Essential Tools for Pattern Making
Now we'll talk about groups and isolation mode. So again, this is some artwork that I have previously made I brought in just to show you some examples but don't let the artwork overwhelm you tomorrow, all day long, we're going to be making artwork, you'll know exactly how I did all this, but I just needed something to show you some examples of some more tools that we'll be using. So, we already covered groups a little bit, but these two documents really look the same, but they are constructed very differently. So I wanna discuss a little bit how important it is to group certain objects as you work and how to keep them on the layers panel and really establish proper workflow to how you illustrate. So this document on the right, I have nothing grouped. So all these little bits are independent of each other. These are independent, these are independent that makes it incredibly difficult to say, I wanted to rotate this bird a little bit. I showed you the lasso tool earlier but if I come in...
here and do it on this guy it's also gonna select a handful of background images, the cloud and one of the droplets or whatever, so I would say that this document is constructed very poorly. Over here, I have the birds already grouped together, I have the droplets grouped together and the clouds grouped together but they're also in a clipping mask, which is what we're gonna talk about soon. And then the background color is there. So I'm gonna delete this mess so we don't have to mess with it at all and come over here and talk about groups and isolation mode a little bit. So these are all grouped together, its great if you wanna move all of them but what if I only want to move one of them so, if you double click on a group It's gonna bring you into isolation mode. So this has locked everything in the background, so I cannot select the droplets or the cloud. All I have available to me is what was in the original group. Within this group, I have then grouped the individual birds, so it was kind of a group within a group. So when we work tomorrow in building patterns and illustrations, we'll do this naturally. We will group a bird and then we'll make a lot of birds and we'll group them all together or it may not be birds but whatever we're working on. So these are all grouped independently of each other. So that's great if I wanna say just rotate this guy a little bit. What if I wanted to come in a step further and just rotate one of these little bits here, I can double click again that brings me into a step deeper isolation mode. Then I can come in and start moving this guy around a little bit, rotating him ever so slightly and really perfecting my work. So to get out of there, there's a couple of different ways, all the time, you can double click anywhere on your document and it will take you, I'll just do it. It'll take you back to the beginning. So everything's grouped there. If I double click that's isolation mode. If I double click again, that's one more step into isolation mode. You can also know this by this diagram up here, we have our layer, group and group. And so this back arrow like say, you might sometimes be five layers deep into isolation mode, that makes sense, you had a group within a group within a group. You don't wanna get all the way back out, you just wanna get to your last group. (chuckles) So you can use the back arrow and that'll just take you to the last isolation mode that you were in, which was all the birds. Then if I click the back arrow one more time, it'll take me to the original document. Did I explain that well? So that in a nutshell is group and isolation mode. The other nice thing about this document is that the clouds are in a clipping mask. So I'll show you how to create a clipping mask in just a second. The nice thing about this is the clouds aren't overlapping the edges, which would be okay if they did but it just kind of reduces the distraction for me right now. But they're still available for me to edit. So if I double click on anything that's in a clipping mask, I then have the ability to move them all around. They're grouped right now, so if I double click again then that will take me in, I think I grouped them twice, that will take me into where I can just edit one at a time. I know this is really hard to see because they're like beige, make them black just for the time being. So you can totally see how you can move those around, even though they're within a clipping mask. So I'm gonna take those back into the beige color and the way to exit a clipping mask is to double click outside of it and then everything pops right back into the clipping mask. So, I'm gonna show you how I made a clipping mask for these clouds by making a clipping mask for these birds. So I'm just gonna draw a rectangle, keyboard shortcut for the rectangle tool is M and because I have my smart guides on I can just draw a square that's the same exact size as the square of my background here and it automatically is on top. So if I want to place these birds in a clipping mask, then all I have to do is select, they're already grouped together. If they weren't, then I would select each one individually and the square that's on top, so the image that you want to use as a clipping mask, always has to be on top and the keyboard shortcut for clipping mask is command+seven. So now I have my birds on a clipping mask and I could probably do that one more time for the droplets and that way we would just be working with a single square. So the neat thing about this is that I haven't lost any of my design elements. Like if I need to move this bird you know in, it's not like the wing doesn't exist, it's there. It's just in a clipping mask, so I would just, let me make sure I got the right one. Just double click on it. Double click on this guy again and start moving him around. Rotate using the rotate tool and then when I double click, then the clipping mask automatically holds its integrity. I'll just use same document to introduce to you the align tools. If say you needed this guy to be replicated and in line. I'm just gonna make copies by holding down my option key. If say you needed all these in line, Illustrator makes it really easy. So you just select everything on your artboard or everything that you want to align. and we have the align tool right over here on the right. So you can align these objects or distribute the objects. I pretty much exclusively use the align objects. But one thing you should know that is available is under the flyout menu go ahead and select show options. And you can choose whether to align these objects to the selection itself or to the artboard itself. and I toggle between these two options on a day to day basis depending on the work that I'm doing. So if I want to align these to the artboard, I'll hit artboard and then if you want horizontal alignment, it'll align them all horizontally. If I align them all vertically as well, they'll be right on top of each other. So now I have a bunch on top of each other. This is great for when you're doing things like lines on a page for stationery. We're gonna be building some portfolio pages and then this is gonna come in handy when we do that. If say these are over here, if say I have a line to selection checked, then it's just gonna align them to the center of everything that I have selected, so not necessarily to my artboard but to the center of everything I have selected. You can also run through these, you can align everything to the far left of your art, well this needs to be to my artboard. The far left of the artboard, far right of the artboard. Top and bottom. So, the align tools will really make your life a lot easier when you're working with illustrations and we'll be using them a lot over the next few days as well. A couple of other options that we're gonna use a lot. I'm just gonna grab my doily over here is they're available to you in a couple of different areas. But I'm just gonna show you what I do all the time and I just right click to get to them and that is transform and arrange. So the transform tool will let you move this object across the page, I'll show you that. You can also get reflect, scale and rotate from this menu here too. So if I wanna move this guy, let's say 100 pixels to the right and 50 pixels down. Then this is where you come and put in on 100 by 50. I wanna introduce this to you because this is essential for pattern making. For making repeating patterns, you have to move your artwork around by very specific increments and so this is how we're gonna do that and this is how you can move things around by an exact amount. If I grab my butterfly over here and I already introduced this to you a little bit but the arrange panel tool is like if I have the the butterfly body here selected, I can right click and go to arrange and this is where you can bring him to the front, bring him forward or just forward by one step at a time, send him backward by one step at a time or send totally to the back. So I can send them totally to the back and then the wings kind of overlap on top. The other way to do that is by hitting command, left and right bracket. So if you have something selected and you wanna bring it to the front, I think I probably have. Yeah I have a lot on this artboard but he just started popping up so I'm hitting command right bracket and he's one by one slowly coming to the top, so he's on the top now. So if you're working with a small amount of objects the command left and right brackets will be beneficial to arranging your objects. I also want to talk about the the layers panel. Some people love to work with layers. Some people don't really care to work with layers. I do both it depends on the project that I'm working on. But if you're familiar with Photoshop, you're probably familiar with layers. It's the same deal here. I am going to copy this butterfly by hitting command+C and getting him into a new document. command+N and enter will give you a new document. command+V gives you a new butterfly. Maybe this is grouped, that's grouped. I'm gonna ungroup these things that I have grouped. So everything's grouped. And I'm gonna select these most back wings and group them together by hitting command+G and so that'll bring those up up front. But I'm just gonna put them on like a very bottom layer, so then all the other layers I can work with on top of them. So to create a new layer, you come to your layers panel and select create new layer. Now layer two or any new layer is automatically gonna be on top. I'm gonna drag and drop it to the bottom. If you come over to the butterfly on the layer that you're on. This little arrow will give you a drop down menu of all the little bits and pieces that you have in the document. So this arrow shows you what you have currently selected, and it's the group. It's the only one that says group and it's the only thing that I've grouped on the document. So I can click this circle right here to select it. I am going to right click and arrange him, send him to the back so that I can easily find them over here. So now he's on the very bottom of the first layer and I can drag and drop it onto the second layer. So that's on the bottom. I'll close the top layer and now I can lock this layer. So all you have to do is click on the second box right there and the key lock comes up. So now I cannot select those background wings, which makes it a lot easier to work on the elements on top of it. The other thing I can do is hide that layer. So id I'm distracted by whatever is on this particular layer you can just hide it all together. You can also just hide one thing at a time by coming in to the drop down menu of your layer and just hiding one thing at a time. Okay and then you can lock one thing at a time. So I don't often use this tremendously though, though I do use it from time to time and it's really nice when you're working with something that has a background and you keep trying to work on it and you're moving the background. It's really nice to lock your background in place so that it's still there but you're not dragging it all over the place where you're trying to work on the elements on top. So you can create as many layers as you want. You double click on the layer to name it. And say I wanted to create one more layer for like the body, I would come in here and group those together, create a new layer and this time I want it to be on top and I'll drag and drop it up there. So then I can lock the wings and the body and then just start working on that. The next tool I want to show you is the trim tool and this butterfly is the perfect thing to show it with you. I don't have my color palette set up on this new document. So what I'm gonna do is just get these existing colors over there. So to do that, I'm just going to select the whole butterfly. Hit new color group and I won't name it this time, just hit OK. So now I have all these colors available to me in the color palette now. So I wanna come in and kind of add some artwork like kind of on top of things wings. So to do that I'm gonna grab the blob brush tool which is shift+B and I think I wanna use this brown color. So what I'm gonna show you is gonna make this easy. It's gonna be really hard to get exactly up to the edge of this butterfly wing if I want a design element to run off the edge of it. So say I want to do something like this. And I will make this one shape by using the shape builder tool. But ideally, I would have this stop right at the edge. You can use a clipping mask and I'll show you how to do that. I'm gonna ungroup that, I'm gonna grab just this one wing and use it as my clipping mask. So I'm gonna make a copy of it by hitting command+C. I'm gonna paste it in front by hitting command+F. Now there are two of these there, you couldn't tell, but there are two. and to bring it all the way to the front you can right click, arrange and say bring to front and sometimes I'm working in layers. This is why there's sometimes a downside to working in layers. So to get out of my layers I'm gonna group this all together which brings them all into the top layer and ungroup them just because that's gonna be easier for what we're doing. So we're all on one layer now. So that way I can bring this one to the front and he is on top of everything not just on top of the things in this layer but on top of everything. So to make a clipping mask, I just select the two objects and hit command+seven and that has pretty much accomplished what I wanted. It gets the brown like exactly to the edge. And it's still available to me to edit like if I need to move it around a little bit which is nice but when you're sure that you're sure that you're done, it can make for kind of a busy document to have tons of clipping masks all over the place. So that is when the trim tool comes in to place. So to use the trim tool, it's over here on the path finder and you will go through the steps just like I did by making a clipping mask. But after you have done making the clipping mask and you're happy with the end result, you can just hit trim and it will trim everything away and you're left with just this bit, so it's an independent shape now, but it perfectly fits the segment that you wanted it in. I don't know about you though but when I learned that I was really excited. I just wanna reiterate something I quickly breezed over earlier is about the join command. And to do that, I'm just gonna draw like a heart. We're drawing hearts. So I'm gonna grab the pen tool, command is P for that. And I'm just gonna come in and drop the first anchor point for the bottom of the top of the heart. So I'm gonna come here and I'm just gonna eyeball this guy. That and then this is going to curve right down to something like that. If you weren't really happy with this, I can never be happy with a heart. I feel like there's so many ways. Come over to the pencil tool and grab the smooth tool and then come in here and just start kind of playing with your edges here a little bit.
Pencil first then click on move.
Yes, so the pencil has a fly out menu. and most of these do if they have a little triangle in the bottom right hand corner, they have a fly out menu, which means there is more goodness behind there. So just click hold and hold as you drag out to get those options. So the smooth tools right there. So I think we're good with that. With it selected, I'm just gonna replicate it to the other side because it would be really hard to do that with the pen tool. So O for the reflect tool and I'm gonna drop my reflection around any of these center points, either the top or the bottom, and bring it over here, holding the Shift key to make it exact and the Option key to duplicate it. So then, it's two shapes. We've already learned how we can make it one shape by a couple of different ways but one great way is to come in here with the join command. and with your direct selection arrow, the white arrow tool, just marquee over the two points that you want to join, and hit command+J to join those. So now if you can't really tell but it's one shape, so I can't move it independently of each other. So that is great. So now like I think, you know the top is a little too deep. So with the white arrow tool, I can come in and move it up a little bit. and then play with all these handles to make it a little better. The join command is what you'll use to join two anchor points together and it often unifies shapes that you're working with. I next want to show you. Some fun transformations that we can do to stuff. I'm just gonna draw a circle. Perfect circle by holding the shift key down and I don't know why we're working with brown color lets change it like green maybe. I'm gonna hit command+H to hide my edges just so you can see what we're gonna do. But under the effects menu, up here, we have a ton of options available to us. So all these you can play with. I'm just going to show you a couple that I use most often. So the distort and transform can give you some, let's see, if we roughen it, lets roughen it Go ahead and hit preview so you can see what we're doing. I've corner selected so it turned it into a square. If I smooth this out and just start doing this. It'll just kind of roughen it up some and you can play with the detail and the size of how rough it gets. But this is a secret to giving your work a little more of a hand drawn feel when you're not starting from hand drawn sketches. You do a perfect circle, but you don't want it to be perfect. Sometimes you want it to be perfect, sometimes you don't. So roughing it up a little bit, will make it a little more hand drawn looking, easier on the eye. So if I hit okay, bring back my edges. You can see though, that this is an effect I don't know how to explain that. Like it still has the perfect circle back there and so it's still editable in some way but I don't need to edit it and if you have a bunch of transformations in a document, it can slow your document down. So I like to go ahead and expand this and let it be what it is. So after you do a transformation like that you should come up to object and expand the appearance. And now it's expanded and it is what it is. It is what it is. I'm gonna start with another circle, oops that's a square. L gives you the ellipse tool. So I'm gonna start with another circle and come back up here and show you a couple of other things. Distort and transform, okay. Pucker and bloat, can give you some fun things. I'll hit preview and you just start kind of dragging this around to get some new shapes. And you can create just lots of fun things. One way puckers, one way bloats. (chuckles) And same deal with this is that once you hit OK, it's still got this like transform. It's still the circle, but I go ahead and always expand everything I do. So now it's expanded and it is what is. The simplify tool, let's see what the best way to show this is. We're gonna use this tomorrow when we scan in our sketches. We were talking about that earlier, a little bit on how to reduce the number of anchor points we have in something. So I wanna show you maybe I'm just gonna show you with what I have up here. So this will work, I'm gonna make, that number of anchor points is fine. But I'm gonna show you how to even reduce it from there. Sometimes when you're working with a project or you've scanned something in, it's gonna have like thousands of anchor points, thousands of thousands of anchor points and don't really need those and what it's gonna do is slug your document down. So to do that you are going to come to object path and simplify. That will bring up the simplified dialog box and you will be able to see, let's see, preview. If you hit preview, you'll be able to see how many points there were originally and how many points there are now. So I'm gonna show you this again because we only had 21. But really when this is helpful is when you have over 1000. And you can see you can get down to just a couple hundred and it won't even change the look of your artwork. So I'm gonna take the curb precision back up pretty far. And I've reduced the number of anchor points by what is that like seven and it looks pretty much the same. You can see the original over here on the left, it looks pretty much the same and it's reduced the number of anchor points I have which just gives me a cleaner illustration and a quicker working document. Yes and we'll just be using that more and more in the next few days. There are a couple of other ways to kind of roughen something up. So if I have a perfect circle, you can come over here to, I always have to find this one, it's the warp. It's under the width tool and it's the second one, the keyboard shortcut is shift+R and it's the warp tool. and so if I have a perfect circle, and I just don't want it to be so perfect, I can start dragging this in a little bit and do you see it just kind of makes it not so perfect. and so we'll make that. It kind of tugs in whichever direction that you're moving. If I use that on the butterfly, I just have to select it and then I can play with kind of warping his wing a little bit too. So these are just kind of minor adjustments but they make the illustrations look a little more hand drawn