August 17, 2015

Illustrator Groups are DIVs

If you're a web designer or a web developer, you're probably familiar with core concepts like the difference between HTML (structure), and CSS (presentation). You're probably also familiar with the DIV tag -- a way to clearly indicate intent for different kinds of content on a page.

DIVs are like containers. And what's cool about them is that you can also apply attributes to them. For example, a DIV may have its own background color, so as you add more text within the DIV, the background grows to enclose all of the text.

This is basic web 101 stuff.

But when it comes to using Adobe Illustrator, I am finding more and more people who don't truly understand that structure and presentation -- and essentially DIVs -- play an essential role in the world of vector graphics.

Back in 2011, I created a series of courses on lynda.com called Illustrator Insider Training -- where I went deep into revealing how Illustrator works under the hood. How vectors REALLY work, and providing a true understanding of what paths, anchor points, fills, strokes, effects, groups, and layers all are. In that course, I ultimately teach you how to "read" an Illustrator file (similar to using View Source to understand how a web page is built).

In this movie below, I talk about just how similar Illustrator and basic web design concepts are:



Recently, Von Glitschka asked a question about how to achieve a certain effect. The solution was to use groups to advantage... but only if you really understand the power of groups does the simple solution make sense.

Here's the video that I recorded that discusses Von's initial question (how he could apply a gradient to a brush stroke) and my solution and explanation:


If you want to truly master the art of using Adobe Illustrator, don't try silly tutorials that claim to teach you how to use Gradient Mesh or how to make a 3D logo. Spend time on truly understanding what makes every Illustrator file tick. You'll thank me for it.

1 comment:

Scott Citron said...

As always, another great video, Mordy. Many thanks for posting.