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Deke's Techniques is a collection of short Photoshop and Illustrator projects and creative effects that can be completed in ten minutes or less. The series is taught by computer graphics guru Deke McClelland, and presented in his signature step-by-step style. The intent is to reveal how various Photoshop and Illustrator features can be combined and leveraged in real-world examples so that they can be applied to creative projects right away.
Hey gang this is Deke McClelland! Welcome to Deke's Techniques. In honor of some recent sporting events that are happening in London, I thought I'd show you how to create some really cool stuff here in Adobe Illustrator. We are going to create five interlocking objects, but I want to emphasize something. These are not, I repeat, these are not the olympic rings. Rather we are going to create five interlocking octagons. So let me show you how it works. Again we are in Illustrator; I have got a couple guidelines inside this illustration, that's it.
You should be able to create this along with me whether you have the sample file or not. Go ahead and click and hold on the Shape tool and select the Polygon tool, and then I want you to click the intersection of these two guidelines like so, and we are going to create an object that has a radius of 64 points and it has a total of eight sides; that is of course an octagon, and then you go ahead and click OK. Now it's not quite at the right angle. So go ahead and switch down to the Rotate tool, double-click on it to bring up the Rotate dialog box and enter an Angle of 22.5 degrees, that's half of 45 degrees by the way, then click OK, and you end up rotating the octagon like this.
Then double-click on the neighboring Scale tool in order to bring up the Scale dialog box and change the Uniform value to 80% and then click, not on OK, but rather on the Copy button in order to create a copy of that octagon. All right, now we've got our first ring. I am going to press Ctrl+A or Command+A on the Mac to select both of those objects. Then I'll go up to the control panel, click on this very first swatch right there and I've created a swatch in advance, it's of color Red 185, Green 140 and Blue 70. So I'll go ahead and click on it to apply that swatch, press the Escape key in order to hide that panel.
Then you want to go up to the Object menu, choose Compound Path > Make so that you turn those two octagons into a single octagon. In other words, the inner shape is cutting a hole in the outer shape. All right, now switch back to the Black Arrow tool which you can get by pressing the V key, and go ahead and drag this shape, like so, and I'm pressing both the Shift and Alt keys by the way, on the Mac that would be the Shift and Option keys and you want to drag your octagon to about here and notice that I've got distance values of about 67.5 points, works out pretty nicely.
You can see we've got the double arrow cursor which is showing me that I'm going to clone this shape, so I'll go ahead and release my mouse button at this point and then I'll release the Shift and Alt keys or the Shift and Option keys on a Mac. So it's very importing you have those keys down, so you create a copy of that first shape. Now I'll go up to the Control panel, click on that first swatch and change it to Red 0, Green 15, Blue 210 and we end up getting this effect here. And you can go with your own color scheme by the way, I don't care what colors you use. Now I'll press the Escape key to hide that panel and press Ctrl+A or Command+A on a Mac and I am going to make a couple of adjustments to these two shapes. First of all, I am going to change the stroke to this RGB Black, so red, green and blue are all zero.
And then I'll increase the Line Weight value here to 2 points, and then finally I want to give both of these shapes center points. So I'll go up to the Window menu and choose the Attributes command, which brings up this wee little panel here, and you need to make sure that you're seeing all of the options, so click this up and down arrowhead icon if you don't see them all and then you want to click on this icon that says Show Center, that will go ahead and create a couple of center points there. This will help us for alignment purposes by the way. Now I am going to click off the shapes to deselect them and then click on that brown shape in order to select it, and I'll switch from the Rotate tool, click and hold on it to the Reflect tool, and I'll press Ctrl+Y or Command+Y on a Mac to switch to the Outline mode so I can see that center point right there and I'll Alt+Click or Option+Click on it to bring up the Reflect dialog box.
Turn on the Preview check box so you can see what we are going to do. We are going to go ahead and flip this guy on the other side, but we are going to flip a copy, so click on the Copy button and then you want to press the Ctrl key or the Command on a Mac to temporally get your Black Arrow tool. Go ahead and marquee these two left-hand shapes, just partially marquee them, make sure that right-hand shape is not selected. Then Alt+Click or Option+Click on the center point for the right-hand shape in order to bring up the Reflect dialog box again. Vertical should be selected, in case I didn't mention that, and then you want to click on the Copy button in order to create two more copies.
All right, I'll press Ctrl+Y, Command+Y on a Mac in order to switch back to the Preview mode and I'll press the V key to switch back to my Black Arrow tool up here. And then I'll select the center shape and change it's Fill to White. I'll select this next door neighbor here and I'll change its Fill to this purplish color which is Red 175, Green 110 and Blue 180, and then finally I'll select the rightmost shape by clicking on it and I'll switch it to this final swatch which is Red 50, Green 220 and Blue 215.
All right, now I need to select all four of these shapes here by marqueeing them, like so, so just the brown shape is not selected and then I'll press Ctrl+Shift+Left bracket or Command+Shift+Left bracket on the Mac to send those shapes to back. Then I'll go ahead and marquee these two guys here, just the lavender and somewhat cyan shape and I'll press Ctrl+Shift+Left bracket or Command+Shift+Left bracket again in order to send those guys to back. All right, now we've got all of the octagons we need, but they're not interlocking octagons.
So let's get rid of the guidelines here, we don't need them anymore, by right-clicking inside the document window, any old place and choosing the Hide Guides command from the shortcut menu. And then you want to press Ctrl+A or Command+A on the Mac to select all of your shapes. We want to switch to this thing called the Live Paint tool. So you want to drop down to the Shape Builder tool right there, click and hold and choose the Live Paint Bucket. Notice now, because I've got my swatches arranged here, you do need swatches in order to make this work, but I can see this little Paint Bucket with this trio of swatches above it.
Now I want to fill this little overlapping area with the darker blue, so I'm going to press the Right Arrow key a few times here until Blue is the central swatch, as you see it now, and then you click in that overlapping area to make it blue. Then you go to the next overlapping area, they're all arranged in a horizontal row by the way. You want to press the Right Arrow key to advance to white click there, press the Right Arrow key again in order to advance to lavender, click, and then hover over this overlapping region, advance to that sort of teal cyan color and click there in order to fill it.
All right, now we want to change the strokes and the easiest way to make that happen is to double-click on the Live Paint Bucket tool icon here in the toolbox, to bring up the Live Paint Bucket Options dialog box and then turn on Paint Strokes and click OK. Now we can hover over strokes in order to change their colors and we want to start with black, it's my central swatch, so that's great. And then I'll click on this guy too, click here in order to change that stroke here, this one and this one and then finally this one and this one.
Problem is, we don't want the vice-versa strokes there, so to get rid of them press the Left Arrow key to go back to the none-swatch and click here and here in order to get rid of those guys that we shouldn't be seeing. Then you want to click those two strokes right there that are interrupting the lavender ring, and you want to click on these guys that are interrupting the white ring, and then finally you want to click on these guys that are interrupting the blue ring. And that folks completes the effect. I'll go ahead and switch back to the Black Arrow tool, press Ctrl+Shift+A or Command+Shift+A in order to deselect my artwork.
And that is how you create five interlocking octagons here inside Illustrator.
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