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Creating an intricate Spirograph pattern

From: Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced

Video: Creating an intricate Spirograph pattern

In this movie we'll elaborate on our initial spirograph in order to create this more intricate pattern here. And notice in addition to adding lines to the main spirograph pattern, I've also created a smaller inset spirograph to fill in the hole at the center of the design; and here's how it works. I still have my circle selected and I'm working inside the Appearance panel. I'm going to go ahead and twirl close all the attributes except the top Stroke, just to cut down on the confusion. And speaking of confusion, when you have multiple iterations of a single effect applied to an attribute in this case, it can be difficult to tell exactly who's who.

Creating an intricate Spirograph pattern

In this movie we'll elaborate on our initial spirograph in order to create this more intricate pattern here. And notice in addition to adding lines to the main spirograph pattern, I've also created a smaller inset spirograph to fill in the hole at the center of the design; and here's how it works. I still have my circle selected and I'm working inside the Appearance panel. I'm going to go ahead and twirl close all the attributes except the top Stroke, just to cut down on the confusion. And speaking of confusion, when you have multiple iterations of a single effect applied to an attribute in this case, it can be difficult to tell exactly who's who.

So what you have to bear in mind is that unlike everything else in Illustrator, dynamic effects are shown in opposite order. So in other words, whereas the top layer in the Layers panel is the top layer in the stack; and the top attribute in the Appearance panel is the top attribute in the stack; the first transform, the one at the top here, that's the first one we applied; and the one at the bottom is the most recent one we applied. So if you click on that bottom transform, you'll see it's the one that creates 19 copies rotated 9 degrees, which is the last effect we applied.

And the order does matter. If I cancel out of here and then I grab this transform and drag it in between the other two, then we end up with a bunch of ellipses stacked on top of each other. Because first Illustrator is scaling the entire circle 97%; and then it's creating 19 duplicates of a rotated circle, which doesn't do us any good; and then it goes ahead and scales all those duplicates to an ellipse. Which of course is not what we want, but it helps to demonstrate how things work inside of this panel, and it's going to help us with this next step.

So I'll go ahead and press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac to undo that change. What I want to do is create these slightly wider versions of the ellipses. So in other words, I want to scale every single one of these and create a copy, and I can do that by applying yet another variation on the Transform effect. So what I'll do is click on that top Stroke to make sure it's active. And you'd think you'd be able to say, okay, I want to put this Transform effect right at this location-- so after this one and before this one--so you should be able to click on Transform and then go up to the Effect menu and choose that second command to apply transform again and it would land at this location. But it doesn't. It's going to land at the end; but having Transform selected is just fine.

Anyway, I'll see that alert message and click Apply New Effect, and this is what I'm looking for incidentally. I want the Width of the ellipses to be scaled to 140%, so change the Horizontal Scale value to 140, the Vertical Scale value should be set to 100. We don't want any Rotation, so go ahead and set that to 0 degrees. We don't want to Scale the Strokes and Effects. We want to make sure the center point is selected, we want exactly 1 Copy. And then you turn on the Preview checkbox and it appears as if we've ruined the effect entirely.

Not so--I mean, well, so far we have, but we'll change in the second. Go ahead and click on OK. What you need to do is take that newest transform, the one at the bottom of the stack---which is by the way the one we just applied--and then you want to drag it before the one that creates 19 rotated copies, and drop it right at that location. And you'll end up with this much more desirable effect here. All right! Now let's create another one by clicking on the top Stroke to make it active and then click on the little Page icon at the bottom of the panel and that will create a copy of that Stroke, which remains expanded while Illustrator automatically collapses the original Stroke.

All right! This time around I'm going to change the Line Weight to 0.5, and I'm also going to change the color of the Stroke by Shift+Clicking on the little swatch right there in order to bring up my CMYK values, and I'll change the M value to 48 and the Y value to 62; C and K should be left to 0. It's very important in fact that they'e left at 0, or else this effect won't quite work. Now what you want to do is click on the final transform there, the one at the bottom of the stack, in order to bring up the one that applies 19 rotated copies. And you want to change the Angle value to 3 this time around, which is one third of 9, and therefore 1/60th of 180 degrees.

Turn on the Preview checkbox and you'll see that we fill out just part of that circle. Click in the Copies button and press Shift+ Up Arrow until you get to 60 Copies, and then press the Down Arrow Key to create just 59 Copies, because that's all we need. We need a total of 60 of these things, so we have one original and then 59 Copies. Now click OK. Now, I think that's too much, and what I want to do is get rid of that second to last transform, the one I just got done applying where it scales horizontally to 140%. That one I don't want.

So I'm just going to click on the Eye icon in order to turn it off, and that way I can keep it around if I decide I want it later. Now, finally what you want to do is click on Opacity and let's change the Blend mode from Normal to Multiply. And thanks to the fact that my orange Strokes employ just Magenta and Yellow and my red Strokes are 100% Magenta and Yellow, you don't see the overlaps, so it appears as if the red Strokes are in front. And of course I could have just changed the order of them, but anyway I might as well use the Blend mode since I've already done it. All right! Next, I want to fill in the circle.

Now, strictly speaking you don't have to, because there's going to be this black bar in front of it; but let's say you're creating some other design and you don't have a black bar in the middle and you don't want this hole showing up there. why then, one solution is to go ahead and click on the New Stroke to make it active, click on the little Page icon to make a copy of it. Go ahead and change the Blend mode back to Normal this time around, and let's change the color of the Stroke back to that red. I'm going to click in the first occurrence of transform, the one at the top of the stack, and I'm going to change both the Horizontal and Vertical Scale values to 10%. Turn on the Preview checkbox, and you can see that, that ends up filling in the hole quite nicely.

And then I'll click OK in order to accept that change. Now, if I zoom in, I can see that I've got some interesting stuff going on here, but not enough of it. In other words, I can't see enough white. So I'll change the Line Weight of this top Stroke to 0.3 and we end up letting some of that white in. But we now have just a pinprick of a hole in the center here, and to fill it in, the best way to go is to add a new Fill. So I'll click on the Add New Fill icon in order to add a Fill to the top of the stack. I'll change the color to CMYK Red.

And then with that Fill selected, I'll go up to the Effect menu, choose the second occurrence of transform in order bring up the Transform dialog box, and I'm going to change both the Horizontal and Vertical Scale values to 1%. We don't want any Copies this time around. We don't want any Angle for the Rotation. Turn on the Preview checkbox, and that goes ahead and exactly fills in that hole. Now click OK in order to apply that change, and then I'll go ahead and zoom out so we can take in the entire pattern.

And that's how you create a more elaborate spirograph pattern, complete with a filled in center, here inside Illustrator.

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This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced
Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced

118 video lessons · 14360 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 43m 9s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      2m 9s
    2. Introducing my custom keyboard shortcuts
      6m 52s
    3. Installing my dekeKeys shortcuts on Windows
      4m 46s
    4. Installing my dekeKeys shortcuts on the Mac
      4m 18s
    5. Remapping your Macintosh OS shortcuts
      3m 10s
    6. Adjusting a few key Preferences settings
      8m 13s
    7. Understanding the color-managed workflow
      6m 51s
    8. Establishing the optimal Color Settings
      6m 50s
  2. 1h 11m
    1. Illustrator's oldest dynamic functions
      1m 28s
    2. Creating a multicolor blend
      7m 12s
    3. Establishing a clipping mask
      5m 40s
    4. Reinstating the colors of a clipping path
      8m 1s
    5. Editing individual blended paths
      4m 44s
    6. Adjusting the number of steps in a blend
      7m 15s
    7. Fixing problems with the Blend tool
      4m 2s
    8. Blending different levels of opacity
      4m 45s
    9. Editing the spine of a blend
      5m 3s
    10. Adding a custom spine to any blend
      5m 5s
    11. Advanced blending and masking techniques
      6m 18s
    12. Blending between entire groups
      3m 2s
    13. Adjusting the speed of a blend
      3m 21s
    14. Rotating objects in 3D space
      5m 36s
  3. 1h 0m
    1. Illustrator's logo-making features
      1m 8s
    2. Customizing a single character of type
      5m 25s
    3. Combining a letterform with a path outline
      7m 48s
    4. Creating logo type along an open path
      5m 3s
    5. Creating logo type around a closed circle
      3m 57s
    6. Vertical alignment, orientation, and spacing
      4m 55s
    7. Warping logo type around a circle
      6m 56s
    8. Creating a classic neon type effect
      5m 39s
    9. Adding random neon brightness fluctuations
      5m 19s
    10. Creating neon "block outs" between letters
      7m 44s
    11. Adding neon blur and bokeh in Photoshop
      6m 16s
  4. 46m 19s
    1. Generating colors using harmony rules
      1m 31s
    2. Introducing the Color Guide panel
      5m 16s
    3. The 23 color harmony rules, diagrammed
      8m 16s
    4. Mixing and matching color harmonies
      5m 59s
    5. Color groups and custom harmony rules
      6m 18s
    6. Working in the Edit Colors dialog box
      7m 4s
    7. Expanding on an existing harmony rule
      6m 51s
    8. Constraining colors to a predefined library
      5m 4s
  5. 32m 44s
    1. Changing lots of colors all at once
      1m 2s
    2. Introducing the Recolor Artwork command
      4m 58s
    3. Recoloring with the help of swatch groups
      4m 35s
    4. Changing the color-assignment order
      6m 44s
    5. Reducing the number of colors in your art
      5m 7s
    6. Applying tints and shades of a single swatch
      5m 37s
    7. Recoloring artwork that contains gradients
      4m 41s
  6. 1h 15m
    1. Painting with path outlines
      1m 24s
    2. Introducing the Brushes panel
      4m 25s
    3. Applying and editing a calligraphic brush
      7m 34s
    4. Applying and scaling an art brush
      6m 12s
    5. Applying and editing a scatter brush
      5m 31s
    6. Formatting and scaling brushed text
      5m 45s
    7. Designing a custom art brush
      7m 35s
    8. Creating (or replacing) an art brush
      6m 42s
    9. Refining a brush to fit ends and corners
      4m 11s
    10. Expanding, filling, and stroking a brush
      7m 4s
    11. Type on a path vs. text as an art brush
      7m 3s
    12. Distorting text with the Width tool
      8m 49s
    13. Infusing your artwork with a tile pattern
      3m 13s
  7. 58m 24s
    1. The many forms of transparency
      1m 38s
    2. Creating translucency with the Opacity value
      4m 21s
    3. Darken, Multiply, and Color Burn
      6m 15s
    4. Lighten, Screen, and Color Dodge
      5m 8s
    5. Overlay, Soft Light, Hard Light, Difference, and Exclusion
      4m 59s
    6. Hue, Saturation, Color, and Luminosity
      5m 12s
    7. Combining the effects of multiple blend modes
      6m 42s
    8. Isolating blending and Knockout Group
      7m 37s
    9. Combining blend modes with dynamic effects
      7m 25s
    10. Exporting transparency from Illustrator
      9m 7s
  8. 1h 39m
    1. The Layers panel for dynamic attributes
      1m 4s
    2. Applying attributes in the Appearance panel
      6m 15s
    3. Creating depth using translucent strokes
      5m 37s
    4. Adding, layering, and offsetting strokes
      6m 12s
    5. Duplicating entire groups of attributes
      7m 55s
    6. Turning stacked strokes into editable paths
      5m 43s
    7. Simplifying a multi-stroke effect
      6m 31s
    8. Applying the Convert to Shape effect
      7m 47s
    9. Adding aligned patterns and shadows
      8m 16s
    10. Drawing with arrowheads and angled strokes
      8m 49s
    11. Employing overlapping gradient strokes
      8m 25s
    12. Drawing circular stroke elements
      10m 13s
    13. Outlining an entire multi-stroke effect
      8m 39s
    14. Creating seamless wood grain in Photoshop
      8m 11s
  9. 1h 12m
    1. The best features in Illustrator
      1m 38s
    2. Repeating a series of transformations
      6m 18s
    3. Adjusting and updating a dynamic effect
      6m 37s
    4. Applying a stroke to an entire layer
      6m 24s
    5. Improving the performance of drop shadows
      5m 40s
    6. Applying a single effect multiple times
      6m 10s
    7. Creating an intricate Spirograph pattern
      7m 10s
    8. Adding scalloped edges with Pucker & Bloat
      4m 40s
    9. Applying a dynamic Pathfinder to a layer
      3m 56s
    10. Creating beveled ornaments
      6m 50s
    11. Creating a sculptural type effect
      5m 59s
    12. Subtracting editable text from a path
      7m 6s
    13. Editing text inside a dynamic effect
      4m 25s
  10. 27m 40s
    1. Never remember anything again, ever
      1m 41s
    2. The pixel-based Effect Gallery
      3m 53s
    3. Copying effects from one layer to another
      4m 44s
    4. Introducing the Graphic Styles panel
      4m 11s
    5. Correcting previews in the Effect Gallery
      4m 36s
    6. Adjusting the resolution of your effects
      4m 0s
    7. Combining and saving graphic styles
      4m 35s
  11. 1h 13m
    1. Two powerful graphics programs combine forces
      1m 5s
    2. Creating a perfectly centered star shape
      6m 52s
    3. Precisely scaling concentric circles
      7m 47s
    4. Adding reflective highlights with the Flare tool
      6m 23s
    5. Two ways to rasterize vector art for Photoshop
      7m 37s
    6. Importing vector art as a Smart Object
      6m 47s
    7. Creating a lens flare effect in Photoshop
      7m 56s
    8. Photographic texture and brushed highlights
      6m 26s
    9. Modifying a vector Smart Object in Illustrator
      6m 33s
    10. Converting Illustrator paths to shape layers
      6m 27s
    11. Assign layer effects to native shape layers
      5m 55s
    12. Completing a work of photorealistic art
      3m 46s
  12. 1m 5s
    1. Until next time
      1m 5s

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