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In this installment of the Illustrator Insider Training series, Mordy Golding shows how to draw vector artwork quickly, precisely, and efficiently—without having to think about technical concepts like anchor points or control handles. The course highlights intuitive drawing techniques using the Pathfinder functions, Live Paint groups, Shape Builder tool, and variable-width strokes. It also describes the sketching workflow and features in Illustrator that use pressure-sensitive drawing tablets, allowing designers to focus more on their creativity.
So we know that Live Paint allows us to focus more on the visual aspects of our artwork instead of the underlying paths and anchor points. So let's learn how to create Live Paint Groups and that will get us started to learning how to use and kind of tap the power of this feature. I am going to start with this document here called mane.ai, We're actually going to be focusing on creating the mane Mister Zee at the top of his head, so that we get a good understanding for how to create Live Paint Groups and then we'll apply it to the artwork over here for Mister Zee.
So let's focus on these shapes here. Again, I've two circles and a rectangle very, very basic constructs, and we're going to turn this into a Live Paint Group. Remember when dealing with Live Paint, everything comes down to working with Groups that's would kind of is the heart of the feature. If you don't use Groups then the entire concept of Live Paint does not apply inside of Illustrator, so we've to understand that in order for us to work in this magical world of Live Paint if that's what we want to call it, we've to first define a Group for our artwork.
Now we can just create a regular Group, so if I take these three pieces of artwork right now and I select them and I now have three different pieces of artwork selected, I can't just go to the Object menu and choose Group, because that creates a regular Group, but we need to deal with something called the Live Paint Group. Now one way to do that is to actually select the Live Paint Bucket tool inside of Illustrator. The keyboard shortcut for that tool is the K key on your keyboard. When you've some artwork selected and you now take the Live Paint Bucket tool and you click anywhere on the bounding area of your selected artwork, just by clicking performs the act of turning this now into a Live Paint Group, so it's not a regular group it is special group called a Live Paint Group.
In fact, if you've your bounding box option turned on and you select a Live Paint Group with your Regular Selection tool you'll notice that inside of little handles that that appear around the perimeter of your bounding box, you'll see little stars that appear inside of those little bounding boxes and that's because Live Paint Groups are special, so they get stars. But it's a real easy way when you select any artwork inside of your document to know what you're dealing. This is very helpful by the way when you are dealing with files that other people have created in case you want to find out if any Live Paint Groups exists inside of the documents, simply make a selection with your bounding box turned on and you'll be able to see and identify right away which objects are indeed a Live Paint Group.
Now I am actually going to press undo or Command+Z for a moment here. Let's go back to regular paths, because I want to show you another method for creating a Live Paint Group. If we go up to Object menu you can scroll down over here where it says Live Paint and then choose this option called Make. The keyboard shortcut by the way is Command+Option+X that's if you are on Mac, that would be Ctrl+Alt+X if you are on windows. I am going to choose a Live Paint>Make and that is also going to now turn these three objects into a special group called the Live Paint Group.
Now once I've created this Live Paint Group I've the ability to treat it in the visual fashion, meaning I can apply paint or I can apply attributes. Meaning fills and strokes based on the areas that way that I see it. For example, if I want to apply a fill just to this area right here and I'd be able to do so. Note I do not have to use Pathfinder. In fact, let's kind of put Pathfinder away for now, because we're not going to be using it. And now we're going to be exploring this Live Paint feature and see how we might be able to accomplish similar tasks.
So now that we know how to create a Live Paint Group let's see how we might do that for Mister Zee over here. I am actually going to go ahead and zoom in on this part of his head so we can get a better look at this. I'm going to click and drag, so now I've all these elements selected and I am going to use the keyboard shortcut Command+Option+X or Ctrl+Alt+X and now I've turned all these path, which are just basically some ovals in a regular path which is part of the top of the head, and I've now turn this into a Live Paint Group.
At this point I'm ready to start going to the next step using the Live Paint Bucket tool just start to color in the regions that I want, we'll do that in the next movie.
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