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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 introduce you to the Live Paint Selection tool. I have gone ahead and saved off my progress as Yellow strokes.ai, and I want you to notice a couple of visual anomalies onscreen here. I am going to zoom in a little bit and see that little dot; right there onscreen. I am circling it with my White Arrow tool, and that dot sort of sticks around. Notice as I scroll inside of the illustration; it moves around with and then it goes to a new location. That's not a speck on your screen, that's not something you couldn't necessarily get rid of unless you quit Illustrator and restart the program.
It's typically just one little dot onscreen that kind of moves around. These thing show up when you start using Live Paint and I have no idea why. This has been a problem for years inside of Illustrator. It's not going to hurt anything, they don't print; of course, they are just little visual anomalies, little screen render problems, and you can safely ignore them. But what I've find myself doing is going to picking at the screen, trying to figure out what's on there. Meanwhile, this is a little bigger problem, because this is real. Notice the way the yellow strokes interact with the black strokes, and you might hope that the yellow strokes would form nice corners inside the black strokes, but that ain't going to happen, and here is why.
What Illustrator does is it cleaves off the stroke at that specific location, and we can really see it happen because we have got these thick line weights, but even if you are working with thinner line weights, these problems would still occur. Basically, what we are seeing is the stacking order of the objects. Because the cyan object is at front, we are seeing its black stroke cleave into the yellow stroke at this location, and then the magenta object is behind it, so it gets covered up by that yellow stroke, and then the orange object is all the way back. If you were to change the stacking order here inside the layers panel, if you were to twirl open normal and then twirl open the Live Paint Group, and grab orange and move it to the top, why then your strokes would cleave differently, which argues, I guess that we shouldn't use this stroke pattern.
We shouldn't use yellow against black. Let's try black against black instead. I am going to do that this time using the Live Paint Selection tool. So this tool, it's available inside the same flyout menu as a Live Paint Bucket. It's located at the bottom of the flyout menu, you can get to it by pressing Shift+L and what it allows you to do is click inside the fills and strokes to select them. So, for example, if I click in this cyan area that's currently highlighted with red once again, because the Live Paint Bucket and the Live Selection tool have their own independent highlight colors.
If I click on it, then I will go ahead and select it, the fill shows up as this kind of dot pattern when it's selected, or I can click on a stroke to select it instead. For some reason, the Live Paint Selection tool is set up by default to allow you to select both fills and strokes, even though the Live Paint Bucket tool isn't set up that way. So if you double-click on this tool icon here inside the toolbox, you will see that Select Fills and Select Strokes are both selected. So, you can grab either, and there is your highlight color. Again, you can change it if you want to, I will switch it to green just so it shows up nicely; switch it 2 points as well, click OK and now I see the new highlight color.
Anyway, what I want to do is I want to select all the strokes, and that means that I'd click and then Shift+click on each one of the strokes which is actually fairly time-consuming as you can see. If you want to save yourself some time, you know that you just want to select the strokes, why then, go ahead and double-click on that tool icon once again, turn off Select Fills, click OK and just remember you've done it because now you can't select fills using the tool. Click OK and then you can just marquee around this area like so, and you will grab all of those strokes that you marqueed around without grabbing the fills, which is a really great way to work in our case, because it allows us to work more quickly inside of this illustration.
Anyway, I will go ahead and Shift+click on the two bottom strokes in order to select them as well, and now I can switch my Stroke attributes here in the Swatches panel, up here in the Stroke area, the Control panel as well. So, for example, the first thing I will do is reduce the Line Weight from 16 to 10 points, and that will change the selected strokes independently the other ones and then I will also change the stroke color to this rich black here inside the Swatches panel, and that does the trick. Now something I want you to notice here is that we still have our orange, cyan and magenta circles at work here.
So if I were to switch back to the Black Arrow tool and then I were to meatball one of these items, let's grab cyan this time around, just by clicking on its meatball. Oops! I missed it, that's a problem and I went ahead and selected the entire darn thing. Well, you know what, I will show you a different way to work here. Let's grab the White Arrow tool and I'll click off the shapes to deselect them, and I'll Alt+click or Option+click on one of these circles. That will select that circle independently as well, and then I'll drag it to a different location, and you can see all of your strokes updating on-the-fly. Now, I seem to have a problem. I seem to have these Rich black strokes with these tepid black strokes around the outside. That's no good. Anyway, let's go ahead and change those, using the Live Stroke Selection tool once again.
I'll press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac, to undo that movement. I will go ahead and grab my Live Paint Selection tool, and I'll just click and Shift+click like so, because these are pretty big regions of outline here. I'll set them to Rich black as well, so that we have some uniformity going on. The thing I want you to notice here, let's say that you want these areas of stroke intersection on the inside of the circles to be invisible. You don't want strokes at these locations. One of the things you could do is marquee those guys, and go ahead and Shift+click on the ones that you miss, and by the way, another little meta tip; as you're working with this Live Paint Selection tool, if you want to get rid of the selection artifacts onscreens, so you are not seeing these dot patterns, press Ctrl+H, or Command+H on the Mac, and that will temporarily hide those guys.
Now, one of the things you could do if you want to get rid of them is you could just press the Backspace key or the Delete key on the Mac, but I want you to see what happens here inside the Live Paint Group in the layers panel. We've got orange, cyan, and magenta, and they're all full circles. If I press the Backspace key or the Delete key, they'll switch to path; they'll lose their names for one thing and we also cleave away a bunch of pieces of the circle and we are left with no interactions. I actually got rid of those areas. I made a permanent modification to my objects. I don't want that. I want everything to be dynamic. So I'll press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac. What do you do? Well, just switch to None here inside the Swatches panel and nothing is selected.
Oh, I forgot about this. What happens as soon as you press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac in order to reinstate those little strokelets, they are no longer selected, and I couldn't tell that because I'd hit the selections, but I'll press Ctrl+H, or Command+H on the Mac, to bring them back, and we are not seeing anything selected because nothing is selected. So I have to laboriously go select everybody again, which is kind of a drag, but the way it works, and by the way I just Shift+marqueed around an area, that's possible as well. Then I will Shift+click until I get everybody selected, then I would switch them to None like so, and the strokes go away.
But that doesn't damage my objects; they still have an orange circle, a cyan circle or magenta, at least that's what they're called here inside the Live Paint Group and they are full circles that I can continue to modify as much as I want. Now, I'll go ahead and click off the strokes in order to deselect them, and you can see that yes, indeed, I did go ahead and get rid of those strokes. Anyway, I'll press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac, to reinstate them. This is the effect I am looking for. In the next exercise, I'll show you how to take this heart shape right here and add it to the existing Live Paint Group.
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