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Editing a compound shape

From: Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Advanced

Video: Editing a compound shape

In this exercise I'm going to show you how to go about editing a compound shape, and how you can change the Pathfinder mode that's at work inside of the said shape. I am working inside this document called Emerald submarine.ai and I've made just one change. I've gone ahead and selected both the Submarine and Ringo here and I went ahead and Alt-clicked or Option-clicked on this Unite icon in order to combine the two shapes into one, even though they are still independent of each other. And let me show you what I mean by that. Let's say that we want to move Ringo around here, independently of the submarine in the background. Why then we need to select Ringo, but if I were to click off this shape in order to deselect it and then click on Ringo with the Black Arrow tool, I'm going to select the entire compound shape.

Editing a compound shape

In this exercise I'm going to show you how to go about editing a compound shape, and how you can change the Pathfinder mode that's at work inside of the said shape. I am working inside this document called Emerald submarine.ai and I've made just one change. I've gone ahead and selected both the Submarine and Ringo here and I went ahead and Alt-clicked or Option-clicked on this Unite icon in order to combine the two shapes into one, even though they are still independent of each other. And let me show you what I mean by that. Let's say that we want to move Ringo around here, independently of the submarine in the background. Why then we need to select Ringo, but if I were to click off this shape in order to deselect it and then click on Ringo with the Black Arrow tool, I'm going to select the entire compound shape.

So a couple of different ways to select Ringo independently. One is to get the White Arrow tool and then you can go ahead and click off the shape, once again to deselect everything. Alt-click or Option-click on Ringo in order to select him independently of the submarine and then move him into a different location, if you like, and notice that Illustrator goes ahead and merges those two shapes on the fly, which is really great. That's the whole dynamic nature of compound shapes as opposed to static compound paths, which we'll be seeing later.

You can also if you want to, you can go to the Layers palette, and you can twirl open the Up above layer and you'll see this new item right there called Compound Shape. And Illustrator went ahead and named it automatically, which is a handy thing so that you can find your compound shapes very easily just by looking through the Layers palette, if you like. If you twirl that open, you'll find two paths -now I named these Ringo and Submarine- that are combined together inside of this Compound Shape. So if you wanted to select Ringo independently of the submarine, even if you had the Black Arrow tool selected, so I'll go ahead and switch little Black Arrow tool by pressing the V key, and then I'll go ahead and meatball Ringo like so and I select him independently. I could also meatball the Submarine and I'd select it independently, if I wanted to.

Or here is another thing you can do. I'll click off of both shapes, double-click on the outline for either the Submarine or Ringo, and you will enter the Isolation Mode right here, and you can tell you're in the Isolation Mode, because you can see up here near the title bar that you're working inside the Compound Shape item, which is found inside the Up above layer. And now I can go ahead and select Ringo independently of the Submarine just using my Black Arrow tool, because I've got that Compound Shape isolated from everything else inside of my illustration. So however you want to work.

Now what I'm going to go ahead and do is I'm going to switch Ringo from the Unite mode. Notice this is a dynamic option, so Unite is selected right here. I'm going to go ahead and switch him over to Minus Front, which is essentially the subtract mode inside of Illustrator, and that's going to subtract Ringo from his background. But thanks to the modified behavior inside of Illustrator CS4 where you have to Alt-click or Option-click in order to stick with the dynamic Shape Mode, notice if you just click on this icon as you used to in the old days, you'll get this error message here that's says the filter produce no results. Because you have to have two intersecting paths selected and I only have one path selected at this point.

If I want to switch out the dynamic mode that's assigned to Ringo at this point, I have to press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and then click on that icon and now he becomes a whole. So anytime you want to maintain this dynamic interaction between these shapes, you have to Alt-click or Option-click on one of the Shape Mode icons. This Alt-click or Option-click behavior only works with the Shape Mode icon. So just these top four icons inside the Pathfinder palette. Alt-clicking or Option-clicking does nothing when working with the bottom row of Pathfinder icons.

At this point in time now, I'll go ahead and zoom in here to my illustration a little bit. I can actually move this hole to a different location like s, and he becomes a floating hole in the submarine, which is terribly useful, and really amazingly flexible. And notice this. I can even reveal things in the background if I wanted to, like this walrus. The walrus is actually not in the movie The Yellow Submarine. It's just another clue for you all. All right, now if I go ahead and click on this Back one level icon here or just press the Escape key, I'll escape out of the Isolation Mode and I can still see the walrus in the background and because only Ringo is selected I can still move him to a different location.

So you don't have to be in the Isolation Mode. That's just one way to work. You do, however, if you want to change the dynamic Shape Mode on the fly, you need to make sure to Alt-click or Option- click on one of these top icons here inside the Pathfinder palette.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Advanced
Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Advanced

149 video lessons · 21466 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 28m 41s
    1. Welcome
      1m 7s
    2. Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      8m 59s
    3. Resetting the Function keys on a Mac
      4m 47s
    4. Installing the CS4 color settings
      4m 20s
    5. Loading the CS4 color settings in Illustrator
      6m 3s
    6. Loading the CS4 color settings in Bridge CS4
      3m 25s
  2. 1h 53m
    1. From the simple emerges the complex
      42s
    2. Introducing Pathfinder operations
      4m 17s
    3. Editing a compound shape
      4m 39s
    4. Adding to a compound shape
      3m 11s
    5. Inserting a subpath into a compound shape
      3m 56s
    6. Expanding a compound shape
      4m 53s
    7. Assembling primitives
      4m 42s
    8. Preparing a template in Photoshop
      7m 0s
    9. Uniting paths permanently
      5m 40s
    10. Minus Front vs. Minus Back
      1m 55s
    11. Working with compound paths
      6m 49s
    12. When in doubt, divide
      3m 54s
    13. Divide and Unite
      3m 2s
    14. Open path pitfalls
      5m 35s
    15. Strokes bad, fills good
      4m 38s
    16. Advanced Divide and Unite
      8m 59s
    17. Using the Crop operation
      8m 30s
    18. Expert Divide and Unite
      8m 45s
    19. "Ghosting" shapes with Fill Opacity
      6m 45s
    20. Anticipating and troubleshooting
      8m 16s
    21. Exclude and Intersect
      7m 24s
  3. 44m 59s
    1. Familiar one moment, different the next
      1m 3s
    2. Snapping to anchor points
      5m 41s
    3. Aligning a group to the artboard
      3m 34s
    4. Distributing objects on the artboard
      4m 16s
    5. Setting the key object
      4m 54s
    6. Distributing objects by space
      3m 6s
    7. Distributing objects by selections
      3m 19s
    8. Aligning point text
      6m 7s
    9. Aligning live text vs. using outlines
      4m 58s
    10. Aligning key letters
      3m 35s
    11. Aligning to key objects
      4m 26s
  4. 1h 4m
    1. CS4’s gradient renaissance
      1m 7s
    2. Applying a gradient
      6m 0s
    3. Dragging and dropping color swatches
      2m 55s
    4. Using the Gradient palette
      6m 27s
    5. Designing a shaded gradient
      5m 9s
    6. Saving a gradient swatch and adding a texture
      4m 2s
    7. Introducing the new Gradient tool
      4m 39s
    8. Editing color stops inside a shape
      3m 26s
    9. Setting multiple gradients to the same angle
      5m 0s
    10. Adding and adjusting radial gradients
      7m 20s
    11. Making a transparent gradient
      7m 6s
    12. Adding drop shadows (a kind of gradient)
      6m 28s
    13. Blends vs. blend modes
      4m 38s
  5. 1h 17m
    1. Creating freeform color flows
      1m 0s
    2. The power of CS4's transparent gradients
      10m 25s
    3. Creating a gradient mesh
      4m 30s
    4. Expanding a gradient to a gradient mesh
      7m 40s
    5. Adding and deleting rows and columns
      6m 13s
    6. Selecting and coloring points
      6m 5s
    7. Assigning colors with the Eyedropper tool
      7m 42s
    8. Cool mesh editing techniques
      3m 56s
    9. Warping and puckering a mesh
      7m 24s
    10. Applying precise finishing touches
      5m 48s
    11. Gradient strokes
      9m 45s
    12. Gradient text
      6m 50s
  6. 55m 35s
    1. The first of the dynamic functions
      1m 4s
    2. Making a blend automatically
      5m 48s
    3. Fixing problem blends
      3m 56s
    4. Making a blend with the Blend tool
      3m 6s
    5. Cloning and coloring a blended path
      4m 37s
    6. Creating a mask
      3m 53s
    7. Blending between translucent shapes
      5m 30s
    8. Blending along a curve
      4m 34s
    9. Adjusting the speed of a blend
      2m 58s
    10. Filling and stroking a mask
      4m 36s
    11. Creating a compound clipping mask
      6m 3s
    12. Nesting one clipping mask inside another
      6m 7s
    13. Ghosting nested masks and blends
      3m 23s
  7. 1h 13m
    1. Patterns that repeat forever and ever
      51s
    2. Introducing tile patterns
      6m 36s
    3. Beginning a core design
      5m 6s
    4. Building an interlocking element
      6m 25s
    5. Achieving precise radial symmetry
      4m 46s
    6. Rotating duplicates around a common center
      3m 10s
    7. Determining how a pattern repeats
      9m 54s
    8. Coloring the core objects
      5m 0s
    9. Identifying the rectangular tile
      7m 14s
    10. Saving tile patterns
      7m 19s
    11. Applying tile patterns to a shape
      3m 25s
    12. Protecting patterns from transformations
      7m 36s
    13. Moving patterns without paths
      5m 51s
  8. 1h 19m
    1. Illustrator gets natural
      1m 15s
    2. Introducing the vector painting tools
      3m 16s
    3. Calligraphic brush options
      4m 3s
    4. Pressure sensitivity
      5m 17s
    5. Editing a calligraphic brush
      5m 53s
    6. Repainting and smoothing paths
      5m 30s
    7. Making the paintbrush behave
      6m 16s
    8. Erasing stroked paths
      3m 17s
    9. Painting with the new Blob brush
      6m 24s
    10. Refining filled paths with the Eraser
      4m 14s
    11. Painting independent paths
      3m 53s
    12. The Selection Limits Merge options
      3m 20s
    13. Applying and scaling an art brush
      6m 23s
    14. Snipping a brushed path
      4m 55s
    15. Colorizing an art brush
      4m 9s
    16. Heaping a stroke on an art brush effect
      4m 32s
    17. Creating a custom art brush
      6m 51s
  9. 1h 44m
    1. The computer art world’s dynamic duo
      1m 7s
    2. Copying and pasting pixels from Photoshop
      7m 21s
    3. Linking is efficient, embedding is not
      2m 47s
    4. Editing an image in Illustrator
      7m 30s
    5. Filtering an image in Photoshop
      6m 34s
    6. Adding a filter mask in Photoshop
      6m 25s
    7. Masking a woman from the background
      3m 49s
    8. Creating a sepia effect
      6m 37s
    9. Adding a second gradient map layer
      2m 13s
    10. Achieving a graphic effect with Levels
      8m 10s
    11. Preparing an image for use in Illustrator
      5m 46s
    12. The importance of image resolution
      9m 40s
    13. Placing and linking images
      4m 43s
    14. Managing linked images
      6m 18s
    15. Integrating an image into a design
      5m 12s
    16. A better way to wrap text
      7m 28s
    17. Previewing the trim size
      4m 25s
    18. Layer comps and editable text
      8m 42s
  10. 2h 11m
    1. Transparency is safe and fun
      1m 27s
    2. Introducing the translucent composition
      4m 39s
    3. Assigning opacity to an Appearance attribute
      3m 41s
    4. Creating a knockout group
      5m 7s
    5. Defining an opacity mask
      7m 15s
    6. Using the Clip checkbox
      2m 41s
    7. Opacity mask tips and tricks
      3m 20s
    8. The Multiply blend mode
      6m 8s
    9. Adding to an existing opacity mask
      7m 53s
    10. Blending between parallel groups
      7m 27s
    11. Creating a gradient opacity mask
      4m 54s
    12. Employing an opposing gradient mask
      7m 57s
    13. Combining Multiply and Screen
      3m 49s
    14. Blend mode roundup
      5m 24s
    15. Mixing blend modes inside a single path
      3m 48s
    16. Blend mode and transparent gradient
      3m 49s
    17. Masking an entire layer
      7m 0s
    18. Combining Screen with 100K Black
      7m 43s
    19. Knocking out a drop shadow
      5m 18s
    20. But will it print?
      3m 8s
    21. Working with the Flattener preview
      8m 44s
    22. Rasterizing an illustration in Photoshop
      9m 16s
    23. Super-rich blacks and raster effects
      3m 35s
    24. Exporting TIFF artwork from Illustrator
      7m 48s
  11. 58s
    1. Until next time
      58s

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