Preparing 2 intro courses on Illustrator & Photoshop. What are the tools and features you would have liked to learn when you were a student?

I'm preparing this 2 courses in English for a university in France. Students will be future spacial/urban designers, product/industrial designers... non graphic designer. Thanks for your help.


  • Thank you @Kerrie Donaghue @Maria-Christina Antoniou @Angela Meron The pen tool is definitely on my list of things it takes time to master properly, along side the white arrow and what we can do with it. And the shift key in Illustrator, Photoshop switched and it's automatically restraining proportion now. Which is confusing for students.
    Photoshop : Masks, clearcuting tools and some retouching elements.
  • Hi Solène,
    I learned Illustrator and Photoshop when I returned to finish my university degree - from that experience I learned a few things that I share with my students all the time.
    1. it takes time - practice, use all the filters, find something fairly simple (Illustrator) and draw it exactly as it is
    2. as for Illustrator tools Maria-Christina is on point. Pen tool. I watched other students until I figured out how they used it and then practiced - so your tutorials should focus on how the pen tool works, the +- and vector qualities. I use simple icons as reference material to teach this. - and emphasize the importance of creating everything with shapes if it is to be scalable. Lines are not scalable.
    3. Photoshop - using masks! So important to learn and my students always want to use the eraser. They just have to start over all the time that way - the mask allows so many other options. And the magic wand, and the patch tool! Miracle worker for editing photos
    4. Should be first - but 'hold shift when scaling!' It drives me crazy to see students grab the corner of an object to scale, i.e it works in Word, why not in Illustrator or Photoshop? And then they distort the image!
    Good luck!

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