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Expanding, filling, and stroking a brush

From: Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced

Video: Expanding, filling, and stroking a brush

In this movie, I'll show you how to expand the appearance of an art brush, and this works for any style of brush by the way. And what that's going to allow us to do is to create these red floral treatments up here at the top and the bottom of the artwork that are both filled with tile patterns-- these aren't pattern brushes, they are art brushes filled with tile patterns-- and then we'll be able to stroke that expanded art brush with yet another art brush. So I'll go ahead and switch to my illustration in progress, and using the Black Arrow tool I'll select both the top path and the bottom path here, that is these curling symmetrical paths. And they are also symmetrical about the artboard, that is they are located in vertical opposition symmetrically apart from each other.

Expanding, filling, and stroking a brush

In this movie, I'll show you how to expand the appearance of an art brush, and this works for any style of brush by the way. And what that's going to allow us to do is to create these red floral treatments up here at the top and the bottom of the artwork that are both filled with tile patterns-- these aren't pattern brushes, they are art brushes filled with tile patterns-- and then we'll be able to stroke that expanded art brush with yet another art brush. So I'll go ahead and switch to my illustration in progress, and using the Black Arrow tool I'll select both the top path and the bottom path here, that is these curling symmetrical paths. And they are also symmetrical about the artboard, that is they are located in vertical opposition symmetrically apart from each other.

And now let's go ahead and stroke these paths with an art brush by bringing up the Brushes panel. And then I'm going to scroll down the list, past the natural media brushes to this group of floral brushes right here. And the one that I'm specifically interested in is this guy called Floral Bulbs. Now it doesn't look like much when applied to a flat horizontal path, but when you apply it to curving path outlines like these, you get a very interesting effect as you can see. It's almost a crab-like effect here. I like it very much, so I just want it to be a little thicker.

So I'll change the line weight to 1.2 pt., which will of course expand the width of the art brush along the path to 120% of its former size. Now notice that even though this art brush is horizontally symmetrical, we do not have vertical symmetry going on. This dollop of paint should be moved to the other side of the path if it's going to be symmetrical to the dollop of paint at the top of the artboard. So I'll Shift+Click on that top path in order to deselect it. Then I'll bring back my Brushes panel and I'll click on that little dialog box icon there in order to bring up the options for the selected object.

Now I've got the Preview checkbox turned on so I can see what I'm doing. Notice these two flip checkboxes right here. Flip Along is going to, in our case, flip the brush stroke horizontally, which isn't going to do us any good, because it's already horizontally symmetrical; and if you want to confirm that you can turn it on and you'll see that nothing happens. So mine as well turn it back off. What we want is Flip Across in order to flip the art brush across the path outline. So I'll go ahead and turn checkbox on and I get the exact symmetry I'm looking for.

All right now click OK in order to confirm that change. And I'll hide the Brushes panel, and then I'll Shift+Click on that top path outline, and of course I was able to locate it by looking for that little square next to Black Arrow cursor. Now what I'd like to be able to do is change the stroke to a pattern, and so I can of course click on this second swatch up here in the Control panel and I can select a color if I like. That will go ahead and colorize the path, we've already seen that. However, if I apply a tile pattern such as red wedges here, it doesn't do anything.

We go back to the standard black path outline, and that's because you can't apply tile patterns to art brushes. So we need to expand those art brushes into closed path outlines. And you do that by going up here to be Object menu and choosing the Expand Appearance command. And that goes ahead and draws path outlines around those art brush shapes. Now what we've got is a group, as we can see on the far left side of the Control panel, but it's really two independent groups. And you can confirm that by switching over to Layers panel and twirling open the flourishes layer right there. And you'll see our two groups, full hi and full lo.

What we're going to want in order to scale the pattern so that it matches the pattern in the background is one overarching group. That way the center of the big group here of both floral patterns matches the center of the artboard, which matches the center or the background rectangle, so that everybody is in sync with each other. So the first thing we want to do is destroy the current group by going up to the Object menu and choosing the Ungroup command, or you can press Ctrl+Shift+G or Command+Shift+G on the Mac, and notice that leaves us with a bunch of independent path outlines as I can see once again on the far- left side of the Control panel.

And now I'll group those together by going up to the Object menu and choosing the Group command or pressing Ctrl+ G or Command+G on the Mac. Now just to keep everything tidy, let's get rid of the fill that's associated with the independent path outlines by switching over to the Appearance panel and double-clicking on the word Contents, which will show us the fill that's assigned to those paths. And I'll go ahead and click on that Fill swatch and I'll change it to None. Now I'll return to Group up here at the top of the stack, it says Group: No Appearance.

Double-click on it in order to switch the focus to the group, and click on the Add New Fill icon at the bottom of the panel to reinstate that black fill. Then click on the Fill swatch in order to bring up the list of swatches and select Red Wedges in order to apply that tile pattern. Now it's too small as you can see, so we need to scale it. By going up to the Effect menu, choosing Distort & Transform, and choosing Transform--or if you have loaded Deke keys you can press Ctrl+E or Command+E on the Mac. And then let's go and change both of these Scale values to 200%, and I'll turn on the Preview checkbox, and it looks like I've done something terribly wrong.

I've left Transform Objects turned on; I don't want that, so I'll turn off that checkbox. But you do want Transform Patterns to be turned on, and you'll see now we have a perfect match between the red pattern and that yellow pattern in the background. So go ahead and click OK in order to apply that change. All right, now I want to stroke these paths with yet another art brush. So I'll bring up by Brushes panel and I'll go ahead and scroll up the list--and this is the guy I'm looking for right there, Charcoal. Not Charcoal - Feather or Charcoal - Rough or any of those, just plain old Charcoal.

And I also want the stroke to be green, so I'll go ahead and click on the Stroke Swatch here inside the Appearance panel and I'll change it to that dark shade of green: C=90, M=30, Y=95, K=30. And I'll also change the Blend mode by clicking on the word Opacity and setting that Blend mode from normal to multiply in order to burn in the effect. All right now to better see what I'm doing here I'll press Ctrl+H or Command+H on the Mac, to hide the selection edges. I don't want those strokes to be in front of the fills, I want them to be behind.

So I'll grab the stroke in the Appearance panel and drag it down to just above the word Contents in order to produce this effect here. Now I want that Charcoal brush stroke to fit the paths a little differently. So I'll bring up the Brushes panel for the final time in this movie anyway, and then I'll click on that little dialog box icon at the bottom of the panel. And I'll make sure the Preview checkbox is turned on, and I'll turn on both Flip Along and Flip Across. And this is just based on trial and error by the way. But I want you to know that these options are always available.

And now I'll go ahead and click OK in order to apply that change. And that's how you expand a brush stroke in Illustrator so that you can fill it with a tile pattern, as well as stroke that former brush with yet another art brush.

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This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced
Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced

118 video lessons · 14654 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 43m 9s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      2m 9s
    2. Introducing my custom keyboard shortcuts
      6m 52s
    3. Installing my dekeKeys shortcuts on Windows
      4m 46s
    4. Installing my dekeKeys shortcuts on the Mac
      4m 18s
    5. Remapping your Macintosh OS shortcuts
      3m 10s
    6. Adjusting a few key Preferences settings
      8m 13s
    7. Understanding the color-managed workflow
      6m 51s
    8. Establishing the optimal Color Settings
      6m 50s
  2. 1h 11m
    1. Illustrator's oldest dynamic functions
      1m 28s
    2. Creating a multicolor blend
      7m 12s
    3. Establishing a clipping mask
      5m 40s
    4. Reinstating the colors of a clipping path
      8m 1s
    5. Editing individual blended paths
      4m 44s
    6. Adjusting the number of steps in a blend
      7m 15s
    7. Fixing problems with the Blend tool
      4m 2s
    8. Blending different levels of opacity
      4m 45s
    9. Editing the spine of a blend
      5m 3s
    10. Adding a custom spine to any blend
      5m 5s
    11. Advanced blending and masking techniques
      6m 18s
    12. Blending between entire groups
      3m 2s
    13. Adjusting the speed of a blend
      3m 21s
    14. Rotating objects in 3D space
      5m 36s
  3. 1h 0m
    1. Illustrator's logo-making features
      1m 8s
    2. Customizing a single character of type
      5m 25s
    3. Combining a letterform with a path outline
      7m 48s
    4. Creating logo type along an open path
      5m 3s
    5. Creating logo type around a closed circle
      3m 57s
    6. Vertical alignment, orientation, and spacing
      4m 55s
    7. Warping logo type around a circle
      6m 56s
    8. Creating a classic neon type effect
      5m 39s
    9. Adding random neon brightness fluctuations
      5m 19s
    10. Creating neon "block outs" between letters
      7m 44s
    11. Adding neon blur and bokeh in Photoshop
      6m 16s
  4. 46m 19s
    1. Generating colors using harmony rules
      1m 31s
    2. Introducing the Color Guide panel
      5m 16s
    3. The 23 color harmony rules, diagrammed
      8m 16s
    4. Mixing and matching color harmonies
      5m 59s
    5. Color groups and custom harmony rules
      6m 18s
    6. Working in the Edit Colors dialog box
      7m 4s
    7. Expanding on an existing harmony rule
      6m 51s
    8. Constraining colors to a predefined library
      5m 4s
  5. 32m 44s
    1. Changing lots of colors all at once
      1m 2s
    2. Introducing the Recolor Artwork command
      4m 58s
    3. Recoloring with the help of swatch groups
      4m 35s
    4. Changing the color-assignment order
      6m 44s
    5. Reducing the number of colors in your art
      5m 7s
    6. Applying tints and shades of a single swatch
      5m 37s
    7. Recoloring artwork that contains gradients
      4m 41s
  6. 1h 15m
    1. Painting with path outlines
      1m 24s
    2. Introducing the Brushes panel
      4m 25s
    3. Applying and editing a calligraphic brush
      7m 34s
    4. Applying and scaling an art brush
      6m 12s
    5. Applying and editing a scatter brush
      5m 31s
    6. Formatting and scaling brushed text
      5m 45s
    7. Designing a custom art brush
      7m 35s
    8. Creating (or replacing) an art brush
      6m 42s
    9. Refining a brush to fit ends and corners
      4m 11s
    10. Expanding, filling, and stroking a brush
      7m 4s
    11. Type on a path vs. text as an art brush
      7m 3s
    12. Distorting text with the Width tool
      8m 49s
    13. Infusing your artwork with a tile pattern
      3m 13s
  7. 58m 24s
    1. The many forms of transparency
      1m 38s
    2. Creating translucency with the Opacity value
      4m 21s
    3. Darken, Multiply, and Color Burn
      6m 15s
    4. Lighten, Screen, and Color Dodge
      5m 8s
    5. Overlay, Soft Light, Hard Light, Difference, and Exclusion
      4m 59s
    6. Hue, Saturation, Color, and Luminosity
      5m 12s
    7. Combining the effects of multiple blend modes
      6m 42s
    8. Isolating blending and Knockout Group
      7m 37s
    9. Combining blend modes with dynamic effects
      7m 25s
    10. Exporting transparency from Illustrator
      9m 7s
  8. 1h 39m
    1. The Layers panel for dynamic attributes
      1m 4s
    2. Applying attributes in the Appearance panel
      6m 15s
    3. Creating depth using translucent strokes
      5m 37s
    4. Adding, layering, and offsetting strokes
      6m 12s
    5. Duplicating entire groups of attributes
      7m 55s
    6. Turning stacked strokes into editable paths
      5m 43s
    7. Simplifying a multi-stroke effect
      6m 31s
    8. Applying the Convert to Shape effect
      7m 47s
    9. Adding aligned patterns and shadows
      8m 16s
    10. Drawing with arrowheads and angled strokes
      8m 49s
    11. Employing overlapping gradient strokes
      8m 25s
    12. Drawing circular stroke elements
      10m 13s
    13. Outlining an entire multi-stroke effect
      8m 39s
    14. Creating seamless wood grain in Photoshop
      8m 11s
  9. 1h 12m
    1. The best features in Illustrator
      1m 38s
    2. Repeating a series of transformations
      6m 18s
    3. Adjusting and updating a dynamic effect
      6m 37s
    4. Applying a stroke to an entire layer
      6m 24s
    5. Improving the performance of drop shadows
      5m 40s
    6. Applying a single effect multiple times
      6m 10s
    7. Creating an intricate Spirograph pattern
      7m 10s
    8. Adding scalloped edges with Pucker & Bloat
      4m 40s
    9. Applying a dynamic Pathfinder to a layer
      3m 56s
    10. Creating beveled ornaments
      6m 50s
    11. Creating a sculptural type effect
      5m 59s
    12. Subtracting editable text from a path
      7m 6s
    13. Editing text inside a dynamic effect
      4m 25s
  10. 27m 40s
    1. Never remember anything again, ever
      1m 41s
    2. The pixel-based Effect Gallery
      3m 53s
    3. Copying effects from one layer to another
      4m 44s
    4. Introducing the Graphic Styles panel
      4m 11s
    5. Correcting previews in the Effect Gallery
      4m 36s
    6. Adjusting the resolution of your effects
      4m 0s
    7. Combining and saving graphic styles
      4m 35s
  11. 1h 13m
    1. Two powerful graphics programs combine forces
      1m 5s
    2. Creating a perfectly centered star shape
      6m 52s
    3. Precisely scaling concentric circles
      7m 47s
    4. Adding reflective highlights with the Flare tool
      6m 23s
    5. Two ways to rasterize vector art for Photoshop
      7m 37s
    6. Importing vector art as a Smart Object
      6m 47s
    7. Creating a lens flare effect in Photoshop
      7m 56s
    8. Photographic texture and brushed highlights
      6m 26s
    9. Modifying a vector Smart Object in Illustrator
      6m 33s
    10. Converting Illustrator paths to shape layers
      6m 27s
    11. Assign layer effects to native shape layers
      5m 55s
    12. Completing a work of photorealistic art
      3m 46s
  12. 1m 5s
    1. Until next time
      1m 5s

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