In Illustrator, by using basic shapes, various objects can be created. You can edited them to create a new shape.In Illustrator various shapes can be drawn, for example straight lines, squares, rectangles, polygons, ellipses, arcs and flares. By using Transform panel objects can be transformed. By performing scaling, shearing and distorting, or by using envelopes objects can be reshaped. We have learn about the various methods for cutting, dividing and trimming objects, clipping masks and blending objects.
After going through this unit, you will be able to:
• Draw different shapes using various tools in Illustrator
• Transforming the objects using different tools
• Scale, shear and distort objects
• Reshape objects using envelopes
• Using the Pathfinder panel, combine objects into new shapes
• Cut,divide and trim objects, clipping masks and blending objects

(i) Straight Line Segment
By using the the Line Segment tool, you can draw one straight line segment at a time. Click on the Line Segment tool and follow the below steps:
a. Place the pointer at the starting point of the line and drag to the end point, where you need to end the line.
b. Click and define the length and angle of the line, where it need to begin.
c. If you need to fill the line, click on the ‘Fill Line’ with the current fill color. Click OK. You can draw various shapes with the help of this tool like Ellipse, Circles, Stars,Polygons, etc.
(ii) Rectangles and Squares
Click on the Rectangle tool or the Rounded Rectangle tool. Follow any one of the below steps:
a. To create a rectangle, drag diagonally until you get the desired shape.
b. To draw a square, press down the Shift key and continue to drag diagonally,until you get the desired shape.
c. For create a square or rectangle by defining values, click the point on the top-left corner. Specify the width and height and then Click OK.
(iii) Specify the Corner Radius of a Rounded Rectangle
The corner radius determines the roundness of the rectangle’s corners. The default radius can be changed as the new rectangles are drawn. The radius for individual rectangles can also be changed.
a. Select the Rounded Rectangle tool, click in the document window and specify the required value for the corner radius. The default radius does not applies to the existing rounded rectangles, it only applies to the rectangles which have been rounded recently. Another procedure is: go to Edit menu > Preferences > General (Windows) or Illustrator > Preferences > General (Mac OS) and specify new value for the corner radius.
b. Corner radius can also be changed by pressing the Up or the Down Arrow key, while creating the Rounded Rectangle tool.
c. Pressing the Left Arrow key will create square corners while creating the Rounded Rectangle tool.
d. Pressing the Right Arrow key will create rounded corners while creating with the Rounded Rectangle tool.
(iv) Draw As

Select the Arc tool and follow one of the below functions:
a. Place and click the pointer, where you need to begin the Arc. Drag the point to where you need to end the arc.
b. Place and click the pointer, where you need to begin the Arc. In the dialog box, select a square on the reference point locator. After specifying any of the following options, click OK. The other features are explained below:
Length X-Axis: The option specifies the width of the arc.
Length Y-Axis: This option specifies the height of the arc.
Type: With the help of this option you can specify the mode of the path i.e. Open or Close path.
Base Along: This option specifies the direction of the arc. Select the X-axis or the Y-axis, to define the position of the arc i.e. horizontal or vertical.
Slope: The slope of the arc can be specified with this option. To create a concave (inward) slope, specify a negative value. To create a convex (outward) slope, specify a positive value. If the value is defined as zero, a straight line will be created.
Fill Arc: This will fill the arc with the current fill color.
(v) Reshaping using Envelopes
a. About envelopes
Envelopes are the objects which can reshape or distort the selected objects. Envelops can also be created out of the object, i.e. on the blank space of the artboard. Preset warp shape or a mesh grid can be used as an envelop. Envelopes can be used on any object, except graphs, guides, or linked objects.

Envelopes are listed as Envelope Distort > Make With Warp, to preset warp shape for the envelope. From the Warp Options dialog box, select a warp style and set options.
ii. Go to Object menu > Envelope Distort > Make With Mesh, to set up a rectangular grid for the envelope. Define the number of rows and columns in the Envelope Mesh dialog box.
iii. Bring the object which is to be used for the shape of an envelop to the top of the stack. You can use the Layers panel if it is not at the top. Or by using an Arrange command, move it up and reselect all objects. Now, go to Object menu > Envelope Distort > Make With Top Object.
Reshape the envelope, By following below steps,:
i. By using the Direct Selection or Mesh tool, move any anchor point on the envelope.
ii. Select an anchor point by using either the Direct Selection or Mesh tools to delete anchor points on the mesh grid. Then press Delete key.
iii. To add anchor points to the mesh grid, select the grid with the Mesh tool. To fill an envelope or to apply a stroke, you can use the Appearance panel.
c. Edit the contents of an envelope
Select the envelope, and follow one of the below:
i. In the Control panel click the Edit Contents button.
ii. Go to Object menu > Envelope Distort> Edit Contents.

iii.Edit as required
If you need to return the object to its enveloped state, any one of the following steps can be followed:
• In the Control panel, click the Edit Envelope button.
• Go to Object menu > Envelope Distort > Edit Envelope.
d. Resetting an envelope
After selecting the envelope and follow one of the below functions:
i. Select a new warp style and in the Control panel specify options, to reset or switch to a preset warp style. Click the Envelope Options button, to specify more options.
ii. If you need to reset or switch to a mesh grid envelope, Go to Object menu > Envelope Distort > Reset With Mesh. You can also specify the number of rows and columns for the mesh grid. Select Maintain Envelope Shape, to keep the warp shape intact.
e. Removing an envelope
You can remove Envelopes by either expanding them or releasing them. When you expand an enveloped object, the envelope will be removed and the object retains its distorted shape. You will find two separate objects that are created in releasing an enveloped object, i.e., the object will get back in its original state and the envelope shape. Follow the below steps to perform this:
I. To expand an envelope, first, select the envelope then go to Object menu > Envelope Distort > Expand.
ii. To release an envelope, first, select the envelope then go to Object > Envelope Distort > Release.
(vi) Envelope options
With the help of Envelope options, you can specify the distortion of the art to fit the envelope. Go to Object menu > Envelope Distort > Envelope Options or after selecting the envelope object, click the Envelope Options button.
a. Anti-Alias
This option smoothers rasters, when the object is distorted with an envelope. If Anti-Alias option is deselected, the time it takes to distort rasters can be decreased.
b. Preserve Shape Using
When you use non-rectangular envelopes for the distortion, this option specifies how rasters preserve their shape. Select the Clipping Mask, if you need to use a clipping mask on the raster. To apply an alpha channel to the raster, use Transparency.

c. Fidelity
This option specifies the accuracy of the object to fit the envelope mould. Increasing the Fidelity percentage will add more points to the distorted paths and that increases the time that it takes to distort objects.
d. Distort Appearance
With the help of this option, you can specify the distort appearance attributes like applied effects or graphic styles along with an object’s shape.
e. Distort Linear Gradients
This option distores the Linear gradients along with an object’s shape.
f. Distort Pattern
Fills Patterns are distorted along with an object’s shape.
Note: If the expansion of the envelope will be done by keeping the Distort option selected, the respective area will expanded separately.
g. Combining objects
If you need to create shapes in a variety of ways, vector objects can combined. The method which is used to combine them will define the resulting paths or shapes and they may be differ.
(vii) Pathfinder effects
By using Pathfinder effects you can combine multiple objects, this tool has ten interaction modes. Unlike compound shapes, you cannot edit the interaction between the objects, if a Pathfinder effect is applied.
a. Compound shapes
By using this option you can combine multiple objects and they can be specified. There are four kinds of interactions in the Compound shapes, add, subtract, intersect and exclude. To edit it or change its interaction mode, select each object within a compound shape.
b. Compound paths
Using compound paths, an object can be used to cut a hole within another object. For example, a doughnut shape can be created from two nested circles. The paths act as grouped objects, once you create a compound path. Using the Direct Selection tool or Group Selection tool, you can select and manipulate the objects separately. Using the same, a combined path can also be selected and edited.
(viii) Methods for cutting, dividing, and trimming objects
Illustrator avails following methods to cut, divide and trim objects:

a. Divide Objects Below command
This command discards or deletes the original selection, it acts as a cookie cutter or stencil. To use it go to Object menu > Path > Divide Objects Below.
b. Cut Path at Selected Anchor Point button
This command cuts a path at the anchor point such that one anchor point is split into two. When the Direct Selection tool, select one or more anchor points and locate the button in the Control panel.
c. Knife tool
This command cuts objects in a custom or freehand path, that is drawn with the tool. It divides objects into their component filled faces (a face is an area undivided by a line segment).
d. Scissors tool
This command splits a path, graphics frame or empty text frame, at an anchor point or along a segment
e. Split Into Grid command
You can divide one or more objects into multiple rectangular objects, which are arranged in rows and columns. You can modify the height, width and gutter size between rows and columns. These can also be created quickly for laying out artwork guides. To use it, go to Object menu> Path > Split Into Grid.
f Compound paths and compound shapes
This command creates a hole by using another object.
g. Pathfinder effects
With this command you can trim and divide overlapping objects in different ways.
(ix) Clipping masks
With this command you can hide portions of the other objects .
a. Cut objects with the Divide Objects Below command
Select the object which is to be used as a cutter, overlap it to the object which to cut then go to Object menu > Path > Divide Objects Below.
b. Cut objects with the Knife tool
Select the Knife tool and follow one of the below steps:
i. Drag the pointer over the object, to cut in a curved path.

ii. If you need a straight cut, press Alt key (Windows) or Option (Mac OS) then click on the artboard and then drag.
c. Divide an object into a grid
Select the object. If multiple objects are selected, the grid of objects will acquires the appearance attributes of the topmost object. Go to Object menu > Path > Split Into Grid. Specify the number of rows and columns.And, perform any of the following (optional):
i. Specify Height and Width to set the size of each row and column.
ii. Specify Gutter values. The specified values sets the amount of space that separates columns and rows from one another.
iii.Specify the values for Total to modify the dimensions of the entire grid of objects.
iv. Incase, if you need to add guides along the row and column edges, click Add Guides.
v. Click OK.
d. Clipping masks
A clipping mask clips the artwork to the shape of a mask, in such a way, that only areas that is within the shape are visible and rest area will get hide. Clipping set is a combination of both the clipping mask and the objects that are masked. You can prepare a clipping set by selecting two or more objects or from all objects in a group or layer. In the Layers panel, object level clipping sets are combined as a group. If layer level clipping sets are created, then the top object of the layer will clip all beneath objects. Operations, like transformation and alignment, which are performed on an objectlevel clipping set are based on the clipping mask’s bound, and not the unmasked boundary. If the object-level clipping mask is created then, you can select the clipped content, only by using the Layers panel, the Direct Selection tool or by isolating the clipping set.

To create clipping masks, go through following steps:
i. Within the Layers panel, move the objects that are to be masked into the clipping mask’s group.
ii. Your any artwork can be masked. Although, clipping masks allows only vector objects to be moved within it.
iii. The first object in the layer or group, masks all the object beneath it in the group or layer panel.
Iv. No Fill or stroke effect will be applied in a clipping mask, regardless of its previous properties. You can use the Transparency option to create an opacity mask or a semitransparent mask.
e. Hide parts of objects with a clipping mask
Create the object that to be used as a mask. This object is known as the clipping path. A vector object can only be used as a Clipping paths. Move the clipping path above the objects you need to mask, in the stacking order. After selecting the clipping path, select the objects you want to mask, then go to Object menu > Clipping Mask > Make.
You need to create a group of the objects first, to create a clipping path from the area where two or more objects overlapping.
f. Create a clipping mask for a group or layer
Create the object that is needed to use as the mask. This object is known as the clipping path.A vector object can only be used as a Clipping paths. Move the objects and the clipping path into a layer or group. The masking object must be at the top of the group or layer in the Layers panel. Then click the name of the layer or group. Select Make Clipping Mask from the Layers panel menu or click the Make/Release Clipping Masks button at the bottom of the Layers panel.
g. Edit a clipping mask
Select and target the clipping path in the Layers panel. After selection of the clipping set, go to Object menu > Clipping Mask > Edit Mask. Follow one of the below functions:
i. Select the Direct Selection tool and move the clipping path by dragging the center reference point of the object.
ii. Select the Direct Selection tool then reshape the clipping path.
iii. Apply a fill and stroke to the clipping path.
If you need to select all clipping paths in a document, with the Selection tool, click on the blank space of the art board i.e. deselect all the artwork. Then go to Select menu > Object > Clipping Masks.
h. Edit paths within a clipping net

To edit portions of a path that fall outside the clipping mask, select the particular path within the clipping mask boundary then Edit the path.
Then follow the steps given below:
i. In the Layers panel, select the path.
ii. Position the Direct Selection tool on the portion of the path that appears within the mask. Click when the path’s outline appears.
Note: Select the sections that appear within the mask, to select a clipped path, Edit the path.
i Add or remove an object from the masked artwork
In the Layers panel, drag the object within or out of the group or layer, that contains the clipping path.
j. Release objects from a clipping mask
Follow one of the below steps:
i. Select the group that contains the clipping mask, go to Object menu > Clipping Mask > Release.
ii. In the Layers panel, Select the layer or name of the group that contains the clipping mask. Select Release Clipping Mask from the panel menu. Or from the bottom of the panel, Click the Make/Release Clipping Masks button.
You will find that the clipping mask is not visible, if it is not selected or you have not assigned it a new paint attributes. This is because of the ‘none’ value has been assigned at the time of mask creation.
(a) Blending Objects
You can use blend objects option to create and divide the shapes equally into two objects.Create a smooth transition between objects, by creating blend between two open paths. You can combine blends of colors and objects, for the creation of transitions in the shape of a particular object.
Once you create a blend, The blended objects are treated as one object. if Editing the anchor points of the original objects or move one of the original objects, the blend effect changes accordingly. If you have added a new object with the original objects, the new object do not have their own anchor points. Expand the blend to divide the blend into distinct objects in order.

Consider the following rule before working with blend objects and their associated colors:
I. You can not blend Mesh objects.
ii. The blended shapes are painted with a blended process color,. Process colors are used to paint the intermediate steps if you blend between two different spot colors.
iii. If both the object has pattern applied and used to blend, then the pattern of the topmost layer object will be applied.
Iv. If you have defined the Blending modes of the object with the Transparency panel, then the topmost object’s blending mode will be applied on the Blending.
v. If the Blended objects uses multiple appearance attributes, like effects, fills or strokes, then the attributes may also get Blended.
Vi. If the Blending is done by using two instance of the same symbol, then the Blended steps will be the instances of that symbol. However, if the instance are from different symbols, then the Blended steps will not be instances of that symbol.
vii. By default, Blends does not have transparency attributes, That is why if any of the steps is overlapping transparent objects, these objects will not show through each other. This setting can be changed from the Transparency panel, by selecting the blend and deselecting the Knockout Group.

(xi) Create blends
With the help of the Blend tool and Make Blend command, blends can be created. A Blend object is a series of intermediate objects and colors.
a. Create a blend with the Blend tool
Select the Blend tool and follow one of the below steps:
i. If you want to Blend in a sequential order but without rotation then, click anywhere on the object.
ii. If you need to Blend to a particular anchor point then, by using Blend tool click the anchor point. When the pointer is positioned accurately on the Anchor point, then the pointer changes from a white square to a transparent one with a black dot in its center.
iii. If you need to Blend Open paths then click on the endpoints of each path.
iv. After finishing the procedure to add the object to Blend, then in the Tools panel, click the Blend tool again.
By default When creating a smooth color transition, the Illustrator calculates the optimum number of steps. You can specify the number of sets or distance in the Blending option box.
b. Create a blend with the Make Blend command
Select the objects to be Blended. Then go to Object menu > Blend > Make.
(xii) Blend options
Go to Object menu > Blend > Blend Options or double-click the Blend tool to control the Blending option. To apply changes on an existing blend, you need to select the blended object first then use Blending options.
a. Spacing
With the help of this option you can define the number of steps that to be added to the blend, the options are as follows:
i. Smooth Color: This option automatically calculate the number of blending steps. When different fill, gradient or pattern objects or are used to Blend, then the steps are calculated to provide the optimum number of steps for a smooth color transition. The calculation of the number of steps is based on the longest distance between the bounding box edges of the two objects. This is applicable when the objects contain same colors or if they contain gradients or patterns.
ii. Specified Steps: You can control the number of steps between the start and end of the blend.
iii. Specified Distance: This option controls the distance between the steps in the blend. The distance is measured, from one edge of a object to the corresponding edge of the other object, for example from the extreme left edge of one object to the extreme left edge of the next.
b. Orientation
This option controls the orientation of blending objects. The corresponding options are:
i. Align to Page: The blend is oriented perpendicular to the x-axis of the Page.
ii. Align to Path: The blend is oriented perpendicular to the path

c. Change the spine of a blended object
The path along which the steps in a blended object are aligned is known as the spine. By default, a straight line will be created by spine. To modify the spine following options are available:
i. Drag the anchor points and path segments on the spine with the Direct Selection tool, to adjust the shape of the spine.
ii. Create an object to replace the spine with a different path. Select the spine object and the blended object, go to Object menu > Blend > Replace Spine.
iii. If you need to to reverse the order of a blend on its spine then, select the blended object and go to Object menu > Blend > Reverse Spine.

d. Reverse the stacking order in a blended object
Select the blended object. Select Object > Blend > Reverse Front To Back

e. Release or expand a blended object
When a Blended object is released, the original objects will be preserved and new objects will be removed. Expanding a blended object will divide the blend into separate objects and you can edit them individually.
Select the object and follow one of the below steps:
i. Go to Object menu > Blend > Release.
ii. Go to Object menu > Blend > Expand

Illustrator allows easy and quick methods to draw various shapes.
5.3.1 Draw Ellipses and Circles
To create an ellipse, click the Ellipse tool and follow one of the below steps:
(i) Click on the artboard and drag the mouse diagonally until you get the required size of the ellipse.
(ii) Click on the top-left corner of the ellipse’s bounding box is required.
(iii) Define height and width for the ellipse and click OK.
Note: Press the Shift key while dragging, to create a circle. You can specify dimensions, after you have entered the Width value. To copy that value into the Height box, click on the word Height.
5.3.2 Draw Polygons and Stars
Select the Polygon tool and follow any one of the below steps:
(i) Drag until you get the required size of the polygon. If you need to rotate the polygon, drag the pointer in an arc. To add and remove sides from the polygon, press the Up and the Down Arrow keys.
(ii) Click the point where you need to create the polygon, that will be the center of the shape. Specify the number of sides and a radius and click OK.
Select the Star tool and follow any one of the below steps:
(i) Drag until you get the required size of the star. If you need to rotate the star, drag the pointer in an arc. To add and remove points from the star press the Up and Down Arrow keys.
(ii) Click the point where you need to create the star, that will be the center of the shape. Specify the number of extremities required for the star. Radius 1, it defines the distance from the center of the star to the inner area of the star. Radius 2, it defines the distance from the center of the star to the outer area of the star. Then click OK.


Create a default flare
In the Tools panel, click on the Flare tool. Then press Alt key (Windows) or Option key (Mac OS) and click on the artboard, first click will create the center handle of the flare to appear.
Note: Create Flares over an existing object for better results.
Draw a flare

In the Tools panel, select the Flare tool and position the center handle of the flare. Press the mouse button and drag mouse to define the size of the halo, the size of the center, you can also control the rotation of the rays while pressing down the mouse button.

If you want to constrain the rays to a set an angle before press Shift key before releasing the mouse. You can use Up Arrow or Down Arrow key to add or subtract rays press. To hold the center of the flare constant, Press Ctrl (Windows) or Command (Mac OS). Release the mouse button after getting the desired share and rotation.

Further, if you want to add rings to the flare and place the end handle, press and drag the mouse again. Use the Up or the Down Arrow keys before releasing the mouse button, to add or subtract rings. For random placement of the rings, press the tilde (~) key. When you get the end handle on the desired location, release the mouse button. You can fill colors in the elements of the flare, like halos, centers, rays, rings, etc. You can also set different opacities (see Figure 5.9).
Create a flare by using the dialog box in Flare Tool Options
In the Tools panel, select the Flare tool and position the center handle of the flare.
From the Flare tool options Dialog Box, you can control the diameter, brightness, opacity and fuzziness of the flare’s center or the percentage of the size of the halo. If the Fuzziness value is set to zero, it will be a sharp halo and if it is set to 100, it will be fuzzy. After specifying the setting values, click OK.
You can also control options of the rings of the flare by selecting the Rings option. You can define: the number of rings, the distance between the center handle and end handle, the direction of the rings, the size of the largest ring and the angle of the rings. To include rays in the flare, select the option Rays and specify the number of rays required. The length of the ray can be expressed as a percentage of the average ray. For halos The fuzziness and sharpness of the rays can be control by the values between 0 to 100.
Edit a flare
If you need to edit a flare, select the Flare tool. You can change the direction as well lenght of the flare by moving either the center handle or the end handle endpoint. Another method is select the flare and click on the Flare tool option. A dialog box will open. Click on Rest while pressing Alt+T. And another method is, go to the Object menu > Expand option in the flare option. After selecting Expand. You can edit the elements of the flare in the same manner as the elements of blends. By using Adobe Illustrator’s tools and commands, or by using masks and effects, one can easily modify an object’s shape or size. 3D shapes can also be created.

Author Image

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *