Know All About Adobe Illustrator – Uses, Features, And Tools

Adobe Illustrator is a graphic art software. This is also called a vector drawing software. It is often used to draw illustrations, cartoons, diagrams, and logos. So firstly, I would like to explain the term “Vector” because without understanding the term vector; we cannot understand the use or purpose of this software.

So what is a “Vector Image”? Creating vector images allow us to create clean & beautiful works of art that can be scaled up and down infinitely without ever losing quality. This is the reason that vectors have no quality loss & no file size increases. But if we created an image in Photoshop, and then realized that we should have created it three times larger than we did & if we again go into the image adjustments, increase the size, and see that the image is now pixelated and looks horrible whereas vector images have no pixels.

If the image is too small, to begin with, we’ll need to start all over again. The same does not remain true for Illustrator. Unlike the familiar gif, jpeg, png, tiff, etc. images – known as raster images – vector images are not made up of a grid of pixels. Instead, they are totally created by paths which are a combined form of a starting & ending point. These paths relate to each other by mathematical formulas which allow them to be scaled & again rescaled infinitely.

This makes Illustrator an ideal program for companies since it can create images & logos that can be a small icon or large enough to appear on a billboard. Whereas “Raster images” are made-up of a set of a grid of dots which are actually called pixels where each pixel have set a color value. Raster images are resolution dependent than the vector images.

Illustrator is graphic-driven software used primarily for creating vector graphics. Unlike bitmap images that store information in a grid of dots, Illustrator uses mathematical expressions to drawn the shapes. This makes vector graphics scalable without losing the quality of resolution. Vector images are created by different lines, curves, & points, that we have virtually unlimited editing opportunities.

Now here again come to my point about the brief discussion of the illustration in the context of illustrator which is for artistry & enhancing writing or elucidating concepts by provides linear I should say a visual representation that corresponds to the content of the associated text or idea.

So, basically, Illustration is the art of making images that work with something or say to add to it without needing direct attention and without distracting from the thing they illustrate. Another important point is that this is the “focus of the attention” & the illustration’s role is to add character without comparing it with other things.

Illustrations have been used in different areas such as advertisements, posters, books, graphic novels, storyboards, business, magazines, video games, and newspapers & so on. A cartoon illustration can add humour to the stories.

Illustrator is best mastered by actually using it. It is software which is used by artistry & graphic designers to create vector images. These images will then be used for logos of companies, even for personal work also, both in print and digital form. So, it is typically used to create illustrations, graphics, logos, cartoons of real photographs, and also fonts for the photo-realistic layouts of Photoshop.

Currently, the updated software, Adobe Illustrator CS6 to CC comes with some new features which are discussed as below.

Illustrator, as its name suggests, is actually for to create & edit vector-based illustrations such as logos & also brand marks or other design elements. As I mentioned above; vector graphics are scalable images that can be sized as small or as large as we need them to be, & still maintain their resolution and clarity. We can also use this program to create freehand drawings, but we can also import a photograph & use that photograph as a guide to trace or recolour a particular subject – turning it into a work of art that looks as though we drew it freehand. As a graphic designer, we can use Illustrator to easily create sleek, aesthetically pleasing company logos. Illustrator works seamlessly with other Adobe Programs in the Creative Suite. After creating our initial image, we can drag it over into Photoshop to further edit it and apply filters.

Now, I want to explain the features of the Illustrator in brief:

  • Live Shapes Enhancements:

Live Shapes have been enhanced to make our workflow easy, & also in response to feedback received about the way users interact with different shapes. The bounding box has been simplified to present a more clutter-free experience while working with Live Shapes.

  • Polygons:

Polygons now retain their Live Shape properties even after the original Live Shape is modified which is scaled, sheared, reshaped, etc. Even if a polygon is modified, a new option is available to make the sides of the polygon equal in length.

  • Enhanced Creative Cloud Libraries:

Libraries have been enhanced to provide more control while collaborating with other users & even deeper integration with Adobe Stock. The libraries panel opens in a larger form, stretching vertically along the right corner of the screen or in windows panel.

  • New Live Shapes:

More of the Illustrator shape tools are now fully live, interactive and dynamically adjustable, so we can quickly modify and enhance traditional vector shapes without applying special effects or using other tools.

  • Dynamic Symbols:

Symbols can now share a master shape but can be modified to have different appearances such as stroke, fill and opacity. Scale, rotate, mirror and skew them without breaking the link to the parent symbol.

  • Multiple Artboards:

Organize and view up to 100 artboards of varying sizes overlapping or on a grid. You can quickly add, delete, reorder, and name an artboard. Save, export, and print features can work independently or as a group.

  • Smart Guides:

You now have the ability to align and space objects using the enhanced Smart Guides in Illustrator CC 2015. Check the new hints to draw perfect shapes like squares & circles without using control keys & modifiers.

  • Shaper Tool:

Convert your natural, free-flowing gestures into perfect geometric shapes. And then use them like regular shapes – combine, delete, fill, and transform them – to create editable designs. We can use the Shaper tool in both – the traditional workspaces and in the touch-optimized Touch workspace.

So, now I want to explain here one of the important points; a brief difference between “Illustration & Tracing” in the context of Illustrator. An “Illustration” is a decoration, interpretation or say designed for integration in published media; such as posters, magazines, books etc. In other words, this is a visual representation that is used to make some subject more pleasing or easier to understand whereas “Tracing” is raster to vector conversion or vectorization is the conversion of raster into vector graphics. Generally tracing means duplicate an object or image through pen tool. Vector applications are better for tracing because they are scalable. So, through tracing, we should create a path.

Finally, I must say that unlike “Raster image”, “Vector images” cannot be used for the realistic image because illustrator is a vector based application. This is because vector images are made up of solid color areas & mathematical gradients, so they cannot be used to show continuous tones of colors in a natural photograph. So, we must have noticed that most of the vector images have a cartoon like an appearance. The reason behind it is that vector graphics cannot display continuous variation in color. Therefore, the vector graphics technology is fast which is also a wonderful feature of Illustrator tool.

Hi, I want to introduce myself. I am “Karuna Kukreja” student of 8 months course in “Graphic Designing”; i.e. “Graphics Master“. Thanks for giving me such a great opportunity that I have to explain or share my views about the Illustrator software with the readers. I hope you all will read & like it.

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