Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Defining simple patterns

From: Illustrator CS4 Essential Training

Video: Defining simple patterns

Now that we know how to apply patterns through our artworks inside of Illustrator, let's explore how to define our own Pattern designs. Now in reality, defining Patterns can get pretty complex. So what we are going to do is focus on just creating very simple patterns here. Afterwards, you can start to experiment with more and more complex designs and I'll give few pointers for how to do that. So in this file here called defining_ patterns, which you will find in chapter10 of the exercise files. I have a simple shape here for a surfboard and I want it to be able to fill with a pattern of maybe these flip-flops or even this G, which is the part of the logo for the company called Groundswell.

Defining simple patterns

Now that we know how to apply patterns through our artworks inside of Illustrator, let's explore how to define our own Pattern designs. Now in reality, defining Patterns can get pretty complex. So what we are going to do is focus on just creating very simple patterns here. Afterwards, you can start to experiment with more and more complex designs and I'll give few pointers for how to do that. So in this file here called defining_ patterns, which you will find in chapter10 of the exercise files. I have a simple shape here for a surfboard and I want it to be able to fill with a pattern of maybe these flip-flops or even this G, which is the part of the logo for the company called Groundswell.

So let's start with a simple one here, which is just the G itself. Now obviously I could take my artwork here and just simply repeat it over and over again just by using copy. I'll hold down the Option key as I just drag over copies here. But that doesn't create a Pattern Fill, which I can easily adjust. It's actually very simple to define a Pattern although it's little bit more complex when you want to get it just the way that you want. So let's first see how easy it is to create a pattern swatch then we will go to the next step. All you need to do is take the artwork that exists on your artboard right here and drag that artwork into the Swatches panel. It's important to note that when I do this, it turns it into a Pattern automatically. This swatch that I created now is called the Pattern swatch.

Remember if I want to create new solid color fills, I would come here and choose New Swatch. But if you want to create a new pattern, the easiest way to do is take any artwork from your artboard, drag it right into my Swatches panel. In fact, if I now go ahead and click on the surfboard and I click on the swatch right here, my surfboard gets filled with those G's. However, you will notice that the actual pattern swatch repeats itself and each G touches each other. Let's say I wanted to actually create some space in between each of the icons. So here is basically the important concept of about how patterns are defined. When you drag artwork into the Swatches panel, it takes the overall bounds of the artwork itself and it uses that bound as the repeat area. However, you could change that.

So for example, I'm just go over to this G that I have over here and I'm going to take a regular rectangle and I'll draw a rectangle around the G, something like say like that and I'll fill this particular G right now with none. I'll change the Stroke also to none and what I'll do is I'll take the actual shape itself and I'll choose Object, Arrange, Send to Back. So what I now have is a no fill and no stroke rectangle on the back over here and then I have this G as well. If I select both of these objects and I now drag that into my Swatches panel, I have defined the Pattern but my Pattern is defined by the bounding box of this no fill and no stroke rectangle, not the G itself, which means that the repeat area of this Pattern is this area what I already built in the space around the G. So if you think about it right now, if I click on the surfboard and apply this particular pattern right now, I get to see this.

Using the technique we have covered in the previous movie, I can use my Scale tool to actually scale this maybe 25% and adjust only the Patterns and not the Object and you can easily see now that I have this G that repeats itself over and over again throughout the surfboard. Again, I was the one who defined the spacing between these by specifying a bounding area around to this particular icon, right here. Let's do something similar with the flip-flops. If I take my regular Rectangle tool and I click and I drag to create an area. Let's say I want there to be a lot of space on top and bottom but too much space side by side of these flip-flops. I can create a rectangle that looks something like this, for example.

Again apply a no fill and no stroke to this particular object right here, send that particular object to the back, select both elements and drag them right to my Swatches panel. Now when I click on that surfboard, I can now fill that with the pattern that I created. If I'm constantly editing my pattern, there is a way to update or replace the pattern. For example, let's say I decide I want to change the bounding area somewhat. So I'll select this rectangle here and I'll change its dimensions. Let's say I want to create a pattern that looks something like this but has a lot more space on either side of the flip-flops in that particular area. So rather than I have to create a new pattern in swatch, I can now select the this artwork, hold down my Option key -- I'm on a Mac, if you are on a PC, hold down the Alt key and drag that artwork on top of the existing swatch, see how now I see a black line that appears around that box. Now when I release the button, that actually updates the Pattern, you can see now in my shape the pattern is now updated itself.

So to replace a pattern swatch, simply Option or Alt drag the artwork on top of the existing swatch. Again it's always a good idea to name your patterns, that way it's easier to identify or find them later on. So finally let's talk about some other more complex patterns that may ship with Illustrator. How do they create those? Let's load up some of those. I'm going to go over here and choose Patterns, let me choose Nature, for example and let's do Nature_Animal_ Skins. There are some pretty wild ones in here, for example, if I click on this artwork here and apply this one, I may wonder how that pattern was created. Let's zoom in on that, I'll use the Zoom tool just to zoom in on this area and I may decide, "Hey, I like to make a pattern like that. How do they do that?" The easiest way to learn that is to reverse engineer how this particular pattern swatch was created. So what will I do is I'll come over here my Swatches panel and I'll take that Zebra pattern swatch right here and click and drag it right at on to the artboard and not on to any piece of art work, just right on to the artboard itself. When I release the mouse, Illustrator actually draws the graphics that were used to define that particular pattern. So here is the repeat area, it's important to realize, by the way, that if you go into Outline mode here, you can see that I have a no fill, no stroke rectangle that's sitting right here in the background.

Let me use my Direct Selection tool to actually select that. This is the area that defines the actual background to that particular shape. In fact, you don't need the entire artwork to be contained inside of that repeat area as long as the backmost object inside of your selection is a rectangle then that rectangle becomes the final repeat area for your artwork. So definitely take a look at some of the other ones that you have here inside of Illustrator. Again, the Patterns that come with Illustrator are not necessarily there for you to always use because after all, we can create our own patterns. They are there for you to learn how to use the Patterns tool. So feel to reverse engineer those, learn how they were created and then you can create your own patterns as needed.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS4 Essential Training
Illustrator CS4 Essential Training

116 video lessons · 48693 viewers

Mordy Golding
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 59s
    1. Welcome
      59s
  2. 33m 17s
    1. Why use Illustrator?
      2m 22s
    2. What are vector graphics?
      8m 4s
    3. Understanding paths
      4m 13s
    4. Fill and Stroke attributes
      5m 32s
    5. Selections and stacking order
      8m 31s
    6. Isolation mode
      4m 35s
  3. 23m 43s
    1. The Welcome screen
      1m 11s
    2. New Document Profiles
      4m 36s
    3. Using multiple artboards
      7m 17s
    4. Libraries and content
      3m 52s
    5. Illustrator templates
      2m 56s
    6. Adding XMP metadata
      3m 51s
  4. 43m 55s
    1. Exploring panels
      4m 18s
    2. Using the Control panel
      5m 25s
    3. Navigating within a document
      5m 27s
    4. Using rulers and guides
      5m 23s
    5. Using grids
      2m 12s
    6. Utilizing the bounding box
      3m 3s
    7. Using Smart Guides
      4m 59s
    8. The Hide Edges command
      3m 31s
    9. Preview and Outline modes
      2m 18s
    10. Using workspaces
      7m 19s
  5. 38m 3s
    1. The importance of modifier keys
      1m 9s
    2. Drawing closed-path primitives
      7m 15s
    3. Drawing open-path primitives
      5m 5s
    4. Simple drawing with the Pen tool
      7m 28s
    5. Advanced drawing with the Pen tool
      10m 33s
    6. Drawing with the Pencil tool
      6m 33s
  6. 46m 37s
    1. Editing anchor points
      13m 7s
    2. Creating compound shapes
      5m 55s
    3. Utilizing Pathfinder functions
      5m 11s
    4. Joining and averaging paths
      5m 37s
    5. Outlining strokes
      3m 24s
    6. Simplifying paths
      5m 41s
    7. Using Offset Path
      2m 43s
    8. Dividing an object into a grid
      1m 41s
    9. Cleaning up errant paths
      3m 18s
  7. 35m 23s
    1. Creating point text
      4m 4s
    2. Creating area text
      4m 19s
    3. Applying basic character settings
      6m 27s
    4. Applying basic paragraph settings
      4m 4s
    5. Creating text threads
      5m 28s
    6. Creating text on open paths
      5m 18s
    7. Creating text on closed paths
      3m 57s
    8. Converting text to outlines
      1m 46s
  8. 20m 15s
    1. Using the basic selection tools
      7m 53s
    2. Using the Magic Wand and Lasso tools
      6m 34s
    3. Selecting objects by attribute
      2m 38s
    4. Saving and reusing selections
      3m 10s
  9. 40m 35s
    1. Using the Appearance panel
      6m 48s
    2. Targeting object attributes
      3m 26s
    3. Adding multiple attributes
      7m 6s
    4. Applying Live Effects
      8m 9s
    5. Expanding appearances
      4m 48s
    6. Appearance panel settings
      6m 51s
    7. Copying appearances
      3m 27s
  10. 37m 15s
    1. Defining groups
      7m 2s
    2. Editing groups
      5m 28s
    3. Working with layers
      8m 10s
    4. Layer and object hierarchy
      6m 57s
    5. Creating template layers
      2m 3s
    6. Object, group, and layer attributes
      7m 35s
  11. 44m 4s
    1. Applying colors
      3m 18s
    2. Creating solid color swatches
      4m 48s
    3. Creating global process swatches
      5m 1s
    4. Using spot color swatches
      4m 27s
    5. Creating swatch groups and libraries
      6m 50s
    6. Working with linear gradient fills
      6m 34s
    7. Working with radial gradient fills
      2m 19s
    8. Applying and manipulating pattern fills
      4m 51s
    9. Defining simple patterns
      5m 56s
  12. 22m 43s
    1. Moving and copying objects
      2m 1s
    2. Scaling objects
      4m 49s
    3. Rotating objects
      3m 14s
    4. Reflecting and skewing objects
      2m 27s
    5. Using the Free Transform tool
      2m 9s
    6. Aligning objects
      5m 15s
    7. Distributing objects
      2m 48s
  13. 25m 13s
    1. Using a pressure-sensitive tablet
      1m 38s
    2. Using the Calligraphic brush
      6m 10s
    3. Using the Scatter brush
      4m 0s
    4. Using the Art brush
      2m 26s
    5. Using the Pattern brush
      3m 21s
    6. Using the Paintbrush tool
      1m 41s
    7. Using the Blob Brush tool
      3m 42s
    8. Using the Eraser tool
      2m 15s
  14. 16m 36s
    1. Using symbols
      3m 9s
    2. Defining your own symbols
      2m 1s
    3. Editing symbols
      4m 4s
    4. Using the Symbol Sprayer tool
      2m 32s
    5. Using the Symbolism toolset
      4m 50s
  15. 35m 37s
    1. Minding your resolution settings
      6m 15s
    2. Applying basic 3D extrusions
      6m 43s
    3. Applying basic 3D revolves
      2m 31s
    4. Basic artwork mapping
      5m 9s
    5. Using the Stylize effects
      5m 35s
    6. Using the Scribble effect
      5m 43s
    7. Using the Warp effect
      3m 41s
  16. 21m 37s
    1. Placing images
      4m 51s
    2. Using the Links panel
      2m 47s
    3. The Edit Original workflow
      2m 0s
    4. Converting images to vectors with Live Trace
      5m 29s
    5. Rasterizing artwork
      1m 55s
    6. Cropping images with a mask
      4m 35s
  17. 10m 35s
    1. Saving your Illustrator document
      8m 18s
    2. Printing your Illustrator document
      2m 17s
  18. 6m 25s
    1. Exporting files for use in QuarkXPress
      1m 8s
    2. Exporting files for use in InDesign
      39s
    3. Exporting files for use in Word/Excel/PowerPoint
      45s
    4. Exporting files for use in Photoshop
      1m 25s
    5. Exporting files for use in Flash
      1m 15s
    6. Exporting files for use in After Effects
      19s
    7. Migrating from FreeHand
      54s
  19. 2m 23s
    1. Finding additional help
      2m 0s
    2. Goodbye
      23s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

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.


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.

Join now Already a member? Log in

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 CS4 Essential Training.

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 preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
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.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

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
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.