Adobe Illustrator CC - Advanced Training

Getting started with your Adobe Illustrator advanced tutorial

Daniel Walter Scott

Download Exercise Files



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All right, welcome to the course. This is the Getting Started video. This, if I'm honest, is a bit boring, but hang in there, there's a few important details we need to cover before we get started. All right, let's go. 

To get started, the first thing is you need to go download the 'Exercise Files'. There's a link on the screen here, go download those. Optionally, you might go grab the Cheat Sheet. It's at There's a Resources tab along the top here. There is an Illustrator Cheat Sheet. So go download that. It's free, it's a PDF. Print it off, stick it next to your computer while we're working. 

Next thing to do is, we're going to change our units so, our measurements, like inches and centimeters. Confusingly, the new version of Illustrator kind of deals with things a little bit differently. To explain that, under-- normally what you do is, you go to 'Illustrator CC', 'Preferences', 'Units'. This is on a MC, if you're on a PC, it's under 'Edit' and 'Preferences' down the bottom here. So if I go into here, and change my units, and say, I'm going to use inches, or millimeters, or pixels. This doesn't really matter anymore. If it feels good, you can click on inches. 

Basically what happens is, when I create a new document, this thing over here, really-- you can see, pixels is up even though I picked inches. Why is that? It uses the last units you used. The document that I created previously was in pixels, so it just used pixels. If I made something now, and changed it to inches, it would by default be inches the next time I open up this window. So that's how it works. 

Another thing to be aware of, if I go to 'Web' you'll notice it just switches it out to pixels. So you just got to keep an eye on this every time. You can switch afterwards, it's no big deal but when you're going to Print and Mobile, and all these other ones, it really wants to be a different size. So just go change it here. Let's say I make a Print document, but I want it to be inches, click 'Create', and let's say it's not what I wanted, I was doing millimeters. With nothing selected, over here, this is the really easy way to do it. You can go change it in here quickly. 

Another thing I want you to do is, up the top here you're probably set to 'Essential's, right? So it probably looks a little bit different from mine. I'm going to go on 'Essentials', click 'Reset Essentials' because this is like, out of the box what it looks like. Now I love that little Control Bar along the top there. Most people did, it kind of just turned off with this version. They kind of replaced it with the Properties panel, which I love, but I also like that top bar. So for this course I'm going to turn it on. So, with 'Essentials', we go to 'Window' and just make sure this Control Bar on the top is actually up there. It's just handy. Now what you might do is, once you've kind of got your Properties, your Panels, the way you like, you can go save them. You don’t have to, but if you want to, you can go to 'New Workspace' and you can see, they already have one called 'Dan', it's already used. I'm going to replace it. Click 'Dan'. Just means that if things go wrong later on I can go to 'Reset Dan' and it goes back to this, and has a nice little Control Bar along the top. 

Now there's going to be some of you who are using an older version of Illustrator. You can totally do it, pretty much-- pretty much everything is like one thing. The Puppet Tool, you can't do, but if you've got an older version of Illustrator it will work perfectly for 99% of this course except, we're going to be using this Properties Panel a lot. And that didn't exist in earlier versions. So if you are, this thing won't exist. You'll have to do a lot more of opening up here, and opening up the specific windows. So I'm going to 'Reset Dan' just to show you what I mean. 

If I grab my 'Type Tool' now, and draw stuff out, draw a box up, you can see, over here, I've got my Fill, my Stroke, and my Font, whereas if you're using a previous version you can either find it at the top here or you go to 'Window', and you have to turn on under 'Type', you can turn on the 'Character Panel'. So I'm going to use this because it's quick and awesome, but if you're like, "Oh man, it's going to be Appearance Panel". Just to have a look what it's called, then find it up here. You will find a specific tab, or a specific panel that will control that. 

Another thing just to cover is-- I've got stock images that I used for this course. There's a mixture of stuff that I've made personally, and you're totally allowed to use that for your own Portfolios and show people that you've done it, but in terms of the stock images they're very clear, which are the stock images. Basically, with the photographs that look professionally done. Any of the hand drawn sketches are mine but you're not allowed to go off and start using without going and paying for the stock images. Just be warned, you can definitely do it for this course and show people what you've done but you can't go and use them commercially afterwards. But what you can do is there's a section in this course where you can get free commercial use images. Just switch it on for those, or some of your own images and you can start totally using a lot of this for your Portfolio. 

Another thing to do is, in your Exercise Files there's going to be-- well, throughout this course, I'm going to say, projects for you to do. Sort of homework. Now, there will be-- I'll do it in the videos and explain it but there's one place in the Exercise Files. There's a folder called Class Projects, and it has a Word Doc in there plus all the images, everything you need to do those projects in one little piece. Just so you know, there are projects, you don’t have to do them, obviously but there is a folder for them. I will describe them as we go through the tutorial course. 

All right, that is a boring video. We're going to skip on now and start making some stuff in Illustrator. Thanks for hanging in there. Let's go and get started now.