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Illustrator CS6 Essential Training
Illustration by John Hersey

Creating your own pattern fill


From:

Illustrator CS6 Essential Training

with Justin Seeley

Video: Creating your own pattern fill

Traditionally, creating your own patterns inside of Illustrator has been somewhat of a tedious task. In this movie, I am going to show you how Illustrator CS6 has really changed the game when it comes to creating your own pattern swatches. I've got several pieces of artwork here on my artboard and I want to take some of those and create a repeatable pattern for use on web backgrounds and other projects. So let's go ahead and take a look at some of these pieces of artwork and how I can turn them into a pattern. The first one I am going to select is this one right here. I will grab this piece of artwork and I am just going to copy it to my clipboard by using Command+C or Ctrl+C. I'm then going to hit Command+N or Ctrl+N to create a new document.
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  1. 1m 15s
    1. What is Illustrator?
      1m 15s
  2. 2m 17s
    1. Welcome
      58s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 19s
  3. 41m 25s
    1. Understanding vector graphics
      5m 0s
    2. Setting preferences
      9m 24s
    3. Touring the interface
      9m 41s
    4. Exploring the panels
      6m 54s
    5. Working with the Control panel
      4m 25s
    6. Creating and saving workspaces
      6m 1s
  4. 43m 42s
    1. Creating files for print
      4m 42s
    2. Creating files for the web
      3m 36s
    3. Managing multiple documents
      3m 25s
    4. Navigating within a document
      5m 21s
    5. Using rulers, guides, and grids
      6m 59s
    6. Changing units of measurement
      1m 50s
    7. Using preview modes
      3m 10s
    8. Creating and using custom views
      3m 12s
    9. Locking and hiding artwork
      3m 43s
    10. Creating and using artboards
      7m 44s
  5. 1h 1m
    1. Setting your selection preferences
      5m 57s
    2. Using the Direct Selection and Group Selection tools
      4m 6s
    3. Using the Magic Wand tool
      5m 45s
    4. Using the Lasso tool
      4m 9s
    5. Selecting objects by attribute
      6m 48s
    6. Grouping objects
      3m 7s
    7. Using isolation mode
      4m 48s
    8. Resizing your artwork
      3m 55s
    9. Rotating objects
      2m 10s
    10. Distorting and transforming objects
      6m 26s
    11. Repeating transformations
      5m 6s
    12. Reflecting and skewing objects
      4m 54s
    13. Aligning and distributing objects
      4m 38s
  6. 29m 27s
    1. RGB vs. CMYK
      1m 46s
    2. Adjusting Illustrator color settings
      5m 10s
    3. Process vs. global swatches
      5m 6s
    4. Creating spot colors
      3m 40s
    5. Using the swatch groups
      2m 33s
    6. Working with color libraries
      3m 17s
    7. Importing swatches
      4m 4s
    8. Using the Color Guide panel
      3m 51s
  7. 57m 36s
    1. Understanding fills and strokes
      4m 18s
    2. Working with fills
      4m 58s
    3. Working with strokes
      8m 46s
    4. Creating dashes and arrows
      8m 1s
    5. Creating variable-width strokes
      4m 3s
    6. Using width profiles
      3m 31s
    7. Outlining strokes
      3m 51s
    8. Creating and editing gradients
      5m 45s
    9. Applying gradients to strokes
      3m 8s
    10. Applying and editing pattern fills
      4m 52s
    11. Creating your own pattern fill
      6m 23s
  8. 20m 20s
    1. Understanding paths
      2m 41s
    2. Understanding anchor points
      4m 20s
    3. Working with open and closed paths
      5m 28s
    4. Joining and averaging paths
      4m 9s
    5. Using the Scissors tool and the Knife tool
      3m 42s
  9. 37m 56s
    1. Understanding drawing modes
      4m 23s
    2. Creating compound paths
      5m 15s
    3. Creating compound shapes
      4m 11s
    4. Working with the Shape Builder tool
      6m 32s
    5. Working with the Blob Brush and Eraser tools
      5m 26s
    6. Working with the Paintbrush and Pencil tools
      7m 8s
    7. Smoothing and erasing paths
      5m 1s
  10. 35m 53s
    1. Exploring the Pen tool
      2m 39s
    2. Drawing straight lines
      5m 12s
    3. Drawing simple curves
      5m 23s
    4. Understanding the many faces of the Pen tool
      6m 10s
    5. Converting corners and curves
      1m 46s
    6. Your keyboard is your friend
      2m 14s
    7. Tracing artwork with the Pen tool
      12m 29s
  11. 35m 33s
    1. Adjusting your type settings
      4m 10s
    2. Creating point and area text
      3m 36s
    3. Basic text editing
      2m 14s
    4. Creating threaded text
      4m 59s
    5. Using the type panels
      9m 48s
    6. Creating text on a path
      5m 11s
    7. Converting text into paths
      1m 43s
    8. Saving time with keyboard shortcuts
      3m 52s
  12. 27m 25s
    1. Exploring the Appearance panel
      4m 44s
    2. Explaining attribute stacking order
      1m 40s
    3. Applying multiple fills
      3m 1s
    4. Applying multiple strokes
      4m 20s
    5. Adjusting appearance with live effects
      4m 46s
    6. Saving appearances as graphic styles
      8m 54s
  13. 20m 44s
    1. Exploring the Layers panel
      4m 18s
    2. Creating and editing layers
      3m 27s
    3. Targeting objects in the Layers panel
      3m 3s
    4. Working with sublayers
      3m 0s
    5. Hiding, locking, and deleting layers
      4m 14s
    6. Using the Layers panel menu
      2m 42s
  14. 46m 0s
    1. Placing images into Illustrator
      2m 53s
    2. Working with the Links panel
      6m 5s
    3. Embedding images into Illustrator
      3m 12s
    4. Cropping images with a mask
      5m 8s
    5. Exploring the Image Trace panel
      12m 14s
    6. Tracing photographs
      8m 6s
    7. Tracing line art
      4m 33s
    8. Converting pixels to paths
      3m 49s
  15. 19m 21s
    1. What are symbols?
      2m 45s
    2. Using prebuilt symbols
      3m 3s
    3. Using the Symbol Sprayer tool
      4m 19s
    4. Creating new symbols
      3m 50s
    5. Breaking the symbol link
      3m 19s
    6. Redefining symbols
      2m 5s
  16. 12m 9s
    1. Defining a perspective grid
      4m 29s
    2. Drawing artwork in perspective
      3m 49s
    3. Applying artwork to the grid
      3m 51s
  17. 35m 7s
    1. Printing your artwork
      6m 16s
    2. Saving your artwork
      2m 2s
    3. Saving in legacy formats
      3m 0s
    4. Saving templates
      4m 18s
    5. Creating PDF files
      5m 23s
    6. Saving for the web
      4m 46s
    7. Creating high-res bitmap images
      3m 58s
    8. Using Illustrator files in Photoshop and InDesign
      5m 24s
  18. 56s
    1. Next steps
      56s

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Illustrator CS6 Essential Training
8h 48m Beginner May 07, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Adobe Illustrator can be used to accomplish many different design tasks, from illustration to app development. This course demonstrates core concepts and techniques that can be applied to any workflow—for print, the web, or building assets that will find their way into other applications. Author Justin Seeley explains the elements that make up vector graphics (paths, strokes, and fills) while showing how to use each of the drawing tools, and demonstrates how to combine and clean up paths and organize them into groups and layers. The course also covers text editing, working with color, effects, and much more.

Topics include:
  • Understanding vector graphics
  • Creating and setting up files for print or web destinations
  • Selecting and transforming objects on the page
  • Creating spot colors
  • Applying fills, strokes, and gradients to artwork
  • Adjusting appearances and effects
  • Working with anchor points and paths
  • Drawing with the Pen tool
  • Creating text
  • Managing layers
  • Creating and using symbols
  • Printing, saving, and exporting artwork
Subject:
Design
Software:
Illustrator
Author:
Justin Seeley

Creating your own pattern fill

Traditionally, creating your own patterns inside of Illustrator has been somewhat of a tedious task. In this movie, I am going to show you how Illustrator CS6 has really changed the game when it comes to creating your own pattern swatches. I've got several pieces of artwork here on my artboard and I want to take some of those and create a repeatable pattern for use on web backgrounds and other projects. So let's go ahead and take a look at some of these pieces of artwork and how I can turn them into a pattern. The first one I am going to select is this one right here. I will grab this piece of artwork and I am just going to copy it to my clipboard by using Command+C or Ctrl+C. I'm then going to hit Command+N or Ctrl+N to create a new document.

You could go to File > New as well. Under Profile, I am going to select Web, because let's say I am making a web background and I'll choose 1024x768, and I will hit OK. Once I do that, I'll hit Command+V or Ctrl+V on my keyboard. Then I will just grab my Zoom tool, and I'll zoom in on this little piece of artwork. Once I have the artwork selected, if I want to change it into a pattern I simply go to Object > Pattern and select Make.

Immediately it jumps me into what's called Pattern Editing mode and as you can see, it has created a really nice repeatable pattern out my artwork. In other applications, this is really tough to do, but in Illustrator it handles it amazingly. Here is what I am going to do, I am going to name this pattern and I am just going to call this crazy pattern, this is kind of a crazy design. Next let's take a look at the Tile Type. I have Grid, which is what we are looking at here, Brick by Row, Brick by Column, which is actually my favorite, Hex by Column, which in my opinion clutters things up a little too much, and Hex by Row.

For this particular design, I think I am going to stick with Brick by Column. Once I have that selected, I can also select the Brick Offset. I can go with 2/3, 3/4, 1/5, any number of changes that I want to make, I can do so. And basically, it's based off of how much of this is being cut off and repeated around. That fraction of the pattern being shifted around changes how the pattern looks. If I wanted to go back, I can go back to the default of 1/2, which looks pretty good.

I can also change the Width and Height of this as well. If I'm changing the Width and Height, I probably want to constrain the proportions by clicking this little chain link right here. That way everything scales in proportion. You can see when I do this, it changes everything on the artboard including the artwork in the middle. I can also size the tile to the artwork, meaning that the tile that's repeated will size as I resize artwork. In this case, I am just going to leave it on the Width and Height that I've got here. I can also choose to move the tile with the art.

So if I come out here and I grab the artwork and move it, the tile moves with it. If I choose not to do that, I can move this, and the tile remains right here. It's an interesting way to change how the pattern is laid out and how it works. In this case though, I am going to choose Move Tile with Art, and you notice when I do it, it moves it again. If I want to re-center this inside the tile, I have to uncheck the box, move it back in, and go from there, then I will check that box again.

I can also change the overlap down here at the bottom. You have the ability to choose between Left in Front or Right in Front. That means objects on the left are in front of objects on the right, or objects on right are in front of objects on the left, and you can also choose whether or not the top is in front of the bottom. This is for when you expand this out where the objects are going to lie in the stacking order. Finally, you have the ability to change the copies. In this case, it's 5x5, but I can go as high as 9x9. You can also choose to dim the other copies that are being shown on screen.

This is a great way to see exactly where your original artwork is lying within the pattern, so you can make changes at any time. You can also Show the Tile Edge if you want to. If If you don't want to, turn it off. And then finally, you can choose to show the Swatch Bounds. Showing the Swatch Bounds shows you exactly what's encompassed by the pattern. So in this case it goes all the way out and grabs these pieces of the pattern, which is what makes it easily repeatable all the way around the outside. Once you do that, you're pretty much ready to go.

But in this case, I think I want to add some different pieces to this as well and I can do that really easily. Let's jump back over into my patterns document for a second and let's grab some more artwork. I'll go ahead and grab this little pinwheel like flower and I'll copy it, then I will bring it back over. If I paste it in, you're going to notice that it becomes part of the pattern. I can shrink it down, then I'll move it somewhere like this. You can see that it becomes a part of the pattern. Let's copy that and I'll paste it, and then I will move another one right here, let's copy that one, paste it, place it right there, let's copy that one. As you can see, I am just adding these little flowers all throughout my design.

If I wanted to add anything else, I could certainly do so. Anytime I move these they automatically move in the design as well. Once I am finished with this swatch, I can go ahead and hit Done. Hitting Done commits to the change, and I am taken right back out to my original artwork. But the small flowers are gone. Why? Because, I pasted them into the pattern swatch itself. I didn't paste them into this document. So now I can actually come over and delete this piece of artwork, and then I can grab something like the Star tool and draw out a star.

With my star on my artboard, I can come over to my pattern Swatches and find crazy pattern. Once I hit crazy pattern, it's applied inside the star. Then I could throw in a stroke or whatever else I needed to finish off the design. So as you can see, you can create some really amazing patterns here inside of Illustrator by editing them yourself and adding your own artwork. This is going to be great for fashion designers that want to do patterns for clothes, or even people that want to create textures for web backgrounds and banners. There's no limit to the possibilities of what you can do with this and if you get creative enough you can create some really stunning artwork.

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