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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.
In this exercise, I am going to introduce you to Live Paint in the context of this boring old Venn diagram. In fact, the name of this illustration is Venn diagram.ai. In case you are not familiar with what a Venn diagram is, it's a way of visually representing topics, and what happens when those topics overlap with each other. We are going to end up working through a more exciting project. I don't want you to think this is the be-all and end-all here. Ultimately, before we are done with this chapter, we are going to create this Celtic knot pattern in which these various objects are winding through each other.
In fact, we've got a single object; the screen object here that's winding through itself, something that you can't do just by sending things forward and backward without breaking up the objects. But you can do it and keep the objects totally intact using Live Paint. Anyway, let's get our feet wet inside this illustration. Notice that I've got a total of three circles, that's all, that are interacting with each other here. So I have got a cyan circle, a magenta one, and an orange one, and they are interacting currently using a Blend mode. Let me show you how that looks.
I will go ahead and undo the movement of those circles. I'll select the top two circles because this orange circle is in back. It's the base object, don't have to apply a Blend mode to it, and then I will go up to the Opacity option here in the Control panel, and notice that this Blend mode in the upper left-hand corner of the dropdown panel is set to Multiply. By default, it would be set to Normal so that you have a bunch of opaque objects like this. However, if you choose one of the other blend modes, then you are going to get some sort of blending interaction, and we'll be running through the blend modes in a lot of detail in the transparency chapter at the end of this very series.
But in the meantime, if you are working along with me, just go ahead and choose Multiply and what that does is it treats each one of these objects as if they are printed on an independent transparency, and then we are layering the transparencies on top of each other on, say, an overhead projector or a light table. That creates a uniform darkening effect. So, wherever the objects overlap each other, then we get a darker mix of those two colors. I love blend modes; they are absolutely awesome, they are parametric meaning they're based on a parameter, you can change your mind anytime you like.
However, let's say, I want one more control. For example, I'd like this red area here to be darker, so that it looks quite a bit different than magenta circle next to it. The green is fine, the blue wants to be a little darker and this area around my brain wants to be white, not this drab gray. Then finally, I want to take all these strokes inside this intersecting area, and I want to make them thinner, and that's something that you can do with Live Paint. So Live Paint gives you a vast degree of control over these intersecting fills and stroke areas, and it keeps all the objects independent of each other as we'll see.
So, what I am going to do is switch over here to the layers panel and I am going to turn off this bottom layer, which is called Multiply after the Multiply blend mode. I will turn it off and then I will turn on Normal, and these are those very same circles set to the Normal blend mode. You need to make sure that if you are working along with me, you turn off the Multiply layer and then turn on Normal to get the same results that I am getting. Then go ahead and marquee the three circles, just the circles; you don't want to select any of the text. After having done that, we are going to select a Live Paint tool. Now if you're familiar with previous versions of Illustrator, you may wonder where in the world the Live Paint Bucket went.
It's actually inside of this group right here; you go to the Shape Builder tool, click and hold on it, and then you get this flyout menu that includes the Live Paint Bucket. You'll also have the keyboard shortcut of K and once you select the Live Paint Bucket, you should see this little bucket cursor with a triad, so in other words, three swatches above it so three little color swatches. If you don't, it means that you have some non-color swatch active. So for example, if I were to dial in a different color inside the Color panel here, I'll just dial in 50, 50, 50 for Cyan, Magenta and Yellow and then press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac.
That does not correspond to any of the swatches in my Swatches panel and then I'll just see a single color above that Paint Bucket cursor. Something else I want you to notice is that even though all these objects are selected here and the Fill is currently active, I didn't change the fill of my selected objects. That's because I have the Live Paint Bucket tool selected and Illustrator knows that I am not going to apply any attribute, Fill or Stroke, until I do so by clicking with this cursor. All right, but this is a problem that I can only see a single swatch above the cursor that's not what I want at all.
So what you need to do is switch over to a swatch. So go to the Swatches panel and click on, in our case, one of the early swatches is the way you want to go, and I have set up all of the swatches that we are going to use right here at the beginning of the Swatches panel. That's a good practice, by the way, to get your swatches in order before you start applying them with the Live Paint Bucket tool. Of course, you can always rearrange swatches later, change your mind as you're working with the tool. But I am going to go ahead and click on something like deep orange for now, just to get something active. Now notice, that the three colors above my cursor are not only deep orange right there in the center, but also the two neighboring swatches that you see in the Swatches panel.
If you want to advance and retreat between swatches, then you press the Right Arrow key to move forward through the swatches, and you can see it happening not only above the Paint Bucket, but also over there in the Swatches panel in the upper-right corner of the screen, or you can press the Left Arrow cursor to move backward through your swatches. All right! So what I want to do is I want to fill this area between Illustrator and Photoshop with the dark blue, so I will advance to that dark blue; it happens after the green, so right there between green and yellow and I will click in order to fill that area. That's all it takes.
Now immediately, you have done two things; first of all, you fill this area that intersecting area with that color that you've selected. You've also gone ahead and converted those objects. If I twirl open the normal layer, you'll see that in addition to this heart shape that's currently turned off, I've got a new Live Paint Group. So, this is what things looked like before. I'll press Ctrl+Z, or Command+Z on the Mac. I have three separate objects called cyan, magenta and orange after their colors, and then if I press Ctrl+Shift+Z, or Command+Shift+Z on the Mac, as soon as I click with the Live Paint Bucket, I've created a Live Paint Group and that's a special kind of object inside of Illustrator.
All right, now I am going to move back. I am going to press the Left Arrow key a couple of times in a row to move back to this deep red, and I'll click in this layout area and then I will move forward by pressing the Right Arrow key, I just happened to know where these swatches are located. That advances me to green and I will go ahead and click in this intersecting area in order to fill it. Then finally, I need to fill this area around my brain with white. So I'll retreat several swatches. So I will press the Left Arrow key a few times in a row until I get white selected, there above my bucket cursor, and I will click inside of this intersecting area. All right! Obviously, we have some work that we need to do on the strokes, but in the meantime, I want to show you what's going on here.
I am going to go ahead and grab my Black Arrow tool and if I were to click on this object with the Black Arrow tool, I'd select the entire thing. That is I'd select the entire Live Paint Group. You can select individual objects if you want to use in the White Arrow tool or I'll just go ahead and twirl open this Live Paint Group and I can see each of my objects. Notice that you have no fills now, here inside the layers panel, because that's all being done magically on the fly inside the context of the Live Paint Group, but I can grab one of these objects by meatballing it. So, just go ahead and click on the meatball; it won't show up as having a heavier circle around it.
I don't know why but that's not the way the layers panel responds when you are working inside of a Live Paint Group. But if you do just identify that one object by clicking on its meatball, then you'll see that that one circle and only that circle is selected here inside the Document window. Now, if I drag this circle around, why then, I have these live interactions between these various objects. So, this is an absolutely dynamic feature inside of Illustrator, hence Live Paint, of course. I will go ahead and press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac to undo that movement. In the next exercise, I will show you how to paint the strokes.
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