This summer, I asked Adobe Digital Media intern Aron Bothman to create an animated tutorial on how to edit pdfs. Aron is a Character Animation major at Cal Arts. He decided to make a stop-motion animation using drawings he created on his white board. Believe it or not, this topic is the most requested “how to” search on Adobe.com. I think he did a beautiful job. It is simple, clean, and easy to follow. Please check out the result:
Can’t remember the shortcut for your favorite Photoshop tool or menu item? There’s a fantastic new tool for Photoshop CS6 users. It’s called the Photoshop CS6 Quick Reference Guide. This handy little web app allows you to search for tool and menu names. The results supply you with a short definition of the tool or menu item, its shortcut and its location. In many cases, a link to a help article or tutorial is provided so you can learn how to use that feature.
It’s easy to use. Simply enter a term in the Search field:
Depending on the search term, you may get a long list of results. You can filter those results by using the checkboxes available at the top of the results list. Simply check one or more of those boxes and click Update to filter your results and narrow your search.
This tool was created by Julia Grummel and Janelle Flores, two of Adobe’s Digital Media Interns. It is a beta version which means that it is a work in progress. But comments and suggestions are welcome. All in all, it is an extremely useful tool.
There are several ways to create an arrow using Illustrator CS6. Here are five different methods that will give you a wide variety of arrows to choose from:
Using the Stroke Panel
Using the Stroke Panel
In Illustrator CS6, turning any line into an arrow with arrowheads and tails is easy.
Create any line (straight or curved) with two end points.
With the line selected, open the Stroke panel by choosing Window > Stroke.
Find the section titled “Arrowheads” and select your arrowhead and tail sections!
Below are some examples of arrows created using the Stroke panel:
To use the preset symbols in Illustrator CS6, open the Symbols panel by choosing Window > Symbols.
In the Symbols panel, open the fly-out menu, choose “Open Symbols Library” and open the Arrows Library.
From there, just drag and drop your arrows onto your artboard.
Here are some examples of Arrow Symbols:
Note: When you make edits to the symbol on your artboard it will apply the change to the symbol in the library. To prevent this, right-click on the symbol you dragged out and click “Break Link to Symbol” before making any alterations to it.
You can choose a typeface that contains special arrow characters. To see if a font contains arrow characters, choose Window > Type > Glyphs.
Select the font at the bottom of the panel and scroll through the glyphs (characters) to search for arrows.
Create a text box. Double-click the glyph you would like to use and it will appear in the text box.
To convert the arrow from live text into a graphic icon, select your text box and choose Type > Create Outlines. Converting live text to outlines is important if you would like to edit the text in the same way that you edit objects. For example, you may want to alter the edge of a text character but cannot do so if you don’t convert to outlines.
Here are some examples of arrow glyphs in the typeface Zapf Dingbats:
To use the arrow brushes, select Window > Brushes.
In the panel fly-out menu, choose Open Brush Library > Arrows.
There are three default arrow libraries in Illustrator CS6 (Special Arrows, Standard Arrows, Pattern Arrows). Open any of the libraries and select any arrow you desire.
Use the Paintbrush tool and paint your arrow onto the artboard. The arrow will follow the motion of your brush.
Here are some examples of arrow created using the Brush Tool:
Creating your own custom arrows using shapes is very easy with the help of the Pathfinder tool. Here’s a basic example using simple shapes.
Start by creating a rectangle and a triangle.
Position the two so that they overlap slightly and make an arrow shape.
Open the Pathfinder panel by choosing Window > Pathfinder. Select both shapes and choose Unite in the Pathfinder panel.
The two pieces have united to become one! This same process can be used with any number of shapes that you create, so get creative!
There you have it… five simple methods to give you a variety of arrows for any of your designing needs! If you’d like to learn more about creating Arrows and Arrowheads using Illustrator CS6, check out these great resources:
Need to design an interactive form that contains check boxes, text fields, radio buttons, lists, etc? This tutorial is for you! Michael Jarrott, a digital media intern here at Adobe, has created a very cool tutorial that teaches how to make interactive pdf forms using InDesign CS6. This clever tutorial is actually an InDesign document that walks you through the process of creating these basic items for your form:
One of the challenges of creating digital animations is making them look organic. Sometimes the result of a digital animation is just too smooth and perfect looking. There are ways around this if you are looking to give your animation a hand-drawn and organic feel. Ben Markus, one of our student interns last summer, has created a tutorial series that teaches you ways of using Photoshop and After Effects to give your animations a hand-drawn look. He starts with the basics so even a non-animator like me can create a really cool organic animation. Give it a try, its really fun!
How do you crop an image in Illustrator? You don’t have to crop the image in Photoshop or Lightroom before you place it in your Illustrator file. There are a few different ways to crop in Illustrator but these two new videos give you some best practices for cropping. In one, Adobe’s Erica Larson shows how to crop with an opacity mask and in the other she shows you how to crop with a clipping mask: