Simply line up the new Artboard and left-click to place it within the document.

MANIPULATING ARTBOARDS

Now that we know how to add Artboards to our document let’s begin manipulating them.

In order to resize an Artboard simply go to a corner and when you see a double-headed arrow click and drag. This will resize the Artboard However, if you want the Artboard to stay the same proportions you will need to hold down the Shift key to constrain the Artboard to those proportion.

If you have accidently resized an Artboard and you need it to be the original size you can do one of two things. If you used a Preset size you can simply choose that size from the Preset drop-down menu. You can also go to the width and height fields and change them manually. Activating the chain will allow you to scale the Artboard proportionally.

EXPORTING ARTBOARDS

Now that you have all of your Artboards set up and complete you will need to export them for the client.

Go back to the Business Card tab and let’s add some shapes to these individual Artboards.

Choose the Rectangle tool from the Tool panel and holding down your Shift key make a square on the first Artboard. Change the fill color to you can see it more easily. Repeat this process, changing the fill color each time, on the other five Artboards. This is simply to make it easier to tell the Artboards apart.

Now, we are going to export these Artboards. Go to File and choose Export. If this was for the Web we would choose Export for Screens but since these Artboards are for printed business cards we need to choose Export As.

Choose a destination for these Artboards and select the format. In this case I will choose JPEG. You will also have the option of renaming the export if you wish.

At the bottom of the dialogue box you will see the option Use Artboards. Check this box so you can export out the Artboards. You can choose to export All Artboards or a Range of Artboards. The Range does not need to be sequential. For example, you can type in 1,3,5. When you are done, simply click on Export.

This will bring up the JPEG options. These options will be different for each document so for now I will use the default settings.

Now go to the destination of these JPEGs and you will see the three Artboards that we exported.

Share

Tutorial: Illustrator CC Basics – Getting Started

TOURING THE INTERFACE

When learning a new software program it is a good idea to become familiar with the user interface. In this tutorial I will be walking you through the Adobe Illustrator user interface as well as teaching you how to create documents within Illustrator.

At the top of the user interface you will find the Menu Bar. In the Menu Bar you will find various menu items and within each of these menu items there will be a series of sub-menu items.

Next to the Menu Bar is the Title Bar. The Title Bar has multiple options such as a quick link to Adobe Bridge and the Arrange Documents Panel.

Directly underneath the Menu Bar and Title Bar is the Control Panel. This Panel gives you the ability to control the different tools and items that you are currently using. This Panel will change depending upon the tool you have selected.

On the left side of the user interface you have the Tools Panel. There are several different tools within this panel with many of them also containing sub-tools.

To the right of the Tools Panel is the Document Window. This is where you will perform all of your work.

At the bottom of the Document Window you will see information for how zoomed in you are to an Artboard. You can also choose which Artboard you wish to focus upon.

On the right side of the user interface you have the Panel System. By default these icons are collapsed into small icons but they can be expanded simply by clicking on them.

CREATING DOCUMENTS

Now that we have an idea of where everything is on the user interface, let’s start creating new documents. Go to File and choose New to open up the New Document dialog box.

At the top of the New Document dialog box you have the option of naming your document. You can name it now of simply wait until you save the document.

Directly underneath the Name field you will find the Profile drop-down menu. This menu refers to the type of work you are doing such as print or web.

Underneath the Profile drop-down menu you will find the option for the number of Artboards you wish to use. If you are not sure how many Artboards you need you can always add more Artboards later so you don’t need to specify a number at this point. If you are using more than one Artboard you will have the option to choose the Spacing between the Artboards and the number of Columns for the Artboard layout.

Underneath the Artboard option you will find the Size drop-down menu. This menu allows you to choose the type of document you want to create. If you want to make your own custom size document you can simply type in height and width properties – in pixels, points, picas, inches, centimeters, or millimeters. You can also select the orientation of the document.

Underneath the Size drop-down menu you will find the Bleed options which are only applicable to print design. The Bleed is used to extend the content of the document so the printer can cut off the excess portion of the document without damaging the document’s content.

At the bottom of the New Document dialog box you will find the Advanced section. In this section you can choose the color mode. If you want to print the document you should choose CMYK and if you are going to use the document on a screen then choose RGB. The Raster Effects setting allows Illustrator to rasterize certain elements if it is unable to reproduce these elements in vector form for the printing process. The Preview Mode allows you to see what the document will look like in pixels and as an overprint. The Align New Objects to Pixel Grid ensures that none of your objects fall halfway between a pixel or two which helps with anti-aliasing.

Share