Start learning with our library of video tutorials taught by experts. Get started

Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials
Illustration by John Hersey

Cutting, separating, and closing paths


From:

Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials

with Deke McClelland

Video: Cutting, separating, and closing paths

I have done a little work between the exercises. I've gone ahead and finished off many of the paths associated with this creature. Now, if you're persistently working along with me, I am not for a second suggesting that you abandon your work and come join me inside of this document. You can if you wish, but if you want to finish your Mischipizheu, then finish that Mischipizheu, and then come back and join me here inside of this exercise, All right? Okay we'll wait. ::Whistles:: Oh, you're back. All right, awesome. So here we are inside of a document called Mishi paths.ai and it's included inside of the 07_pen_tool folder and notice that altogether I've got a total of five paths that are tracing around said Mischipizheu.
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 59m 53s
    1. Welcome to Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials
      2m 0s
    2. The unwelcome Welcome screen
      6m 35s
    3. Browsing Illustrator artwork
      4m 53s
    4. Bridge workspaces and favorites
      6m 8s
    5. The anatomy of an illustration
      7m 2s
    6. Examining a layered illustration
      5m 38s
    7. Customizing an illustration
      5m 21s
    8. Creating a new document
      6m 12s
    9. Changing the document setup
      6m 51s
    10. Saving a document
      6m 14s
    11. Closing multiple files
      2m 59s
  2. 1h 3m
    1. Preferences, color settings, and workspaces
      55s
    2. Keyboard Increment and Object Selection
      5m 52s
    3. Scratch Disks and Appearance of Black
      6m 43s
    4. Establishing the best color settings
      5m 35s
    5. Synchronizing color settings in Bridge
      4m 3s
    6. The new CS3 interface
      3m 55s
    7. Organizing the palettes
      9m 4s
    8. Saving your workspace
      2m 33s
    9. Zooming and scrolling
      3m 39s
    10. Using the Zoom tool
      5m 27s
    11. The Navigator palette
      3m 37s
    12. Nudging the screen image
      2m 50s
    13. Scroll wheel tricks
      3m 11s
    14. Cycling between screen modes
      5m 56s
  3. 1h 4m
    1. Why learn Illustrator from a Photoshop guy?
      1m 32s
    2. Introducing layers
      4m 37s
    3. Creating ruler guides
      6m 34s
    4. Creating a custom guide
      3m 28s
    5. Organizing your guides
      5m 50s
    6. Making a tracing template
      3m 34s
    7. Drawing a line segment
      4m 10s
    8. Drawing a continuous arc
      4m 17s
    9. Drawing a looping spiral
      5m 17s
    10. Cutting lines with the Scissors tool
      6m 45s
    11. Aligning and joining points
      7m 58s
    12. Drawing concentric circles
      3m 45s
    13. Cleaning up overlapping segments
      6m 21s
  4. 1h 9m
    1. The anatomy of a shape
      1m 1s
    2. Meet the Tonalpohualli
      4m 8s
    3. Meet the geometric shape tools
      3m 47s
    4. Drawing circles
      6m 36s
    5. Snapping and aligning shapes
      7m 0s
    6. Polygons and stars
      7m 0s
    7. Rectangles and rounded rectangles
      6m 16s
    8. The amazing constraint axes
      6m 30s
    9. Grouping a flipping
      7m 37s
    10. Combining simple shapes into complex ones
      6m 36s
    11. Drawing with Scissors and Join
      6m 3s
    12. Cutting and connecting in Illustrator CS3
      3m 49s
    13. Tilde key goofiness
      2m 55s
  5. 1h 22m
    1. Three simple ingredients, one complex result
      33s
    2. Introducing Fill and Stroke
      3m 42s
    3. Accessing color libraries and sliders
      7m 8s
    4. Using the CMYK sliders for print output
      5m 6s
    5. Using the RGB sliders for screen output
      4m 39s
    6. Color palette tips and tricks
      4m 46s
    7. Creating and saving color swatches
      4m 14s
    8. Trapping gaps with rich blacks
      7m 58s
    9. Filling and stacking shapes
      5m 17s
    10. Dragging and dropping swatches
      6m 16s
    11. Paste in Back, Paste in Front
      5m 43s
    12. Filling shapes inside groups
      5m 16s
    13. Pasting between layers
      3m 34s
    14. Joins, caps, and dashes
      5m 50s
    15. Fixing strokes and isolating your edits
      7m 35s
    16. Creating a pattern fill
      4m 38s
  6. 1h 22m
    1. The power of transformations
      1m 25s
    2. From primitives to polished art
      4m 4s
    3. Clone and Duplicate
      6m 15s
    4. Moving by the numbers
      4m 16s
    5. Using the Reshape tool
      6m 30s
    6. Modifying, aligning, and uniting paths
      7m 0s
    7. Using the Offset Path command
      4m 25s
    8. Styling and eyedropping
      4m 11s
    9. The wonders of the translucent group
      5m 37s
    10. Making a black-and-white template
      3m 48s
    11. Scaling and cloning shapes
      4m 26s
    12. Enlarging and stacking shapes
      5m 6s
    13. Positioning the origin point
      6m 50s
    14. Using the Rotate and Reflect tools
      5m 16s
    15. Series rotation (aka power duplication)
      4m 3s
    16. Rotating by the numbers
      5m 15s
    17. Rotating repeating pattern fills
      4m 32s
  7. 1h 4m
    1. Points are boys, control handles are girls
      2m 16s
    2. Tracing a scanned image or photograph
      4m 34s
    3. Placing an image as a template
      5m 32s
    4. Drawing a straight-sided path
      5m 36s
    5. Moving, adding, and deleting points
      5m 51s
    6. Drawing spline curves with Round Corners
      7m 56s
    7. Smooth points and Bézier curves
      8m 12s
    8. Defining a cusp between two curves
      4m 37s
    9. Adjusting handles and converting points
      7m 4s
    10. Cutting, separating, and closing paths
      7m 31s
    11. Eyedropping template colors
      5m 11s
  8. 1h 28m
    1. Paths never rest
      1m 42s
    2. Meet Uzz, Cloying Corporate Mascot
      2m 22s
    3. Exploring the Appearance palette
      5m 37s
    4. Snip and Spin
      7m 28s
    5. Adding a center point
      3m 57s
    6. Keeping shape intersections
      3m 8s
    7. Lifting fills and selecting through shapes
      4m 14s
    8. Saving and recalling selections
      5m 18s
    9. Rotating is a circular operation
      7m 35s
    10. Lassoing and scaling points
      6m 8s
    11. Using the Transform Each command
      5m 9s
    12. Using the Magic Wand tool
      6m 46s
    13. Converting paths and text to rich black
      2m 27s
    14. The overwrought lace pattern
      3m 21s
    15. Eyedropping Live Effects
      5m 39s
    16. Merging strokes with a compound path
      6m 32s
    17. Selecting and scaling independent segments
      6m 30s
    18. Pucker & Bloat
      4m 49s
  9. 1m 59s
    1. See ya for now
      1m 59s

Watch this entire course now—plus get access to every course in the library. Each course includes high-quality videos taught by expert instructors.

Become a member
Please wait...
Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials
9h 36m Beginner May 18, 2007

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Adobe Illustrator has long been the most popular and viable vector-drawing program on the market but, for many, the learning curve is steep. In Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials , author and leading industry expert Deke McClelland teaches the key features of Illustrator in a way that anyone can understand. He also goes beyond that, showing users how to get into the Illustrator "mindset" to make mastering Illustrator simple and easy. The training covers how to use the core drawing and shape tools, the transformation and reshaping features, text and gradients, and color management and printing features. Even if learning Illustrator has been a struggle in the past, this time it is going to make sense. Exercise files accompany the training.

Subject:
Design
Software:
Illustrator
Author:
Deke McClelland

Cutting, separating, and closing paths

I have done a little work between the exercises. I've gone ahead and finished off many of the paths associated with this creature. Now, if you're persistently working along with me, I am not for a second suggesting that you abandon your work and come join me inside of this document. You can if you wish, but if you want to finish your Mischipizheu, then finish that Mischipizheu, and then come back and join me here inside of this exercise, All right? Okay we'll wait. ::Whistles:: Oh, you're back. All right, awesome. So here we are inside of a document called Mishi paths.ai and it's included inside of the 07_pen_tool folder and notice that altogether I've got a total of five paths that are tracing around said Mischipizheu.

And if I go ahead and click on the paths with the black arrow tool we can see them here. There's one big path that traces around the creature's head and the scales along it's back, and the bottom of the body and the rear front leg right here. And that's a closed path by the way. The other four paths are all open paths. We have three open paths devoted to each of the creature's other legs, and then we have this open path that traces up the back of the body and around the snout. Now I'd like to pass along a few tricks related to cutting paths apart, that is cutting one path in twain, separating paths from each other and closing paths inside of Illustrator.

Let's say for example, there's this path that goes along the back of the creature and around its snout. Let's say I want those really to be two separate paths. I want one path to go along the back and then discontinue at a certain point. And then I want a separate path for the muzzle right here. Why then, I would go ahead and grab my Scissors Tool and then I would click at the location where I want to cut the paths. And let's say I want to cut it about right there, so I'll click with my Scissors Tool to cut it at that location and now I can see that the endpoint associated with the muzzle path is selected. So I just press the Backspace key and I've separated those two paths from each other.

But let's say the opposite occurs. I'll go ahead and undo that modification there. For some reason, let's say. I'll go ahead and grab my white arrow tool for a moment and I'll marquee these points. Let's say you look at the point and you figure out that it's this point over here that's selected, and so if you were to press the Backspace key you'd end up getting rid of this point and leaving this point, which is not what you want. Understand what I'm saying? This is what you do in that case, you would go ahead and marquee the two endpoints, what are now two independent endpoints.

You would marquee them with the white arrow tool and then you would press and hold the Shift and the Alt keys at the same time, or Shift and Option on the Mac and you would click, click, in order to select and then deselect that back path there. So the first Shift+Alt-click or Shift+Option-click on a Mac, would select the entire path. The second Shift+Alt-click or Shift+Option-click would deselect the entire path. And now we know just this point, just this endpoint is selected, then you can press the Backspace key.

So I just want to arm you with as many techniques as possible. Now notice that I've got multiple points selected inside of this muzzle and I can see the control handles. That option and that allowed me to see those control handles that I selected in a former exercise, that is a persistent setting. So if you don't want to see control handles at this point anymore for multiple selected items that you've selected here with the white arrow tool, then just go ahead and drag around one of the points, so that you can see that option again here inside the Control palette, and then switch from the first Handles icon to the second one, to hide the handles for multiple selected anchor points.

See what I'm saying? So I went and switched to the hidden one there just to keep things tidy on screen. Now I'm going to grab my Pen Tool and let's say I want to trace along these eye paths right there and I get to this location, and I think, Gosh I could just trace around the nose like so, and then go up the eyes, but that looks dorky. That makes him look like he's got real droopy, fleshy front of the nose and I don't want that, so I'll go ahead and undo that last point there. But my Pen Tool is showing me that it's ready and willing to continue this path. What do I want to do? If I want to abandon this path, not abandon it, but finish it off and then start a new one, why then I would press Control+Shift+A, or Command+ Shift+A on the Mac in order to deselect that path, and if you prefer, you could go up to the Select menu and you could choose the Deselect command.

Then notice now that my Pen Tool shows an X next to it. So now I can start a new path. So by deselecting a path, you also deactivate it. Something to bear in mind as you're working along with the Pen Tool here. And then finally, what if you want to close a path? Like let's imagine that we want to take this rear hind leg, and we want to close it, because otherwise Illustrator's just going to close up the path. If we fill it, Illustrator's going to close off the path with a straight segment.

It's not going to actually stroke that segment, but it's going to fill it inside of that segment, and we run the risk, if we end up modifying the curvature of this path down here, we run the risk of exposing an edge in the background and I want to make sure that we don't expose any background. So I'm going to go ahead and add a humping sort of segment right here, in order to bring that segment well into the body of the animal. I'll show you what I mean. I'm going to go ahead and drag from this location and that apparently was a really bad thing to do. This is something that's worth pointing out too. Do you see what happened? My path up here was still active. I didn't take the time to deactivate it.

So that got me in a world of pain down here, because Illustrator went ahead and thoughtfully connected, just because it knew that's what I wanted to do, because I hadn't told it otherwise, it went ahead and connected that upstairs path to this downstairs path, and I don't think there's any rationale for connecting the creature's eyes to his hind rear leg. So let's not do that. What do you say? So I'll go ahead and press Control+Z or Command+Z on the Mac Let's just press Control+Shift+A or Command+Shift+A so that we can all settle down here. So that I've deselected all the paths and nothing is active anymore. Now I can go ahead and drag from this endpoint, but oops.

That goes ahead and adds a smooth point. All right go ahead and undo that as well. Control+Z or Command+Z on the Mac. I'll Alt-drag from this location or Option-drag in order to add a cusp point. Now I can go ahead and close the paths. Notice if you look closely at my cursor, it has a little o next to it to show me that it's going to close off the path. And if I click, I'll close it with a corner point where I've clipped away the control handle that's associated with this segment here. So that's bad. If I drag I'll create a smooth point, and that's a little difficult to control. So I would say that's bad as well. So what do I do? Everybody, I press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and drag in order to close things off with a cusp point. So just a few different things to bear in mind inside Illustrator when it comes time to cut paths, separate them from each other, and close them off.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials.


Expand all | Collapse all
Please wait...
Q: When trying to synchronize color settings between all Creative Suite programs in Bridge, the Creative Suite Color Settings command either does not appear in the Edit menu or does not work. What is causing this?
A: If the Color Setting command is not available or does not function, it's because Bridge thinks that a single application (such as Photoshop or Illustrator), is installed and not one of the many versions of the Creative Suite.
If only Photoshop or Illustrator is installed, skip the exercise and move on.
If the entire Creative Suite is installed, then, unfortunately, there is no easy fix. Either contact Adobe or completely reinstall the Creative Suite.
Share a link to this course
Please wait... Please wait...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.
Upgrade now


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Upgrade now

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Welcome to the redesigned course page.

We’ve moved some things around, and now you can



Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked