Demo Reel – January 2017

Jennifer S. Abbott is a multimedia and game designer and artist, writer and educator. I work primarily in Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects, and Blender. I specialize in vector/graphic art, game development, motion graphics, 3D modeling, and website design and development. I am open to working with individuals, small businesses, non-profit organizations, and educational organizations.

I have always had a creative side and enjoy sketching, 3d modelling and animation, writing, and educating. I became a digital media artist and designer in order to not only pursue my passions but also to assist others in expressing themselves or their business/organization in a creative manner. I believe in creating great design that fits the context and needs of the client.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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