Free Video: Up and Running With Astute Graphics for Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator will soon be celebrating its 30th birthday, an amazing accomplishment for any piece of software. With all those years and versions, you might think there were no more features to add outside of bells and whistles. I’ve been using Illustrator since version 4.0 (and spent plenty of time with the late great FreeHand), so thought I’d seen everything that could be done with a vector illustration program—until I tried the Astute Graphics plug-ins. Simply put, they supercharge Illustrator. They open your eyes to new creative possibilities, and they allow you to be more precise and efficient with vectors than ever. So I was thrilled to have the opportunity to do the course, Up and Running With the Astute Graphics plug-ins for Illustrator. In the latest update to the course, I show how to use the Texturino plug-in to add Photoshop-like opacity and texture effects to your vector artwork. In all, the course covers 12 plug-ins that together take Illustrator to a whole new level.

Here’s the official description:

Want to be more precise, more efficient, and more creative with Illustrator? Learn how the Astute Graphics plugins can revolutionize the way you draw and edit artwork in Adobe Illustrator. Mike Rankin covers drawing and editing with VectorScribe and InkScribe, aligning and arranging objects with ColliderScribe, creating beautiful symmetry with MirrorMe, adjusting color with Phantasm, and the tools in DynamicSketch and WidthScribe that make drawing with a tablet even more natural and intuitive.

Topics include:

  • Working with dynamic corners and shapes
  • Editing paths with PathScribe
  • Connecting and straightening objects
  • Drawing circles and arcs
  • Using the Snap to and the Rotate at Collision tools
  • Mirroring text and images
  • Creating vector halftones
  • Editing path segments with InkScribe
  • Using DynamicSketch
  • Working with the WidthScribe brush tools
  • Stippling vector graphics, photos, and text

In the free movie below, I show how to use the Phantasm plug-in to create an amazing variety of halftone effects. Check it out!

Up and Running With Astute Graphics for Illustrator

Creating vector halftones


For members, if you are currently signed in to your account, you can also check out these videos from the series.

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Using the Opacity Brush

Applying and editing texture effects

Using the Texture Brush

Posted on: December 9, 2016

Mike Rankin

Mike is the Editor in Chief of, InDesign Magazine, and He is also the author of several video training series, including Font Management Essential Training, InDesign FX, and InDesign CC: Interactive Document Fundamentals.

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