Illustrator pen tool

Hey guys,

I am new to illustrator but understand the importance of the dreaded pen tool. I am a capable artist and an advanced photoshop user but trying to draw vector shapes is frustrating me so much. Does anyone have any advice or tips on how to tame this beast? I have watched all of the Youtube tutorials but I am still missing something, just don’t have that degree of control and confidence yet.

I probably fall into the same camp and found that really the easiest thing for me is to rough out drawn shapes with the pen tool then go back and refine in a second pass.

Also learning to combine shapes and cut them using the pathfinder tool is the other big skill.

Using those two thing I can trace or draw pretty much anything. Oh actually the other thing is using the freehand drawing tool well. It can often bridge the gap.

At the end of the day once I had these basic things down I was able to improve as various jobs came in. There’s only so many tutorials that you can do before you need a real project to get stuck into.

Hey thanks for that,

I will follow your advice but I’m not quite sure what you mean about combining shapes and cut using the pathfinder tool, could you elaborate maybe with a verbal example ,
thanks
WILL

I am mostly a Ps guy, too but IIRC the pathfinder lets you create shapes by using more than one path.

So if you wanted to draw a simple dounut, you could draw on circle on top of another circle, select them both, and subtract one from the other.

Very useful way of working.

It’s taken me many years and a couple of rotoscoping projects in Ae, but I fee very comforatble with the pen. It helps to memorize all the keyboard shortcuts.

The best thing for me was taking pictures of faces and cars (random organic shapes) and tracing them with the pen. It really didn’t take that long to get pretty good at it.

http://desktoppublishing.com/tipsillustr.html
http://www.senecadesign.com/designgeek/illustrator.html
http://www.tutorial9.net/tutorials/illustrator-tutorials/adobe-illustrator-tip-1-intro-and-livetrace/
http://www.illustratortips.com/

check out,I found many good tricks & tips on these sites.