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In Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced, author and industry expert Deke McClelland teaches how to take advantage of the wide array of dynamic features in Illustrator CS5. This course demonstrates how to apply these features to paths, groups, and editable text to create professional-quality artwork. The course covers Live Trace, Live Paint, and Live Color, as well as symbols, gradients, exporting, and integration with Photoshop. Exercise files accompany the course.
In this exercise, I am going to show you how to stroke the sub paths associated with the Live Paint object. I've saved my progress as Live paint object.ai. I have got my Black Arrow tool selected. I'll go ahead and click on any one of these circles to select the entire Live Paint Group over here inside the layers panel, and then I will switch over to the Live Paint Bucket which allows you to change the fills and strokes of your object. But you wouldn't know that at first glance because notice, if I hover over one of the fills, I get this big thick red outline to show me that this is the active fill and then obviously, if I advance to a different swatch, such as yellow, let's say, and click in the fill, it changes.
So, no surprise is there. I'll go ahead and undo that change. If I hover over the green area, it becomes highlighted as well. However, if I hover over the stroke, I still have a highlighted fill and if I try to click on that stroke, I am going to change that highlighted fill. How do I change that stroke? Well, I'll go ahead and undo that change by pressing Ctrl+Z or Command+Z. There are two ways to work. One is you press the Shift key and notice as soon as you press Shift, your cursor changes from a Paint Bucket, which tells you that you're going to change a fill color; it changes to a brush cursor, and that tells you that you're going to change a stroke.
So then with the Shift key down, you hover over the stroke that you want to change and you click on it. In my case, I get this very tiny little stroke right there. That's not what I want at all, but I will show you how to change that in just a moment. Also, something else you should notice is as soon as I press the Shift key, I get a totally different group of swatches. What's going on? Notice those three swatches above my cursor there. Don't match the swatch order of the swatches inside the Swatches panel. So they go white, black and then a dark shade of gray as opposed to here inside the Swatches panel, we see white, rich black, and then deep cyan. So what gives? Well, Illustrator for some reason is confused, and I gather it's because I don't have a swatch selected as a stroke color.
So, what I need to do is go up to my Stroke color here in the Control panel and I'll click on it and then I'll switch to a swatch by clicking on rich black, for example. That does not change the strokes that are already assigned to my objects. In fact, I could switch over to orange just so that you can see that that doesn't change anything. Now, if I go ahead and press the Enter key or the Return key to accept that modification, and I press the Shift key, I can now see that my Stroke color is set to orange and I can see all of the swatches or at least three swatches in the exact same order that they appear here inside the Swatches panel.
So that's a great thing. I could also, by the way, change my Line Weight. So currently, it's set to 1 point, that's the line weight I will apply with this tool, and I am going to raise it to something like, let's say, 16 points. Press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac in order to accept that change. Now, if I dropdown here and press the Shift key and click on this stroke, it changes to orange, and I've got a 16-point line weight as well. Right, so that's one way to work. I don't really find that to be the best way to work; I am all for the keyboard tricks, but it's better just to set up the tools, so it works on strokes in my opinion.
You do that by double-clicking on the bucket here inside the toolbox and that brings up the Live Paint Bucket Options dialog box. Notice Paint Fills is turned on, but Paint Strokes, for some reason, by default, is turned off. I guess Adobe feels like there is a good chance you are going to be sloppy and you're going to accidentally click on strokes when you don't want to. I don't really believe that. I think you can be more careful than all of that. So go ahead and turn Paint Strokes on. You can also fuss around with these other options if you want to; you could turn off that Swatch Preview that appears above the cursor, and you can turn off the Highlight if you don't want it and you can change the color of that Highlight to something other than Red.
You can change the Width value as well. I am going to change this actually to Green, because this bright shade of green doesn't appear anywhere inside my illustration. Let's say, I go with something that's less thick than 4 points. Let's try two points instead, and then click OK in order to accept those modifications and notice, now I get these green highlights and thinner highlights as well. So it doesn't really block my view of what's going on. But also notice, this is more important; if I hover over a stroke, I don't have to press the Shift key. I automatically get my little brush cursor to tell me that yes, indeed, I am going to apply a new stroke at this location.
So, I will go ahead and click and set orange there. I don't really want orange. I want something that's going to show up better. Why don't we go with yellow? So, I went ahead and advance to my yellow swatch. I'll click on this stroke, this one, this guy is well right here. You just need to keep an eye off of your cursor, because if you see the Paint Bucket, and you click, no matter where your cursor is, you are going to change the fill. All right, so I will undo that modification for this exercise anyway; I want to always be seeing that little brush cursor. So, I'll go ahead and change all of these strokes like so, inside of the intersecting areas.
I can change the big strokes too if I want to, but I don't want it. All right! So I'll undo that guy. Now then, this is still a live dynamic interaction. So if I switch back to my Black Arrow tool and then I meatball one of these objects here inside the layers panel, so I've got the normal layer expanded, I've twirled open Live Paint Group. I can see cyan, magenta, and orange inside of there. I could click on the meatball for magenta to select it, and you do see that that object is selected; the circle is selected that is at here in the Document window. Now, I can drag it to a new location, and all of those stroke interactions keep up with my modifications.
So again, we have this wonderful dynamic interaction. Thanks to the Live Paint Bucket tool. I'll go ahead and undo that change, however, because I don't want to change the location of my circles right now. In the next exercise, I'll introduce you to the Live Paint Selection tool.
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