Useful Methods of Working in Adobe Illustrator (Part 6)

Natalie Ulrich shares some very interesting tricks with us. Today we learn some peculiarities of Star Tool and Blend Tool (W) application. Learn at the jump!


Star Shape Changing

You can change star shape in the course of its creation; to do so, press and hold the Cmd / Ctrl key. Each subsequent star shall have the same external to internal radius ratio. In order to modify such ratio, click with Star Tool in document field and enter the new values of radii to opened dialog box.

Creation of Irregular Combined Stars

Some times there is a need for prompt creation of star having irregular shape consisting of crossing paths. Let us see how to create such forms in a few seconds. Select Star Tool and in the time of star creation press several times the button with down arrow in order to get the star having three rays. Now, press shortcuts Cmd / Ctrl + Opt / Alt and then, press the button with up arrow in order to obtain combined multiprong star (each subsequent pressing the button with up arrow shall change star shape). You can make an experiment more complicated – hold the button Cmd / Ctrl in order to change radii ratio of the star being created.

Now, Star Tool is able to create irregular stars similar to shown in figure below.

In order to shift back to the normal mode of stars creation, press shortcuts Cmd / Ctrl + Opt / Alt in the course of the new star creation.

Creation of Perfectly Shaped Star

In the time of star creation, its shape sometimes can be treated as not meeting your requirements. It is because Star Tool "remembers" last applied setting. In order to obtain the perfectly shaped star without changing any tool parameters, hold the button Opt / Alt in the course of its creation. In order to align the star relative to normals, hold the Shift button.

Creation of Spirograph

Using the variety of the form creation tools, such as Rectangle Tool (M), Ellipse Tool (L), etc. you can obtain the combined shapes, provided the button ~ is held in the course of the object creation. Please, be informed that upon the process of combined shapes creation is completed it shall be necessary to release firstly the mouse button and then, the button ~, otherwise you shall obtain the simple object instead of the combined shape.