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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'd like you to start things off by opening this illustration. It's called Big tile collection.ai, and it may not look like much. It's just a big frame around a white interior, that's about it, but actually this document contains a wealth of tile patterns. Basically every tile pattern that ships along with Illustrator CS5. So if you were to bring up the Swatches panel which you can do by going to the Window menu and choosing the Swatches command, then down there in the lower left corner of the panel, you'll see a folder icon, click on it to bring up a list of Swatch Libraries, then if you were drop down to patterns, you'll see that you have three groups of Pattern Libraries, Basic Graphics, Decorative, and Nature.
I have taken all those tile patterns and placed them inside this one document so you can get to all of them anytime you like. And it's pretty interesting to check them out because there are a heck of a lot of very nicely designed tile patterns in this group. I am going to click on the edge of this white rectangle to select it and then I am going to switch over to Color panel just to make sure my Fill is active, because you can apply tile patterns to Strokes, but if you do so in this case you are going to get a tiny one-point stroke and you are not going to see the tile pattern. So better to work with the Fill. Then switch back to the Swatches panel.
If you want to see these big swatch previews, then click on the flyout menu icon and choose Large Thumbnail View. That gives you the best view of each one of the tile patterns, the only thing to bare in mind is it also tends to slow down the panels. So as you scroll down, you are going to have to wait for the panel to refresh. Anyway let's check out some of these guys. There's Undulating Coarse Dots, which I think is really interesting. I am going to zoom in, and, by the way, this little Red Square that's showing up, that's just happens to be the center point of the rectangle. I will press Ctrl+H or Cmd+H on the Mac to hide the edge just so it goes away.
Now notice that at this zoom ratio at a 150%, I can see the edges of my tiles, tiles are always rectangular inside of Illustrator but they should blend seamlessly, you shouldn't see edges. What we're seeing here is a function of the screen display. So Illustrator's screen render is not quite doing things correctly and as a result we're seeing the seams. If you want to check whether the seams are there or not, just zoom in and out, try different zoom levels. In this case as soon as I zoom in the 200%, things resolve and the edges go away.
You can also test the tile pattern by printing it, especially to a postscript printer. That will give you the best idea. But you should be able to get a rough sense from other printers as well. Now I am going to switch to one of the other pattern such as 50% to a 100% Dot Gradation, and this thing - again. we're seeing seams, so I'll go ahead and zoom out. Now zooming out makes the seams in this style pattern go away. But you can see how we actually have a dot gradation going on here and this is scalable. You can set it to any size you like, you can rotate these patterns, you can slant them, as we'll see in future exercises.
You have a great deal of control. I am going to go ahead and scroll down to some of the color patterns that are available to us here. And once you start getting to this region of color patterns, you are going to see that every other pattern is black and white and then next door it's got a color version. So we have got Knit, for example, right there, and then we've got Knit Color. We also have, for example, Links Japanese, which I think is really interesting. There is this Weave pattern that I think is totally great. And all these classic patterns essentially that have stood the test of time.
Some of them are off op art patterns, some of them are traditional patterns, some of them are textures. I am going to go ahead and scroll down the list a little bit here until I come to some of the nature patterns, like, for example, we have Turtle, this guy, which I think is just totally awesome. We have Peacock as well. We have this pattern, Snake. As soon as I click on it, it looks like this is a photographic pattern, but if you zoom in. you are going to see that each and every object is represented as a vector. So these are all vector-based drawings.
All right, I am going to go ahead and zoom out so that we can take in some patterns that I have created for you. Down at the very bottom of the list, you'll see this group of Arabian patterns. So there is Arabian muted right there, and then I have a more garish color scheme with Arabian Garish, and then finally I went ahead and filled in each of the shapes using a gradient, a radial gradient in this case. And I showed how to create those last time around. So in my Illustrator CS4 One-on-One Advanced Series, Chapter 18, if you want to check it out, you can learn exactly how to create this Arabian pattern because it's pretty interesting.
It's an interesting experiment in geometry. It's not hard to do. You just have to think your way through it so that everthing interlocks exactly right. This time around, I decided to be a little bit more ambitious, as you'll see. So I have come up with the tile pattern that's inspired not by these classic designs but rather by MC Escher. So let me show you what I am talking about here. I am going to turn off this test shape layer, and I'm going to scroll to the bottom of my layers panel and turn on Humanoids. And what I have here is this kind of strangely stylized humanoid creature, that when rotated actually locks into alignment with himself, so that you can see every single one of these guys is exactly the same guy, just at different angles, and also set to different colors.
So having created a collection of these guys, I then made a different layer, I will go and turn this one off and this one on, and this is the actual rectangular tile pattern, this is exactly as many guys as I need to fill a rectangle. It doesn't look like a rectangle but this is the collection of objects I used to great the tile pattern and we'll see how they fit together in just a moment. I will turn that guy off and then I created some color variations including these bronze-gradient examples right here. And then finally, let's see how this interlocking dude works as a tile pattern.
I will scroll back up to the top of the Layers panel and turn on the test shape layer, click on that rectangle in order to make sure it's selected, and then let's try out the Troglodytes pattern, and that's how that looks, and so you can see everything is repeating absolutely seamlessly. This is a more garish pattern that I called clusters. And then finally, we've got this guy, Bronze men, which are the guys filled with radial gradients that we saw just a moment ago. So there's your preview of seamlessly repeating tile patterns. In the nest exercise we will set about creating the interlocking humanoids.
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