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Test driving & Review: Abode illustrator 2023 release by Brian Wood: 2 Lesson - TECHNIQUES FOR SELECTING ARTWORK

Lesson 1 was a bust. A waste of time because it was more a review and demonstration so I have not done that. It was about getting to know the workspace rather than doing anything productive, so I skipped it. I was excited at first when I saw the complicated image but realise it was just a demo. Then for lesson two I realised I had to download the lessons (yes, I did). So I registered and got the download. 


Lesson overview and objectives in bold and my comments. 
  • Differentiate between the various selection tools and use selection techniques. This was basically using the selection arrows so was easy enough. 
  • Recognize Smart Guides. It was okay.
  • Save selections for future use. This was a good tip and may come in useful as I continue working through the book.
  • Hide, lock, and unlock items. Good tip because it means I don't have lots of stuff and get confused. The outline vs CPU feature is also goo.
  • Use tools and commands to align shapes and points to each other and the artboard. I'll need more practice with this.
  • Group items. Good stuff because you can nest groups within groups. I remember when I started working on my cover, I got really frustrated trying to find the group button. Like in photoshop is very obvious but illustrator is maze and I had to keep going to youtube and the search engine to look up stuff. 
  • Work in Isolation mode. Good stuff. When I dabbled this used to confuse me a lot when I got into this mode by mistake and it was frustrating getting out of it,  but with the book I realised it as a good feature and now to use it.
  • Arrange objects. This this good though I tend to drag stuff around but yes, maybe with some more practice.
It was more Interesting because it was about finishing an artwork and I learnt a few things like hiding objects etc, however to do my piece below, I had to google how to copy an artboard. 

lesson two arcade game
My result

Review of lesson 2

I enjoyed this lesson though it took me about two-three hours. But I enjoyed creating stuff. Another thing it was working with three artboards at a time which now I realise are just pages. That confused me and I had access to pro-level tutorial. But those guys just whizz though stuff, so I get left behind and demotivated, then stop. Saying that I'm still on lesson 2 out of 16, and I've skipped lesson 1. 

The artboards now make more sense and I will use that for my project (making the cover) to separate and isolate the images I want to use.

The skills are still very basic, nothing anyone can't pick up on the internet - youtube or other websites, but I like working with instructions like this. Not perfect but good enough. 

Where I can do original artwork, I will post those rather than the lessons, as I find that is how I learn better. 

Is it worth getting?

At this stage it is difficult to say. The print copy cost me £48.99 for 17 lessons (this includes the non-lesson tour) as in stuff to do. That is roughly £2.88 per class. If you are buying in dollars it is $47.53 (on Amazon) so roughly the same. 

 The new version for 2024 is out Adobe Illustrator Classroom in a Book 2024 Release which is $61.74 or £50.44 not much difference price-wise in the GBP/pound sterling but there is a lot with the dollars - $14.21 which is a lot. Note these are the print versions. I didn't get it because 2024 has a lot of generative AI features in the beta stage and I didn't want fluff, just the basics and fundamentals since the AI stuff seem quite self explanatory.

 It comes down to personal choice so hard to say.  However given the software is evolving with AI, I would probably get the 2025 edition rather than stuff in beta, if that makes sense. Personal choice.

My goal for this is to get the skills to go a decent cover for my romance novel. 


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