Thanks to the Touch Workspace in Adobe Illustrator CC, Brian Yap began this tree illustration in the Japanese Tea Garden, then finished it in his office.

Set Yourself Free with Touch Tools in Adobe Illustrator CC

By Terri Stone

Mice aren’t your thing, and neither is being chained to a desk? Check out the new Touch Workspace in Adobe Illustrator CC, which delivers an easy freedom that once was reserved for sketching on paper.

In October 2014, Illustrator CC added several new tools that are only available in the new Touch Workspace. You have to run Illustrator on one of the new hybrid laptops, like Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3, to experience them.

“Until I used it on the Surface, drawing in Illustrator hadn’t felt organic because it was so perfect,” says Colby Nichols. He’s a co-founder of design and illustration studio Jolby and Friends. “But then for the first time, it felt like I could do whatever I wanted. It was freeing.” 

“I like the touch interface because it’s simpler,” Colby adds. “And I like that I can flip between the touch and desktop interfaces depending on what’s faster for me.”

Jeremy Packer (also known as illustrator/designer Zombie Yeti) values another kind of liberty: the ability to tweak his work while away from the office. “I’m not going to take my big Wacom Cintiq to the client’s place,” he points out.

Jeremy relies on Illustrator’s new Curvature tool to create mechanically perfect lines. “It feels like cheating,” he grins, “and I enjoy that.” The new Join tool is another favorite, especially when he works on art for his pinball machine client. “On pinball playfields, strokes around objects are very important, so I frequently fix paths with the Join tool.”

To see Illustrator’s Touch Workspace and the new tools in action, watch illustrator Brian Yap go from inspiration to completion in the video above.

(And for more, check out this tutorial on using the Touch Workspace in Illustrator.)

February 18, 2015

Video Summer Wilson, Dan Cowles

Layout Shadi Moussa