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Changing the colors within patterns

From: Illustrator Insider Training: Coloring Artwork

Video: Changing the colors within patterns

Working with patterns has always been a challenge inside of Illustrator, both in creating patterns and also modifying them. Now in truth, creating repeating patterns is an art form within itself and it's probably something that justifies an entire title on its own, and maybe in the future insider trading title, we'll actually focus on that topic. However, here, since we're talking about color, let's discuss the ways that we can actually modify colors that appear within patterns.

Changing the colors within patterns

Working with patterns has always been a challenge inside of Illustrator, both in creating patterns and also modifying them. Now in truth, creating repeating patterns is an art form within itself and it's probably something that justifies an entire title on its own, and maybe in the future insider trading title, we'll actually focus on that topic. However, here, since we're talking about color, let's discuss the ways that we can actually modify colors that appear within patterns.

There are actually two ways to accomplish this. One way is to the use of Global Colors, the other way is using the Recolor Artwork feature; let's take a look at both of these. I have a document here called patterns.ai. I'm actually going to move these over to the side and maybe zoom it just a little bit here. Let's focus on this pattern right here, it's a single rectangle that's full with a pattern and that pattern here is called Flower Round, I have on the bottom here these patterns which is called the Flower Square. But let's focus here on just this top one here.

Right now, I don't have any swatches inside of my document, maybe somebody else created this pattern and I got it from another file, and I'm bringing it down to this document that I want to make some changes to it. Well, a lot of people find they need to take this swatch itself out from the Swatches panel and drag it onto your artboard, which now creates the physical artwork. Then I would make some changes to the color and then drag them back into the Swatches panel, either replacing the original swatch or maybe creating another one. But we'll see it is so much easier to do inside of Illustrator when we take advantage of the features that we've learned so far.

For example, I can select just this rectangle right now; it's a regular rectangle that's filled with a pattern. But if I come down to the Swatches panel and I choose to create a new Swatch group, and let's say I call this one Round, I can choose to create the swatches from my Selected Artwork, and because there are colors now inside of my pattern, Illustrator will automatically create swatches for each of those colors. I can also choose at the same time to convert all my Process to Global. Now if I click OK, I now see all the colors that are used inside of that pattern.

So now I'm going to deselect my artwork, and now I'll say I want to focus on making some changes to this pattern. I'm actually going to zoom a little bit closer here to his artwork so we can see it better on the screen. And I don't have any artwork selected right now, nothing selected, but I can come to the swatches here. For example, I'm going to double-click on this swatch right here and I'm going to click on the Preview button. Now as I modify the sliders, you can actually see that the color is changing within the pattern. If I'm happy with this, I'm now going to click OK, and notice that two things have happened.

First of all I've changed the color of this swatch that appears inside of that Swatch group, but Illustrator now also created a new pattern swatch called Flower Round 1. I still have the original Flower Round pattern, and I haven't lost that, because Illustrator doesn't want to have me lose my original pattern, in case if I want to go back to it. So by modifying the Global Color, it updates inside the pattern, but inside the copy of that pattern. This way I can select the rectangle and go back to my original pattern or click on the one that I just modified.

Let's take a look at another way that we can modify colors inside of patterns, so I'm actually going to scroll down here to the bottom and I'm going to select this rectangle right here. This is filled with yet a different pattern. This pattern over here is called Flower Square, and I do not have any swatches for it, which is fine, because I'm now going to use the recolor artwork method in order to modify colors. So with this rectangle selected, again, it's filled with just the pattern, I'm going to click on the color chip wheel over here to open up the Recolor Artwork dialog box. I see all the colors that are currently used inside the pattern, and here if I want to modify one of the colors, I can either double-click here on this button to create a new color for that, click OK, and I can see now that change was made, or I can use this button over here to actually randomly change the order of the colors inside the pattern, that one was pretty interesting.

And notice id I click OK at this point, I've now changed the pattern itself. Notice however that in this example, Illustrator did not create a new pattern swatch for me, and that's because I'm not working with Global Colors. Global Colors will of course force Illustrator to make that change across the entire document, but because here I do not create Global Colors first, I was able to modify my pattern here right inside of my document. So if you do a lot of work with patterns inside of Illustrator these techniques should help you modify colors within them, both quickly and efficiently.

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This video is part of

Image for Illustrator Insider Training: Coloring Artwork
Illustrator Insider Training: Coloring Artwork

48 video lessons · 12500 viewers

Mordy Golding
Author

 
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  1. 6m 38s
    1. Welcome
      1m 16s
    2. Adobe Illustrator: A colorful history
      3m 25s
    3. Getting the most out of this training
      1m 30s
    4. Using the exercise files
      27s
  2. 32m 35s
    1. Getting to know the color models
      9m 5s
    2. Understanding the difference between process and custom colors
      7m 7s
    3. Understanding how the HSB color wheel works
      11m 2s
    4. Working with color harmonies
      5m 21s
  3. 43m 55s
    1. Deconstructing the Color panel
      6m 36s
    2. Working with "phantom" colors
      5m 16s
    3. Defining and using process colors
      6m 15s
    4. Defining and using global process colors
      7m 51s
    5. Defining and using spot colors
      8m 37s
    6. Accessing color libraries
      9m 20s
  4. 46m 22s
    1. Organizing colors into groups
      13m 59s
    2. Creating swatches and groups from artwork
      7m 19s
    3. Removing unused swatches from documents
      3m 48s
    4. Replacing and merging color swatches
      5m 38s
    5. Creating and managing your own color libraries
      6m 10s
    6. Making custom libraries permanent
      2m 50s
    7. Adding custom colors to new documents
      6m 38s
  5. 19m 42s
    1. Accessing Kuler from within Illustrator
      2m 20s
    2. Getting inspiration from the Color Guide panel
      2m 41s
    3. Understanding how the Color Guide works
      3m 58s
    4. Setting limits on the Color Guide
      10m 43s
  6. 40m 54s
    1. Editing color groups with the color wheel
      12m 51s
    2. Breaking down the Recolor Artwork feature
      8m 16s
    3. Understanding what color rows represent
      6m 34s
    4. Protecting black, white, and gray
      6m 24s
    5. Finding colors quickly with the magnifying glass
      3m 28s
    6. Randomly changing colors
      3m 21s
  7. 53m 34s
    1. Making global color adjustments
      3m 48s
    2. Remapping colors in an illustration
      6m 13s
    3. Fixing colors in a document
      8m 57s
    4. Understanding color reduction
      13m 29s
    5. Reducing colors intelligently and precisely
      7m 42s
    6. Changing the colors within patterns
      4m 39s
    7. Using color groups to your advantage
      8m 46s
  8. 21m 24s
    1. Converting color to grayscale
      3m 25s
    2. Converting to grayscale with the Grayscale color group
      4m 45s
    3. Converting grayscale to color
      2m 27s
    4. Finding spot equivalents of process colors
      6m 48s
    5. Producing color matches intelligently
      3m 59s
  9. 16m 26s
    1. Proofing colors for color-blindness
      4m 56s
    2. Understanding book color
      9m 11s
    3. Previewing color separations
      2m 19s
  10. 3m 20s
    1. Taking color further with the Phantasm CS plug-in
      2m 30s
    2. Next steps
      50s

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