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Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials
Illustration by John Hersey

Merging strokes with a compound path


From:

Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials

with Deke McClelland

Video: Merging strokes with a compound path

In this exercise we're going to create a circle and a square compound path and assign a double stroke to it. It's going to be a really cool effect. And to get a sense of where we're going here, I'm working inside of a document called Rectangles abound, because we have all of our rounded rectangles in place, and it's available to you inside the 08_select_enhance folder. No surprise there. Now I'm going to turn off my One shy layer for a moment and turn on Final lace, and I'm also going to turn off the Guides layer, just to get it out of my face for a minute here and notice what I'm talking about. There's the circle in a square. It's a compound path. The two paths share a common stroke, notice that, and it's actually a double stroke effect.
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  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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Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials
9h 36m Beginner May 18, 2007

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Adobe Illustrator has long been the most popular and viable vector-drawing program on the market but, for many, the learning curve is steep. In Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials , author and leading industry expert Deke McClelland teaches the key features of Illustrator in a way that anyone can understand. He also goes beyond that, showing users how to get into the Illustrator "mindset" to make mastering Illustrator simple and easy. The training covers how to use the core drawing and shape tools, the transformation and reshaping features, text and gradients, and color management and printing features. Even if learning Illustrator has been a struggle in the past, this time it is going to make sense. Exercise files accompany the training.

Subject:
Design
Software:
Illustrator
Author:
Deke McClelland

Merging strokes with a compound path

In this exercise we're going to create a circle and a square compound path and assign a double stroke to it. It's going to be a really cool effect. And to get a sense of where we're going here, I'm working inside of a document called Rectangles abound, because we have all of our rounded rectangles in place, and it's available to you inside the 08_select_enhance folder. No surprise there. Now I'm going to turn off my One shy layer for a moment and turn on Final lace, and I'm also going to turn off the Guides layer, just to get it out of my face for a minute here and notice what I'm talking about. There's the circle in a square. It's a compound path. The two paths share a common stroke, notice that, and it's actually a double stroke effect.

So that's what we're going for. All right so turn that Final lace layer off again and then turn your One shy layer back on. Problem is, that square that we want to get to is pretty buried, and in fact if you click right here, like you would think, I'll click down here in one of the corners. In my case I'm clicking down in the lower right corner with the black arrow tool, and you would think you'd be able to get it because you can select through that star and none of the other rounded rectangles are in your way. But what is in your way is this group of objects that includes this background frame that's hiding the drop shadow edges, but it also includes the circles and it includes this star shape here.

So that's not exactly the shape that we want to select. What you can do though is go back down here to this extreme corner and right-click, and notice you'll get this Select submenu right there, and you can choose Next Object Below and it'll grab the next object down the stack at that location and it finds the square right there, and if you have problems doing it, try again. It really is there, you will get it if you click and right-click in the proper areas. So I've selected this square in the background. I'm going to go ahead and copy it and then I'm going to deselect everything by pressing Control+Shift+ A or Command+Shift+A on a Mac and then I'm going to press Control+F or Command+F on the Mac to paste that square in front and there it is.

It just has a stroke, a six-point stroke, and a blue fill. That's fine. We don't want the blue fill, however. So let's make sure the fill is active in the toolbox. Right now it's not for me, so I need to press the X key. With the fill active, I can press the slash key in order to fill the shape with nothing. Now I need to get the circle, but the circle is embedded inside of that group. That's a problem. So I need to use my selecting acumen. I need to be a little clever here about selecting that circle.

I'm going to grab my Direct Selection Tool by pressing the A key of course, and I'm going to make sure nothing's selected by clicking off the shape and then I'm going to Alt-click or Option-click on the circle in order to select it independently of the rest of the group and I'm getting cut it. I'm going to cut it out of the group by going up to the Edit menu and choosing the Cut command, and that goes ahead and extracts it from that group there. And then nothing's selected on this layer now, so I can press Control+F or Command+F on the Mac in order to paste it in front. So now I have both objects selected as you can see.

Go ahead and get your black arrow tool and Shift-click on the square in order to select it as well. So you should have both circle and square selected here. The Appearance palette is telling you that we have mixed appearances going, and that's a real pain in the neck thing. I've got to say, I've got to tell you that this is a big giant drag. So go ahead and click off the shapes. I'll show you why it's such a drag. Because they're both really stroked with exactly the same thing. If you click on one it says Stroke - six point, Fill - nothing.

Click on the other. It says Stroke - six point, Fill - nothing. The strokes are identical. So what gives? Why does it say they have mixed appearances? Well because that's Illustrator for you. If you grab two objects, and they weren't stroked and filled together, then it thinks that they're totally different from each other. It has no ability to compare the two. So that stinks. Anyway, so here's what you do. Let's just start with one of these shapes. Let's say I want to add a stroke to it because we want a double stroke effect right? We want a white stroke inside of a black stroke. So click on the stroke item here inside the Appearance palette and click on New Icon to add another stroke.

Now let's change this stroke to white by going up to the Color palette. Go ahead and twirl that guy open, and change that stroke to white by clicking in the white swatch there at the end of the CMYK spectrum, and then I'm going to change the weight value to 3 points and press Return. So now you can see, we've got a white stroke inside of a black stroke. To assign that same attribute to the circle you want to go ahead and select the circle. Then get your Eyedropper and click on the outline of the square and now both shapes have the exact same stroke information assigned to them. The exact same attributes.

So let's press Control+Shift+A or Command+Shift+A on the Mac to deselect the item so we can see what's going on. Notice how one set of strokes interrupts the other. I'll go ahead and zoom in here so that we can see this up close and personal. Notice that the circle strokes are interrupting the square strokes. What if we want them to fluidly flow into each other? Well then we need to combine the two paths into a compound path, and you do that by getting the black arrow tool, clicking on one of the paths of course to make it active, Shift-clicking on the other path to select it as well.

Then go up to the Object menu choose Compound Paths and choose Make. Pretty weird, but that's what you do. Or you can press Control+8. Control+8 because an 8 is actually a compound path. We'll get to that later, but compound paths are all about one path cutting a hole in another path, but they can also share attributes as I'm about to show you here. So choose the command and notice that the attributes flow into each other. I just went ahead and clicked off the shape to deselect it. The attributes now flow into each other, which means these strokes are common to both paths.

So we have no interruption any more. All right I'll just go ahead and zoom back out so that we can take in this entire illustration here. Nice! Okay in the next exercise we're going to begin creating our lace. We're going to take those three concentric circles, and we're going to transform them into the elaborate lace pattern.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials.


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Q: When trying to synchronize color settings between all Creative Suite programs in Bridge, the Creative Suite Color Settings command either does not appear in the Edit menu or does not work. What is causing this?
A: If the Color Setting command is not available or does not function, it's because Bridge thinks that a single application (such as Photoshop or Illustrator), is installed and not one of the many versions of the Creative Suite.
If only Photoshop or Illustrator is installed, skip the exercise and move on.
If the entire Creative Suite is installed, then, unfortunately, there is no easy fix. Either contact Adobe or completely reinstall the Creative Suite.
 
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