Adobe Illustrator CS5 Tutorial: How to use the Pen tool

penil

The Pen tool in Adobe Illustrator Differs in how they work from Adobe Photoshop. It works differently to become a more versatile tool for illustrators. You can check out my tutorial for pen tool in Photoshop here.

Step 1: Setting up your Pen tool. Just like in Adobe Photoshop you have up how the “line” will look. Go to the colour picker portion of your tool box.

color

The white box here is the foreground colour, your main colour. The black box behind it is the background colour, or your outline colour. You can choose not to have one other other if you click the small box with the red line across it. The middle is a gradient, and the first is just one tone. The BACKGROUND colour is the one you are mainly working with if you are making outlines for your drawings.

Step 2: The most intuitive and easiest type of line to make is a straight line. You can also make perfect straight lines by holding SHIFT key.

green-line

When you move to make another point (aka anchor point) you might see the green line. This green line is the smart guide that allows you make even lines, basically pre-measures for you. It will tend to ‘snap’, meaning guide your lines to a certain area. If you do not want this go to View >Smart Guides and turn it off.

Step 3: You have to close the shape, to make a new shape unlike photo shop. You can circumvent this by pressing Shift + Command + A  to start a new path/shape. To make it disappear just click the line with the selection tool (Black arrow) and press delete.

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Step 4: If you want to move your points (the beauty of illustrator), you choose the Direct Selection tool from your tool box.

dirselect

 

Click it and click on your anchor point and just drag it.

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Step 5: To add an anchor point, you go back to the pen tool and just put the anchor point wherever you want.

Step 6: If you want to make curves, it will be very different than Photoshop.

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You make one point and then you click to make another point, BUT YOU DO NOT LET GO. Instead you drag to make the curve, and when you let go, your curve is complete. Your “handles” the two prong long edge with the two dark dots, help you change the shape of your curve. Play around with it and you will get the intuitive feeling of how the curve works in Illustrator.

Some other helpful tips is that you can just CTRL + Z to undo as many times as you want. Unlike in Photoshop where you can to go to the history panel to undo your mistakes.

Here are some other rad video tutorials on the pen tool, which I find helpful!

Enjoy learning Illustrator!

Adobe Photoshop CS5 Tutorial: How to use the Pen tool

t1Step 1: This tool you will often see and will use in Adobe programs. This is a basic tutorial on how to use the pen tool in Adobe Photoshop CS5, but previous versions of Photoshop will be similar to CS5. I often use Pen tool in Photoshop to do outlines but I prefer Illustrator. You can check out my pen tutorial for illustrator by clicking here. You can see how the pen tool works in Illustrator  Before you start using the pen tool. You will set your brush. To do this choose the brush tool. Which is this button.

brush

You will then go to the upper left corner and click the black arrow to let the drop menu come down.

toolbar

brushes

These are the default brushes. You can download custom brushes but for now these are the ones that you will use the most. Using the slider you can change the settings of size and hardness. Which are self explanatory.

Step 2: This will be intuitive, but you make a straight line by click on end and then clicking somewhere else creating the end of the line. This is your guide to how your line will look. Choose Right click and options would pop up choose stroke path. This will colour in the line. You can move the end points by click the point you would like to move and holding CTRL at the same time.

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If you don’t like the placement, just click enter and the line will disappear.

Step 3: If you want to create a curve line. Click in the middle of the two points.

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This will create a third point that you can now drag by click on it while simultaneously holding CTRL. This point you created is a called an anchor point. You can make as many you want. Then again, right click and pick stroke path to fill it in.

curve

 

You can also make a curve by holding and dragging the mouse like in Adobe Illustrator.

Step 4: You can rotate around the point by the two circles handing on the anchor point by clicking it and holding onto CTRL again.

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This is the simple basics of the pen tool. I will now go in a little bit extra on the other features of the pen tool. If you click on the black error of the pen tool in the tool box this will pop up. I will briefly go over what they do.

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– The Freeform pen tool lets you simply write like you would on paper. You don’t have to make points and move them individually. This is great if you have a Wacom
, but not useful if you have a mouse. If you have a mouse use the regular pen tool.

– Add Anchor Point Tool is useless in my opinion. It does the job which I describe in Step 3.

– Delete Anchor Point tool. Does what it says, it deletes the anchor points you created.

– Convert Point Tool, when you click an anchor point with it. It makes the curve lines straight.

And one last tip. The shape tool works similar to the Pen tool and you should be able to pick it up relatively easy!

shape

Thanks for reading my tutorial, and have fun learning Photoshop!