Adobe Illustrator’s pen tool is an extremely powerful tool. It allows you to create perfect shapes by drawing out paths and adjusting Bezier curves. You can also scan drawings, import them into Illustrator, and create perfect lines and shapes with the pen tool. Unfortunately, creating perfect art work with the pen tool takes a long time and it is a very difficult tool to learn to use well. Astute Graphics, a company from the UK, has developed a suite of tools that makes working with vector shapes in Illustrator much easier and faster. It is called Vector Scribe Studio. It allows you to work with dynamic shapes. You can drag out a shape and edit it as a shape, not merely a collection of points.
Currently I am working on a drawing of a classic car. I will probably color it with colored pencils and then scan it so I can edit it in Photoshop and print it. I could open it in Illustrator and trace it, but this tools does not work very well for me. I could select all the lines with the pen tool and adjust the Bezier curves until I got them just right, but this would take several hours of hard work. The Vector Scribe Studio should make the job go a lot faster. It only costs $106 in US dollars. I will report on my experience in using it in later posts.
You can read about the many features of Vector Scribe Studio, some of which work in Photoshop and watch videos of it in action here: