Illustrator Knowhow

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I believe a great way to learn a program is to just play around with it. Illustrator is no exception, but sometimes you don’t know things exist or don’t know what certain tools can do. Vectips helps with some tips and tricks but sometimes you need answers quick or want to explore on your own. That is were the Illustrator Knowhow panel in Illustrator CS3 comes in handy!

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Create Abstract Backgrounds

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I like illustrating characters, icons, and other highly representative illustrations. I do this kind of work the majority of time in Illustrator,  so it’s nice to break out and create abstract backgrounds. Abstract backgrounds are easy to create in Illustrator with a couple of simple techniques. Using Gradient Meshes, Steps Blends and Opacity Masks you can quickly create an abstract background.

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New Resource Page

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I finally added a resource page with a listing of blogs, tutorial aggregators, freebies, books, magazines and plug-ins that I find helpful. You can access the Resources from the top navigation bar.  I know I have missed some, so if you have a suggestion for a resource, feel free to contact me. I will review the resource and see if it fits with the rest of the resources.

Cleaning Up Files

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The other week, I had a file that kept getting corrupted when I would send it to a printer. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong and spent forever sending emails, zipping files, examining outlines and so on. I came to realize, it was an obscure brush I was experimenting with early along in the project. I didn’t even use it in the final version! After that fiasco, I will always clean up my files!

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Quickly Change Fills and Strokes

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I like to work efficiently, so I get a little annoyed when something slows me down in Illustrator. Have you ever been cruising right along and accidently added a color to the Stroke of an object when you meant to add it to the Fill? Now you have to go back and do it all over again, wasting time. Luckily, there are a few useful keyboard shortcuts to help with Fills and Strokes.

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