Adobe Illustrator how to use Pen and Anchor point tool

Adobe Illustrator how to use Pen and Anchor point tool

January 14, 2020 22 By Peter Engel


Using a variety of tools to trace a
graphic is actually easier than you might think. Inside Adobe Illustrator and
with the help of the Pen tool and the Anchor Point tool you can draw pretty
much anything and yield great results so let me show you an example here. All right
everyone inside Adobe Illustrator let’s go ahead and place the ornamental
graphic by going up to the File menu, new and under the Presets choose one of the
the Print presets in this case A4, for orientation Landscape and click create.
Then go up to the File menu, Place and then click on this jpg graphic that
actually provide a direct link below the YouTube description to download the same
file and practice with it and before you click place just make sure you check on
the Template choice here/option and then click the Place. And out of the bat
I can see that I’m zoomed in 153 percent so if you want to Zoom in a
100% all you have to do is just double click on the Zoom tool like
so. OK, so the plan here is to draw this inner part right here this is the inner
part then the outer part which is all around and ultimately we will subtract
those two from each other to create this empty area. OK now before I start using
any tool I’m going to open up the Layers panel here and I’m going to double click
on this template layer which is locked and I’m inside the Layer options where it says Dim images I’m going to actually dim my image even more, down to 30% like so.
At the event that you did the same just make sure you’re on Layer 1 because if
you stay on this locked layer you will not be used you will not be able to use any
Adobe Illustrator tools because everything is locked. OK so make sure
you are on Layer 1, make sure you have no Fill just a Stroke
so click on none here and let’s zoom in a bit, choose the Pen tool or p to
choose the Pen tool as a keyboard shortcut and then the way we’re going to
do this we’re actually going to add a lot of smooth points all around and we’re
going to follow these very faithfully that’s what we have this template layer.
So let’s go ahead and start with a first smooth point, we’re going to click and
drag and this is the smooth point a smooth point is an action point which is
this one right here with two one two symmetrical control handles that they
are locked into alignment with each other okay let’s continue to create
another smooth point and every time you want to create a split point just
remember you wanna click and drag and that’s how you get the control handles
and now because we need to continue drawing this and following this
ornamental graphic we need to change the direction of the control handle and the
way you’re gonna do this is you can hold down the Alt key or the option key on
the Mac and change the direction of this control handle release the mouse and
then click and drag to create another control handle another spawn point
alright continue this hold down the Alt key or the option key on the Mac change
the direction of this control handle release the mouse and then click and
drag to create another smooth point like so and then continue this it’s quite
easy to click and drag change the direction again change the direction over here is the same like so although the Alt key again or
the option key now because this is a very long distance I’m going to split it
in half so I’m gonna click and drag here release click and drag change the
direction again hold on the Alt key or the option key on the Mac click and drag change the direction again just notice
that I iced change the direction of the control handle that I follow this curve
I follow my graphic here click and drag that looks good hold on the Alt key
again click and drag and I didn’t do this correctly so I’m going to do this
again I’m going to hover over this and endpoint right here till I see this
diagonal line appearing right next to the pen tool hold on the Alt key release
click and drag let’s do this again control C or command Z on the Mac to
undo there we go click-and-drag change the direction and
then clicking right here alright now we’re going to use the direct selection
tool and in case we want to change some of the paths using the control handles
and maybe here I can just move this smooth point all together just a tad
maybe this control handle here I think we are looking pretty good so I’m not
gonna really touch anything but what I’m going to do is I’m going to use the
selection tool and I’m going to select this path here and what I need to do is
to create a duplicate of that so we can mirror it on this side so if you click
and hold on the rotate tool you’re going to get the reflect tool so get the
reflect tool double click on the reflect tool gonna get these options here all
you have to do is leave everything as is and then click on the copy then use the
selection tool and if you want to go faster here by 10 points you want to go
hold down the shift key or the shift key and tap the left arrow on your keyboard
like so okay release that and now just tap the right arrow key to position this
something like that alright okay let’s zoom in a bit right here then we’re
going to use the direct selection tool I’m going to click and drag and create a
marquee selection here on these two endpoints okay marquee selection on
these two endpoints remember we are using the direct selection tool go up to
the object menu path average both object menu paths join so the same here marquee
select those two endpoints object menu path average both object
menu path Johnny okay and you have this so let’s open up the layer down here and
just double click to call this inner you can to return and it’s quite a save that
ornamental graphic already you’ve done this before so I’m just gonna replace
that and like so another way to draw paths is by adding straight segments
then use the Anchor Point tool to bend those straight segments and create
curved paths so let’s go ahead and do that we’re going to do this we’re going
to add segments to the other part of the ornamental graphic so let’s go ahead and
do that we’re gonna select the pen tool again and I’m going to add straight
segments like so here because it’s a bit long I’m gonna use click here maybe here
I will attempt to go here and then just this about there okay so we’re going to
use the Anchor Point tool and you’re going to click and hold the pen tool
till you get the Anchor Point tool so select that and then mouse over the
straight segment and then pull out and you’re gonna get this great curve with
these two handles and this way you get a very nice curve like so it’s not the perfect technique but it
can get you there like for example here I’m gonna have to do some pulling and
dragging of the control handles okay just try here and the last one there there we go so let’s see over here I
need to you see I got a little this little pointy stuff here so you want to
make sure you correct that so we’re gonna use the direct selection tool and
this happens because those two control handles they need to be in alignment
with each other and they’re not there you go you see this one here I’ll bring
this in like so maybe this one a little bit out but you have to bring this in here come things out like this and again
that’s what I like to use actually the the first technique because you have
much more control since those handles that sometimes they tend to be not to be
symmetrical okay it’s another way why not
let’s try everything we can let’s see how it looks it looks good a little bit
here I would say that I’m not extremely happy maybe I can bring this in just a
bit okay that looks to be decent alright so again we’re going to select this with
a selection tool and then double-click on the reflect tool to create a copy of
it hold down the shift key on your keyboard and tap the left arrow on your
keyboard to move this to the other side then just tap the right arrow to place
it like so okay direct selection tool marquee select
those two endpoints go to the object menu path average both object menu path
and join and I think we have one more here so marquee select object menu path
average both object menu path and join and over here we’ve got the I would say
outer like so and let’s zoom out and we’ll complete that as well don’t forget
to save ctrl s to save command save on the Mac continue this on a melted
graphic let’s go ahead and zoom in on this area and again I’m going to use the
the pen tool to add straight segments click once here here here
one there and just one here okay again we’re going to use the Anchor
Point tool and you’re going to pull out this straight segment you’re gonna get
those two control handles to get our curvature this one just a tad and this
one like so it looks pretty good right except not this one for here we can just
click once here and then up there you can set the options bar you can click
with this convert select Anchor Point tool to smooth so click on that you see
nice what’s out we get those two handles do the same here and look at this
beautiful curvature okay so select that double click on the reflect tool get a
copy nudge this to the left no need to hold down and shift marquee select those
two endpoints back to the object menu path average both object menu path ever
I mean join select those two endpoints again average them both and then join
okay and let’s say I don’t know let’s call this middle okay so mouth let’s see
okay control us to save command to save with
a Mac so continuing our on the melted design we got those two paths so first
I’m gonna draw this guy and then I’m just gonna mirror for the other one
let’s go ahead and zoom in a bit again I’m going to use the pen tool at this
time I’m not going to add any straight segments just going to click and drag to
create both points change the direction of the control handle and then click and
drag like so you’re trying to go all the way down
here there we go okay hold on the Alt key or the option
key on the Mac actually can go right here and do the same just make sure you
pull out the handle the control handle and then I’m going I would say around
that area here problem is now is that you have a very long handle so in this
case you want to make this handle much shorter so you want to hold down the
control key or the command key on the Mac bring is close to the anchor point
release the mouse and then click and drag see now hold on the Alt key change
the direction of the control handle click and drag do the same thing here
and then I’m going to hover over here you can see a circle appearing right
next to the pen tool that means close the path but you want to make sure that
you click and drag this now when you do that it’s okay the other handle will
also change so in this case it’s quite easy actually you’re gonna click and
hold you’re gonna get the Anchor Point tool again you want to take those this
control handle and move it independently from the other one so click and drag
like so there you go let’s zoom out a bit and then let’s select this one with
the selection tool if you do is just double click on the reflect tool create
a copy out of it hold down the shift key and tap the left arrow on your keyboard
to go faster release the shift key and just tap a bit like so okay and let’s
make sure you say this controls the save command to save on the Mac the last remaining thing to do is to
subtract those paths from each other to create these empty space in between and
I’m referring this empty space here in this empty space okay so with the
selection tool let’s go ahead and select the the first one the out of part here
this out of path and right now we have just a stroke so if you wanna have a
fill all you have to do is swap in between so press shift X on your
keyboard and now we have a fill the then select the inner path here so shift X
but now we have black on black plus this is below the outer so just click and
drag this up move it up on the stack and then just make sure that you have a
white color there we go and let’s go and select the middle part and shift X for a
fill and also a white color alright as for these two guys just shift
selects and shift X to just give them a fill color okay now for subtracting
those from each other let me zoom in a bit we’re going to select those three
the middle the inner and the outer and then it’s actually quite easy to do
we’re going to use the shape builder tool which is this one and the shortcut
is Shift m and by default the shape builder tool is in combined mode which
means in combines different paths together in this case we want to do the
opposite and subtract paths from each other so that’s why you get this plus on
the right on the mouse right here you can see so if you hold down the Alt key
or the option key on the Mac you go into subtraction mode okay so hold down the
Alt key or the option key on the Mac you all you have to do is hover over here
click once and click once and that’s it you got a
compound path now at the event that you got to go back again and you want to
release this compound path make sure it’s selected right click and you can
release that compound path like so okay in this case now of course you have a
group or in this case I’m just going to undo this controls the commands in the
Mac and this is actually an empty area and if you just slightly move it you can
see it’s empty okay of course if you want you can just
select all of these guys and just use another color like so and that’s about
it just don’t forget to save ctrl s to save comments to save on a Mac and so we
reached the end of our mini tutorial on how to use certain tools to draw a semi
complicated ornamental shape we use the pen tool to turn around
we added straight segments and curves them we use the direct selection tool to
smooth our paths mirror them using the reflect tool and finally we use the
shape builder tool to create empty areas so all you have to do is just practice a
bit with these tools to trace your own shapes and see what it takes you let’s
conclude this lecture and thank you for watching