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In Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced, author and industry expert Deke McClelland teaches how to take advantage of the wide array of dynamic features in Illustrator CS5. This course demonstrates how to apply these features to paths, groups, and editable text to create professional-quality artwork. The course covers Live Trace, Live Paint, and Live Color, as well as symbols, gradients, exporting, and integration with Photoshop. Exercise files accompany the course.
I have saved my progress as Many subpaths.ai. In this exercise, we are going to take our various subpaths, join them together into one overarching path outline, and we are going to make sure that we have exact alignment. We have got a few different subpaths going on. I am going to drag them apart so you can see. We've got the thigh and a calf, we've got the bottom side of the leg, we've got this area under the arm as well. Then we have the red path and the blue path. So we need to join all the green paths together first and then we will join them to the red path and the blue path. Here is how.
I will go ahead and undo those movements by pressing Ctrl+Z or Cmd+Z on the Mac a few times. Then I will grab my White Arrow tool and I will marquee around these end points right here, press Ctrl+Shift+Alt+J, Cmd+Shift+Option+J on the Mac to bring up the Join dialog box. Now we are going to be pressing Ctrl+ Shift+Alt+J or Cmd+Shift+Option+J in a Mac many, many times here and every single time you need to see this dialog box. If not, you have got some sort of misalignment that you're going to have to reconcile. I will go ahead and click OK, corner points are fine all the way around.
Now I am going to marquee these endpoints right there at the base of the foot. I will press Ctrl+Shift+Alt+J, Cmd+ Shift+Option+J on the Mac, click OK to accept the corner point. Now then, our green path is all one big subpath at this point. Let's join it to the blue path. And, when we do it by the way, both paths are going to turn one color, because the single path outline can only have one color of stroke, that is, if it's got a single stroke which these do; one is going to override the other. Presumably, the new path is going to turn green, because I believe the green path is in front. But we will see.
It doesn't really matter at this point. I will marquee these two end points right there of the two differently colored paths, and I will press Ctrl+Shift+Alt+ J, Cmd+Shift+Option+J on the Mac. It brings up the dialog box, click OK. Now we have one big green path outline. Now we are going to join these two endpoints. That's going to leave these two end points at the top of the hand still not together. They still won't be joined. So we have to remember that. So I will marquee the endpoints at the bottom of the elbow there, at the intersection of the green path and the blue path, and then I will press Ctrl+Shift+Alt+J, Cmd+Shift+Option+J. Sure enough, get the dialog box, click OK.
One big green path outline all the way. It's still an open path, though we haven't closed it, because these two points are independent of each other. Anyway, I'll undo that move. I will marquee those two endpoints with my White Arrow tool and if everything is going according to plan, I should be able to press Ctrl+Shift+Alt+J or Cmd+Shift+Option+J in the Mac in order to confirm that I am getting a Corner point, click OK. So in every single case I had coincident endpoints and as a result I am going to get precise alignment. That's my prediction anyway.
Let's see if it comes true. So I am going to change the stroke back to my jet black there, the rich black, and then I am going to press the V key to get my Black Arrow tool. I will click on the path outline to make sure I have the entire thing selected. Then I will press R key to switch to the Rotate tool. I am going to go ahead and zoom in on the top of the nose there, the bridge of the nose and I will Alt+Click or Option +Click on the Mac in order to bring up the Rotate dialog box. The last Angle I applied was -120 degrees, that's fine. Either negative or positive of 120 degrees will do it for us.
Click the Copy button, and then press Ctrl+D or Cmd+D on the Mac in order to duplicate that path outline. Now, you can see I have got exact alignment around the head and arm region. So that's good news. The only place where I expect to have some alignment problems is down here along this thigh and calf, because that was the area of reconciliation. But we will see how things go. I will press Ctrl+A or Cmd+A on the Mac to select all three of these shapes, because they are the only shapes that are visible and unlocked. Then I will press the V key.
Now from here and out we have path outlines in every direction we need them, at every angle, that is to say. Now we just need to replicate them in different areas. So I am going to drag at the top of this guy's knee, right there. You want to drag from an endpointt, by the way, because we want to ensure that one endpoint snaps into alignment with the other. So you want to make sure that you're bonding box is off and all that jazz. Anyway, the reason I am choosing this knee point is because there is a knee point to lock it into alignment with right there. So I will go ahead and grab this guy and drag it down like so until it locks into alignment, I should see the white arrowhead cursor that shows me I have a snap.
Then I will press and hold the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and release. It looks good. I think we have a very good match thus far. This time around, just to confirm, I will go ahead and zoom out little farther here and I will drag from this guy's toe, right there, and I will drag it into alignment with this location and then I will press the Alt or Option key and release and I have gone ahead and cloned some more path outlines. And let's go and turn off the Template for a moment, just so we can see if all these guys are aligning properly with each other, and they seem to be.
Now what if at this point we want to make a change? We have confirmed that everybody aligns great so we have done a good job so far, but maybe I don't feel comfortable with all the details. For example, I am going to press Ctrl+Z a few different times here, this would be Cmd+Z a few different times on the Mac, until I get back to just my core guy stroked in black right there. I look at this guy and I am very proud of the fact that he aligns with himself all over the place. He is absolutely a golden interlocking object.
But he's kind of got some strange details inside of him. For example, in order to reconcile the hands, I gave him this kind of strangley, sort of four-fingered hand on one side in which he curled his thumb around, and then on the other side he has got a three-finger hand and he has got his thumb tucked. Well, I could take this thumb out into that finger region. Notice that this is the other hand right there. So this hand reaches around to this location. So I could have his thumb sticking into his fingers as if he is holding his own hand.
Well, I will show you how to make such a modification and keep everything in alignment in the next exercise.
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