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Illustrator - The very basic stuff


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A few people make the big move from raster based software to Illustrator and hit a road block. It is completely different from MS Paint and I sent this info to someone else, and thought it might be handy to others.

And also save them asking for help.


First things first, have you downloaded any of the templates in my sig?

To make things easy, download the Football template.

I take it you'll know how to open a file in Illustrator

Therefore, the next step is to see what we've got in the file.

If you go to Window>Layers, there will either be a check mark against Layers, or not.

If it is checked, that means the Layers window is already open.

If it is, it will look like this:


See the little triangle, click on that once, and the box opens up like this:


You're actually nearly there.

See where it says Numbers. (It says it twice for each uniform)

Click on one of the circles at the end of the word. I suggest one of the blue ones.

Now go to the other side of the screen.

There's two little boxes, which I've circled in red.


Now, the blue, is the main colour, and the purple is the outline.

These are the colours of the number in the White uniform.

See how directly under these colours there's a whole range of colours.You can use these, or if you go to Windows>Swatch Libraries>Pantone Solid Coated you can have any colour in printing.

To use them, you've still got the little circle next to Numbers, now with a little blue dot in it. That means that section is selected.

Whichever of the purple and blue is on top, that's what colour you're changing. I would say purple is going to be in top.

Click on the blue, and it is now on top of the purple.

Next, click on any colour tile.

Let's say Red for contrast.

Now look at the number on the white jersey.

By selecting any of the items in the Layers box, you can re-colour any part of the uniform.

OK. Next question. Getting the shading over the number.

Simply go back to the Layers and find where it says Shading.

Click on it and hold the mouse down.

Then drag it up the ladder until it gets to the top, above the helmets at the top.

Now, it's the higest layer, and the shading will be over the numbers.

That might be enough for now, go play with the template and see what you can do.

Oh, and I've got a site.

Footy Jumpers Dot Com

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Not to get off track, but just a quick question...

I've been wanting to digitalize my concepts and was wondering which would be better to use. I've never used Photoshop or Illustrator, but I'm going to put the time into learning one first. People say Photoshop is all around better, but I see a lot of people using Illustrator.

Which should I go with? Thanks in advance

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Clipping Masks.

A clipping mask is an object or group of objects whose shape masks artwork below it so that only artwork within the shape is visible.


Well. Let?s say you?re doing the stripes on football socks, you don?t need to put them outside the border of the sock. Just show the parts that fit inside the socks, and not the rest.


In the Layers palette, select the layer or group that contains the items that you want to become the clipping set.

The topmost object will be the clipping mask.

In this case, the whole lower leg section.

Then the stripes, then the sock colour.

Select all of them by clicking on them and holding Shift down at the same time.

Then Right Click and select Make Clipping Mask.

Once you've done that, go back and re-colour the top layer, which will be made blank by making it a Clipping Mask.


Oh, and I've got a site.

Footy Jumpers Dot Com

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I thought I would chime on as long as we are talking basics. I found a really nice site with beginner tutorials and practice materials for all the popular vector programs. What I found valuable is that it focuses exactly how to use the pen tool and draw with bezier curves, which I am sure are a real stumbling block for folks just getting into vector drawing.

Drawing Basics


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Wow...I did a drawing basics tutorial as well...and used a Cardinal for my subject...weird...


That is probably the best tutorial I've seen for this sort of stuff.

The only thing I'd really like to know is where the best place to put the middle point on a curved line. You mention in the tutorial "With practice, you'll become an expert of where that middle point needs to go", I still struggle with this more than anything else.

Oh, and I've got a site.

Footy Jumpers Dot Com

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The thing is, there is no easy answer. Basically its the breaking point of the line. The spot where it stops going on direction and begins going another.

Don't worry. any complex line I usually undo it about 5-10 times and I don't even realize it.

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