How to use live ellipse tool in Illustrator tutorial

How to use the live shapes / ellipse tool in Adobe Illustrator tutorial in CC 2018 2017 etc

Ellipse tool (live) in Illustrator

live shape and ellipse tool in illustrator how to
  1. Ellipse tool in Illustrator toolbar (live shape) - select that tool (it is beneath the rectangle tool)

  2. Draw ellipse / circle (hold shift for circle)

  3. Go to the right side of the circle

  4. Select little dot on the right

  5. Open the circle / ellipse to create additional options for the live design

Video tutorial on the subject by (youtube)


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New tool and location in toolbar : slicedThe new tool was added to CC 2018 2017 / 2015. Slowly but surely some of the creation tools are being updated to be more interactive (see Vectorscribe as well as Affinity Designer for more vector tools with that)


It is in the same slot in the toolbar before, it has replaced the old (there is no option to restore the old)


The tool has some new features added such as the creation of arcs etc.


To use the tool, go to the toolbar (or toolbox) panel and select the tool which is normally found beneath the rectangle tool.


Basic apply of the tool : Drag and create the live ellispe on the Illustrator artboard. Set the fill and stroke etc. Go to the transform panel and then set ellipse properties


You can set the artwork to any color. You can fill it with gradients. It can be filled with patterns. You can set the stroke to any color or weight as well as add width profiles etc to the circles etc generated by the tool


Transform panel : I would suggest also going to the window menu and selecting the transform panel which has all the key properties


Circle cross hairs : contourThe first thing to notice after selecting the live shape ellipse tool and creating the art on the artboard is that as you hit a circle shape, two cross hairs will appear and disappear as the size of the shape changes - they will appear if the width and height are equal.


Shift key for circles : If you hold down the shift key, you can create a circle (instead of a live ellipse in Illustrator) but the smart guides will not appear. Once you have the shape, you can then manipulate it either via the bounding box etc or via the transform panel.


Transform panel settings such as width : propertiesThere are a two sets of fields for the height and width as well as the ellipse height and width, they are not equal but they can be set to the same but only when the angle is not involved.


As soon as you change the angle of the path, the settings will be different.


You can change the width etc via the up and down controls on the keyboard as well as just typing in the value or using the bounding box or the side points (to size proportionally use the left and right and use the top and bottom ones to squeeze or stretch up and down. You can change the angle (but if this is a circle then you won't see any difference).


Live or not : shearIf you set the shear then it will break the live feature. You can re-position the path by using the selection tool but you can also use the center point of the path with the tool selected. You can also use the constrain buttons to size the width and height proportionally (either as a circle or as an ellipse)


Arcs / pie slice : You can also set the arc / pie slice feature of the tool via the bottom edit fields in the transform panel. You can also use the interactive feature of the tool to change the arc or pie settings.


How to expand : expandYou may or may not love the live feature as the tool does end up adding additional options that can sometimes get in the way of positioning the artwork (such as in the rectangle and the radius which always seems to flash up and block re-sizing the path). You can expand the live artwork by going to the object menu and shape and expand and you can then also re-convert it back again via the same menu.


Once you have the normal path then you can use the sliced path (if the pie slice was used) in numerous ways such as creating all kinds of abstract backgrounds You can also create all kinds of other artwork using live effects such as the transform with the path


Reverse conversion: You can go to the same menu but instead of expand, use the convert to command and it will be back to a new artwork that can have arcs etc added


Saving the artwork : The Illustrator live ellipse tool's results can be used in the application but it can also be used in other ways. You can drag the curved artwork to the symbols library and then use the design as a symbol instance using tools such as the symbol sprayer. You can also drag the artwork to the CC library panel and then artwork can then be quickly used in applications such as Photoshop and After Effects and Indesign. You can also select the artwork and save it as an AI file and then use that in Photoshop and Painter etc. You can also save the artwork as a PDF file as well as a SVG file (you can then quickly any designs created into web pages as well as applications such as Photoshop that support SVG vector format). You can also export the artwork via the file export command and save the work as a PNG file as well as JPG or PSD etc and that can be used in Affinity Designer, Affinity Photo, GIMP, Krita etc


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