Does Illustrator take a while to learn?

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by s.hoz, Jul 5, 2008.

  1. macrumors regular

    s.hoz

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
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    Custer
    #1
    I need to buy Adobe Illustrator for making band t-shirts. Is is a hard program to learn, or can it be somewhat mastered in < three weeks?
     
  2. macrumors P6

    MacDawg

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    #2
    Mastered? Maybe not
    Useable? Certainly

    It is a powerful program with a lot of capabilities
    Get a good book and use a tutorial if you like
    Or, if you are the adventurous type, just start playing with it and teach yourself

    If you have used other Adobe products, you will be familiar with much of the interface

    But there is a lot of power beneath the surface
    If you want to tap it all, you will need guidance

    Good luck!

    Woof, Woof - Dawg [​IMG]
     
  3. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2005
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    england
    #3
    totally agree with macdawg
    its just getting used to using vectors and how they behave
    if youre just used to pixel based programs then it is somewhat different
    but its easy to get started
    and vectors are great!
     
  4. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2008
    #4
    Learning to use the pen tool is essential, so I would put that at the top of the list of priorities. As others said, you won't master it, but you can definitely find your way around it and use it well in that amount of time.
     
  5. macrumors 68020

    Cabbit

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    #5
    If you have used Photoshop, illustrator is quite hard to get used to in my experience.
     
  6. macrumors G4

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    #6
    Mastered? That's hard. After years of daily use I've still not "mastered" the #2 pencil.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors regular

    s.hoz

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    #7
    Well I downloaded the trial version to see how it all plays out and I'm getting pretty used to it and super excited.
    Is there a website for more brushes? I need to find a winter tree...
     
  8. macrumors P6

    MacDawg

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    #8
    I would have to agree... I went the other way... Illustrator to Photoshop, but the same is true

    They approach things differently

    Woof, Woof - Dawg [​IMG]
     
  9. macrumors 68040

    Watabou

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    Feb 10, 2008
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    United States
    #9
    Illustrator is not hard but it's not easy either. I took a class on it and even then I don't know all the stuff that Illustrator does.

    So I have to deny that you can master it in three weeks. But hey, who am I to tell you...
     
  10. macrumors member

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    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #10
    Sure...

    I agree also, you will not master CS3 in years, but with a few weeks of practice it can be easily useable. If you have any experience with similar programs it will come really quickly. It is definately a fun program to play with!:D
     
  11. macrumors 68020

    freeny

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  12. macrumors 68000

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    Sep 22, 2006
    #12
    Well its a piece of cake compared to a 3d program. It can still be hard to get it to do things you want it to do since a lot of stuff isnt intuitive in the slightest bit. For illustrator to be versatile you need to learn an awful lot of "tricks" through the menus and settings.
     
  13. macrumors 6502a

    bluetooth

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    May 1, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto
    #13
    I would like to learn more about AI myself. I work primarily with PS and ID (formerly Quark) but have been using AI more and more.

    The more you use it, the more comfortable you will be with it (that is a given) but it really depends on how well you want to know the program. If you are already familiar with Adobe Apps, then you could likely search out a few free tutorials on AI and you will be able to be creating, doing the basics and navigating around within a few days. Then if you want to learn more, you could search out further tutorials or even take a weekend or evening set of classes - if you wanted to become advanced and more proficient etc.

    Luckily for some like myself there is a "Live Trace" feature, which allows you to trace over images and convert them automatically into vectors. This could come in quite handy for you if you are doing t-shirt designs and have logos are images you need to convert to vectors.

    The one thing I dislike about drawing paths and custom shapes is AI is how finicky it can be (for me at least anyways). I am so use to Photoshop and drawing a shape or path and then going back and using the "convert point tool" while holding option/shift to manipulate the bends on half of the point selected etc. In AI you cannot do it this way, it is more tricky and I have yet to master it myself. If anyone knows what I mean and has a link to a tutorial or can explain it to me here it would be greatly appreciated. It is such a simple thing, but I always get frustrated with it because I am so use to PS and just using the convert point tool and option/shift command to manipulate points in a path when making a custom shape.
     
  14. macrumors regular

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  15. macrumors 6502

    jerryrock

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    Amsterdam, NY
    #15
    Adobe Illustrator was a 3 credit course for me that took four months to complete.
     
  16. thread starter macrumors regular

    s.hoz

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    Jan 22, 2008
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    Custer
    #16
    So I've been using Illustrator for a few days now and I have A LOT to learn, but I can get through it pretty well. Would you say that you can do more with Photoshop though? The things I thought I might be able to do with Illustrator I can't. Is Photoshop a better program? Of course there's opinions on what is "better", but can you do more with brushes, or graphic design with Photoshop or is it more of a "Photo" editing program. (Hence the name Photoshop, I guess)
     
  17. macrumors 6502

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    #17
    Took me a heck of a lot longer than Photoshop
     
  18. macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    They are both better at different tasks. You said you wanted to design t-shirts, which I think would be better suited to illustrator, since you will likely be dealing with solid colors to be screen printed.

    There really isn't a "better" like you are asking. You can do virtually anything in either one. Your problem is you lack the knowledge of the tools. Hypothetically you could pick up photoshop faster, but it will be harder for you to make screen printable designs with it without adequate knowledge of pre-press technique, like separations, etc..

    Neither program is "easy" as you want it to be. I'd suggest just plugging away at illustrator for now, as it is the more correct tool for what you are wanting to do with it. You have to earn the design success as both tools are advanced - you have to put in your time. Not to say you can't create some fun stuff along the way; just don't try to circumvent having to pay your dues with either program.
     
  19. macrumors newbie

    tango906

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    Location:
    KC MO, US
    #19
    Get comfortable--it will take a while.

    Mastered--not even in a year. This is a professional production and post-production application that takes most users a long time to get comfortable with enough just to say they can product simple designs.

    Don't let that dissuade you though. I would hope that after 10 days of use (if you got it after you posted on 7/5) you see what it will take to be productive using Illustrator.

    (Just FYI as a graphic design pro I've used Illustrator for over 5 years, and Freehand 10 years prior to that)
     
  20. macrumors 68000

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    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario Canada
    #20
    Illustrator is Harder to learn once you have used photoshop for a while. I have been using a little bit more lately and what i do is use each of the tools for a little while just to get a feel for how they work and what they do.
     
  21. macrumors newbie

    AtillaMullQueen

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    #21
     
  22. macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    There was no Photoshop when I learned Illustrator, made it very easy.

    ----------

    Surprised you're having trouble with it, they work in very similar ways, you'll get the hang of it eventually.

    Shift constrains, option allows you to modify a point in the pen tool.
     
  23. macrumors 68000

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    Dec 8, 2009
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #23
    Ive been using the Adobe suite professionally for over 14 years and i still have not mastered it. It is easy enough to pick up the basics in three weeks but to learn the full capability's would take much longer.
     
  24. fig
    macrumors 6502a

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    Houston, TX
    #24
    Considering the original post was from 2008 I hope he's learned Illustrator by now :)
     
  25. macrumors newbie

    AtillaMullQueen

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    #25
    Heh, heh, heh...

    I didn't even look at the date myself....;)
     

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