Illustrator Warp Tools: Part 2 The Width Tool

In Part 1 we looked at the basics of using the Warp Tools and their options.  Also we looked the Warp Tool (Shift + R) itself, which is used to mold shapes using the mouse cursor.  In this post I’ll be looking at the Width Tool and the cool effects you can produce with it.

 

The Width Tool

This warp tool allows you to change a stroke’s width at different points, creating a line with a variable width.  We’ll explore what you can do with the width tool on different shapes.

First lets look at basic lines.  Select the Line Segment Tool (or press ) and draw out a simple straight line:

width tool

 

Now select the Width Tool in the side toolbar or press Shift + W.  Make sure the line is selected and click on any point along the line:

width tool

 

Hold the mouse button down while clicking on the point and drag upwards:

width tool

 

Release the mouse and the line should now look like this:

width tool

 

You can also increase the width of just one side of the line.  Reset the width of the line by going Edit > Undo or pressing Cmd/Ctrl + Z.  Select the Width Tool again, press on a part of the line, now hold down the mouse and drag up like before, however this time hold the Alt key on the keyboard as you do it.  You will see that the line width will only increase on one side as you drag the mouse out:

width tool

 

Playing around with the Width Tool you can vary the width along the line on one side:

width tool

 

Or with both sides of the line:

width tool

 

You can then save and reuse the line via the Variable Width Profile menu on the top tool menu and press the Add to Profiles button:

width tool

 

Using the Width Tool With Shapes

As well as lines, the Width Tool can also be applied to the strokes on shapes.  Here’s the Width Tool used on the center edge of a rectangle to create a bump:

width tool

 

Using the Width Tool on the corner of a rectangle causes this effect:

illustrator

 

The effect below can be created by selecting multiple lines and holding the Alt key while varying the line width:

illustrator

 

The Width Tool used on a circle’s anchor can create this effect that would normally be created through the use of two circles:

illustrator

 

Try to play around and experiment with other shapes to see what kind of cool alternative shapes you can produce:

illustrator

 

If you’re interested in learning more about Adobe Illustrator, then we offer a range of high quality courses at different proficiency levels, in numerous cities across the UK.

 

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