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In Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced, author and industry expert Deke McClelland teaches how to take advantage of the wide array of dynamic features in Illustrator CS5. This course demonstrates how to apply these features to paths, groups, and editable text to create professional-quality artwork. The course covers Live Trace, Live Paint, and Live Color, as well as symbols, gradients, exporting, and integration with Photoshop. Exercise files accompany the course.
I've saved my progress as Heap of humanoids.ai. In this exercise, we're going to take our successfully interlocking objects and we're going to convert them into a rectangular tile pattern, but how? See the thing is, even if you get your objects exactly interlocking like this, if there are no gaps whatsoever, and everything looks absolutely perfect, it is by no means implicitly obvious where that rectangle should be. By the way, you have to mark a rectangle using the Rectangle tool. So let me show you.
I'm going to switchover to the humanoid layer. Make sure it's active. Then I'll grab my Rectangle tool either by clicking on it, or pressing the M key. Then I could just draw a rectangle like so in the middle of the shape. Of course, I'm covering everything up, so that's no good. Up here in the Control panel, I'm going the Fill to None. Then I'm going to change the Stroke to White. Then I'll zoom in on my rectangle to see if that's what I want. And how could it possibly be what I want? I mean, we need to see everything repeating properly.
So if I were to merely select an arbitrary area, like so. We would have this guy's shoulder, the yellow guy's shoulder, upside down man, coming right into the purple guy's shoulder over here. So what we need, is we need to surround our various objects similarly. So we need to look for common points of reference. So I'm going to get rid of that rectangle just by deleting it. What's looking pretty good for me is the top of this yellow guy's head. Notice that we've got another yellow guy next door, and he has got a top of the head too.
So that's good. Then down here, we've got yellow guys that are more or less directly below. Now I say more or less, because they aren't actually directly below. They're out of alignment. But we'll fix that momentarily. Anyway, I'm going to go ahead and draw a rectangle from the top of that guy's head, the upside down yellow guy, to about the top of the other upside down yellow guy's head. But you can see over here in the right-hand side, but you can see I'm not aligning properly. So I'll have to fix that in just a moment. Then I'll drag down here. And I can't even see, because I didn't auto scroll and Illustrator's not keeping up with me, so I'll just release and hope for the best, and the best wasn't very good.
But anyway, that's the way things are. So what I need to do now is I need to take these massive interlocking guys and I need to rotate them slightly, so they fit better in the rectangle. So I'm going to press Ctrl+A, or Cmd+A on the Mac to select all these guys. My gosh, that's so easy to figure out with all those selection edges. I'm going to Shift+Click with the Black Arrow tool, Shift+Click on the rectangle, because I don't want to move it. All right, now I'll press Ctrl+H or Cmd +H on the Mac. Now that I have confirmed the rectangle is deselected, so that I'm getting rid of the selection edges, just so I can see what the heck I'm doing.
I'll get my Rotate tool, which I can get by pressing the R key of course, and I'll click at that point of alignment where the top of that yellow guy's head is indeed aligned properly. That will become the origin for my rotation. Then I'll go ahead and drag these guys down, so they at least appear to be aligned, and I'm not sure if I'm doing this right or not. So I'm going to have to zoom in a little bit. Let's press Ctrl+Y or Cmd+Y on the Mac in order to switch to the Outline mode. I'm seeing too many of these guys, because the template layer is still turned on.
So I'll turn it off. And what I want to do, I'll leave this origin point right where it is. I'm not sure that the top of that head is exactly where it needs to be. So I'm going to drag back up like so, and I'm going to take another swing at it. I'm going to drag it down until the top point of that other yellow head exactly aligns to the top of that rectangle right there. Then I'll check these guys down below. Make sure their heads are aligning. Well, at least they are on the straight and narrow here. They're aligned horizontally. They're not aligned to the bottom of the rectangle, but that's the rectangle's fault.
So I'm going to switch to the Direct Selection tool and I'm going to press Ctrl+H once again to see my selection edges. I'll press Ctrl+Shift+A, Cmd+Shift+A on a Mac to deselect everything, and I'm going to grab this corner point by clicking on it, and this corner point as well by clicking on it. Then I'll drag it up while pressing the Shift key, because this has to be an absolute rectangle, by the way, you've got to constrain this shape to a rectangle. You can't let it get rotated or slanted or anything like that. Then I'll release my mouse button once I've snapped into alignment there, and I'll release the Shift key as well.
Now I'm going to click off the path outline. I'm going to click on this corner point again. I'm going to scroll up inside of my illustration, and Shift+Click on this guy. I'll drag it over while I press the Shift key until it snaps into alignment. Now we have the rectangle exactly where it needs to be. So it should be snapped into alignment. If I press Ctrl+Y or Cmd +Y, I can confirm. We should have a rectangle that's snapped exactly into alignment with each of the upside down yellow guy's heads. Sure enough, it looks like we have exactly that kind of alignment.
Okay, now having done that, leave the rectangle there, let's get rid of the dudes we don't need. So I'm going to get my Black Arrow tool and I'm going to select anybody who is not at least partially inside the rectangle. If they're even partially in the rectangle, leave them. But if they aren't, like this yellow guy is not actually contributing, because even though his corner is right there inside of the rectangle, there is already another corner point that's filling in the gaps. So we already have a stroke that's going into the rectangle from the purple guy there.
So we don't need the gold guy. I'll Shift+Click on him as well. Him we need, because his tail goes in. Him we need, because his hand goes in. Him we don't need, because nothing goes in. Him we need, because just the little teeny top of his finger goes in. So you've really got to keep a close eye. This red guy, we need him, because the top of his hair is inside the rectangle; this purple guy, his hand's in the rectangle; this red guy, his arm and leg are in the rectangle. These two guys, not in the rectangle, they can come out. And that's it, everybody else has to stay.
So just these two guys over here, and these three to four guys, actually this fourth guy as well. Once you've selected and pressed the Backspace key or the Delete key to get rid of them, and now we have a rectangular tile pattern. Believe it or not, this is what rectangular tile patterns look like inside of Illustrator. In the next exercise, I'll show you how to save this pattern as a swatch, so that we can apply it as a fill to an object here inside Illustrator.
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