Being an Adobe nerd there’s no surprise I love Illustrator. In fact, I loved it before I knew how to use it! But today I learned something new about CS5 that makes me love it even MORE. I know right? I didnt think it was possible either.
So let’s say I have this picture I drew of a girl:
Which looks pretty crap because it’s all square. An AWESOME new feature of Illustrator lets you turn the above picture into this:
It looks like it’s going to be hard and time consuming, but it’s not and that’s the beauty of it! It’s so incredibly easy and intuitive I just can’t get over it. I’ll give you a quick rundown and then you should watch the video from Adobe at the bottom of this page.
First, I selected each individual line and used a preset width. You can see how to change it and what happens by following the blue arrows below:
That’s the fastest and easiest way to give a line variable width. There’s many other shapes including a triangle shape that reaches a point on the right end of the stroke. With eyelashes for the right eye like that though, I might want to have it reach a point on the left. How do I do that then?
Adobe made a way, and it’s JUST as fast and easy! They’ve shoved a new button into the tool interface which allows you to add a new kind of point to your strokes, a width point. These are invisible points on your line that change the widths so you can create – dun dun DUN! – variable widths! To create a width point you just position your pointer over a path or anchor point, click, and drag to make the line thinner or thicker. Below you can see a width point in action, and the button:
Using this new feature I was able to change the widths of the nose more intimately, controlling how thick and thin the line got. I LOVE this new feature sooooo much and I reckon any other artist out there is wetting themselves just as much as me over it :D.
Here’s what I did to the nose, at least for now, it’s still in draft form:
Here’s the video. I left out some really cool details about controlling the points. You can get those from the video, and it’s DEFINITELY worth the watch!
If you’d like to see my girl, I made a running topic of progress which you can see here.