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Using Live Paint

From: Up and Running with Illustrator

Video: Using Live Paint

In this exercise, I am going to introduce you to a dynamic effect that doesn't live under the effect menu. Rather it's a pair of tools that go by the name, live paint, and we are going to use live paint to do something that technically you can't do inside of illustrator. Here is the Puzzle, one path outline can exist in back of another or in front of it but not both. So how do we take these Olympic rings right here and make them interlocked into each other, the answer, is live paint.

Using Live Paint

In this exercise, I am going to introduce you to a dynamic effect that doesn't live under the effect menu. Rather it's a pair of tools that go by the name, live paint, and we are going to use live paint to do something that technically you can't do inside of illustrator. Here is the Puzzle, one path outline can exist in back of another or in front of it but not both. So how do we take these Olympic rings right here and make them interlocked into each other, the answer, is live paint.

I have open a file called Almost Olympic.ai, it's found inside the Exercise Files folder and I am going to press Control+A or Command+A on the Mac, in order to select all these objects, and then I will go up to the Stroke swatch here in the Control panel and I will change the Stroke from black to white. Notice, by the way, that I have created a swatch for every one of the rings, so there is a blue swatch and yellow one, black, green and red. They are not in exactly the right order, so I am going to grab the black one and I am going to move it, between the yellow and green ones.

Notice incidentally that that did not end up affecting the act of stroke, just reorders the swatches .All right, I am going to press the Escape key in order to hide the swatches panel. The next step is to go to down here to the Shape Builder tool, click and hold on it and then choose the live paint bucket which you can also get by pressing the K key. I'm going to go ahead and zoom in on one of these areas of intersection, Notice that the yellow ring is behind the blue one but at this point right here, it should come in front of the blue ring.

Also notice the swatches that appear above my Bucket cursor, right now I am seeing the white swatch and then the blue one to the right of it if, I press the Right Arrow key also like the blue swatch and reveal the yellow one, or press the Right Arrow key again, to select their yellow swatch. So you have got to have to have your swatches arranged properly inside the Swatches panel, to really make the most of this feature. Now, I am going to click inside of this intersecting area and it becomes yellow, like so. Now go ahead and move over this area where the yellow ring intersects a black one or press the Right Arrow to switch to the black swatch click again.

Now move to this intersection press the Right Arrow key to move to the green swatch click there and then finally I will go ahead and move over to this intersection this is where the red ring auto overlapped green one and I press the Right Arrow key and click in order to add red. Right, now we have got some problems with the strokes as you can see that you can select strokes inside of Illustrator by pressing the Shift key, that switches you to that Stroke Editing tool. Well, I prefer to do however, is to just change the behavior of the tool in general by double-clicking on the Live Paint Bucket tool icon here inside the toolbox, and I am going to turn on the Paint Strokes check box and I will click okay.

All right, now we need to add white strokes around this area of yellow intersection and so I will go ahead and hover my cursor over that outline, and notice that white is my selected swatch, so I will just go ahead and click there and there and now I need to get rid of this area of white stroke above and below this yellow area, you might figure the thing to do is to replace those stokes with yellow, but that's going to give you the wrong effect, instead what you want to do go and press the Left Arrow key until I select None, you want that none stroke then go ahead and click on each one of this stroked areas, like so.

All right let's go ahead and replace these guys with none strokes and we want to replace them with none strokes as well, then I will press the Right Arrow key to advance to white, now I will go ahead and white strokes on either these sides. Now notice I'm getting these very tiny white strokes, don't worry about that, we will come back to that moment, that's just because Illustrator went and changed my weight value. Now we are going to overwrite that at the very end. Right now, we just need to establish where these strokes are. So above and below this area black, to the left and right of the area of green, we need to add strokes right here and here as well, white strokes that is, and then we need to get rid of the strokes among the side of the red, so I am going to press the Left Arrow key and in order to select None and click Right there and right there as well.

All right, believe it or not, we're done, this is the effect were looking for with of course the obvious exception that a strokes are in uniform. So I will go and switchbacks my black arrow tool and with these paths selected as they are, I will go up to my stroke option here inside the Control panel and I am going to change it to 2 points and press the Enter key or the return key in the Mac and I end up achieving this affect, and I am going to click off the rings. Look how they interact, again this is not technically possible inside of Illustrator.

The yellow ring is both in back of the blue ring and in front of it and in back of the black ring and in front of it as well. We are accomplishing that entirely because of live paint and I want to show you how much better it gets. I am going to go ahead and grab my Direct Selection tool, and then I will press the Alt key or the option key on the Mac and I will marquee around the top of the black ring, like so. And I'll go and drag it down a little bit, while I am pressing the Shift key. Don't drag it too far, just a little bit and you'll see that the illusion is maintained, the black ring continues to walk around the yellow and green ones.

I will take it down even farther and pressing the Shift key as I drag to constrain the angle to exactly vertical, and again we still have in there locking ring. I will continue to take it down, and the ring remains intact so now, instead of Olympic ring logo, I now have a kind of Olympic necklace, and there you have it, interlocking objects something otherwise impossible inside your standard vector-based drawing program, pulled off using the dynamic life paint feature here inside illustrator.

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This video is part of

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Up and Running with Illustrator

26 video lessons · 20121 viewers

Deke McClelland
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