Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Pattern tool basics

From: Drawing Vector Graphics: Patterns

Video: Pattern tool basics

It's time to take a look at Illustrator's pattern tool. >> As with all of my patterns in this course, they all started off in analogue.

Pattern tool basics

It's time to take a look at Illustrator's pattern tool. The best way to learn and understand how to use this new tool, which will aid in your creation of a repeat pattern, is by demonstrating its use. Before we jump into making a unique repeat pattern using this tool, we need to understand some basics regarding the settings that control it, knowing these basics will help you create and adjust your designs with greater ease. So let's take a look at a few of these controls now.

>> As with all of my patterns in this course, they all started off in analogue. In a previous movie you saw me working on the rough sketch of this and refining it into the final form you see now. I scanned it in. And I'll just simply select it, change the opacity to 20, and lock that layer. From this, I'm going to build all of my base vector shapes. I'm going to zoom in just a little so you can see this better. And turn those on.

And this is everything I need to create not only a stand alone pattern tile, but also, I'll be able to create a free floating pattern, using the same artwork. And that's the benefit, of creating a pattern from scratch. Because there are certain usages where you absolutely need a stand-alone pattern tile in order to use your design, and other usages where the pattern tool in Illustrator is going to help you use it.

And I'm going to show you both in this movie. So this is the base art, and the areas that replicate, meaning the areas that get copied and repeated are showing here, in blue. But all we need to create everything in this, has been created in this form and we're going to go ahead and walk through some of that right now. So, our non trimmed artwork looks like this. It's the exact same artwork as showing in our base art, here.

All we've done is filled it with the final color we're going to use in this pattern theme. This is like an ocean theme with a bunch of underwater creatures and nautical theme content so we're going with blue. In this case we're using a dark blue and a light blue. To start creating immediately, we're going to create a pattern using the pattern tool in Illustrator and using non-trimmed artwork. So our non-trimmed artwork is made up of everything shown here and that's all we need in order to create the specific tile we're going to do now.

We also have created what are called throwaway shapes. And that's what these yellow items are. That's going to assist us in registering our artwork. Once we have these selected, you can drag this into the swatches pallet but in this case, we are going to go from the menu at the top, Object, go down to Pattern and go to Make and click on that. And this immediately brings us into, what's called pattern definition mode. And once we're in pattern definition mode you can see the pattern options over here and this is what we'll use to control our pattern design with.

Now I'm going to zoom out of this design so you can see it a little easier in terms of how it's replicating. Right now you see this gap of white around the whole design. That's because we haven't adjusted our specific tiling for this design. Now, when I work on a pattern like this, I'd say about 98% of the time, I only deal with what's called a grid tile type. Now in another movie, we're going to go over each of these specifically.

But, for almost every design I create, I can get away with creating a, using a grid tile type because, once again, I've spent the time creating my design based off of a pre-existing drawing, and I've drawn out the bounding box so I know how it's going to repeat. But, for this specific design, we're going to use a tool within the pattern tool. Now this is where it can get a little confusing because it's called the pattern tool. When you're inside the pattern tool the pallet to control it is called pattern options and the tool within that palette is called the pattern tile tool.

So you know you're going to trip over your tongue trying to say all those things but it can get confusing. So don't let that hold you back or intimidate you just watch this movie a few times and I think you'll understand the very basics of how it works. So, once we've brought our pattern, these base floating elements into the pattern tool, we're going to click right here on the Pattern Options palette, the tile tool, and that brings up this. If we click on the background deselect, we can't click on this.

It's not clickable with a cursor. So the only way to get access to it to manipulate and control how are pattern is going to tile, you have to go to the pattern options palette and click this tile tool button. So we'll click that. Gives us this. Now we're going to use this and we're going to snap it to these throw away shapes. So from this side on the right we're going to drag this in and snap it until it's snaps to the corner of this throw away shape on the yellow.

And you can see how that brings our pattern in. And we're going to take the bottom part of the tile and we'll snap that in to, I believe it's that corner. Nope, I think it goes up just a little bit, so we'll snap it to the other corner and that works good. So you can see how adjusting your pattern is relatively easy in the pattern tool using the tile tool, it's just that you do need to kind of pre-plan it in order to facilitate the registration with throwaway shapes like this.

And it always helps to have smart guides turned on so when you snap it, it's an obvious registration. You know it's going to be in the exact location it needs to be. If this wasn't here, then all you're doing is kind of eyeballing it. Where you just go like this and move it in until you have it just right. And so, it just makes it faster and more precise if you figure out that kind of spacing and registration before you go into the pattern tool, and that's easy to do when you build it from scratch and you already know how the bounding box is associating with your core artwork.

So that's how that works. Now, in terms of these other tile types, I'll just show you one because we will cover this in our movie. If I go to brick by row you can see how it shifts it. So grid, break by row, and there are usages for this but for like I said, 98% of the time I get away with using the grid method. So, once we have that established we're going to go ahead and click out back to our art board and we're going to go to a vector rectangle shape like this and we're going to go ahead and we're going to fill this with our pattern fill and you can see what that looks like.

And I've also added another pattern. Much like the texture pattern I created in the previous movie, this is nothing more than a wavy form to give the illusion of water. And that's how that came out. I adjusted it, because I thought the overall sizing, once again, was too big. So I wanted it a little smaller in order for it to look better as an overall pattern. Now, that's how you can use a standalone artwork, with the pattern tool to replicate it.

And once again, all it takes is to have your artwork figured out in association once again with your bounding box so that once you have that figured out you know by beta testing it before you even get to the pattern tool, that it's going to repeat. So that's important. So that's how a non-trim piece of artwork works in association with the bounding box and using the pattern tool. Now, if you create your pattern from scratch, you're going to be able to create what's called a stand alone pattern tile.

And that's what we have here. Everything needed to create a pattern fill is here, and this is even easier once you have this, you just drag it to your Swatches palette and then you can go to any shape and fill it with that pattern and it goes very quickly. So if you build from scratch you're able to do either type of pattern design, whether it's a free floating one, that is non trimmed artwork, or it's a pattern tile, stand alone pattern tile, and it's trimmed artwork, you're able to create a pattern and replicate it using the pattern tool in Adobe Illustrator.

We're going to go over other settings for how to use the pattern tool and what it does in other movies in this course. But hopefully that demystifies a little bit about it. One thing I should point out is even though we drug this tile artwork over to the Swatches palette here. If we go the swatch it created, you can see that it automatically creates the repeat tiling because you figured it all out. And a couple other settings in regards to the pattern tool here is this at the bottom where it says Copies.

This is just the preview of the repeat it shows in the backgrounds, so if we go to one on one, it's not going to show you anything. It just showing you the tile. Three on three, it repeats it out a little bit. And, you can go all the way up to nine by nine and that pretty much fills the whole screen. So you get a good idea of how your pattern fills going to work. When you have a pattern that is a free floating pattern, that's where the overlap comes in. And we're going to cover that when we get into the specific tile types later in this course.

But for now, that's how the general settings for the pattern tool in Adobe Illustrator works to create, whether it's a trimmed piece of artwork, or a non trimmed piece of artwork to create a pattern cell. So, I hope that helps. The pattern tool has a lot of variables in terms of its settings and controls and the best way to learn those, is to experiment with them. Once you see how it responds to your artwork, that's going to give you really clear idea of, of the methodology that's going to work with the pattern you're creating.

Because it's a safe bet you're going to discover far more, than what I'm able to demonstrate for you in a simple movie like this.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Drawing Vector Graphics: Patterns
Drawing Vector Graphics: Patterns

35 video lessons · 4495 viewers

Von Glitschka
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 5m 24s
    1. Welcome
      1m 32s
    2. Exercise files
      49s
    3. What are patterns?
      3m 3s
  2. 1h 6m
    1. Drawing out and refining your design
      9m 39s
    2. Building your vector pattern with a bounding box
      15m 22s
    3. Creating and using pattern swatches and libraries
      9m 29s
    4. Organize, size, rotate, and adjust your pattern fills
      9m 45s
    5. Using transparency to create depth
      8m 46s
    6. Using textures in your patterns
      13m 26s
  3. 1h 37m
    1. Pattern tool basics
      11m 16s
    2. Selecting appropriate artwork
      13m 19s
    3. Using the Pattern Tile tool and tile types
      11m 42s
    4. Using pattern tiles with the Pattern tool
      12m 55s
    5. Adding depth using the Appearance panel
      9m 39s
    6. Pattern tool limits
      9m 22s
    7. Good pattern-building habits
      15m 37s
    8. Exporting your pattern files
      13m 44s
  4. 30m 15s
    1. Creating a brush pattern
      9m 48s
    2. Creating a traditional border pattern frame
      4m 8s
    3. Using brush textures and clipping masks with patterns
      10m 6s
    4. Creating complex designs using a pattern brush
      6m 13s
  5. 24m 21s
    1. Patterns in the context of illustration
      6m 54s
    2. Patterns in the context of graphic design
      5m 0s
    3. Patterns in the context of visual identity
      8m 6s
    4. Patterns in the context of product design and accessories
      2m 21s
    5. Patterns in the context of textile designs
      2m 0s
  6. 14m 33s
    1. Ekaterina Panova, Russia
      1m 51s
    2. Raul Villanueva, Peru
      1m 6s
    3. Anastasiia Kucherenko, Ukraine
      1m 30s
    4. Andi Butler, United States
      1m 40s
    5. Dennis Bennett, Germany
      1m 34s
    6. Samarra Khaja, United States
      1m 44s
    7. Jenean Morrison, United States
      1m 25s
    8. Laura Coyle, United States
      3m 43s
  7. 1m 27s
    1. Final thoughts
      1m 27s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Drawing Vector Graphics: Patterns.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.