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Expert Divide and Unite

From: Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Advanced

Video: Expert Divide and Unite

All right gang, I've gone ahead and saved my progress so far as a file called Fun with frisbees.ai. Now, you may recall that we've used the divide and unite combo a couple of times. First of all, just a basic combination of divide followed by unite in order to create the robot's thumbs. Then we used an advanced application of divide and unite in order to create the B in BOO and in this exercise we're going to use an expert application of divide and unite in order to combine the frisbees along with the smock. Because this is what we're looking for.

Expert Divide and Unite

All right gang, I've gone ahead and saved my progress so far as a file called Fun with frisbees.ai. Now, you may recall that we've used the divide and unite combo a couple of times. First of all, just a basic combination of divide followed by unite in order to create the robot's thumbs. Then we used an advanced application of divide and unite in order to create the B in BOO and in this exercise we're going to use an expert application of divide and unite in order to combine the frisbees along with the smock. Because this is what we're looking for.

If we switch over to the final version of the ghost robot, what we have essentially is a partial cylinder on top here with a frisbee underneath it, another partial cylinder atop another frisbee, a third partial cylinder atop a final frisbee and then the rest of the robot's body down below and that's the effect we need to achieve. So these are the primitives that we're going to be working with. What we've got is the larger smock shape and then we have this little guy here, which is going to serve as the base of our first cylinder. We've got this guy which is the base of our second cylinder, and this guy which is the base of our third cylinder and then we've got a series of three frisbees.

Now, the thing about the frisbees is-- let's go ahead and switch back to the final version of the illustration. Thing about the frisbees is they both appear both in back and in front in different forms, right. They're somewhat covered up in back but we can't see them through the translucent shapes right here. And then they are entirely opaque in front. So we really need two shapes, this guy right there and then this guy in the background, in order to express the full frisbee shape. This is how we're going to achieve that effect. I'm going to go ahead and switch back to Fun with frisbees.ai and I'm going to select each one of the three frisbees like so. So click on one, Shift-click on the others. And then I'm going to ahead and copy it by going into the Edit menu, and choosing the Copy command, Ctrl+C, Command+C on the Mac. And you know what, why don't we go ahead and paste these frisbees in advance? Instead of just expecting them to sit there and exist in the clipboard, because the thing is the clipboard is precarious. It's a fragile cache essentially.

And what means is that at any time in the future you could select something else and then copy it and then you wipe out your frisbees. So I might as well paste them in advance. So I'm going to click off my robot to make sure nothing is active and I'm going to press Ctrl+V, or Command+V on the Mac, in order to paste those frisbees to back and I'm going to go ahead and scroll down my list here in the Layers palette so that I can see that indeed there are my three frisbees pasted in back of everything else. Why don't we go ahead and group the frisbees together by pressing Ctrl+G or Command+G on the Mac. So now we have a group. All right, great and you know what? I'm going to hide those frisbees for now by clicking on the eyeball in front of said group. All right, let's select those guys again. Click, Shift-click, Shift-click to select all three of them and then I'm going to do something very smart. I'm going to change them to a different color so that they're uniquely colored where this illustration is concerned. That way, I can easily select the fragmented shapes in the future. Because I'm going to divide them into a bazillion shapes. They're going to be very hard to select manually.

But they're going to be very easy to select if they are colored the same, as we'll see. So the color then I'm going to use doesn't really matter as long as it's unique. But let's try like 50% Cyan, and then let's try like 15% Magenta. I'm pretty sure I didn't use that in any place else inside of this illustration. And then for larfs, let's do 35% or even 36%, something just weird, 36.3%. Yellow will workout nicely for us. Okay, so that looks pretty similar to this guy right there, but it is unique as we'll see.

Now, it's time for divide and unite. So we need to make sure that we're selecting the three frisbee shapes. These three sort of wedge shapes, I don't know what you want to call them. The guys that define the bottom of the cylinders. Select each one of them, so we now have six shapes selected and then Shift-click on the background smock to make sure that it's selected as well. So there is big old white shape in the background. So you have a total of 7 shapes selected. Then I want you to go over to the Pathfinder palette and click on Divide. Now this is when things start getting pretty dicey because now we have just got a ton of shapes that we have created inside of this illustration. They're all grouped together of course. So that means in order to get rid of the ones we don't want, I'm going to have to switch over to the White Arrow tool. So go ahead and do that as well and I'm going to click off the shapes in order to deselect them.

Alt-click or Option-click on any one of these guys, because we need to get rid of them, right. Need to get rid of this guy and this little weird shape over here and this little weird shape and so on. Now, they are all transparent and if I'm lucky, I should be able to select them all. Because I've got one selected, I should be able to match that by going up to my little Select Similar Options icon right there and choosing All, or I could have just clicked on the icon I guess, because that's how it was set by default there. All right, now that didn't necessarily just select those shapes. In fact there is a few other shapes that have no fill going on here. And so those ended up getting selected as well. And so if you end up with this kind of effect right here, what you can do is you can deselect the shapes that you don't want to have selected anymore using the Lasso tool. It's a really great function of the Lasso tool and this is in fact the way I use the tool most often.

I'll go ahead and select the Lasso tool by clicking on it and then I'll press the Alt or Option key. Gosh we have this key down a lot. Alt or Option in order to switch the Lasso tool to a Deselection tool and then drag around the things that you want to deselect, like this region of the face. Now, it's deselected. Let's go ahead and scroll upwards, just to make sure there is nothing else up there that we want to deselect. Then I'll Alt or Option drag around this region in order to deselect those paths including the cape outline right there. So we still have these six shapes selected right there. That's very important. And then go ahead and Alt+Drag and Option+Drag around the feet and the ball and chain and we're left then just with these six guys selected there. Or you could have just Alt-clicked on one, Option-clicked on one and then Shift+Alt -clicked or Shift+Option-clicked on the other ones. Either way, but I just want to show you that nifty Lasso tool trick right there. Then press the Backspace key or the Delete key on the Mac in order to get rid of those objects.

All right, now we're ready to add some of these shapes together. I'm going to go ahead and grab my White Arrow tool and I'm going to Alt-click here and Shift+Alt-click here and Shift+Alt- click here and if you're on the Mac, that's an Option-click and a Shift+Option- click twice. So these are the shapes that you want to select. You want to select this guy right down there. This guy right there. I'm kind of tracing around it and then this top shape there and if you want to get a better sense of what's going on, you can drag them over to the side. These are the shapes that we are going to unite together. All right, I'll go ahead and undo that moment and I'll unite them by clicking on the Unite button.

Gets filled with the wrong color, that's fine. It's going with the forward color by the way. So the color of the frontmost shape, which happen to be this weird green. What we want is white, so with the Fill selected here inside the Color palette, just go ahead and click on the white swatch and we got it. Now, Alt-click or Option-click here. Shift+Alt-click or Shift+Option-click here. Shift+Alt-click or Shift+Option- click there. So again another group of three shapes. Go ahead and unite them together. It's tedious, but it's fun tedium don't you think? And then let's go ahead and fill that with white and then we're going to do the same darn thing again. Alt-click or Option-click.

Shift+Alt-click or Shift+Option-click, Shift+Alt-click or Shift+Option-click in order to select these three shapes. Go ahead and unite them together. Notice they are the wrong color, then switch them to white like so. All right, we only have one more group of shapes that we need to unite. But if you take a look at them, they are all the frisbee wedges at this point. But if you take a look, a close look, you'll see that there are a bunch of different shapes going on in here. If you thought, selecting those others shapes was tedious, just imagine trying to select these guys, because they are not always in front.

Look at this. If I click here, I get this guy. If I click here, I get this guy. So it's very difficult to select the shape right there unless you do this. Watch this. I'll just go ahead and Alt-click or Option-click on any one of these green frisbee edges and then go upto the Select Similar Objects icon and click on it and because these guys were set to their own weird color, they are the only ones that become selected. Nothing else about the illustration is selected at this point.

Wonderful, my gosh! What a time saver. Then go over to Unite and click on it and now all of the frisbees are united together into one overarching group. In the next exercise, we're going to make the background smock translucent, so we can see through to the rear frisbees.

Show transcript

This video is part of

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

149 video lessons · 21456 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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