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Creating a simple pattern


Illustrator CS6 New Features

with Justin Seeley

Video: Creating a simple pattern

Creating a simple pattern provides you with in-depth training on Design. Taught by Justin Seeley as part of the Illustrator CS6 New Features
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Watch the Online Video Course Illustrator CS6 New Features
Video Duration: 3m 37s56m 58s Intermediate Apr 23, 2012 Updated Oct 04, 2012

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With the CS6 release, Adobe Illustrator is turning 25 and has a new look and a few new features. In this course, Justin Seeley hosts a tour of the interface changes and the tools introduced in this version. The course covers Pattern Options for creating simple, repeatable patterns for web graphics, advanced tracing options with the Image Tracing tool, and the improved performance and file management features. Justin also discusses the exclusive features you get with the Creative Cloud subscription to Illustrator, like the ability to quickly unembed images and one-click file packaging.

This course was updated on 10/04/2012.

Topics include:
  • Adjusting the interface brightness
  • Understanding updates to panels and preferences
  • Creating a repeatable pattern
  • Performing a basic trace
  • Converting pixels to paths
  • Understanding what 64-bit support means for you
  • Introducing startup profiles
  • Understanding the Save for Web changes
  • Enhancing artwork with gradients on strokes
  • Working with the improved Gaussian Blur
Justin Seeley

Creating a simple pattern

Once you have a better understanding of the Pattern Options that are available to you in Illustrator, you're ready to create your first pattern swatch. In this movie, I'll be walking you through how to create a simple pattern using a shape that I have here on my artboard. So the first thing I need to do is select my shape. Select it like so, and then I'll go to Object > Pattern, and select Make. Once I click Make, Illustrator automatically adds my New Pattern swatch over here to my Swatches panel and I have the option to name it. So I'll go ahead and name this Blue Flower.

Directly underneath that, I can change the type of tiling that I use. By default, it's set to Grid, but in this case, I'm going to change it to Hex by Row, which means hexagon and I want it to go by row. I can also choose to Size the Tile to the Artwork. If I do that, I have the ability to change the Horizontal and Vertical Spacing. So in this case, I'm going to change the Horizontal Spacing to 20 points, and I'm going to change the Vertical Spacing to 15 points. That's just going to give a little bit of extra space in between each one of the tiles, making the shape a little bit more recognizable.

I can also change the number of copies if I wish. In this case, I'm going to switch that to 3x3, you'll notice the pattern gets significantly smaller. Once I'm finished with that, I can go up to the top, and choose Done. Selecting Done makes your pattern sort of disappear, but don't freak out, your pattern is actually saved over here in the Swatches panel as Blue Flower. So now, you can apply this to any other shape or object that you want here inside of Illustrator. So let me take this piece of artwork here, and I'll move it up and to the left out of my way.

I'll then go over and grab my Rectangle tool and I'll draw out a rectangle like so. If I want to fill this rectangle with my new pattern that I've created, I can simply go back over to the Swatches panel with that rectangle selected and click on Blue Flower. Doing that automatically fills this rectangle with that pattern. If I'm happy with the pattern, I'm finished. If I don't like it, and in this case, I'm not real thrilled with it, I can actually make an edit right here. All I have to do is find the Pattern Swatch and double-click it. Double-clicking it automatically enters you into Pattern Editing mode.

This means you can make any changes to this you want, and when you're done, you click Done, and the changes are reflected in your swatch. You also have the ability to save a copy of this swatch, so that you have a whole different swatch in your library. In this case, I want the pattern to be significantly smaller. So I'm going to click on the artwork, and then I'm going to hold down my Shift key, and my Option key on Mac, the Alt key on PC, and I'll drag it down to resize the artwork. You'll notice when I do that, the rest of the flowers follow suit because I have it set to Size the Tile to the artwork.

So I'll shrink this down. I'm also going to change the number of copies. I want this to be 9x9; pretty big change. Once I'm done, I'll simply save a copy of it. I'll call this new pattern Small Blue Flowers, and hit OK. Once I've done that, it tells me that a new pattern has been added to my Swatches panel. I'm going to say Don't show this again, because I don't need this to appear each, and every time I do this. I'll hit OK. Then I'll simply click Done. You'll notice that when I click Done, my new pattern is now reflected inside of my shape that I was working on.

I also have two new patterns; Blue Flower and Small Blue Flowers, and I can apply those to any object inside of Illustrator. So there you have it! How to quickly create a new pattern here inside of Illustrator using the all new Pattern Options feature. Take some time and explore this feature on your own and you'll be amazed at the type of stuff you can create.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Illustrator CS6 New Features .

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Q: This course was updated on 10/04/12. What changed?
A: We added a new chapter to address the new features that come with Illustrator when you have an Adobe Creative Cloud membership. These include features like the ability to quickly unembed images and one-click file packaging.
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