Viewers: in countries Watching now:
This course is a collection of short Photoshop and Illustrator projects and creative effects that can be completed in ten minutes or less. The series is taught by computer graphics guru Deke McClelland, and presented in his signature step-by-step style. The intent is to reveal how various Photoshop and Illustrator features can be combined and leveraged in real-world examples so that they can be applied to creative projects right away.
- Hey gang, this is Deke McClelland. Welcome to Deke's Techniques. This week, I'm gonna show you how to create what I'm calling an Orthogonal Box Tower inside of Illustrator. And what's so great about it is that it interlocks with itself like so, so that we can eventually create this mind-bending, seamlessly repeating tile pattern. Here, let me show you exactly how it works. Alright, just so everything's perfectly clear. This is the Box Tower that we'll be creating in this movie, and here it is repeated a few times, and here it is expressed as a repeating tile pattern.
Alright, we're gonna be creating this effect from scratch. So I've got myself an empty document here. The first thing we need to do is create one side of an orthogonal cube, and the easiest way to do that is with the Line Segment tool right here. So go ahead and grab it and then click anywhere inside the document window to bring up this dialogue box. Change the length to 50pts and the angle to 90° and that'll give us a 50pt line straight up and down. If you wanna be able to see what you're doing then make sure to assign a stroke. I've got no fill at the moment. Alright, now go ahead and switch to the Rotate Tool and then I'll Alt+Click or Option+Click on this top anchor point like so.
I've set the angle value to 360°, which describes a circle, divided by three, and if I press the Tab key, that gets me 120°. I've got the Preview check box turned on so I cans see what I'm doing, and now click on the Copy button in order to copy that path outline. Now press the V key to switch to the Black Arrow tool and I'll drag this point by the way, and you should know, couple things, first of all, I've got the Bounding Box turned off because it just gets in our way, and I've also got Smart Guides turned on.
Alright, so I'm gonna drag the line by this anchor point right there down until it snaps into alignment like so, and then I'll press the Alt key or the Option key on a Mac and release in order to create a copy of that segment, and I think I'll zoom in a little bit as well just so we can really see what we're doing. And now I'll marquee all three shapes and I'll go up to the Object menu, choose Path, and then choose Join. Or, more simply, you can just press Control+J or Command+J on a Mac, and assuming that you're using a recent version of Illustrator, that'll go ahead and fuse all these segments together.
And then press Control+J or Command+J again in order to finish off that last segment on the right-hand side. Alright, now click on that first color swatch up here in the Control Panel, and I'm looking at the Medium Thumbnail View by the way, and I'm also looking at the basic RGB swatches, which contains this shade of purple right here ending in B=145, so I'm gonna go ahead and select it. And next, I'll change the color of my stroke to white and I'll go ahead and increase the line weight value to 2pts and right now we can't see it, but that's gonna show up at the grout between our orthogonal tiles.
Alright, now I wanna add a little bit of a layer effect and I wanna isolate it to the fill, so I'll go up here to the window menu and choose Appearance to bring up the Appearance panel and then you wanna go ahead and click on the fill in order to isolate it, and now, go up to the Effect menu, choose Stylize, and choose Inner Glow. Now, notice I've set the Blend Mode to Normal because I'm not really interested in a bright glow, I wanna dark one. And I've also set the color to black, which you can do by just dragging this circle to the bottom-left corner of that big color field and clicking Okay.
The Opacity's 100%, the Blur is 5pts. We're creating the effect from the edge inward and you can see the results if you turn on the Preview check box. So we have juts a little bit of darkening around the edge of that tile. At which point, I'll go ahead and click Okay in order to create that effect. Alright, now at this point we need to repeat the tile a few times and I suppose we could do so dynamically, but it's easier if we don't. If we just go ahead and duplicate the path by hand. By dragging it by one of it's corner handles like so and then snapping it into alignment with another corner handle, and because we have that white stroke, we're a little bit to the right of the visible edge of the shape, at which point I'll press the Alt key or the Option key on a Mac and release in order to duplicate that path.
And then to duplicate it again by that exact same amount, just press Control+D for duplicate, or Command+D on a Mac. Alright, now I'll go ahead and marquee these paths with the Black Arrow tool and I'll drag this anchor point down until it snaps into alignment. I can see that I've got it snapped because my cursor turns white and then if I press and hold the Alt key or the Option key on a Mac, I get a double-cursor, which tells me that when I release, I'm gonna create a duplicate of those path outlines. Alright, now what I recommend you do is just grab one of these guys because we're gonna need it later, and drag it by it's anchor point upward like so and press the Alt key or the Option key on a Mac, in order to create a duplicate at this location.
And it''s come in handy in just a moment, but I am gonna go ahead and fill it with a different color by clicking on this little color swatch on the far-left side of the Control Panel and I'm gonna this shade of orange here that ends in B59, and we'll get this color right there. Alright, now I'm gonna partially marquee these purple paths like so because I don't wanna select the yellow one, but I do wanna group these guys together, which I'll do just by pressing Control+G or Command+G on a Mac, obviously for Group. Bow let's go ahead and reflect these shapes by switching to the reflect tool, which you can select from the Rotate tool fly-out menu and then Alt+Click or Option+Click on this bottom point here and set the axis to vertical, turn on the Preview check box so we you can see what you're doing and then click on the Copy button in order to create a copy of those paths.
And these guys wanna be filled with green, at least, that's what I came up with, so I'll go ahead and select this shade of green right there, the one that ends in B=69 in order to create this effect right here. Now I'll press the Escape key in order to hide that panel and I'll go ahead and scoot things down a little bit. Alright, now to create the tower, which is when things get a little bit tricky. So let's go ahead and drag a copy of this guy over to this location, and I'll press the Alt key or the Option key on a Mac, before I release. And I'm gonna start by filling this path with red, so click on the colors swatch in the Control Panel and then I'll select the shade of red ending in B=45 like so and now I'll grab this guy and drag him up until he snaps into a alignment, press the Alt key or the Option key on a Mac to make a duplicate, and then press Control+D or Command+D on a Mac a couple of times in order to finish off that tower.
Now if you take a look at what I ultimately came up with here, you can see that the bottom tile is half-covered like so and that gives us room for this yellow ledge. And I'm gonna do that by pressing the A key to switch to the White Arrow tool. Now I'll go ahead and click on the bottom edge of this path and it looks like I got the purple one instead. So I'll go ahead and click on this path outline like so and I'll right-click on it and choose a range and then choose Bring to Front so that I can't help but select this edge this time around.
And now off the path outline to deselect it and then I'll click on this edge to select it independently of the other edges, so all four of your anchor points should be hallow. And then I'll press the Enter key of the Return key on Mac to bring up the Move dialogue box. I want the horizontal value to be zero, that's fine, but I want to vertical value to be half of what it is, so I'll just enter /T at the end of it, press the Tab key and that changes it to -25pts, and which point I'll click Okay in order to accept that effect. Alright, now let's go ahead and select this shape right here by pressing the V key so we get the Black Arrow tool that allows us to select the entire thing.
And I'll go ahead and click on this yellow shape to select it. Pres the R key to switch to the Rotate tool and I'll Alt or Option+Click on that bottom-right point in order to rotate with respect to it. Alright, now this time we don't want 120°, instead we want -60° in order to rotate the shape into the exact right position. At which point you can go ahead and click Okay to accept that change and now press the V key to switch to my Black Arrow tool once again. I'll go ahead and drag this guy over to this location. Press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac to create a duplicate, and then press Control+D or Command+D on a Mac to create yet another duplicate like so.
Alright, now what I'm gonna do is press the A key to switch to the White Arrow tool. I'm gonna go ahead and click on this point right there, except it's in back so it's gonna be a little difficult to select. I'll just go ahead and marquee it like so and then I'll press Control+Y or Command+Y on a Mac in order to switch to the Outline mode, and I'll press Shift and Alt at the same time, so that's Shift and Option on a Mac, and I'll drag like so to deselect those other two paths that got slightly selected there. So we're just seeing this one anchor point as selected. And then I'll press the Backspace key or the Delete key on a Mac, in order to get rid of it and I'll press Control+J or Command+J on a Mac to fuse those new endpoints with the straight segment.
Now press Control+Y or Command+Y on a Mac to confirm that I've done everything the way I should. Alright, now I'm gonna grab this guy by pressing the V key once again and clicking on it, and now I'll just go ahead and duplicate it up and to the right like so. So all these yellow path outlines, in other words, should appear behind the other shapes, just to make things work out. Alright, now we need a little hole right at this location. I'll show you what that looks like first. It's this guy right there, this little black hole. And to create it, what you gotta do is select one of these edges once again by pressing the A key in order to get the White Arrow tool.
Now click off the shape and click on this edge right there to select it independently of the others. I'll press Control+C, Control+F in order to copy and paste that edge in front. That's Commend+C, Command+F on a Mac. And now I'll just go ahead and drag this guy down until he snaps into this location right here. We do not want to make a duplicate, so you do not have to press and hold the Alt of Option key. Alright I want this guy in front, so I'll right-click on him, choose Arrange, and then choose Bring to Front once again. And now we want to create a duplicate of it, so I'm gonna press the O key this time to switch to the reflect tool, just the easiest way to work, and the reason it's O is because it's the ultimate reflected shape.
No matter how you reflect it, it looks the same. And then I'll Alt+Click or Option+Click on that anchor point there and I'll change the axis to horizontal this time. The Preview check box is on so we can see what's we're doing and now I'll click the Copy button in order to create a copy of that shape. I'll press the V key to switch back to my Black Arrow tool. I'll Shift+Click on this previous line, press Control+J in order to join those two shapes together and press Control+J or Command+J on a Mac again in order to fuse these two endpoints.
And now we have to fill this shape by clicking on the first color swatch up here on the Control Panel and I'm gonna go ahead and select one of these dark shades of grey here, doesn't really matter which one. I'm going with the one where all the values are 51 in order to create this effect right there. Alright, this works out really well and it's pretty easy to pull off. Easier at least than what I'm about to do, but I don't like the effect. And the reason is, notice these burnt edges right here. Well we're losing them around the dark shape and around the bottom the red tile.
And that's just not acceptable. Don't you think? So I'm gonna go ahead and select one of the yellow shapes and I'll go up here to the Select Similar Objects icon and click on it in order to select them all, and then I'll right-click, choose Arrange, and choose Bring to Front once more, so all these shapes are in the foreground, and I'll press Control+Y or Command+Y on a Mac so that I can see through them. And now I'm gonna do a bunch on manual work, starting by pressing the A key to switch to the White Arrow tool.
I'll click off the shapes and select this guy independently of the others and I'll just go ahead and move this anchor point, oh! He's the wrong one, which is not a problem, I'll just go ahead and move him to this location right there and move this guy to this location, but this is the wrong point once again. Let's see if I can get this one this time. I know it's a little bit confusing, but we want it to be right there so that if I press Control+Y or Command+Y on a Mac, we've got a shape that looks like this. And the reason I know everything's aligning properly is because I've got my Smart Guides turned on.
Alright, now I'll press Control+Y or Command+Y on a Mac, in order to witch to the Outline mode again. Go ahead and select this shape by clicking on it. Then I'll press P key to switch to the Pen tool for a moment. Click right there to insert a point and I'll press the A key to switch back to my white arrow tool and I'll go ahead and drag it until it snaps into alignment. And then, let's see if I can get this guy this time. I'll go ahead and click on this path outline to select it, yes indeed, I have selected the right path, so I'll go ahead and drag this anchor point to this location and this one to right here, and now everything is done properly except for this one path here.
And to show you that's the case, I'll press Control+Y or Command+Y on a Mac. You can see we have a problem. So I'm gonna go ahead and click on this path outline, on one of its edges, just to partially select it. And then I'll press the P key to switch to the pen tool. I'll hover my cursor over one of the segments, so I'm seeing a plus sign, very important, and I'll click any old place for now, and I'll click here as well, and that just gives me two extra anchor points to work with. Now I'll press the A key to switch back to my White Arrow tool. I'll take this anchor point and snap it into alignment at that location.
I'll move this guy to this location and then I'll drag this guy so he snaps right there at the former center of the shape like so, which is also the right-hand point in this triangle. Alright, now, even though that took some extra work, we have the burnt edges that we're looking for. Alright, I'm gonna go ahead and zoom out a little bit here, and I'm gonna group these shapes together, so I'm gonna press the V key to switch to my Black Arrow tool. I'll click on this guy to select the entire thing. I'll go up to this Select Similar Objects icon and click on it, that'll select all the yellow shapes, and I'll pretty Control+J or Command+J on a Mac in order to group them.
Now I'll just marquee these guys like so and press Control+J or Command+J on a Mac to group them. Alright, now let's Shift+Click on these two additional paths so in other words, the yellow group and this dark triangle right here so that all these paths are selected, and then I'll press the O key to switch to the Reflect tool and I'll Alt or Option+Click on one of these left-hand points like so. That is not the axis I'm looking for. I want a vertical axis. At which point I'll go ahead and click the Copy button in order to copy those shapes and then I'll press the V key to switch back to my Black Arrow tool, click off the shapes to deselect them, click on these guys to select them, so just this group of red paths, and I'll click on the first color swatch up here in the Control Panel and I'll change it to the blue that ends in B=226 in order to produce this effect here.
Alright, things are looking pretty good. I'm gonna press Control+0 or Command+0 on a Mac to zoom out and now I wanna center these paths, so the first thing I need to do if I'm gonna center them with respect to the Artboard, is select them all, which I can do by marqueeing or pressing Control+A or Command+A on a Mac, and then you wanna group them all together by pressing Control+G or Command+G on a Mac, and the finally, go over here to this Align icon, click on it and change it Align to Artboard and then click on each of the center icons, both Horizontal Align Center and Vertical Align Center, and then press the Enter key or Return on a Mac to bring up the Move dialogue box, change the horizontal value to zero and change the vertical value to -100.
How do I know that's gonna work? Because I've done this in advance. Just some trial and error there. And now click Okay in order to accept that effect. Alright, now we just need to duplicate this thing a few times, and that's just gonna be just a bunch of dragging while pressing the Alt or Option key. So I'll go ahead and drag from this point right there down until we snap into alignment at this location. Then press the Alt key or the Option key on a Mac to create a copy. Now marquee both of these groups like so and now let's go ahead and drag from this anchor point right there up and to the right until we snap into alignment at this location.
And go ahead and press the Alt key or the Option key on a Mac to create a copy. And go ahead and do the same over on this side. Press and hold the Alt key or the Option key on a Mac to make a copy as well. Go ahead and drag this guy down to here let's say. That's gonna work, anyway. Press and hold the Alt key or the Option key on a Mac to make a copy at that location. This time, let's just marquee these two groups and drag them from, let's say, this point down to here and press the Alt key or the Option key on a Mac in order to make a copy.
And now that I've created a total of 10 Box Towers in absolute alignment with each other, I'll go ahead and click off the path outlines to deselect them. And that's how you draw a series of interlocking Box Towers using nothing more than one side of an orthogonal cube drawn using Illustrator's simplest feature, the Line tool. Alright, if you're a member of Lynda.com, I have a couple of follow-up movies. In the first one, I show you how to take what we have to far and turn it into a seamlessly repeating tile pattern using Illustrator's Brick by Row function.
In the second movie, I show you how to switch out the color scheme using Illustrator's Recolor Artwork. If you're waiting for next week, I have yet another orthogonal pattern that I'm calling Which Way is Up because if you look at this thing long enough, any given row can be facing upward or downward and I didn't predict this at the time, but the color scheme happens to match my shirt. Deke's Techniques each and every week! Keep watching.
Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Deke's Techniques .
Here are the FAQs that matched your search "" :
Sorry, there are no matches for your search "" —to search again, type in another word or phrase and click search.
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
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.