Getting Started with Patterns
Patterns are huge in Illustrator. There's a lot you can do with them and the reason why I say they're huge is because patterns can be used to create patterns for cloth for clothing, you know. They're actually used by the textile industry, the manufacturing industry, the fashion design industry, that type of thing, to be able to show what a shirt's gonna look like, for instance, to have a pattern going across it. Patterns can be used for all kinds of things. We can lay them on top of each other. In there they're actually pretty easy to make. They really are. To make a pattern, we just create something, a shape, an object, a thing we wanna repeat, right, cause that's a pattern, and then we go in and say take this object or this thing, and make a pattern out of it. And it's gonna just do it for us. And it gives us a ton of options to work with. So, what I wanna do is we're gonna create a little postcard down here that's got some texture to it and it's got a little text on there. So what I...
'd like you to do is I'm wanna go down to this blue shape down here. We're gonna go down to that art board. You can use your hand tool if you select it if you wanna do that. And just click and drag to go down. And make sure you can see one of the gears off to the right there, one of those gears. Okay, we're gonna create a pattern. So what I'd like you to do is we're gonna select that orange gear. You know what, let's actually select the black gear. If you need to you can hide the swatches panel if it's in the way. I can click and close that. Come to the selection tool and click on the gear. You remember you gotta click in the fill to select it. And what we're gonna do is we're gonna tell Illustrator, make a pattern out of that. Now to get this done, one of the easy ways to do it, is come up under Object, and you're gonna see, the stuff down here towards the bottom of the Object menu, this is the good stuff. What I want you to do is you're gonna see we actually have Pattern, Make. So go ahead and choose Object, Pattern, Make. What's gonna happen is a pattern can become a swatch. As a matter of fact it is a swatch, so it's saved in that Swatches panel over on the right over there. Now, we're actually gonna go into what's called pattern editing mode, which basically means we can take that shape and do things to it and see what it looks like, okay. Just click Okay to this. It's saying hey, we just made a swatch out of it. It's over there in the Swatches panel now. Click Okay. And you should see the original shape in the center and then you should see all the grayed out ones just kind of giving an indication of what the pattern looks like. You're gonna see right up here the Pattern Options panel. This thing's a bit of a bear, okay. We're not gonna get through every single object or thing in here but, there's a couple things I want to show you that I think are worth it. Tile Type, this menu right here is awesome. If you wanna just make a typical pattern like this where it's just, you know, left to right, top to bottom, that's awesome. You're close to done. But if you wanna do something like add a little interest to it, like maybe stagger the rows, try something like Hex by Column, or one of these. Try one of these. And you're gonna see it's gonna do something a little different. It's gonna make sort of like a honeycomb pattern or something like that. Now once we pick a starting point like this, like a tile type, you're gonna see we can go in then and we can actually change the distance between the repeat. So, each repeating part. Now there's a bunch of ways to do this, but you're actually gonna see that we have, this is the way I tend to do it, you're gonna see Size, Tile to Art. Go ahead and select that. It's not gonna look any different, okay. But, what it's actually doing is do you guys see that blue honeycomb, or whatever shape you guys have out there, that's actually the tile itself, okay. That's not the part that's repeating, but that's the tile. If you look now you're gonna see what's called H Spacing and V Spacing. We can go in and change this now. There's no arrows to change it, you gotta type it in. So here's a little tip for ya. If you're ever confronted with fields like this, and you wanna select what's in em, don't swipe across it, you're gonna miss half of it. Just click on the label of the field and it'll select what's in the field for you. That's a good habit to get into. Just simple, okay. If you click on the label you can select that. Why don't you try like, .2, I don't know, we're just throwing something out there, okay. If you then click in the next one, V Spacing, you can start to see what it's doing. Horizontal spacing is, right now, for me, it's gonna give me .2 inches between the repeat, between each one. We can go to nuts here, we can go to town, and do whatever we want, okay. So I could go now to V Spacing and click on that and type in like, one inch or something like that and just start working. The whole idea's we're gonna get, we wanna get, to a point where we have exactly what we want, okay. Okay, that looks kinda dumb, so I'll fix it a little bit. There we go. Now you can overlap these two, if you want to. There's a lot of ways we can work this. I can actually go in and do a negative. You guys can actually type in a negative value there so it actually starts to pull them closer. That actually really cool for patterns, for certain patterns you're doing. It doesn't have to sit next to each other. I actually made a pattern out of this and I made it so that the gears meshed perfectly. It took me about an hour but I did it. I don't know why. The other thing you can do is there are Overlaps you can see. Let's bring the top gears under and the bottom gears over. There's a lot of subtle things you can do here and I'm gonna charge you guys to kind of explore this if you wanna try it out, but, there's tons of stuff we can do. The only other thing I do wanna mention here with this, is we're not set in stone with the artwork in the actual pattern. We can go out there right now to that gear and do whatever we want. You could make it bigger, you could change the color, you could add another gear, you could copy/paste it, you could do anything right now. I said before that you need to kinda select artwork to start. That's just an easy way to start. But you're not limited, okay. So like I said, I could go to the gear and copy/paste and put another one out here and say okay, there's now my pattern, and put a whole bunch, you know. There's just a bunch of things we can do in here. I'm gonna get rid of that. All right, so patterns, just kind of a quick overview of something that I think is worthy of looking at. Let's do this. We're gonna save it right now. So why don't you come up top here and we're gonna click on, right up here, if you guys are planning on making a bunch of patterns, you can Save Copies. Just keep saving copies and it'll keep creating a swatch based on what you see out there. So if you're not sure what kind you want you can keep doing that. I think I'm done, okay. So you can come up here and click on Done, and be done. Now if you look in the swatches panel you will see that pattern in there, okay. You'll see the pattern right there, and we can use that and apply that to just about anything we want. Why don't you come to the blue rectangle right there. I just put it in there so we have a shape so you could see it. Click on the blue rectangle to select it and I wanna fill up that shape with that swatch. So first thing's first, what? Select the Fill, make sure, and the click on the swatch, the pattern, and you got yourself your pattern. I know it's ugly. I know. Okay. We're trying, we're just doing something simple here to get the idea, right. But I've seen so many creative, amazing things done with this. Right now, what we could do, it's really harsh and kinda right there, you could, if you look right up here, there's something called Opacity we can change and make it a little more transparent if you want. There's a lot of ways to get this done, but right up here in the control panel you should see Opacity. You can make it a little more see through or transparent. Maybe it's just something that's gonna be sitting on another color and you want it to just kinda blend in a little bit. There's a lot of ways to do that but, we can change the opacity of it, okay. Ya, why don't you go up there and change the opacity. Make it so it's very light, very subtle. Does anybody work with blending modes in Photoshop at all? Okay. I'm not goin there but, see that word Opacity right there, if you open up or click on the word Opacity, tons of stuff.