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Joins, caps, and dashes

From: Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals

Video: Joins, caps, and dashes

I have gone ahead and saved my progress as the document called Calendar face.ai found inside of the 06fill_stroke folder but if you have been working along with me inside of your Richer artwork document that's just swell. Now you may notice that the lips and the nose have two thick of outlines compared with the other strokes around them. So using my Black Arrow tool, I'm going to click on that nose and then Shift-click on the mouth and then Shift-click on the line in the middle of the lips there in order to select all three of these shapes.

Joins, caps, and dashes

I have gone ahead and saved my progress as the document called Calendar face.ai found inside of the 06fill_stroke folder but if you have been working along with me inside of your Richer artwork document that's just swell. Now you may notice that the lips and the nose have two thick of outlines compared with the other strokes around them. So using my Black Arrow tool, I'm going to click on that nose and then Shift-click on the mouth and then Shift-click on the line in the middle of the lips there in order to select all three of these shapes.

Now Illustrator is always trying to offer you just those options that you need in the Control palette at any given time so it's responding to the selection. Sometimes it gets it right, sometimes it doesn't and in this case we are not seeing any stroke options up in the Control palette, if I go to the Appearance palette we do have Stroke options available to us now here inside of Illustrator CS4. So that's a great thing. So I'm going to go ahead and click on this Stroke option right there and then click again. And the nifty thing is we can change the Stroke attributes because all of the selected objects share the same Stroke attributes. If they didn't, for example if I went ahead and Shift- clicked on this eye right here, that would just mess up everything, right.

Now we have mixed Stroke attributes, so we are seeing Mixed Appearances for both, the fill and the stroke attributes at this point. So that's no good. If I Shift-click again in order to turn those objects off then I still have mixed fills but my strokes are available to me. Now if that turns out to be a problem in other words, not all of the attributes or the same then you would have to switch over to the Stroke palette which you can get to from Window menu by choosing the Stroke command or pressing Ctrl+F10, Command+F10 on the Mac. But in our case, we are good to go right here inside the Appearance palette.

So I'm going to click on Stroke and then I'm going to click on the Weight value and I'm going to set it down to the lowest value which is 0.25 which bear in mind now, that's a quarter of a point and a quarter of a point is a quarter of a quarter of 72nd of an inch. So we are basically talking about just a little more than 1300th of an inch. You don't want to go any slimmer than that. In fact, this is what's known as a hairline, aligned so slim that you can barely make it out in print especially when you are going to commercial reproduction with high resolution printers because they can print some mighty thin strokes I'm here to tell you.

So this is the best thin as you want to go. In our case, we want to match the weight of the strokes around the nose and the mouth. So we are going to change the Weight value either here or we were working down here. So I'll go ahead and stick to the Appearance palette. I'll change this stroke rate to 1 point like so. The other problem that we have and this problem is one that affects the nose. Notice that the corners of that nose there are sharp. Which is fine, that's not a problem in and of itself, but my other corners are rounded off as you can see right there and that's a function of what's known as the Stroke join.

So I'm going to click on the nose in order to select it and that selects all three shapes that are making up this compound shape, that is the nose and we will learn more about compound shapes in the later chapter, but for now go either to this Stroke palette or you can click on the word Stroke here in the Appearance palette to gain access to a pop-up version of the Stroke palette and notice these Join options right here, each one of them effects the corners of the strokes. So our default settings is Miter Join which means that we are going to get sharp corners, you can also switch to Bevel Join if you like in order to shave off those corners like we are seeing here or go with Round Join in order to round off those corners and I like Round Join a lot not because they result in nice, soft happy artwork, but rather because they avoid some of the problems that are endemic to Miter Joints with Miter Joints you can end up with really long spikes that can absolutely ruin your effects. It's kind of a when in doubt setting essentially. All right, I also want to demonstrate what's going on Dashed Line. We are not actually going to apply it to this nose permanently just for a moment here.

If you turn on Dashed Line then you can create a Dashed Line effect, this dash is way too big, so let's change it to one and then I'll change my Gap value here to one as well and then we won't worry about the others. You can have three groups of alternating dash and gap patterns if you want to get really elaborate. Now notice how things get kind of discombobulated here at the path intersections, at these corners or the joins, that is to say and that's not necessarily because of the round joint it would be just as bad if we had a Miter Join or a Bevel Join. It's just the function of the dashes not resolving properly at the joining points. So you also have this option of adjusting the cap and the cap is this thing right there, which is how the stroke wraps around the end point.

So if I were to click on just that one stroke actually let's go ahead and press the A key for the White Arrow tool click off and then Alt-click on in order to select that line, that would be an Option-click on the Mac bring up to Stroke palette again or just stick with the Stroke palette, that's right here on screen, you can see there is our Round Cap. If we have a Butt Cap that's going to shave off that edge right there at the end point if we add a Round cap, it will wrap around like that and then we can have a Square Cap as well to extend outward and it's wrapping around or extending outward a full half of the line Weight because that's how the strokes works right it goes half the line Weight on one side turns around and goes half the line weight on the other side.

So you can think of it as sort of being a road that takes the U turn right there. Anyway, we went around I'll go ahead and press the V key to switch back to the Black Arrow tool you can see how and that can take care of our problem with the nose too, if I change it to a Round Cap, normally Cap does not affect a closed shape like this one because you need end points to accommodate a Cap, but because we have dashes we have this dash stroke right here. Illustrator treats the ends of each and every dash as the beginning and endpoint in the path. So if I turn on Round Cap look what happens, we end up with these little tick tacks that are all joined together you can get to circles by the way instead of tick tacks by reducing the dash value to zero and then you get exact circles.

Now we don't have any room between the circles because our gap value is so tiny. So I'll raise that to 1.5 points for example and then we would get this effect here and you are going to notice at some point where two dashes get kind of close to each other and you may have to adjust your values to accommodate for that. In our case, so I'm just going to turn Dashed Line off because that's the effect I'm looking for. All right, you may notice the problem with the tongue and the mouth. The tongue and the mouth line don't exactly line up with each other that's one of those gauche problems that could very well show up in print or could go unnoticed.

Let's assume that it is going to show up and it is going to become a problem that way I can show you the solution in the next exercise.

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This video is part of

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

182 video lessons · 37882 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
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  1. 42m 7s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      1m 58s
    2. The Welcome screen
      3m 2s
    3. Creating a new document
      5m 6s
    4. Advanced document controls
      4m 43s
    5. Saving a custom New Document Profile
      8m 46s
    6. Changing the document setup
      4m 21s
    7. Special artboard controls
      4m 58s
    8. Accepting artboard changes
      2m 19s
    9. Saving a document
      4m 33s
    10. Closing a document
      2m 21s
  2. 1h 0m
    1. Adobe Bridge
      56s
    2. Opening an illustration
      4m 45s
    3. Modifying an illustration
      6m 27s
    4. Saving changes
      4m 58s
    5. Introducing Adobe Bridge
      8m 41s
    6. The all-important file type associations
      3m 20s
    7. Navigating inside Bridge
      4m 23s
    8. Previewing and collecting
      5m 55s
    9. Using workspaces
      6m 41s
    10. Customizing a workspace
      6m 14s
    11. Cool Bridge tricks
      8m 17s
  3. 1h 4m
    1. Preferences, color settings, and workspaces
      35s
    2. Keyboard increments
      5m 12s
    3. Scratch disks
      3m 48s
    4. Changing the user interface and setting Appearance of Black
      4m 14s
    5. Best workflow color settings
      9m 17s
    6. Synchronizing settings across CS4
      3m 2s
    7. Working inside tabbed windows
      7m 14s
    8. Organizing palettes
      5m 4s
    9. Saving a custom workspace
      4m 12s
    10. Zooming and panning
      4m 19s
    11. Using the Zoom tool
      3m 3s
    12. Navigating the artboards
      5m 5s
    13. Nudging the screen image
      3m 3s
    14. Scroll-wheel tricks
      2m 8s
    15. Cycling between screen modes
      4m 39s
  4. 1h 22m
    1. The Wedjat (or Eye of Horus)
      55s
    2. The line tools
      2m 57s
    3. Introducing layers
      5m 10s
    4. Creating ruler guides
      6m 18s
    5. Creating custom guides
      5m 16s
    6. Snap-to points
      5m 25s
    7. Organizing guides
      5m 43s
    8. Making a tracing template
      3m 42s
    9. Drawing a line segment
      4m 29s
    10. Drawing a continuous arc
      5m 28s
    11. Drawing a looping spiral
      6m 5s
    12. Cutting lines with the Scissors tool
      6m 20s
    13. Joining open paths
      7m 31s
    14. Aligning and joining points
      6m 34s
    15. Drawing concentric circles
      4m 41s
    16. Cleaning up overlapping segments
      5m 34s
  5. 1h 4m
    1. The anatomy of a shape
      1m 1s
    2. Meet the shape tools
      3m 5s
    3. The traceable Tonalpohualli
      2m 52s
    4. Drawing circles
      4m 38s
    5. Enhanced Smart Guides
      4m 1s
    6. Aligning to a key object
      4m 29s
    7. Creating polygons and stars
      5m 4s
    8. Using the Measure tool
      3m 47s
    9. The Select Similar and Arrange commands
      3m 56s
    10. Rectangles and rounded rectangles
      6m 8s
    11. The amazing constraint axes
      5m 26s
    12. Grouping and ungrouping
      3m 35s
    13. Flipping and duplicating
      4m 12s
    14. Combining simple shapes into complex ones
      5m 24s
    15. Cutting and connecting with Scissors and Join
      3m 31s
    16. Tilde-key goofiness
      2m 53s
  6. 1h 41m
    1. The ingredients of life
      54s
    2. Fill and Stroke settings
      4m 22s
    3. Transparency grid and paper color
      5m 47s
    4. The None attribute
      5m 4s
    5. Color libraries and sliders
      3m 39s
    6. Industry-standard colors
      4m 38s
    7. Using CMYK for commercial output
      6m 39s
    8. Using RGB for the web
      7m 23s
    9. Color palette tips and tricks
      7m 18s
    10. Creating and saving color swatches
      4m 35s
    11. Trapping gaps with rich blacks
      6m 46s
    12. Filling and stacking shapes
      5m 38s
    13. Dragging and dropping swatches
      5m 0s
    14. Paste in Front, Paste in Back
      4m 54s
    15. Filling shapes inside groups
      5m 28s
    16. Pasting between layers
      4m 41s
    17. Joins, caps, and dashes
      6m 50s
    18. Fixing strokes and isolating edits
      7m 12s
    19. Creating a pattern fill
      4m 57s
  7. 1h 50m
    1. The power of transformations
      1m 20s
    2. From primitive to polished art
      2m 42s
    3. Using the Blob brush
      5m 46s
    4. Resizing the brush and erasing
      4m 15s
    5. Selection limits and methods of merging
      6m 39s
    6. Cloning and auto-duplicating
      6m 45s
    7. Customizing keyboard shortcuts
      3m 7s
    8. Moving by the numbers
      5m 15s
    9. Using the Reshape tool
      7m 47s
    10. Modifying, aligning, and uniting paths
      7m 14s
    11. Using the Offset Path command
      4m 43s
    12. Styling and eyedropping
      5m 28s
    13. Making a black-and-white template
      2m 27s
    14. Scale and clone
      4m 57s
    15. Enlarge and stack
      5m 46s
    16. Positioning the origin point
      6m 59s
    17. Using the Rotate tool
      3m 55s
    18. Using the Reflect tool
      4m 15s
    19. Series rotation (aka power duplication)
      6m 48s
    20. Rotating by the numbers
      6m 12s
    21. Transforming the tile patterns
      7m 52s
  8. 2h 4m
    1. Next-generation text wrangling
      55s
    2. Placing a text document
      5m 38s
    3. Creating a new text block
      6m 1s
    4. Working with point text
      3m 57s
    5. Selecting the perfect typeface
      5m 48s
    6. Scaling and positioning type
      8m 57s
    7. Leading, tracking, and lots of shortcuts
      5m 54s
    8. Adjusting pair kerning
      6m 55s
    9. Eyedropping formatting attributes
      3m 54s
    10. Flowing text from one block to another
      8m 28s
    11. Creating and applying a paragraph style
      7m 39s
    12. Rendering the text in graphite
      5m 55s
    13. Creating a scribbly drop shadow
      5m 17s
    14. Advanced formatting and bullets
      7m 43s
    15. Setting Area Type options
      4m 57s
    16. Justification and the Every-line Composer
      5m 52s
    17. OpenType and ligatures
      7m 19s
    18. Fractions, numerals, and ordinals
      9m 7s
    19. Swashes and small caps
      5m 40s
    20. The amazing Glyphs palette
      8m 12s
  9. 1h 18m
    1. Points are boys, handles are girls
      1m 20s
    2. Placing an image as a tracing template
      6m 56s
    3. Drawing a straight-sided path
      6m 8s
    4. Moving, adding, and deleting points
      6m 50s
    5. Drawing spline curves with Round Corners
      9m 7s
    6. Smooth points and Bézier curves
      8m 29s
    7. Defining a cusp between two curves
      6m 59s
    8. Replicating and reshaping segments
      8m 30s
    9. Converting anchor points
      7m 55s
    10. Deleting stray anchor points
      5m 1s
    11. Separating and closing paths
      5m 43s
    12. Eyedropping template colors
      5m 55s
  10. 1h 40m
    1. Paths never rest
      1m 34s
    2. Exploring the Appearance palette
      9m 54s
    3. Snip and Spin
      8m 3s
    4. Adding a center point
      4m 12s
    5. Keeping shape intersections
      3m 42s
    6. Lifting fills and selecting through shapes
      5m 54s
    7. Saving and recalling selections
      6m 20s
    8. Rotating is a circular operation
      8m 32s
    9. Lassoing and scaling points
      5m 28s
    10. Using the Transform Each command
      4m 11s
    11. Using the Magic Wand tool
      8m 1s
    12. Eyedropping live effects
      9m 58s
    13. Merging strokes with a compound path
      6m 50s
    14. Selecting and scaling independent segments
      7m 59s
    15. Scalloped edges with Pucker & Bloat
      5m 16s
    16. Expand before you merge
      4m 17s
  11. 1h 26m
    1. The new pleasures of printing
      44s
    2. Outlines and artboards in CS4
      7m 35s
    3. Setting trim size and bleed
      7m 17s
    4. Creating custom dynamic crop marks
      3m 41s
    5. Working with the Separations Preview palette
      7m 42s
    6. Trapping an object with an overprint stroke
      8m 20s
    7. Placing multiple artboards into InDesign
      5m 17s
    8. Working with the Print Tiling tool
      4m 55s
    9. Setting the General Print options
      6m 9s
    10. Setting printer marks
      5m 16s
    11. PostScript-only output and graphics
      9m 10s
    12. The Color Management options
      6m 56s
    13. Adjusting the Flattener settings
      7m 32s
    14. Setting the Raster Effects resolution
      5m 32s
  12. 1h 32m
    1. Illustrator does pixels
      51s
    2. Illustrator, PDF, and Save As formats
      8m 15s
    3. Saving an illustration for the web
      6m 13s
    4. Saving a continuous-tone JPEG image
      10m 1s
    5. Saving a high-contrast GIF graphic
      6m 26s
    6. The versatile PNG format
      4m 45s
    7. Saving a scaleable Flash (SWF) graphic
      11m 0s
    8. Opening and placing an Illustrator file in Photoshop
      12m 44s
    9. Exporting a layered PSD from Illustrator
      12m 57s
    10. Exporting to Microsoft Office and PowerPoint
      7m 24s
    11. Sharing with InDesign, Flash, and Photoshop
      12m 12s
  13. 1m 4s
    1. Until next time
      1m 4s

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