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Modifying, aligning, and uniting paths

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

Video: Modifying, aligning, and uniting paths

Our next task is to take this better spiral, the spiral that we reshaped in the previous exercise and unite it with the five fingers in order to create a single continuous path outline. And you can do that inside of the document that you've been working inside of, or if you want to catch up with me you can open this document called The better spiral.ai, which is found inside the 06_Edit_transform folder. Now my first step is going to be to grab the black arrow tool and click on the spiral in order to select it, and then I'm going to go up to the Object menu, choose the Path command and choose Outline Stroke, in order convert the stroked spiral into a filled shape. And that happens like that of course, very easily. And notice how many points there are now, all along this shape outline, and you can get a sense of how difficult it would be to actually draw this kind of path by hand using something like the Pen Tool, where it's fairly easy if a bit frustrating to that Reshape Tool, but still pretty darn easy to just go ahead and draw a spiral and then reshape it.

Modifying, aligning, and uniting paths

Our next task is to take this better spiral, the spiral that we reshaped in the previous exercise and unite it with the five fingers in order to create a single continuous path outline. And you can do that inside of the document that you've been working inside of, or if you want to catch up with me you can open this document called The better spiral.ai, which is found inside the 06_Edit_transform folder. Now my first step is going to be to grab the black arrow tool and click on the spiral in order to select it, and then I'm going to go up to the Object menu, choose the Path command and choose Outline Stroke, in order convert the stroked spiral into a filled shape. And that happens like that of course, very easily. And notice how many points there are now, all along this shape outline, and you can get a sense of how difficult it would be to actually draw this kind of path by hand using something like the Pen Tool, where it's fairly easy if a bit frustrating to that Reshape Tool, but still pretty darn easy to just go ahead and draw a spiral and then reshape it.

What I need to do now is make sure that my thumb and my spiral are aligned with each other and I'm not sure that they are so I'm going to go ahead and zoom in here a little bit, and then I'm going to Control-click on the eyeball in front of the elements layer here in order to switch it to the outline mode, and I want to see where the points that are associated with the thumb are. They're right there and there, those points thad define this portion of the outline, because I want these points, these anchor points right here, to directly align with them. So I'm going to drag these points over until they snap into alignment like so.

Now we should get a very smooth transition smoother than my template transition in fact. I wasn't that careful when I created the template so, good for us now. Now I'm going to go grab the white arrow tool because we need to take these fingers and we need to take the bottoms of the fingers and move them down into the spiral area. Armed with the white arrow tool, I'm going to marquee very delicately, that is to say without to overlapping the spiral around these three points right here, and then I'm going to drag them down while pressing the Shift key to constrain my drag and ensure that it's exactly vertical, so I don't go dragging the points at an angle, which would be fairly disastrous for this vertical finger here. All right I'll release at this location, because we're missing some alignment with the spiral, and that's going to be the spiral's fault, at least that' who I'm going to blame.

So I'm going to go ahead and click on some spiral points here. I'm clicking and Shift-clicking notice that. And after I've selected these four points right here, I'm going to go ahead and nudge them over to the left. Now notice that was a bad thing to do because there's more than four points here, there's some coincident points that Illustrator has created for me. So I'll go ahead and undo those last movements there until the points are on top of each other again, and then I'm just going to go ahead and marquee across these points, like so and I'm going to need to deselect the finger and I'm going to do that by, this is a weird thing that you have to do but you have to press the Shift and Alt keys, or the Shift and Option keys on the Mac, click on the finger and click a second time on the finger. So the first time you click on the finger you select the entire thing because you Shift+Alt-clicked on it and the second time you deselect the whole thing. So that's Shift +Alt-click twice in a row on the finger, Shift+Option-click twice in a row on the finger on the Mac. All right now I've selected all of these points and I'm going to nudge them over to left by pressing the left arrow key and that does a pretty fantastic job of it there, and I don't see anything going wrong with these arcs here, so I think everything is going good.

All right, now I'll grab these points by marqueeing them at the bottom of the third finger and I'll drag these points down while pressing the Shift key to ensure a nice vertical drag. Now I'll move over here, go ahead and drag around these points. The safer, I think because I just selected some of the spiral as well, the safer thing to do is to just go ahead and click and Shift-click on these points I think. And then go ahead and drag them down while pressing the Shift key. Another unexpected thing going on there, my goodness.

All right so I'm going to have to go ahead and marquee, so I'll undo that modification there, and I'll marquee around those points once again. Now the good news is that I marqueed through a segment here in the spiral. And so I can deselect the segment by Shift- marqueeing through the segment again. See how that works? So that way I deselected the arc of the spiral without deselecting my points. Now I can Shift-drag downward and I managed to get all the points that time, nice.

Same thing again, I'm going to go ahead and marquee anticipating that there are some weird points in there this time. So I'll drag a marquee around the lower region of the pinky and then I'll Shift-drag a marquee just around this segment here, this arcing segment of the spiral to deselect it, and then I'll drag downward on the pinky while pressing the Shift key. All right, we again have an alignment problem. Again I'm going to blame the spiral. So I'm going to Shift-drag around this region and see what I select, and I end up selecting several points actually, good.

Now I'm going to do that Shift+Alt-click twice in a row, Shift+Option-click on the Mac. So I will Shift+Alt-click once, Shift+Alt-click twice on the pinky. You Macintosh people would Shift+Option-click, Shift+Option-click on the pinky. And then I'm going to nudge the remaining selected spiral points over to the right like so, in order to get them aligned. All right looks like I've done the deed here. Everybody is on top of each other. Everybody's overlapping each other, which is very important. Now I'll go grab my black arrow tool, and marquee the whole bunch of paths, or I could of course just press Control+A or Command+A to select all the shapes since these are all the shapes in this layer.

And finally I'm going to bring out my Pathfinder palette, either by clicking on my Pathfinder icon here or by going up to the Window menu and choosing the Pathfinder command. And once I've done that I want to go ahead and click on this Add to shape area icon, which I called the unite icon because it unites shapes together. When I first click on this icon notice that my shapes don't appear to change on screen. And that's because I've converted the shapes into what's called a compound shape. In order to actually fix the relationship between these paths, I need to click on the expand button. So click here and then click on Expand and you'll get this effect right there and we have now successfully combined spiral and fingers into one continuous path outline.

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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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