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How to create interlocking shapes in Illustrator

From: Creative Quick Tips

Video: How to create interlocking shapes in Illustrator

Hey there, welcome back to another episode of Creative Quick Tips. So now I have these rings interlocked with each other very quick, very easy.

How to create interlocking shapes in Illustrator

Hey there, welcome back to another episode of Creative Quick Tips. My name is Justin Seeley and I'm a staff author here at lynda.com. This week we're going to be talking about creating interlocking shapes inside of Adobe Illustrator. And a lot of people do it in many different ways, but my method is actually really quick and really easy, and that's what I'm going to be showing you here today. So basically, what I want to do is take these three rings, and just like a magician, I'm going to magically link them together inside of Adobe Illustrator. Now first things first, we need to look at the anatomy of these rings. And so when I click on one of these rings, you're going to see here that the ring itself is just a circle or an ellipse with a stroke applied to it.

Same thing here, the green one and the blue one. Nothing fancy going on with these shapes. However, in order to make these shapes interact with one another in the manner that I want them to, I need to first convert them from stroked objects into filled objects. So here's what we're going to do. I going to go up to the Object menu, I'm going to go down to Path and I'm going to select Outline Stroke. And that's just going to convert the stroke into a path, as you can see there. Now, when you start to look at these shapes, do you see the little intersecting points? When I zoom in here, you can see like this little area here, these areas here.

These are all areas of overlap that are easily then translated into making these look interlocked by using something called the Shape Builder tool. I'm going to do that by pressing Shift+M on my keyboard. And what I'm going to do now is come in here and I'm just going to start making these things look as though they overlap. So, I'm just going to click and drag across here, and that's going to overlap. And you may see the colors change. That's totally okay with that. Let me back that up. You can actually go in and change that by double-clicking on the Shade Builder and making sure cursor swatch preview is turned on.

Hit OK. And then I can just mouse through something like this, and I can make the colors look exactly like I want them to. And so in this case, what I'm going to do is cycle through until I get to a green, and so this one's going to be green. And you can see there, they're just kind of on top of each other, just like that. And so now what I'm going to do. Find a blue color that I like, so I'm just going to mouse through until I find a blue, something like this. Click and drag across. There we go. This one here, what I'm going to do is cycle back until I get to that red color again.

And once I get to the red, I'm then going to make this interlock like that. And then I want the green one to go across here, so what I'm going to do is just mouse over until I find a green color that I like. And I can actually go down all the way to the original green color if I want to. There we go, and we'l just mouse over like that. And so now they're all pretty much interlocked with another. If I want to complete this, I'll just go to the blue color one more time and finish it off by dragging it across those two. So now I have these rings interlocked with each other very quick, very easy.

Each one is it's own individual shape as you can see. You can come in and change the color of these any time. So I could select both red segments and then change those to orange, let's say. I could take all of the green segments, and I could convert those over to blue. And then I could take the blue segments, and I could change those over to something like pink for instance. And there you see they all still interlock with one another, making it very easy to change this shape anytime I want, and making the appearance look a lot more complicated than it really is.

As you start to get more creative with your illustrations, try using the Shape Builder to sort of interlock and make these interact with one another in different ways. It's a really great way to extend the creativity of your artwork.

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This video is part of

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Creative Quick Tips

57 video lessons · 37613 viewers

Justin Seeley
Author

 
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  1. 1m 45s
    1. Welcome to the series
      48s
    2. How to send feedback
      57s
  2. 9m 1s
    1. How to create line shadows in Illustrator
      5m 30s
    2. Using custom keyboard shortcuts in Photoshop
      3m 31s
  3. 11m 50s
    1. How to create layers from Photoshop Layer Styles
      3m 14s
    2. How to turn Illustrator artwork into Shape Layers
      3m 15s
    3. How to combine vector shapes in Photoshop
      2m 49s
    4. How to use text wrapping in Illustrator
      2m 32s
  4. 15m 41s
    1. How to effectively rotate objects in Illustrator
      2m 39s
    2. How to create interlocking shapes in Illustrator
      3m 29s
    3. How to speed up Photoshop's performance
      3m 25s
    4. How to use tool shortcuts in Photoshop
      2m 52s
    5. How to use springloaded shortcuts in Photoshop
      3m 16s
  5. 9m 27s
    1. How to create a better Twitter avatar
      3m 59s
    2. How to embed videos in WordPress without a plugin
      1m 45s
    3. How to embed real tweets into any WordPress post
      2m 15s
    4. Create your own Photoshop shortcut cheat sheet
      1m 28s
  6. 17m 53s
    1. How to create better Facebook cover photos
      4m 31s
    2. How to use keyboard shortcuts in WordPress
      2m 47s
    3. How to add Apple touch icons to your website
      5m 27s
    4. How to use Font Awesome in design applications
      5m 8s
  7. 8m 50s
    1. How to create your own pixel grids
      4m 25s
    2. How to sample colors from anywhere
      2m 5s
    3. How to create diagonal guides in Illustrator
      2m 20s
  8. 13m 48s
    1. How to round individual corners on Illustrator shapes
      3m 21s
    2. How to use Camera Raw as a Smart Filter
      4m 8s
    3. How to use the Shape Builder Tool to recolor artwork
      3m 34s
    4. How to use "Align to Key Object" in Illustrator
      2m 45s
  9. 8m 26s
    1. Exploring the Kuler Panel in Illustrator CC
      1m 50s
    2. How to draw awesome shapes with the tilde key
      2m 12s
    3. How to reset your bounding box in Illustrator
      2m 6s
    4. How to change your artboard color in Illustrator
      2m 18s
  10. 23m 19s
    1. How to use Photoshop and Illustrator to write CSS
      4m 1s
    2. How to create scalable rounded rectangles in Illustrator
      4m 16s
    3. How to use the fill commands in Photoshop
      3m 52s
    4. How to accurately space objects in Illustrator
      2m 5s
    5. Ten WordPress plugins that you should know
      9m 5s
  11. 9m 41s
    1. Unlocking background layers in Photoshop
      1m 8s
    2. Using opacity shortcuts in Photoshop
      1m 50s
    3. Using Illustrator's Glyphs Panel for icon fonts
      3m 15s
    4. Creating flexible buttons in Illustrator
      3m 28s
  12. 6m 31s
    1. Locking artwork in Illustrator
      2m 5s
    2. Five free fonts for your next project
      2m 0s
    3. Improving the SEO of your Muse website
      2m 26s
  13. 17m 7s
    1. Fitting content into your InDesign frames
      2m 37s
    2. Setting up your own Autocorrect in InDesign
      2m 33s
    3. Drawing complex shapes in Illustrator
      3m 14s
    4. Using the snapshots feature in Photoshop
      4m 40s
    5. Creating awesome product shots with Placeit
      4m 3s
  14. 18m 10s
    1. How to find free stock photos online
      1m 55s
    2. Using the transform command in Illustrator
      4m 14s
    3. Five tools for wireframing & mockups
      7m 36s
    4. How to convert videos into GIFs using Photoshop
      4m 25s
  15. 16m 10s
    1. Using PNG Hat to export Photoshop assets
      4m 56s
    2. How to setup two-step authentication in WordPress
      3m 50s
    3. Analyzing the speed of your website
      2m 19s
    4. How to create beveled text in Illustrator
      5m 5s

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