graphicxtras Affinity Photo Designer Photoshop Illustrator Videos

How To Use Dynamic Shapes Plugin In Illustrator For Beginners

Where

The dynamic shapes plugins for Illustrator tool can be found in the toolbar, the panel via the Astute Graphics in the Window menu.

Purpose

Generate live shapes that can be manipulate from the panel as well as interactively (and more) and includes squares, circles, stars, speech bubbles, gears etc

General

Click on the square, circle etc to activate it. If one is currently selected it will change to the new format. If you have nothing, create the design by clicking on the art board and dragging and release. The artwork can then be manipulated on the vector design for some properties but other properties are only accessible via the panel such as the X and Y settings. You can also change the angle via the panel. You can create new designs by deselecting the existing one and creating another.

Pie slice

Some of the tools have a pie slice, oddly not all but perhaps that will be added to all of them in future releases (?). The pie means you can change the start and end angle to create a cut out of the design. If you go to another tool, it is carried forward.

Arrow

With the arrow, you can modify the thickness as well as the angle to create some very basic arrow designs. It is a pity that there is no double arrow option as well as different types of heads and feathers. Weirdly, it does offer the ability to rotate the design which is not available on some of the designs where you have to enter the value in the angle field.

Gear

It is the most feature rich of all the tools (I think all of them should have a lot more functionality but they are still fairly decent). You can set the tooth height, tip fillet, etc some of them make little sense by name (I have no idea what fillet means) but the effect can be seen as soon as you change the setting in most cases. You can also set the inner ring as well as the outer ring though this can be done interactively, the inner modifies the outer as well.

Segments

Some of the tools have segments which on the surfaces doesn't look of much use such as in circles and ellipses but it does mean you can see the points that make up the design and when you remove the dynamic status or expand it then you can modify all the points using the direct selection tool. Not all of them have this option which is a pity, even the square could benefit from having this option.

Corners

Some of the tools such as squares have corners (circles, also) but many such as plus or cross design doesn't (which is odd). The corner functionality is useful as it is built into the design but you can do much the same using the dynamic corners tool and even more. There are three types of corners so even the square can benefit from this to create many unique artworks from the basic vector.

Donut

Donuts are great, it is a ring design but it does come with the pie feature as well and also the segments and the corner radius settings, so has a good selection of features and interactively. Pity, there is no live polar grid tool with multi-rings though but this is a neat tool creating arcs as well as slices and more.