Adobe Illustrator CS5 provides precision and power with sophisticated drawing tools, expressive lifelike brushes, a host of time-savers, and integration with Adobe CS Live online services.

Perspective drawing, a Bristle brush, variable width strokes, and the Shape Builder tool are among the new features in Illustrator’s vector-graphics environment.

With enhanced integration among Adobe products, you can easily move between Illustrator CS5 and products such as Adobe Flash® Catalyst™ CS5 where you can add interaction to your designs.

Perspective drawing

The new Perspective Grid tool allows you to turn on a grid that supports drawing directly on planes of true perspective. Use the perspective grid to draw shapes and scenes in accurate 1, 2, or 3-point perspectives. The new Perspective Selection tool allows you to move, scale, duplicate, and transform objects dynamically. You can also move objects perpendicular to its current location using the Perspective Selection tool.

Imagine being able to easily add a series of street lamps to a city scape for a sequential lighting animation, or fence posts to a reference landscape scene to complete your billboard for a western wilderness outpost. With the Perspective Grid tool group, you quickly and easily work in a preset perspective. The perspective grid provides grid presets to manage the viewing angle and viewing distance for the scene along with widgets to control vanishing points, horizon height, ground level, and the origin. You can also use the perspective grid to draw vector objects on top of a reference photograph or video still placed on your artboard.

See Perspective drawing.

Beautiful strokes

Illustrator CS5 provides several new features that enhance the capability to design with strokes.

Variable-width strokes

Use the Width tool to draw strokes with variable widths that you can quickly and smoothly adjust at any point, symmetrically or along either side. You can also create and save custom width profiles, which you can reapply to any stroke.

See Create strokes with variable widths.

Dashed line adjustments

New options in the Stroke panel allow you to control the alignment of dashes. You can choose to align dashed strokes symmetrically around corners and at the end of open paths or preserve the dash and gaps in strokes.

See Create dotted or dashed lines.

Precise arrowheads

You can now select and define arrowheads using the Stroke panel. You can also choose to lock the tip or base of the arrowhead to the path endpoint.

See Add arrowheads, Customize arrowheads.

Stretch control for brushes

Define the scaling for art and pattern brushes along a path. Choose areas of the brush stroke to be resized in proportion. For example, you can elongate the middle of a banner, while keeping the detailed, curly ends from stretching.

Brushes with corner control

Apply art and pattern brushes to a path and get clean results, even at tight bends or corners. Where strokes of different widths join, or they form obtuse or acute angles, choose options to properly fill points where joins occur.

Bristle brush

With the Bristle brush, paint with vectors that resemble real world brush strokes. You can draw and render artwork just the way you use a natural media such as watercolors and oils, with the scalability and editability of vectors. The Bristle brush also provides breakthrough control of painting. You can set bristle characteristics, such as size, length, thickness, and stiffness, in addition to setting bristle density, brush shape, and paint opacity.

To explore more capabilities of the Bristle brush, use it with the tablet and 6D pen (Wacom Art Pen). The 6D pen automatically responds to pressure, bearing, and tilt with 360-degree barrel rotation and also provides an accurate brush preview.

See Bristle brush.

Crisp graphics for web and mobile devices

Create vector objects precisely on the pixel grid for pixel-aligned artwork. It is critical that raster images look sharp, especially standard web graphics at 72-ppi resolution, when designing artwork for Adobe Flash Catalyst, Adobe Flash Professional software, and Adobe Dreamweaver. Pixel alignment is also useful for video resolution rasterization control. In Illustrator CS5, new web graphics tools include type enhancements. Choose one of four text anti-aliasing options for each of your Illustrator text frames.

See Drawing pixel-aligned paths for web workflows.

Multiple artboards enhancements

The multiple artboards functionality has been enhanced significantly in Illustrator CS5. Some of the new features include a new Artboards panel, which allows you to add artboards, reorder artboards in the Artboards panel, rearrange artboards, and create duplicate artboards.

Specify custom names for your artboards using the Control panel and the Artboards panel. You can paste objects at a particular location on the artboard and paste artwork on all artboards at the same location using the new Paste in Place and Paste on All Artboards options. You can also set the option to automatically rotate artboards for printing.

See Using multiple artboards.

Shape Builder tool

The Shape Builder tool is an interactive tool for creating complex shapes by merging and erasing simpler shapes. It works on simple and compound paths and intuitively highlights edges and regions of the selected art, which can be merged to form new shapes. For example, you can draw a stroke across the middle of a circle and quickly create two half-circles without opening any panel or choosing another tool. The Shape Builder tool can also break overlapping shapes to create distinct objects and easily adopts art styles when objects are merged. You can also enable the Color Swatch cursor to select colors for your artwork.

See Building new shapes using the Shape Builder tool.

Drawing enhancements

Symbol enhancements

Illustrator CS5 provides enhanced 9-slice scaling support. You can now directly use 9-slice scaling on symbols in Illustrator, which makes it easier to work with web elements such as rounded rectangle.

See Symbol registration point, Use 9-slice scaling, Add sublayers for symbols, Reset Transformations.

Artboard ruler origin and coordinates enhancement

Artboard ruler origin and coordinates are now oriented from the upper left. Scripts that use a previous coordinate system also work correctly with this enhancement. You can also choose to work with a global ruler that provides coordinates across all your artboards, or work with local, artboard-specific rulers.

See Use rulers.

Path join enhancement

Join open paths in a single keystroke with objects selected. You can also choose to join open paths using corner joins or smooth joins.

See Join two or more paths.

Select behind capability

Use a keyboard shortcut to easily select an individual object located behind other objects.

See Select behind objects.

Draw behind and draw inside modes

Draw behind other objects without choosing layers or setting the stacking order. Draw or place an image inside a shape, including live text. The draw inside mode automatically creates a clipping mask from the selected object.

See Draw Behind mode, Draw Inside mode.

Roundtrip editing with Adobe Flash Catalyst CS5

Use Illustrator CS5 for interaction design, now enabled by new Adobe Flash Catalyst CS5, available with all the Adobe CS5 products. Develop your ideas and design your interface in Illustrator, creating screen layouts and individual elements such as logos and button graphics. Then open your artwork in Flash Catalyst and add actions and interactive components, without writing code. After adding interactivity to your designs, you can make edits and design changes directly in Illustrator. For example, you can edit the look of interactive button states in Illustrator while ensuring that the structure you added in Flash Catalyst is maintained.

See Working with FXG.

Resolution Independent Effects

With Resolution Independent Effects, raster effects such as Blur and Texture can maintain a consistent appearance across media.

You can create artwork for different types of output while maintaining the ideal appearance for raster effects. This is irrespective of any change in resolution setting from print to web to video. You can also increase the resolution and still maintain the appearance of raster effects. For low-resolution artwork, you can scale up the resolution for high-quality printing.

See About raster effects.

excerpted from:
http://help.adobe.com/en_US/Illustrator/CS5/Using/WS714a382cdf7d304e7e07d0100196cbc5f-6537a.html

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