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Deconstructing the Pathfinder panel

From: Illustrator Insider Training: Drawing without the Pen Tool

Video: Deconstructing the Pathfinder panel

We have already discussed this concept called building artwork inside of Illustrator and in reality this whole concept of building artwork began when a certain function was added to Illustrator called Pathfinder. Pathfinder was added way back in like Illustrator 5 or 6, in that timeframe, and when it first was added to Illustrator, it was actually available as some commands, available from a menu. However, in time it was turned into its own panel, which you can find by going to the Window menu and now scrolling down to the bottom here and choosing Pathfinder.

Deconstructing the Pathfinder panel

We have already discussed this concept called building artwork inside of Illustrator and in reality this whole concept of building artwork began when a certain function was added to Illustrator called Pathfinder. Pathfinder was added way back in like Illustrator 5 or 6, in that timeframe, and when it first was added to Illustrator, it was actually available as some commands, available from a menu. However, in time it was turned into its own panel, which you can find by going to the Window menu and now scrolling down to the bottom here and choosing Pathfinder.

So let's actually take a closer look at the Pathfinder panel itself. Let me drag it out over here onto the artboard so we can focus on this a little bit more. You will notice that off the bat the Pathfinder panel is kind of split up into two sections: something called Shape Modes and something called Pathfinders. Now again, this kind of happened when Illustrator 10 came out because we are going to discuss the differences between something called Shape Modes and Pathfinders. But most people refer to all the functions found inside the Pathfinder panel as Pathfinder functions. In fact because people use these functions in so many different ways, Adobe has actually changed the behavior with some of these things over time.

For example, as we discussed before Pathfinders originally were available inside of menus then they were turned into a panel but they were all just performing the same types of functions, basically mathematical functions where you can add and subtract multiple objects to arrive at more complex objects. But then in Illustrator 10 Adobe kind of split these into two different categories, something called Shape Modes and Pathfinders, and they set it out in a certain way, which they then reversed when Illustrator CS4 came out. Now that we find themselves inside of Illustrator CS5, we can kind of take a step back and understand the behavior of these tools as they progressed over the years.

So in this chapter we are going to learn all about drawing with math, how to make all these Pathfinder options, both Shape Modes and Pathfinders, work for us and help us build the art that we want to create.

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This video is part of

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  1. 7m 4s
    1. Welcome
      1m 21s
    2. The evolution of vector drawing
      3m 46s
    3. Getting the most out of this training
      1m 30s
    4. Using the exercise files
      27s
  2. 39m 2s
    1. Plotting points vs. drawing paths
      5m 36s
    2. Drawing artwork vs. building artwork
      7m 59s
    3. The keyboard shortcuts you HAVE to know
      8m 52s
    4. Groups and layers really do matter
      3m 11s
    5. Taming Smart Guides and the Bounding Box
      10m 53s
    6. Do you need a drawing tablet?
      2m 31s
  3. 47m 51s
    1. To sketch or not to sketch?
      2m 32s
    2. Setting up a template layer for your sketch
      3m 37s
    3. Optimizing default settings for drawing
      5m 27s
    4. Using the primitive shapes tools
      5m 7s
    5. Mastering the modifier keys
      2m 8s
    6. Mastering the transform tools
      6m 37s
    7. Creating curves with the Reshape tool
      6m 44s
    8. Using the Smooth tool
      3m 35s
    9. Using Simplify to create smooth paths
      3m 2s
    10. Recording an action for the Simplify command
      5m 2s
    11. Mirroring art for speed and accuracy
      4m 0s
  4. 50m 18s
    1. Deconstructing the Pathfinder panel
      1m 56s
    2. Using the Shape Modes functions
      12m 4s
    3. Using the Pathfinder functions
      13m 4s
    4. Understanding how compound shapes work
      11m 45s
    5. Understanding why compound shapes exist
      7m 32s
    6. Exploring additional Pathfinder options
      3m 57s
  5. 52m 51s
    1. Why Live Paint was created
      10m 45s
    2. Creating a Live Paint group
      4m 21s
    3. Using the Live Paint Bucket tool
      7m 8s
    4. Using Live Paint with open paths
      5m 6s
    5. Detecting gaps in Live Paint groups
      3m 42s
    6. Adding paths to a Live Paint group
      5m 34s
    7. Using the Live Paint Selection tool
      6m 28s
    8. Releasing and expanding Live Paint groups
      2m 59s
    9. Understanding how Live Paint works
      6m 48s
  6. 27m 37s
    1. Why the Shape Builder tool was created
      4m 18s
    2. Focusing on the big three: Add, Subtract, and Divide
      2m 27s
    3. Using the Shape Builder tool to add and subtract artwork
      9m 50s
    4. Using the Shape Builder to divide artwork
      3m 48s
    5. Building and coloring artwork at the same time
      3m 50s
    6. Using Gap Detection with the Shape Builder tool
      3m 24s
  7. 23m 2s
    1. Understanding how variable widths work
      8m 25s
    2. Modifying width points along a path
      7m 9s
    3. Saving time with width profiles
      5m 14s
    4. Turning variable width strokes into filled paths
      2m 14s
  8. 28m 21s
    1. Understanding how the Pen and Pencil tools differ
      4m 41s
    2. Adjusting the behavior of the Pencil tool
      7m 5s
    3. Using the Path Eraser tool
      1m 17s
    4. Drawing with the Calligraphic Brush tool
      5m 43s
    5. Drawing with the Blob Brush tool
      5m 53s
    6. Using the Eraser tool
      3m 42s
  9. 3m 44s
    1. Looking at the VectorScribe plug-in
      2m 16s
    2. Next steps
      1m 28s

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