I had a little bit of Illustrator already in Media 110. The part I had most fun with was making Spirographs. I've always loved Spirograph designs. The class didn't mention it, but as soon as I started playing with Illustrator that's the first thing I thought of.
Here's a scan of some real ones I made on paper many years ago with the 50's Spirograph set:
Here's the one I made last year with Illustrator in Media 110:
But it took hours and was done the hard way because I didn't know Illustrator's tools very well yet! I fiddled and tweaked with it for like ever to get it right. I should say, the outermost shape was hard. Illustrator can make the smaller copies instantly.
In my dedicated Illustrator class I started right in fiddling with spirographs again.
These two designs took minutes to make. They're just ovals copied and rotated by degrees. Illustrator has a keyboard shortcut to rotate copies around a specified point. Slick!
By the end of the class I was starting to know what I was doing. Here's my masterpiece. Spirographs the smart way!
And this time I made note of how I did it so I can't forget.
I know these look pretty simple. Maybe one of these times I'll make some fancier ones to mimic the ones in the scan, right now I'm happy just knowing I could. Having the problem in a 'solved' state is satisfying. I can make vector spirograph designs in Illustrator now.
I even made that into a tutorial... Illustrator Spirograph tutorial
Playing with gradient fills:
Here's some oak leaf and pine tree branch brushes I made. Drag with the mouse, and oak leaves go all over, or a pine branch follows the line. Cool!
The .ai file, in case anyone finds this page in Google and wants the brushes.
Wallpaper with the Blend and Flare tools. Click for larger versions.
And some with stars! Click for 1024x768 version.
We had to make three magazine covers. I refused any more help and did the other two on my own :-)
We were given a plain campground map and told to make a better version from scratch...
We had to make it nicer, using all-original icons. Here's mine. I didn't make the tree shapes, those come with Illustrator.
From a blurry jpg...
We had to make a vector version. Please click on this for a closer look at my masterpiece! Remember this could be scaled up to billboard size and not lose quality.
Extra credit assignment, came from the fantasy sword and shield tutorial here
I told the teacher I could not be expected to manipulate actual blood by touching it with my mouse, and did this instead.
Hmm, I said not war, but I'd been watching The Punisher and after working with cold steel (on the screen) for a while, I thought of a better quote to use. Thomas Jane said this in the movie.
Making another version took literally minutes (Illustrator is SO powerful!)