Tom Gillan

Tom Gillan's Articles
  • Illustrator Grid
  • The first step is the creation of a new document within Illustrator, establishing the width and height of the document. We are presented with a drop-down list of various Preset page sizes - these can be for either Print or Web output. In the former we would use millimeters or centimeters; in the latter case, we would use pixels as the unit of measurement.
  • Published in Computing on 10 Nov 2016
  • Indesign Data Merge
  • A simply example of the procedure is as follows: open up Microsoft Excel to create a basic spreadsheet of 5 columns by 5 rows. An example is shown here. It's important to note that the top row should always represent the value fields, for example First Name, Surname, Company, Location and Event. We then added the various pieces of data and went to the top File menu to choose Save As, then Other Formats, and the CSV format.
  • Published in Computing on 10 Nov 2016
  • Photoshop For Fashion
  • When it comes to image-editing software Adobe Photoshop is the industry leader worldwide, and is used by professionals from a huge variety of disciplines, including those within the fashion and textiles industries. Photoshop is used widely within these industries, in a range of tasks, from initial conception to final presentation.
  • Published in Computing on 10 Nov 2016
  • Autocad 2D Model Space
  • Most of our drafting work takes place in the Model Space environment, which is open by default but can be accessed via the Model tab on the bottom left of the interface (PC). In the Apple Macintosh version of Autocad, however, this is accessed via a small pop-up list at the middle bottom of the screen.
  • Published in Computing on 10 Nov 2016
  • Autocad 3D Chamfer
  • In the example shown here we have a metal bracket with notches, grooves and holes cut into the various surfaces and planes. We have added fillets and chamfers to the edges to lend this air of realism. The bracket itself was initially created using the standard Box tool and punching in the values for width, height and depth.
  • Published in Computing on 10 Nov 2016
  • SketchUp Follow Me
  • Before creating more complex shapes, however, it's necessary to analyze objects, breaking them down into their basic components. One of the simplest and most effective tools for the creation of organic solids is the SketchUp's Follow Me tool.
  • Published in Computing on 10 Nov 2016
  • Illustrator Gradients
  • This gradient may be saved for future use by going to the Swatch panel options and saving as a Gradient Swatch. This is also saved in the new Libraries panel function, and can be loaded into future documents.
  • Published in Business on 09 Oct 2016
  • Illustrator Graphs
  • We often create graphs using software like Microsoft Excel, or, for more sophisticated features, Python or Octave. However, we can also create fully-functioning graphs within Adobe Illustrator.
  • Published in Business on 09 Oct 2016
  • Illustrator Patterns
  • Prior to CS6 we would have first created some shapes then dragged them into the Swatches panel. This procedure would create a new pattern which would be then saved automatically in the document itself. So, in fashion design, we would simply draw up the garment then apply the pattern by simply selecting the Fill icon and clicking on the new pattern swatch.
  • Published in Business on 03 Aug 2016
  • Illustrator Blend Tools
  • There are many useful in many contexts in which we can use the Blend tool in Adobe Illustrator. One example, for instance, is when we wish to create a custom border for a design; another example is when creating a more interesting backdrop to a flyer or brochure.
  • Published in Business on 27 Jul 2016
  • Illustrator Bleed
  • When setting up new documents within Adobe Illustrator one of the parameters we have to consider is that of the bleed amount. As we shall see the issue of bleed is only really relevant when working with print media; the issue is not a factor when creating online documents.
  • Published in Business on 21 Jul 2016
  • Illustrator Drop Shadow
  • We then create a plain box using the Rectangle shape tool and add a gradient blend to its Fill colour. At the top left of the Control panel we can click on the drop-down arrow to view various options. The Gradient tool will use the Foreground colour initially, but if we double-click on the gradient slider a dialog appears in which we can adjust the colour stops.
  • Published in Business on 13 Jul 2016
  • Illustrator For Fashion Design
  • In addition Illustrator can be used to create posters, flyers and even multi-page magazine articles and brochures. Using Illustrator in an efficient and creative manner is therefore a must for any budding fashion designer.
  • Published in Business on 13 Jul 2016
  • Illustrator Tools Panel
  • Illustrator's Tool panel or Toolbox is located on the left-hand side of the interface, and contains all the tools you'll need to create stunning artwork in Illustrator. Users familiar with other Adobe software will recognize this layout - indeed many of the tools are the same from program to program.
  • Published in Business on 07 Jul 2016
  • Illustrator Workspace
  • There are basically eight elements to the interface. The first is, of course, the graphic image itself on the art-board. This sits on the Canvas, a white or grey area surrounding the page. Here we can create extra elements of the artwork, to be used or discarded later.
  • Published in Business on 07 Jul 2016
  • Illustrator Opening Documents
  • A set of three Screen Mode viewing options are also available at the bottom of the Toolbox on the left of the interface. The first option shows the images side by side, the second option shows the selected image only, whilst the third option shows the selected image on a black background with all the tools hidden. This last option is useful to see the image in a type of Print Preview.
  • Published in Business on 01 Jul 2016
  • Illustrator Effects
  • Most of Illustrator's effects can be found in the top Effects drop-down menu. There are various sets and subsets in the fly-out lists. To test some of these we first need to create some basic artwork, as shown in the simple example here. For example, using the basic shapes tools (Rectangle, Ellipse, Rounded Rectangle, Star shapes), we would create a yellow rectangle, a red rectangle, a blue circle and green line, etc.
  • Published in Business on 23 Jun 2016
  • Illustrator Vector Graphics
  • When we create artwork using Adobe Illustrator we are creating vector-based shapes or graphics. This is geometry based on mathematical calculations and equations. Such lines, curves, anchor points and colours are generated in quite a different manner than the pixel-based imagery of programs like Adobe Photoshop, which are known as bitmap graphics.
  • Published in Business on 23 Jun 2016
  • Autocad 3D Rendering
  • Once built, we add lighting and materials to an Autocad 3D model in order to simulate real world appearance. The model is then rendered either as a still image or as an animated movie sequence.
  • Published in Computing on 18 Jun 2016
  • Illustrator Bleed
  • The term Bleed is used within the printing industry to indicate the "safe" area outside a document to ensure that our artwork will be printed to the edges (or Trim Edge) of the paper, card or vinyl. Many printing companies will specify a number between 2 and 5mm bleed for small to medium print jobs, and possibly 10-15mm for larger print work.
  • Published in Computing on 18 Jun 2016
  • Illustrator Blend Tool
  • A very useful tool among the many in Adobe Illustrator is the Blend tool. Specific contexts would be when you need to create a custom border for a design; or when creating an interesting background to a web banner.
  • Published in Computing on 18 Jun 2016
  • Illustrator Drop Shadow
  • We can add dynamism to our Illustrator artwork by the simple means of adding a drop shadow. The image shown here, for example, was first collaged in Adobe Photoshop from several photographs, then imported into Adobe Illustrator via the File menu and Place. We then used the Image Trace function to redefine the bitmap (pixel) information as vector artwork.
  • Published in Computing on 18 Jun 2016
  • Autocad 2D Layout
  • We always create our drawings in Model space. In contrast the Layout tabs represent our Paper sheets, that is, how the drawing will be displayed when printed. To this we usually add a title block with drawing and company details. We may also arrange multiple views of the model, for drawing details, for example. These could be shown at different scales.
  • Published in Business on 11 Jun 2016
  • Autocad 3D Sweep
  • In the case of the Sweep function, we select a 2D closed shape which represents the object's profile and project it along a similarly drawn path. This path may be open like a straight line, curved spline or helix; or it may be a closed path like a circle or closed polyline shape. The Sweep function is also useful for creating objects like threads or tubes on a mechanical fastener.
  • Published in Computing on 11 Jun 2016
  • Illustrator Patterns
  • The process of creating prints for the textiles industry, using Adobe Illustrator's pattern making function, is very easy! Whilst it was always a straight-forward process, the new Pattern Maker function, first introduced in version CS6, has made it even simpler. Such repeat patterns can be used in various contexts, from garment design to representing materials or textures on a floor plan.
  • Published in Computing on 11 Jun 2016
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