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Design Surface Patterns From Scratch

Lesson 6 of 31

More Tools: Rotate, Duplicate, & Replicate

Bonnie Christine

Design Surface Patterns From Scratch

Bonnie Christine

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Lesson Info

6. More Tools: Rotate, Duplicate, & Replicate

Lesson Info

More Tools: Rotate, Duplicate, & Replicate

I want to jump in into showing you the duplicate tool, which is what I had been working on a little bit earlier today. And... So, just the most basic example I can show you is with the squares that I was working with a photograph earlier. And if I just draw a square here, and I want to replicate that square in a line, I'm gonna select it and drag it over to the right. I keep it line holding the Shift key and I'm gonna make a duplicate of it by holding the Option key. Now, if I wanna keep doing that over and over again, all I have to hit is Command + D, and that will replicate that over and over and over again. So, that works with just about anything that you're doing in Illustrator, and when you're wanting to duplicate your last action, you hit Command + D, and it will duplicate the last action over and over again. So, we're gonna be using that a lot. And the first example that I want to show to you with is the rotate tool. So, this is the butterfly that we were working on last segment...

, and we're gonna get back to him, but I'm gonna move him over here, just so I can use this artboard. Hit Command + 0, to zoom in here and so, the rotate tool is the easiest way to rotate an object around a center point. So, I'm just gonna start with a really basic example. Say, I just draw a line with the line segment tool. I'm just gonna draw a single line and you can't see it because it has no stroke and no fill, but I'm gonna add a black stroke to it. I'm gonna zoom in. So, if I wanna, say, I'm making a clock or some kind of a diagram like that, and I need this all the way around in a circle, you could get to that point but it's gonna take you quite awhile. But it's not gonna take you long with the rotate tool. So, I select my line, Command + H, hides your edges. So, that's what I just hit, I wanna explain myself. So, you can see my blue edges there. If I hit Command + H, it's still selected but you can't see it, so, I might be going back and forth in the next few days. So, I'm gonna select R for the rotate tool. This does the same thing as many of the other tools and it drops a marquee to where you want to rotate around. So, if I start dragging, I'm gonna rotate this guy around the center marquee. I'm gonna hit Command + Z to undo that. I can change my... My center of rotation by just clicking anywhere on the artboard and moving it. So, now, when I start dragging and dropping, it rotates around that center point, okay? So, in order to draw, say, maybe like a clock, I'm gonna start with circle so that I have a center point that's really nice and clear. So, I'm gonna grab the ellipse tool and come over here and just draw a circle. And because I have my smart guides on, that snaps right to the line that I drew up here. So, I'm gonna zoom out here because I wanna show you that this involves a little math and... I made math easy for you, so, this is also available in your course materials. This little diagram, you can do it with a calculator, but it's just nice to go ahead and have it. This is 360 degrees divided by all the degrees that are probably the most common that you're gonna use. So... I'll make this bigger so we can see what we're doing here. I'm gonna select the line and I want to rotate around the center of the circle. So, when I hit R for the rotate tool, I'm gonna drop my marquee in the middle of the circle. And then, instead of manually rotating this, hit Command + Z, I'm gonna hold down the Option key, and if you can see there, that marquee has four dots at the bottom of it right there. So, that's what comes up when you hold the Option key and if you click again, you get the rotate dialogue box. This is where you can automatically put in the degree angle that you want it to rotate. So, if I want... Let's say, I want 12 of these guys around the circle, I'm gonna put in 30 degrees, okay? So, you can hit preview to see what that's gonna look like and you can hit either OK, if you're wanting to move that one, but if you're wanting to make a copy of it, you need to hit Copy. Instead of doing that over and over again, we can hit Command + D to go all the way around the circle. K? So... That is a quick and easy way. If I scale this, to start with making the clock, yeah? That was cool. Yeah, yeah. I use the rotate tool all the time and it's just gonna get cooler, just wait. So, there you have the beginnings of a clock. I'm gonna delete that and show you... Let me start with a shape. I'm gonna grab the pen tool. Come in and drop one point and go straight up and drop another point, because I just kinda wanna make like a teardrop. And I'm gonna give this no stroke, and a pink fill. Oops. Another keyboard shortcut I use is X. X toggles you between fill and stroke. So, if you hit pink and it's the fill, and you wanted it to be the stroke, that happens to me all the time, so, I Command + Z and hit X which toggles me in between those two. So, I'm gonna hit it a few times and you can see, up in the top right hand corner, that my stroke and fill keep alternating. So, that's just by hitting X. So, I want my fill to be this pink color. I'm gonna zoom in and replicate this on the other side using the reflect tool. So, O for reflect. I'm gonna drop my reflection around one of the points, either the top or the bottom and bring it over here. Hold the Shift key to keep it in line and the Option key to duplicate it. Okay, and just like we did right before our last segment, I'm gonna join these two shapes together. So, there's a couple of ways to do it but right now, I'll just select both of the shapes and come over to my shape builder tool, and drag through those and now it's just one shape. So, I can drag it around. So... I want to, this is kind of like a petal, that I want to rotate around its most bottom axis. So, I'm gonna select the rotate tool and put my marquee at the bottom of this shape. And if you hold the Option key down, sometimes you have to click twice, and I'm not sure why, but sometimes it'll give you double arrows but keep trying and the Option key gives you these four dots. You click on it again and it'll bring up the rotate dialogue box. So, I think I want more than 12, so, I'm gonna go 20 degrees. And preview will show you that, and I think that'll be good. I'm gonna hit Copy and Command + D takes it all the way around. K? So, now we have this, kind of, big shape. One cool thing you can do though is select this shape and change the opacity. So, in order to let you see this, I'm gonna hit Command + H, which hides my edges but it's still selected. And I'm gonna come up to my opacity here, and change my opacity to 50%. So, now I just have, kind of, you can just play with this all day long and see what kinda shapes you come up with. And one last, pretty cool thing is that if you love this inside shape that this created here, it's hard to get to it because these are still, these are still individual shapes that, that shape is only created by changing the opacity. So, if you select everything here. See, it's selected. You can come play with your pathfinder tools a little bit. And I believe, if you select divide, bring my edges back, it has now divided, everywhere that these paths crossed is now divided. And they're grouped together, so if you right-click and hit ungroup, then you can take these apart. And so you have many shapes upon many shapes that you can play with then. So, start drawing random shapes, rotating them, and hitting the opacity and just see what you come up with. This is a great example of how you don't have to be an artist to start making artwork. You can just have fun using the tools. Okay, so another favorite reason to use this tool is to create flowers. So... I'm just gonna replicate the shape that I had made last segment, and that was by grabbing the pen tool by selecting P, coming up here and kind of drawing this kind of a shape. That's like, you know, kind of a... Kind of a half of a drop. But I brought it in up here on purpose, and I'll show you why. So, I'm gonna reflect this across itself by hitting O, dropping the marquee at the top or the bottom, bringing it over here, and if you select Shift, it will keep it in line, Option duplicates it. There's still two shapes, so I wanna select both of those and grab the... Shape builder tool and just run right across it to make it one shape. Then I want this to kinda have a cutout, so I'm gonna grab the ellipse tool and make a circle. I'm actually gonna make... I think I'm gonna make an ellipse right there. Change color. And my smart guide is gonna keep the centers of those in line. And if I select both of those, and over on my pathfinder tool, select minus front, it's gonna delete that from the shape behind it, just like we did earlier. Gonna zoom out a little bit. So, now we have a petal, like one petal to work with. And... So, I wanna rotate this around the axis just like we did before. So... Let's drop a... Point. I'm gonna select this, hit the R for rotate tool, and I'm just gonna drop a point somewhere right below it. And hold down Option, click again to get the dots, and that will bring up the rotate panel tool. So... You know what? I can't see my math. Gonna zoom out here, try that again. So... Do we want a lot? Do we want few? Let's do like 40 degrees. And copy. And you bring that all the way around. And so, what this math does is just make sure that you have an exact spacing between all of your rotated petals. So, the inside of this guy doesn't look fabulous but if you just add the center of a flower to 'em, then you'll cover it up. And you have a flower. I'll just show you real quickly, how this would look if we did a couple of different things. So, if I come down here and do like 90 degrees, it's gonna make just a four petal flower. And you can just play with this all day long. If you wanna rotate this guy, you select all four, hit the rotate tool, and it's gonna rotate right from the center, and just start rotating. You can hold the Shift key to make it exactly 45 degrees, the Option key to duplicate it, and the scale tool to maybe take it down a little bit. And then you can draw a circle to fill in there. And... You can kind of get as carried away with this as you want. And we do that again, and send it to the back and change its color. I missed one. But you can see, how we can just start making shapes. Another fun thing to do with this is just start building, really, any kind of shape, like if I just grab the pen tool and start coming in to draw a shape. I'm gonna click back on the last point so that it'll start me over so I can do another curve here. And click back on the last point to start one more curve. And then maybe... Draw a circle up here. You don't know where I'm going with this but just wait. I'm gonna replicate this around itself by using the reflect tool, so, drop my marquee down here and bring it up here, hold the Shift key to make it exact, the Option key to duplicate it, and then select everything. That's three different shapes right now and I want it to be one, so, you can do the shape builder tool or you can just hit unite over here on the pathfinder tool. So, it's one shape now. And I think I just want this to be a little wider right there, I think. So, I'm gonna select that and just... See what that does. I think I'll leave it the way it is. And... Now what I wanna do is cut out some shapes from this. So, I'm gonna cut out a little circle here, L for the ellipse tool and I'm just gonna draw a little circle, put it up here. And I wanna subtract that so I'm gonna select both of those and select minus front. That didn't work and I believe... I'm running into an issue right here cause it's so little. Yeah, that's what it is. Those are still separate shapes. So... I'm just gonna make a new shape into something like this. K, it doesn't really matter and I'm gonna unite those, send it to the back. Sorry. Okay, so now it'll work if I select both of those, this is gonna... Punch a hole through that using the minus front. So, if you ever run into issues like that, it's probably because you have more than one shape selected and that was more than one shape, because the point was too thin. I'm also gonna take a shape outta here. And change its color so we can see it. And minus front. So, now I just kind of have this weird shape but fun things happen with weird shapes. So, I'm gonna hit the rotate tool and rotate it around its most bottom point. Hold the Option key to get to the rotate panel, and I want a lot of these, so maybe, what does five degrees look like? I think maybe even like four degrees. Copy. And I'm gonna take this all the way around. So, this is gonna end up making like a doily effect. One more. Okay. And then you could come in here and maybe cut out some more shapes, right in the middle. But obviously I have 90 of these shapes right now because I did it every four degrees, so this is a mess. But once you're sure that you're happy with what you have, just hit unite, it turns it into one shape. And I'll zoom in, it's still a bunch of anchor points. But you can see that it's just one shape. Okay, so, even your crazy, your crazy drawings can turn into pretty doilies. Okay, is there any questions about any of that? Well, we have a few, sort of, general color questions that are coming up. So we can either touch on those now, or we can get to them later. Color is my next topic, so bring them on. Okay, sure. So, this first question. Hi, Bonnie, I like to use bright colors and the neon colors right now are especially popular, I like to use them. But I have a hard time to get the same brightness in a CMYK document, do you have any advice of what I should set up if I like using neon colors in my designs? I kind of am using neon here, but I don't have very much experience using neons. One thing I would say is that if they're familiar with the Pantone color system, we'll be talking-- We have a question about that next. Okay, we're gonna get to that later today, too. But you can pick out your, it depends on her application. So, if this is going on the web, it's important for it to look like it is on the web. But if it's going to print, then she can pick out the neon colors in the Pantone color system, and even though they don't show up like they are in real life on your screen, you should know that when they print, they will be the neon. If it's for web, the only thing that I can speak to is that when I save a document for the web, the colors tend to liven up a little bit. And I'm gonna go over that later, but I'll show you now to... If I wanted to save, this document size as an image for the web, Illustrator makes it super easy under File, you can go Save for Web. So, this gives you a bunch of different options. I usually do a JPEG, you can change the quality of the JPEG, I usually like it pretty high. And we're gonna kinda go over this in more detail a little bit later but, if you save with a PNG, the colors tend to be brighter and crisper and set for the web at 72 DPI.

Class Description

Short on time? This class is available HERE as a Fast Class, exclusively for Creator Pass subscribers.

Did you know that you can turn your sketches, drawings, and doodles into patterns? Join Bonnie Christine for an introduction to creating patterns to use in your very own fabric prints, stationery designs, website backgrounds, cell phone covers, and much, much more.

This course will take you through the process of working with Adobe Illustrator to create digital versions of your artwork. You’ll learn tips and tricks for working in Illustrator and how you can use the software to create repeating patterns of your very own drawings. Bonnie will guide you step-by-step through the process of transforming sketches and tracings into vector art which can be used for an endless array of printable and online projects from customized stationery to computer wallpaper. You’ll also learn how to assemble your collection of designs into a portfolio you can use to impress potential collectors and buyers.

This course will lay a solid foundation for those new to Illustrator and open up exciting new possibilities for people already familiar with the program. If you are ready to bring your drawings to life in new ways this class is for you.


Adobe Illustrator CS6

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Desktop and Smartphone Backgrounds

Grow Your Blog eBook

Jouney to Becoming a Surface Pattern Designer

Design Printables

Color Palettes and Pattern Mockups

Keynote Session 1

Keynote Session 2

Keynote Session 3

Math Made Easy with Rotate Tool

Industry Resources and Supplies

Keyboard Shortcuts

My Creative Story


Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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Emily Leggett

I am so glad I took the time to sit through all 3 days of this course. I have been to hour long classes that I can't wait to get out of and this one I sat in for 3 days and I am wishing it wasn't over. I take a lot of continuing education classes and am always trying to learn new things and I have to say this is by far the absolute most informative, educational, inspiring, and motivating classes I have ever taken. Bonnie Christine was an amazing teacher. She took the time to take us through all aspects of the process and even beyond showing us so many things that can be done with everything she taught us in this class. I think she did a great job with the class, was easy to follow and is someone I would love to learn from again. Great job on everything. I would recommend this class to anyone who wants to learn about surface pattern design and Illustrator. Great job to everyone involved in putting this course together!

a Creativelive Student

Awesome awesome awesome course! Thank you Bonnie! Thank you Creative Live! I have learned so much... so much great information packed together in one class. I am so glad I bought the course so I can rewatch it any time I need to.

a Creativelive Student

I'm about halfway through my first viewing of the course and I have to say, its been electrifying! There is so much quality information here, its an excellent starting point, and I do think I can start working towards a career in design now. It also makes me want to find more information and courses in the art and design area. Bonnie is such a joyful, honest and enthusiastic instructor and really, it feels like she';s hosting an amazing party for her friends. Thank you Bonnie for doing this course and thank you CreativeLive for pricing it so affordably