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Joins, caps, and dashes

From: Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials

Video: Joins, caps, and dashes

This time around I'm working inside of a document called Calendar face.ai in which we're focused in on this god's face that's at the center of this 260-day Aztec spiritual calendar known as the Tonalpohualli. And if you're working inside if your richer artwork document then keep working inside that document, that's fine. I just wanted to provide a catch up document for those people are just joining us. Now notice that I'm way zoomed in here, as you can see and notice that the outlines that are associated with the nose and mouth are way too thick. So I'm going to go ahead and select those objects by clicking and Shift-clicking on them like so.

Joins, caps, and dashes

This time around I'm working inside of a document called Calendar face.ai in which we're focused in on this god's face that's at the center of this 260-day Aztec spiritual calendar known as the Tonalpohualli. And if you're working inside if your richer artwork document then keep working inside that document, that's fine. I just wanted to provide a catch up document for those people are just joining us. Now notice that I'm way zoomed in here, as you can see and notice that the outlines that are associated with the nose and mouth are way too thick. So I'm going to go ahead and select those objects by clicking and Shift-clicking on them like so.

Now I'd like to be able to change the stroke from the Control palette, but for whatever reasons Illustrator is not displaying the stroke options up here. It's a function of the objects that we have selected, don't you know? So Illustrator is always trying to be intelligent about which options it offers you. Sometimes it gets it right, sometimes it gets it wrong, whatever. The options are always available elsewhere. In our case they're available to us inside of the Stroke palette. So to get to your Stroke palette, you can go to the Window menu and choose the Stroke command or press Control+F10, and it's Command+F10 on the Mac, and currently my weight value is set to 2 points here.

I can click this down pointing arrowhead and choose from a different line weight if I want to, and notice they go as thin as 0.25 points. Bear in mind that that is a one quarter of one 72nd of an inch. That's how thin it is, and if you choose that option, you're going to get some very thin strokes on screen and you need to bear in mind that we're looking at this illustration at the 1200 % zoom ratio, so we're way the heck zoomed in here. Now I recommend that you don't go any thinner than 0.25 points, because if you do there's a very good chance that your lines are not going to survive the commercial reproduction process. So this hairline is, which is basically what it's called, this hairline is as thin as you want to go.

Now in our case, though, I want you to change the line weight to 1 point and you can do that by selecting the option from the pop-up menu or by just entering a value of 1, if you like. Now I'm going to focus in on the nose here. Now notice how the nose has sharp corners inside of it whereas other lines inside of this illustration have rounded corners. Well, we need to address that by clicking on any of the shapes in the nose. And just so you can really see what we're doing I want to hide those edges, those outlines that we're seeing on screen right now, and I'm going to do that by going to the View menu and choosing this command right here, Hide Edges, or you can press Control+H, Command+H on the Mac.

And that hides those edges from view. Now that the shapes are still selected, so you can drag them around, you can modify the strokes as we're going to, you can do anything you want. Bear in mind that hiding the edges inside of Illustrator is a sticky proposition, meaning it's persistent, meaning that if we go and select something else inside the illustration, I just clicked on the eye, we're not going to see its edges either until we press Control+ H again or Command+H again in order to bring those edges back. So just bear that in mind. Once you press Control+H your edges are hidden until you call them up again.

So I'm going to click on the nose, press Control+H to hide those edges, then I'm going to go over to the Stroke palette and I'm going to expand that Stroke palette by clicking on this little icon here, to the left of the S in Stroke. I'm going to click on it twice, first to collapse and then to expand, so that we can see all the options inside the Stroke palette, and notice this guy right here, it allows you to round off the corners. It's called Round Join, but it's really about the corners. Right now we have Miter Join selected which gives us sharp corners, we can also select Bevel Joint which will clip off those corners and then finally we have Round Join.

I'm most comfortable with round joins, not because I want happy soft artwork, but just because they're easier to handle and you don't end up with weird, bizarre corner aberrations which you can get sometimes inside Illustrator if you're not careful with miter joins. So I just went ahead and rounded off those joins. I also want to demonstrate very quickly the Dashed Line effect down here. You can assign a dotted line effect by turning on Dashed Line and then you just enter the size of your dashes like I'll make it 1 point and then the size of your gaps which are by default 1 point, and you can enter other dash and gap combinations if you want to, you know, vary it up a little bit. Now notice that things don't fare too well when you're stroking along an object with corners in it as we are here. It's better if you have smooth points going on inside of your object like continuous curves for example. But there is a way to accommodate a shape like this. You can go ahead and apply round caps. Now notice we can see some round caps on screen right now.

This is a round cap, for example. It's the cap on the endpoint, which is made round, and normally caps don't affect objects that don't have endpoints with them, continuous closed paths, like this one here. But the caps do affect the object when it has a dashed line. So notice if I turn on the rounded cap it goes ahead and, Illustrator goes ahead and strokes those caps so that we have like a bunch of Tic-Tacs going on around the nose at this point and if you change the dash value to 0 now and press Tab, you will see that you have a series of circles, and then I could create some space between the circles by making my gap value larger like so.

Okay just something to bear in mind. Something to play with if you like. I'm going to go ahead and turn off my Dashed Line effect because I just want this. I just want what we're seeing on screen, which is a nice pug nose with some rounded corners. Looks great. In the next exercise we're going to move on to the mouth, cause notice how the tongue is too high for the mouth. We're going to fix that and you'll see how in just a moment, if you'll join me, won't you?

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This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials
Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials

114 video lessons · 36976 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 59m 53s
    1. Welcome to Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials
      2m 0s
    2. The unwelcome Welcome screen
      6m 35s
    3. Browsing Illustrator artwork
      4m 53s
    4. Bridge workspaces and favorites
      6m 8s
    5. The anatomy of an illustration
      7m 2s
    6. Examining a layered illustration
      5m 38s
    7. Customizing an illustration
      5m 21s
    8. Creating a new document
      6m 12s
    9. Changing the document setup
      6m 51s
    10. Saving a document
      6m 14s
    11. Closing multiple files
      2m 59s
  2. 1h 3m
    1. Preferences, color settings, and workspaces
      55s
    2. Keyboard Increment and Object Selection
      5m 52s
    3. Scratch Disks and Appearance of Black
      6m 43s
    4. Establishing the best color settings
      5m 35s
    5. Synchronizing color settings in Bridge
      4m 3s
    6. The new CS3 interface
      3m 55s
    7. Organizing the palettes
      9m 4s
    8. Saving your workspace
      2m 33s
    9. Zooming and scrolling
      3m 39s
    10. Using the Zoom tool
      5m 27s
    11. The Navigator palette
      3m 37s
    12. Nudging the screen image
      2m 50s
    13. Scroll wheel tricks
      3m 11s
    14. Cycling between screen modes
      5m 56s
  3. 1h 4m
    1. Why learn Illustrator from a Photoshop guy?
      1m 32s
    2. Introducing layers
      4m 37s
    3. Creating ruler guides
      6m 34s
    4. Creating a custom guide
      3m 28s
    5. Organizing your guides
      5m 50s
    6. Making a tracing template
      3m 34s
    7. Drawing a line segment
      4m 10s
    8. Drawing a continuous arc
      4m 17s
    9. Drawing a looping spiral
      5m 17s
    10. Cutting lines with the Scissors tool
      6m 45s
    11. Aligning and joining points
      7m 58s
    12. Drawing concentric circles
      3m 45s
    13. Cleaning up overlapping segments
      6m 21s
  4. 1h 9m
    1. The anatomy of a shape
      1m 1s
    2. Meet the Tonalpohualli
      4m 8s
    3. Meet the geometric shape tools
      3m 47s
    4. Drawing circles
      6m 36s
    5. Snapping and aligning shapes
      7m 0s
    6. Polygons and stars
      7m 0s
    7. Rectangles and rounded rectangles
      6m 16s
    8. The amazing constraint axes
      6m 30s
    9. Grouping a flipping
      7m 37s
    10. Combining simple shapes into complex ones
      6m 36s
    11. Drawing with Scissors and Join
      6m 3s
    12. Cutting and connecting in Illustrator CS3
      3m 49s
    13. Tilde key goofiness
      2m 55s
  5. 1h 22m
    1. Three simple ingredients, one complex result
      33s
    2. Introducing Fill and Stroke
      3m 42s
    3. Accessing color libraries and sliders
      7m 8s
    4. Using the CMYK sliders for print output
      5m 6s
    5. Using the RGB sliders for screen output
      4m 39s
    6. Color palette tips and tricks
      4m 46s
    7. Creating and saving color swatches
      4m 14s
    8. Trapping gaps with rich blacks
      7m 58s
    9. Filling and stacking shapes
      5m 17s
    10. Dragging and dropping swatches
      6m 16s
    11. Paste in Back, Paste in Front
      5m 43s
    12. Filling shapes inside groups
      5m 16s
    13. Pasting between layers
      3m 34s
    14. Joins, caps, and dashes
      5m 50s
    15. Fixing strokes and isolating your edits
      7m 35s
    16. Creating a pattern fill
      4m 38s
  6. 1h 22m
    1. The power of transformations
      1m 25s
    2. From primitives to polished art
      4m 4s
    3. Clone and Duplicate
      6m 15s
    4. Moving by the numbers
      4m 16s
    5. Using the Reshape tool
      6m 30s
    6. Modifying, aligning, and uniting paths
      7m 0s
    7. Using the Offset Path command
      4m 25s
    8. Styling and eyedropping
      4m 11s
    9. The wonders of the translucent group
      5m 37s
    10. Making a black-and-white template
      3m 48s
    11. Scaling and cloning shapes
      4m 26s
    12. Enlarging and stacking shapes
      5m 6s
    13. Positioning the origin point
      6m 50s
    14. Using the Rotate and Reflect tools
      5m 16s
    15. Series rotation (aka power duplication)
      4m 3s
    16. Rotating by the numbers
      5m 15s
    17. Rotating repeating pattern fills
      4m 32s
  7. 1h 4m
    1. Points are boys, control handles are girls
      2m 16s
    2. Tracing a scanned image or photograph
      4m 34s
    3. Placing an image as a template
      5m 32s
    4. Drawing a straight-sided path
      5m 36s
    5. Moving, adding, and deleting points
      5m 51s
    6. Drawing spline curves with Round Corners
      7m 56s
    7. Smooth points and Bézier curves
      8m 12s
    8. Defining a cusp between two curves
      4m 37s
    9. Adjusting handles and converting points
      7m 4s
    10. Cutting, separating, and closing paths
      7m 31s
    11. Eyedropping template colors
      5m 11s
  8. 1h 28m
    1. Paths never rest
      1m 42s
    2. Meet Uzz, Cloying Corporate Mascot
      2m 22s
    3. Exploring the Appearance palette
      5m 37s
    4. Snip and Spin
      7m 28s
    5. Adding a center point
      3m 57s
    6. Keeping shape intersections
      3m 8s
    7. Lifting fills and selecting through shapes
      4m 14s
    8. Saving and recalling selections
      5m 18s
    9. Rotating is a circular operation
      7m 35s
    10. Lassoing and scaling points
      6m 8s
    11. Using the Transform Each command
      5m 9s
    12. Using the Magic Wand tool
      6m 46s
    13. Converting paths and text to rich black
      2m 27s
    14. The overwrought lace pattern
      3m 21s
    15. Eyedropping Live Effects
      5m 39s
    16. Merging strokes with a compound path
      6m 32s
    17. Selecting and scaling independent segments
      6m 30s
    18. Pucker & Bloat
      4m 49s
  9. 1m 59s
    1. See ya for now
      1m 59s

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