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Illustrator can be used to accomplish many different design tasks. For this reason, Illustrator CS4 Essential Training teaches core concepts and techniques that can be applied to any workflow for print, the web, or assets that will find their way into other applications. Mordy Golding explains the elements that make up vector graphics—paths, strokes, and fills—and shows how to use each of Illustrator's drawing tools. He demonstrates how to combine and clean up paths, and organize them into groups and layers. Mordy also covers text editing, working with color, expressive brush drawing, effects, and much more. Exercise files accompany the course.
So just to review, any object inside of Illustrator you can have any of three types of Fill attributes either solid colors, Gradients; both of, which we have covered until now and patterns. So let's take a look at this last type of Fill called the Pattern Fill. I'm actually working in this file here called pattern_fills, which you will find this inside of chapter10 of the exercise files. And you notice that I have three surfboard designs. One is filled with these kinds of tulips, one has these bamboo colored backgrounds and this one has an overall floral pattern. These have been applied as patterns. Where did I get these patterns from? Well, actually Illustrator ships with whole variety of patterns. If you go down to the Swatches panel and load a library as we have done in the past, you will notice that there is entire folder here of patterns. There are Basic Graphics, Decorative and Nature. I actually chose these from the Nature_Foliage library and you could find them here. You could also step through these, for example, Decorative_Primitive, Decorative_ Ornament, Decorative_modern and I found actually that some of the basic ones even though that has a word Basic in it.
The basic ones, for example, Basic_ Graphics_Lines or Basic_Graphic_Dots, can be extremely useful when you are just looking to have some kind of interesting Pattern Fill for particular object or for any artwork. You would apply it the same way as any swatch. For example, I can simply click on an object and then choose any pattern swatch from my particular panel here. I'm going to close this library for now because I want to talk about how to actually manipulate your particular patterns once you have already applied them to a shape, for example, let's focus here on the tulips, say I want these tulips to be a little bit bigger. I want the pattern to actually be bigger right now. I don't want to make my surfboard bigger but I do want the pattern to be enlarged on that particular surfboard.
Well, the way that you can do that is go over to the Scale tool and we will discuss more about working with the Scale tool and all these transformations tools in the next chapter but for now I'm just going to double click on the Scale tool to bring up that option. I have this surfboard selected right now and you notice that I have the ability to change my Scale. So let's say, I type in 200% because I want to enlarge it 200%. Well, if you come down here to the bottom where it says Options, I can un- check the Objects box and only have the Patterns box checked. In doing so, I'm telling the Scale option to only work on patterns but not on the object itself. If we click in the Preview button you will see that right now the tulips are much larger but the object itself stayed the same size. So that's one way to go ahead and adjust it. I'm going to click Cancel here.
I want to show you that you could also shift a pattern within a particular shape. Let's say you are really not happy with positioning of where the pattern aligned itself within the object. Well, you can use your regular Selection tool and normally when you click on an object and you drag it, it moves the entire object. But here is a little keyboard shortcut for you, if you hold down Tilde key on your keyboard and Tilde key is little squiggly key that sits right on top of the Tab key on the upper left hand portion of the keyboard. I'm holding that button down on my keyboard and now I'm clicking to drag and move my object but you will notice that the object is not moving; the pattern inside the object is moving. In fact, I can keep that Tilde key down and use the arrow keys on my keyboard to nudge the pattern left and right or up and down. This way I can ensure that as I'm working with patterns, I get the exact position that I'm looking for.
Likewise I can do the same thing here. If I want to see more detail on those bamboos that are right there, again I can double click on the Scale tool, maybe scale this up 300%, have the scale only apply to patterns and not to the Objects, click OK and now I have enlarged that particular effect. Likewise, I'll just point out that, when you are using the Scale tool, you do have the ability to scale Objects but not the patterns. In this case, the pattern then stays the size that you scaled it but the Object itself gets bigger. Let me click Cancel here for a second. Let's focus on this pattern right here. Just because the way the patterns works, the artwork itself within the pattern is not accessible when you work inside of Illustrator. For example, if you decide that some of these leaves here should be of different color, you can't select that in artwork. Even if you go into the Outline mode, you will see that I don't see any of the artwork for that flower. It's a simple pattern fill but I don't have any access to the artwork that's in there. However, if do want to make some changes, what I can do is expand the fill. When I do so, it converts the fill to something, which is actually regular artwork that you can edit.
The way that you would do that is to actually select your object, go to the Object menu and choose Expand. If you remember when we were using the Appearances and the Appearances where these live effects that apply to the appearance of an object but not to the underlying vector structure of the object. You had to expand your appearance to make that happen. Well, it's similar in context to what I can do here with patterns. By expanding my patterns, I'll go ahead and I'll choose to expand just the Fill of my object. When I click OK, even though it doesn't look like anything has changed here, I can now take my Direct Selection tool and click on the individual elements of this pattern. In fact, if I go into Outline mode now, I'll see entire pattern right here. In fact, you will see that the pattern is made up of a repeated area or repeating segment. How does that work? Well, let me toggle back to Preview mode here.
In the next movie we will talk about how to actually define and create your own patterns.
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