This Game Will Help You Conquer Your Fear of the Adobe Pen Tool

by Allie Greenberg on June 28, 2016 5 comments

If you’re finding it hard to create the perfect curve for the design you’ve been working on for days—or maybe you’re just lost on how to draw a simple heart—there’s no need to smash your laptop to bits in frustration. We’ve all been there, but thanks to interaction designer Mark MacKay, we have The Bezier Game to help us master the pen tool in a fun and intuitive way.

While the pen tool in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop allows you to draw precise graphics and shapes, using it is often a little more difficult than just clicking and dragging. That’s why MacKay created The Bezier Game, which trains newbie designers to use this often-overlooked essential tool.

The game starts with a step-by-step tutorial on how to use the pen tool. It allows you to watch the demonstrations over again until you feel ready to begin drawing. You first practice drawing basic lines and then applying that skill to specific shapes.

 
This Game Will Help You Conquer Your Fear of the Adobe Pen Tool

This Game Will Help You Conquer Your Fear of the Adobe Pen Tool

 
Once you have perfected straight lines, the game advances in skill, moving onto curves.

 
This Game Will Help You Conquer Your Fear of the Adobe Pen Tool

 
After you have completed your circle, combining curves and straight lines, the next challenge is drawing a heart–even if you’re feeling more frustrated than loving towards the pen tool at the moment.

 
This Game Will Help You Conquer Your Fear of the Adobe Pen Tool

 
Finally, using all the skills you just learned, the game ends with having you draw a car. Don’t worry though, you can repeat any shape over again until you feel ready to take on this feat.

 
This Game Will Help You Conquer Your Fear of the Adobe Pen Tool

 
The only caveat is that the game gives you a limited number of of nodes to draw your shape. So use your lines wisely!

Want to explore more illustrations? Here are a few already-made favorites from our library. If you’re short on time, these royalty-free stock graphics will save you from having to start drawing from scratch.

 

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Allie GreenbergThis Game Will Help You Conquer Your Fear of the Adobe Pen Tool

5 comments

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  • Mephron - September 10, 2016 reply

    I got to the car, and gave up. The pen tool is incredibly nonintuitive. I would try to do a curve, and the next one would bend in some weird way and I could not get it to work at all.

    Kevin - September 24, 2016 reply

    The key to learning the pen tool is learning to use the option (alt) key to guide your line forward. What you want to do is reach a point (vertex), hold option (alt) and drag the handle in the general direction you wish to go next. I also recommend tracing the line “close enough” and adjusting the curves after you’ve completed your shape. Again, this requires holding down the option (alt) key to make small adjustments.

  • Lauren Bareiss - September 23, 2016 reply

    I can’t even get the pen to make a point? i’ve tried right clicking, clicking, click and drag, etc. Can’t even get it to work?

    B - October 29, 2016 reply

    Use Firefox, it doesn’t work in Chrome anymore

  • Justin - September 29, 2016 reply

    This doesn’t work like the Pen in AI. Nice concept though. I’ll share this to my co-workers.

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