Illustrator on the iPad is finally here!
A few weeks ago Adobe launched Illustrator on the iPad, and I must say that made me a happy girl! Of course I had to try it out before I could know if it really would make me happy!
For a long time I was searching for a good program to draw vector elements for my patterns. I have tried lots of different ones like Adobe Draw, Vectornator, Affinity Designer, Adobe Fresco,… Each of these programs do have a lot of positive properties. But when I had to import my elements in Illustrator on the desktop, it took me a lot of time to turn it into a workable document. So I set my hope on Illustrator on the iPad.
Exporting your files to the desktop
So, of course, the first thing I had to try out is exporting my file to Illustrator on the desktop. When you make a document on the iPad, it automatically saves it in the cloud. That way you don’t even have to export your file. After closing your file on the iPad, you just can open it on the desktop and start working in the same document. The advantage you also have is that the layers you make on the iPad or the desktop stay the same.. no clipping masks are applied and you don’t have to rearrange all your elements, layers and groups. So for this feature alone I am a big fan already!
Features I like in Illustrator on the iPad
It is impossible to expect that Illustrator on the iPad will have the same features as on the desktop. But this first version really surprised me with the features already available. Here are some of my favorites:
Pencil tool: it is a very intuitive tool together with the Apple Pencil. Depending on the smoothing of the pencil tool that you choose, the path will follow the lines you are drawing by hand. One tip I have is when you want to close your path, stop drawing a few millimeters from the end point, and it will close the path automatically and as a smooth line. This way you will always have a clean path.
Direct selection tool: once you made your path, with the direct selection tool you can easily adjust the anchor points. Just by double clicking you can change a point from a corner point to a smoothed curve point and vice versa. It feels a lot more intuitive than using it in Illustrator on the desktop.
Shape builder: this is for sure one of my favorite tools and I must say I like it a lot more than the clipping mask. I made a YouTube video where I draw flowers in Illustrator on the iPad. Here you can see me using this tool.
Repeat tools: Something completely new for Illustrator is the repeat tool. At least the way it is used here on the iPad. There are 3 versions, the radial, the mirror and the grid repeat. I have tried it out very briefly, but it sure is a tool I want to explore more. As a surface pattern designer, I need to investigate how I can use these tools in my workflow. Once I know more, I will make a new video about it. When you subscribe to my newsletter, I will keep you posted!
Beside these tools there are many more like the gradient tool, text on path and many more to com too. I’m already looking forward to ‘sketch to vector’ and ‘variable width strokes’.
If you want to try out Illustrator on the iPad yourself, here is a link to find out even more about it.
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