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Using the Offset Path command

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

Video: Using the Offset Path command

We're now looking at the shapes that I united in the previous exercise and if you want to catch up with me I'm working inside of the document called United shapes.ai that's found inside the 06_Edit_transform folder, and I'm still viewing the shapes, and I'm still viewing this one continuous path here inside of the outline mode. If I wanted to see it in the preview mode I would Control or Command click on the Little Orphan Annie eyeball over there in the Layers palette. And there it is. Now, it strikes me at this point that my fingers are too thin and I need to thicken them up a little bit and one way to thicken them up would be to go ahead and select this shape and give it a stroke. Notice that there's no stroke assigned to this shape right now. So I could go to the Stroke palette and I would say, Hey I want 6 points of stroke, give it to me. And then it would go and thicken up those lines, would it not, by stroking the outlines and recall that when you're applying a stroke, by default Illustrator goes ahead and puts one half of the stroke on the inside of the shape and the other half of the stroke on the outside of the shape. So we're bulking up the fingers in the spiral by three points outwards, so we're expanding 3 points outward.

Using the Offset Path command

We're now looking at the shapes that I united in the previous exercise and if you want to catch up with me I'm working inside of the document called United shapes.ai that's found inside the 06_Edit_transform folder, and I'm still viewing the shapes, and I'm still viewing this one continuous path here inside of the outline mode. If I wanted to see it in the preview mode I would Control or Command click on the Little Orphan Annie eyeball over there in the Layers palette. And there it is. Now, it strikes me at this point that my fingers are too thin and I need to thicken them up a little bit and one way to thicken them up would be to go ahead and select this shape and give it a stroke. Notice that there's no stroke assigned to this shape right now. So I could go to the Stroke palette and I would say, Hey I want 6 points of stroke, give it to me. And then it would go and thicken up those lines, would it not, by stroking the outlines and recall that when you're applying a stroke, by default Illustrator goes ahead and puts one half of the stroke on the inside of the shape and the other half of the stroke on the outside of the shape. So we're bulking up the fingers in the spiral by three points outwards, so we're expanding 3 points outward.

Compare that to another way of working. I'm going to go ahead and undo the addition of the stroke there. The other thing we could do is go up to the Object menu and choose the Path command and then choose this guy right there, Offset Path, which goes ahead and bulks up the path by actually moving it outward by actually tracing new lines outward. So I'll go ahead and choose the Offset Path command. By default Illustrator wants to go ahead and assign an Offset value of 10 points, which is way too much if you turn on the Preview checkbox, you'll see. Wow it goes way too far there. Even a value of 6 is too high, and why is that too high? Because it's actually going outward 6 points, and I was telling you with a 6-point stroke, it's going out 3 points.

So what we want is to offset by 3 points in order to get the same effect we got with the strokes just a moment ago. And that is what I want. So I'll go ahead and click OK at this point, in order to go ahead and expand that path 3 points outward. Now notice that I've got two paths. The offset path command always creates a clone of your original path. So notice if I were to return to the outline mode by Control or Command-clicking on the eyeball, that we do indeed have two versions of the path, one on the outside, that's the new offset version, and one on the inside that's the original. Well that's actually really great in a way. It's not something I need long-term. I'm not going to need this path long-term, but I am going to need it in order to create the beveled edge. See how there's this light beveled edge going around the hand in the background here inside of the big unite template. Well that's something I need to create as well and I might as well expand it outward from the original path definition here.

So I'll select that inside path once again. Then I'll go up to the Object menu and I'll choose the Path command, and I'll choose Offset Path once again and this time I'm going to enter an Offset value of 8 points and I'm going to turn on Preview, so I can see that I'm doing the right thing and I am, isn't that wonderful? Yes it is. I'll click OK. Again it goes ahead and creates a clone of the path and leaves the original behind. All right fine. I don't need that original anymore so I'm going to click off the paths. Then I'm going to click on the original and I'm going to press the Backspace key or the Delete key on the Mac in order to get rid of it.

So now we have these versions of the paths here. I'm going to select the outer one, the one that's serving as the beveled edge, and I want to offset it, and by offset it, I mean I want to nudge it over. I don't want to apply the Offset Path command. I want to nudge it into a different position. And I'll do that, assuming by the way that you set your keyboard increment to 0.2 point, here inside the Preferences dialog box, as I asked you to do, way back in Chapter 2. Then in that case, you can press Shift+right arrow and then Shift+down arrow. That's all you have to do. Just press Shift+right arrow and Shift+down arrow and you'll have nudged the path into the proper location.

And now we have two versions of the path, the interior version of the path that we'll fill with a darker brown, and the outer version here that we'll fill with a lighter brown that will serve as our beveled edge.

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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 · 37003 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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