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Deke's Techniques 85: Designing a Seamlessly Repeating Hex Pattern in Illustrator CS6

Deke's Techniques 85: Designing a Hex Pattern in Illustrator CS6

By now, a few of you may be using Illustrator CS6. In which case, you have access to the new Pattern Options panel, which---among other things---allows you to create hex patterns. By which I mean, patterns that are organized into hexagonal tiles instead of the regular old rectangular ones. And it designs the patterns seamlessly, with remarkably little planning on your part.

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Deke's Techniques 84: Drawing a Perfect Linear Spiral in Illustrator

Deke's Techniques 84: Drawing a Perfect Linear Spiral in Illustrator

Just in time for The Illustrator Challenge to end (my timing is impeccable!), I present you with an ultra-cool Illustrator technique. It's like this, friends. Have you ever tried using Illustrator's Spiral tool? Or better yet, have you ever used it to create an element in an actual piece of artwork? If so, my guess is that you didn't find it to be a particularly fun experience, and you probably had a hell of a time getting the results you wanted.

In which case, rest assured, it's not your fault. With all due respect to Adobe, Illustrator's Spiral tool is the kind of tool only a monkey could love. And it'd have to be a stupid monkey at that.

Which is why, this week, I show you how to create a more predictable and better looking spiral, the kind of spiral you actually want to make, using the Polar Grid tool.

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Deke's Techniques 78: Creating a Superhero Shield in Adobe Illustrator

Deke's Techniques 78: Creating a Superhero Shield in Illustrator

Have you ever wanted to create a superhero shield in Adobe Illustrator? Well, sure you have. I mean, it's Captain America's shield, for crap's sake. And just in time for the Fourth of July! I mean, seriously, who on the face of this red, white, and blue planet is more patriotic than Captain America? Iron Man's too wrapped up in himself. (Hey, like me!) Thor is an alien, and therefore ineligible to run for the office of Patriot. The Hulk just wants to smash (honestly, I gotta come up with a technique for this guy). Black Widow and Hawkeye are not superheros (altho Black Widow has a superbutt). And Loki hates our freedom. Okay, clearly, Nick Fury is a patriot, but he shoots at airborne enemies with a pistol, which makes him an idiot. So, really, the only one left standing is Captain America.

Better still, U.S trademark law does not protect his shield, so we can riff on it all we want.

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Deke's Techniques 060: Drawing a Highly Graphic Explosion

Deke's Techniques 060: Drawing a Highly Graphic Explosion

In just two days, on March 1, Adobe Illustrator turns 25 years old. (If only it wasn't a Leap Year, the blessed event would've happened a day earlier!) Meanwhile, I've been using the program since its inception. So I guess that makes me approximately 112 years old.

This week, I celebrate Illustrator and the wider world of vector art with a technique that'll blow you away. Quite figuratively! Because this week, I show you how to create a graphic explosion.

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Deke's Techniques 058: Drawing with the Reshape Tool

Deke's Techniques 058: Drawing with the Reshape Tool

Happy Valentine's Day.

In honor of the occasion, I've come up with a tasty red candy of a technique, based on a tragically misunderstood Illustrator feature called the Reshape tool. It's a kind of boy finds tool, boy loses tool, but gets tool back kinda movie.

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