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Creating a path that overlaps itself

From: Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced

Video: Creating a path that overlaps itself

In this exercise I am going to show you how to build an object so that it can overlap itself and basically this is a matter of taking the object, busting into pieces very deliberately by the way and then putting it back together again after outlining the strokes. I have saved my progresses Back to square one.ai and here's what we are going to do, you should have the live paint # 2 layer active, go ahead and click on the not object and before we started just going to help if we get the colors roughed in a little. So we can tell these objects apart from each other, so with this first object selected here go upto to the Stroke swatch here in the Control panel and change the Stroke to Green and then I want to grab the circle and change its Stroke to orange, again we are just doing this so we can keep out object straight.

Creating a path that overlaps itself

In this exercise I am going to show you how to build an object so that it can overlap itself and basically this is a matter of taking the object, busting into pieces very deliberately by the way and then putting it back together again after outlining the strokes. I have saved my progresses Back to square one.ai and here's what we are going to do, you should have the live paint # 2 layer active, go ahead and click on the not object and before we started just going to help if we get the colors roughed in a little. So we can tell these objects apart from each other, so with this first object selected here go upto to the Stroke swatch here in the Control panel and change the Stroke to Green and then I want to grab the circle and change its Stroke to orange, again we are just doing this so we can keep out object straight.

Then go ahead and click on the green path outline and we need to bust this object apart into three pieces. Again, because it's a repeating series of three different path outlined in the first place we need to bust it back into three pieces in order to put it back together again and that will ensure that we have three areas of overlap, which is what we were looking for. Now in order to do as little damage to this path as possible, I want to break of the path, add some existing anchor points so I can either break it at the smooth points, the three smooth points right here towards the center of the shape or I can break things up at the corner points.

Now you might look at this and think the corners make more sense, of course because the corners are crying out loud and they are on the outside and the whole number. However if we bust it at the corner and then we try to outline that corner it's not can to render out properly. It's not going to render as a nice miter corner, it's going to render as a cap, a butt cap specifically. That's not what we want, so we're going to do far less damage if we break the path at the smooth points and I think this will make more sense as we work along here. I want you to just trust me for a moment here and grab the Scissors tool which if you're not seeing it you can get from the Eraser tool flyout menu, you can also select that tool by pressing the C key and then I want you to click at exactly that smooth point right there click on it in order to bust it up, in order break it in twin and it's very important that you click directly on that anchor point.

You don't want to click slightly to the side of it and create yet another new anchor point because that's going to mess things up. Then click on this anchor point right there and then you won't see the other smooth point, you need to click on because this path outline is now deselected. So press and hold the Ctrl key or the Command key on a Mac and just drag around that area to select it like so and the Ctrl or Command key gets you to the Arrow tool on a fly. Then release the key and once you see that anchor point click on it. So in other words we clicked here, here and here, on each of the three smooth points inside of this shape.

We have busted up that path outlined into three pieces if you twirl open the live paint #2 layer, you'll see that you have got an orange path which is a circle and then three green paths like so which are each of these pieces that we broke apart from each other. All right now go back your Black Arrow tool, go-ahead and marquee all these path outlines to select them. Then I want you to go up to the Object menu, choose Path and choose Outline Stroke or if loaded Deke keys you can press Ctrl+Backslash or Command+Backslash on the Mac, in order to convert those strokes to path outlines.

Now let's go ahead and assign some strokes to these path outlines by going up to the Control panel once again and click on that Stroke Swatch and change it to rich Black and then I want you to change the Stroke Weight from one point to two point, like so and we end up getting this effect here and you can see that we now have all of the intersections so the path outlined is more or less intersecting itself. Now then we are going to join these path outlines together and we are going to do that like so, go ahead and grab your White Arrow tool and this part is a kind of a pain in the neck.

This is a labor-intensive we just have to kind of sit here and do the same thing over and over again. But grab your White Arrow tool and then marquee at that intersection right there in order to select those two path segments that are overlapping each other and press the Backspace key to get rid of them. And then I want you to marquee this top anchor point and because we need to join it back into a smooth point we now have two coincident endpoints here. We need to join them into a single smooth point, press mash your fist J, Ctrl+Shift+Alt+J or Command+Shift+Option+J on a Mac, to bring up the Join dialog box, click Smooth and click OK and get used to it because you have to do that five more times.

Marquee this point right there like so I'll press Ctrl+Shift+Alt+J, Command+Shift+Option+J on a Mac, click on Smooth, click OK. All right now we have got a repeat that process for these two intersections right here. Go ahead and marquee those two segments they are right on top of each other, the straight segments, make sure you don't get any anchor points or anything like that. just marquee the segments and then with them selected press the Backspace key or the Delete key on a Mac in order to get rid of them, marquee these two coincident endpoints, press Ctrl+Shift+Alt+J, Command+Shift+Option+J on a Mac, click on Smooth, click OK.

go-ahead and marquee these two coincident endpoints, press Ctrl+Shift+Alt+J, Command+Shift+Option+J on a Mac, click on Smooth, click OK in order to apply that again. Now so far we still have a single path outline which may amaze you, you may even think okay are we about to create a path that actually just naturally overlaps on top of itself that's like impossible? So what's going to happen when we really finish off this path outline because currently we have got a single path outlined that does this number that breaks at this point right there so we've got a break in the action and so that makes sense if you follow what's going on.

But once we fuse that together what's going to happen to the shape? Let me show you. I'll press Ctrl+Z a couple of times, Command+Z on a Mac in order to undo the movement of those points. I am going to marquee these two overlapping straight segments in order to select them. Press the Backspace key or the Delete key on a Mac, everything goes haywire, we now have two separate path outlines that's the way it's going to stay. Now I'll marquee these two points right there, these two anchor points and I'll press Ctrl+Shift+Alt+J, Command+Shift+Option+J for the fifth time, click on Smooth, click OK and then finally I can't see the anchor points but I know they are right their.

So I marquee this area and of course this assumes that you're selecting objects by the path outlines, that you're not marquee inside of a fill and dragging it around, just as I've suggested you do throughout the series now. Go ahead and marquee these two points like so and then press for the sixth and last time Ctrl+Shift+Alt+J, Command+Shift+Option+J on a Mac, click on Smooth and click OK and we now have these two independent paths. That's the way it's got to work, we were working with static path outlines like this. All right go ahead and grab the Selection tool once again, click on that innermost path outline like so and just you can have a vague sense of what's going on.

Let's go and change its Fill from Green to White and Fill is selected for me but if I just want to make sure on doing of the way that will work for everybody, I'll click on the Fill Swatch up here in the Control panel and click on White and that gives us this affect here. So we are still preserving these intersections, we have got everything we need believe it or not to pull off the final effect and I'll show you how to convert these path outlines into a live paint object that's going to do exactly what we wanted to do in the next exercise.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced
Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced

153 video lessons · 28274 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 38m 35s
    1. Welcome
      1m 48s
    2. Linking AI and EPS files to Illustrator
      6m 48s
    3. Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      7m 43s
    4. Remapping Mac OS shortcuts
      6m 56s
    5. Installing the Best Workflow color settings
      4m 54s
    6. The color settings explained
      7m 4s
    7. Preserve Numbers vs. embedded profiles
      3m 22s
  2. 1h 40m
    1. Converting pixels to vectors
      1m 2s
    2. Tracing an imported image
      6m 17s
    3. Other ways to trace
      3m 17s
    4. Raster and vector previews
      7m 2s
    5. Threshold, Min Area, and Max Colors
      5m 27s
    6. Tracing options: The raster functions
      8m 2s
    7. Using the Ignore White option
      5m 3s
    8. Tracing options: The vector functions
      6m 40s
    9. Expanding traced artwork
      5m 6s
    10. Sketching and drawing for Illustrator
      6m 24s
    11. Editing scanned line art
      9m 23s
    12. Adding contrast and color
      10m 32s
    13. Live Trace and resolution
      9m 8s
    14. Expanding and separating paths
      8m 43s
    15. Scaling and editing traced art
      8m 4s
  3. 1h 8m
    1. Gradients are good
      1m 15s
    2. Assigning a gradient fill
      6m 9s
    3. Using the gradient annotator
      7m 31s
    4. Editing multiple gradients
      4m 37s
    5. Establishing symmetrical gradients
      5m 28s
    6. Creating a radial gradient
      5m 46s
    7. Adjusting the midpoint skew
      3m 23s
    8. Mixing gradients with blend modes
      6m 11s
    9. Making a transparent gradient
      6m 42s
    10. Drop shadows and dynamic effects
      5m 58s
    11. Assigning a gradient to editable text
      5m 42s
    12. Editing text that includes dynamic effects
      2m 56s
    13. Assigning a gradient to a stroke
      6m 46s
  4. 1h 37m
    1. The earliest dynamic functions
      1m 10s
    2. The gradient-intensive illustration
      5m 26s
    3. Creating a multi-color blend
      7m 39s
    4. Establishing a clipping mask
      3m 34s
    5. Reinstating the mask colors
      9m 7s
    6. Editing blended paths
      6m 50s
    7. Adjusting the number of blended steps
      6m 49s
    8. Using the Blend tool
      4m 33s
    9. Blending between levels of opacity
      7m 32s
    10. Editing the path of the blend
      6m 22s
    11. Adding a custom path of the blend
      5m 4s
    12. Placing one mask inside another
      8m 33s
    13. Blending groups and adjusting the speed
      6m 1s
    14. Rotating objects in 3D space
      10m 21s
    15. Creating custom perspective guides
      8m 31s
  5. 1h 37m
    1. What was old is new again
      39s
    2. Introducing tile patterns
      6m 11s
    3. Determining the points of intersection
      6m 51s
    4. Extending paths from the intersections
      5m 40s
    5. Crafting symmetrical subpaths
      5m 38s
    6. The final flawed subpaths
      5m 52s
    7. Reconciling misaligned paths
      5m 34s
    8. Completing the core path outline
      6m 14s
    9. Making a symmetrical modification
      6m 47s
    10. Adjusting the interior elements
      8m 26s
    11. Coloring paths and testing the interlock
      9m 29s
    12. Establishing a rectangular tile
      6m 22s
    13. Defining a tile pattern
      3m 43s
    14. Creating a few color variations
      8m 50s
    15. Protecting patterns from transformations
      6m 9s
    16. Transforming patterns without paths
      5m 30s
  6. 1h 12m
    1. Filling and stroking virtual areas
      44s
    2. Introducing Live Paint
      7m 57s
    3. Stroking with the Live Paint Bucket tool
      5m 30s
    4. Using the Live Paint Selection tool
      7m 18s
    5. Adding a path to a Live Paint group
      4m 33s
    6. Building a classic Celtic knot
      8m 28s
    7. Constructing the base objects
      5m 31s
    8. Weaving one object into another
      6m 13s
    9. Creating a path that overlaps itself
      7m 15s
    10. Painting a path that overlaps itself
      5m 34s
    11. Creating knots inside knots
      5m 2s
    12. Adding gradients and depth
      8m 22s
  7. 1h 4m
    1. Dynamic effects and OpenType
      1m 12s
    2. Applying a dynamic effect to type
      5m 43s
    3. Creating a basic bevel effect
      4m 12s
    4. Building up a multi-stroke effect
      4m 49s
    5. Best practices for 3D type
      6m 34s
    6. Applying a "path wiggler" to type
      6m 14s
    7. Drop shadows and Raster Effects settings
      4m 52s
    8. Duplicating attributes and effects
      7m 8s
    9. Editing type with dynamic effects
      7m 27s
    10. Ligatures, swashes, ordinals, and fractions
      5m 45s
    11. Small caps and the Glyphs panel
      4m 25s
    12. Warping text and increasing resolution
      6m 9s
  8. 1h 44m
    1. A world of colors at your beck and call
      1m 32s
    2. Customizing a letterform to make a logo
      8m 37s
    3. Creating a custom drop shadow effect
      6m 26s
    4. Introducing the Color Guide panel
      9m 3s
    5. Harmonies and Color Guide settings
      5m 39s
    6. Lifting harmony rules from color groups
      7m 21s
    7. Harmony layouts and the Lab color wheel
      8m 15s
    8. Working inside the Edit Color dialog box
      6m 36s
    9. Limiting a color group to spot colors
      5m 47s
    10. Recoloring selected artwork
      5m 50s
    11. Recoloring with custom color groups
      6m 1s
    12. Swapping colors with the Color Bars feature
      5m 18s
    13. Using the options in the Assign panel
      8m 41s
    14. Moving color groups between documents
      7m 17s
    15. Distilling your artwork to one spot-color ink
      7m 45s
    16. Recoloring artwork that contains gradients
      4m 17s
  9. 1h 21m
    1. How symbols work
      1m 2s
    2. The power of symbols
      5m 1s
    3. Creating new symbols
      6m 0s
    4. Enabling the new 9-slice scaling
      4m 24s
    5. Adjusting your 9-slice scaling guides
      6m 54s
    6. Previewing and acquiring symbols
      4m 12s
    7. Finding a symbol and creating an instance
      4m 13s
    8. Duplicating and replacing instances
      4m 19s
    9. Breaking a symbol link and envelope fidelity
      5m 26s
    10. Distorting and expanding a symbol
      4m 54s
    11. Updating an existing symbol definition
      3m 40s
    12. Recoloring a symbol definition
      4m 13s
    13. Applying a basic "local" color adjustment
      5m 20s
    14. Applying a more elaborate local color adjustment
      5m 4s
    15. Laying down a random symbol set
      5m 35s
    16. The eight symbolism tools
      6m 55s
    17. Editing selected instances
      4m 11s
  10. 1h 32m
    1. Illustrator needs Photoshop
      1m 1s
    2. Two ways to place a pixel-based image
      6m 6s
    3. Working with linked images
      6m 6s
    4. Linking versus embedding
      9m 38s
    5. Stroking and blending an image
      6m 16s
    6. Adding a clipping mask and page curl
      6m 51s
    7. Creating a blended border effect
      7m 10s
    8. Rasterizing your artwork in Photoshop
      8m 0s
    9. Saving a flat raster file from Photoshop
      4m 58s
    10. Restoring cropped border elements
      5m 39s
    11. Copying and pasting into Photoshop
      6m 27s
    12. Working with Photoshop Smart Objects
      5m 26s
    13. Adding a pixel-based layer effect
      4m 12s
    14. Editing a Vector Smart Object in Illustrator
      7m 20s
    15. Creating and placing a transparent image
      7m 1s
  11. 1h 15m
    1. The many forms of transparency
      1m 29s
    2. Real-world blending modes
      7m 57s
    3. Exporting transparency from Illustrator
      6m 24s
    4. Opacity and blending modes
      6m 18s
    5. The Darken and Lighten modes
      7m 17s
    6. The Contrast, Inversion, and HSL modes
      6m 12s
    7. Blending modes in action
      5m 11s
    8. Creating a knockout group
      6m 14s
    9. Confirming the viability of your artwork
      6m 8s
    10. Introducing the opacity mask
      4m 6s
    11. Making an opacity mask
      5m 25s
    12. Drawing inside an opacity mask
      3m 34s
    13. Creating a gradient opacity mask
      5m 29s
    14. Adding an opacity mask to a single object
      3m 22s
  12. 1m 13s
    1. Until next time
      1m 13s

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