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Using the Pathfinder effects

From: Illustrator CS4 Beyond the Basics

Video: Using the Pathfinder effects

When it comes to performing path calculations like subtracting objects from each other or adding them to each other, we find that the Pathfinder functions are incredibly helpful. But you may also notice that if you go to the Effect menu inside of Illustrator you will see that the Pathfinder functions also appear as live effects. And you may ask yourself, when would I ever want to apply a Pathfinder effect as a live effect? Well, let me show you an example of where that might come handy. I actually have some artwork here. It's the Groundswell logo and just a regular group of objects here and maybe I want to create some kind of an outline around this.

Using the Pathfinder effects

When it comes to performing path calculations like subtracting objects from each other or adding them to each other, we find that the Pathfinder functions are incredibly helpful. But you may also notice that if you go to the Effect menu inside of Illustrator you will see that the Pathfinder functions also appear as live effects. And you may ask yourself, when would I ever want to apply a Pathfinder effect as a live effect? Well, let me show you an example of where that might come handy. I actually have some artwork here. It's the Groundswell logo and just a regular group of objects here and maybe I want to create some kind of an outline around this.

Now we have already explored some of the functions like for example Offset Path that would help us to create such an outline. Let's perform all these as live effects and see how they can be applied. I'm going to click on this logo right here, this group, move it over just to the side here and we can open up the all-important Appearance panel. What I'm going to do over here immediately is simply add a new stroke to this particular group. Now this stroke sits right here above the contents of my file. And right now it set to a 1 point stroke. Well I'm going to change it to 2 point just to get a little bit more of that kind of beefier look to it.

And I'm now going to choose to apply that Offset Path command. Instead of doing it as a regular Path command, I'm actually going to apply as Live Effect. So I go over here to the Effects over here. Let's go down to Path and then choose Offset Path. We have got a little Preview button here and let's offset it about an eighth of an inch. There we go. So now I see automatically that I have created an Offset Path but look. Even though I have your group that I have created, each of the shapes themselves do have their own offset and their path. So what I get is an appearance that may not be the one I'm trying to get. I really want to get like one continuous stroke that kind of outlines the entire object.

So I'm now going to go ahead and click OK just to apply this Offset Path. And another thing that I'm also somewhat concerned about. How you always try to get hooked up in the details here. The little corners that are here are pretty sharp and I might want to round those to soften up the look of that outline effect. So I'm going to apply a Rounded Corners effect. So again, with my strokes still targeted in my Appearance panel, I'm going to go to the Effect menu, choose Stylize and then I'll go ahead and now choose Round Corners. And here I'll just use a value of an eighth of an inch. Click on the Preview button and see how that kind of rounds that off, makes it look a little bit more pleasing to the eye. Click OK.

But I still haven't really addressed the problem that I have here which is that each of the individual shape of my group got their own Offset Path applied. Therefore I have all these overlapping shapes and all these overlapping areas. Well, let's forget about the Appearance panel for a moment. If I were working with regular shapes and a I have whole bunch of overlapping shapes, and I wanted to combine them altogether into one shape, I could use the Pathfinder Add effect, and that will actually combine all the shapes into one. Well, because I'm working here with all these appearances, the stroke that I have here I can't actually select it. It's all applied as an appearance through the use of the Offset Path and the Rounded Corners effect. I could now add a Pathfinder live effect to instruct Illustrator to combine all the shapes into one.

So I'm going to do that, again with the stroke here still targeted in my Appearance panel. I can now go to the Effect menu, I could choose Pathfinder, then I could choose the Add effect right there. Now I get the effect I'm looking for. I get all those combined into one shape, which I think is incredibly useful. Again this is really where the Pathfinder effects as live effects really come into play when you start working with multiple objects like multiple strokes and fills and a single appearance. Now what I'll also do here is show you a few of the other ones that I think might be interesting. So I'll click on Add to edit that and I can actually click on the Preview button here and see what some of the other Pathfinder effects do. For example, Trim does a very intersecting effect that actually makes like each of the letters are stack in front of each other. But it basically gets rid of the effect that I see through them. So I get this really nice looking effect.

I have notice that here for this example the Add one and the Trim one really give me some great results. But that's the way that you might edit or kind of play around with and experiment with the different Pathfinder effects that you can apply through the Appearance panel. Now finally because of the shapes that we are dealing with over here, notice that some areas here still exist. There is really no way for me to select those and delete them because right now my appearance is a live appearance. I could in theory choose to go to the Object menu here and choose to expand my appearance and delete those regions manually or what I might decide to do is simply go over here to the Offset Path command and increase that somewhat, maybe to 0.2 inches. And basically make it large enough so that I don't see those particular areas anymore.

And again that's just an experimentation thing to kind of go through. See what works well and then see how the Pathfinder effects can really make a big difference on some of the artwork that you are creating.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS4 Beyond the Basics
Illustrator CS4 Beyond the Basics

137 video lessons · 28974 viewers

Mordy Golding
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 2m 4s
    1. Welcome
      1m 41s
    2. Using the exercise files
      23s
  2. 33m 20s
    1. Introducing Live Paint
      38s
    2. Drawing in Illustrator
      4m 21s
    3. Creating a Live Paint group
      2m 54s
    4. Using the Live Paint Bucket tool
      3m 17s
    5. Using Live Paint with open paths
      2m 29s
    6. Detecting gaps in Live Paint groups
      4m 17s
    7. Adding paths to a Live Paint group
      3m 41s
    8. Using the Live Paint Selection tool
      5m 44s
    9. Releasing and expanding Live Paint groups
      2m 55s
    10. Understanding how Live Paint groups work
      3m 4s
  3. 49m 36s
    1. Introducing the trace options
      39s
    2. Setting expectations: Live Trace
      2m 26s
    3. Using the Live Trace feature
      1m 51s
    4. Understanding how Live Trace works
      5m 41s
    5. Making raster-based adjustments
      5m 52s
    6. Tracing with fills, strokes, or both
      2m 55s
    7. Making vector-based adjustments
      6m 12s
    8. Adjusting colors in Live Trace
      4m 39s
    9. Using Photoshop with Live Trace
      5m 22s
    10. Releasing and expanding Live Trace artwork
      2m 58s
    11. Saving and exporting Live Trace presets
      2m 36s
    12. Tracing in Batch mode with Adobe Bridge
      1m 35s
    13. Turning an image into mosaic tiles
      2m 28s
    14. Tracing an image manually
      4m 22s
  4. 1h 24m
    1. Introducing 3D
      33s
    2. Setting expectations: 3D in Illustrator
      2m 53s
    3. How fills and strokes affect 3D artwork
      4m 43s
    4. Applying the 3D Extrude & Bevel effect
      6m 25s
    5. Applying a bevel
      5m 40s
    6. Showing the hidden faces of a 3D object
      4m 49s
    7. Applying the 3D Revolve effect
      5m 22s
    8. Visualizing the revolve axis
      3m 5s
    9. Applying the 3D Rotate effect
      1m 35s
    10. Adjusting surface settings
      9m 33s
    11. Understanding the importance of 3D and groups
      3m 24s
    12. Preparing art for mapping
      10m 19s
    13. Mapping artwork to a 3D surface
      14m 21s
    14. Hiding geometry with 3D artwork mapping
      4m 0s
    15. Extending the use of 3D in Illustrator
      8m 7s
  5. 44m 37s
    1. Introducing transformations and effects
      32s
    2. Using the Transform panel
      12m 37s
    3. Repeating transformations
      5m 23s
    4. Using the Transform Each function
      3m 48s
    5. Using the Convert to Shape effects
      5m 49s
    6. Using the Distort & Transform effects
      5m 12s
    7. Using the Path effects
      6m 58s
    8. Using the Pathfinder effects
      4m 18s
  6. 28m 23s
    1. Introducing graphic styles
      33s
    2. Applying graphic styles
      10m 8s
    3. Defining graphic styles
      8m 46s
    4. Previewing graphic styles
      2m 10s
    5. Modifying graphic styles
      3m 30s
    6. Understanding graphic styles for text
      3m 16s
  7. 22m 49s
    1. Introducing advanced masking techniques
      32s
    2. Understanding clipping masks
      7m 15s
    3. Using layer clipping masks
      6m 30s
    4. Creating opacity masks
      8m 32s
  8. 1h 6m
    1. Introducing color
      40s
    2. Considering three types of color swatches
      7m 7s
    3. Managing color groups
      2m 58s
    4. Understanding the HSB color wheel
      3m 57s
    5. Understanding color harmonies
      2m 57s
    6. Using the color guide
      3m 54s
    7. Limiting the color guide
      3m 17s
    8. Modifying color with the Recolor Artwork feature
      6m 25s
    9. Using the Edit tab to adjust color
      5m 44s
    10. Using the Assign tab to replace colors
      8m 37s
    11. Making global color adjustments
      2m 17s
    12. Using Recolor options
      7m 3s
    13. Converting artwork to grayscale
      3m 23s
    14. Simulating artwork on different devices
      3m 18s
    15. Accessing Kuler directly from Illustrator
      2m 7s
    16. Ensuring high contrast for color-blind people
      2m 42s
  9. 53m 19s
    1. Introducing transparency
      40s
    2. Understanding transparency flattening
      2m 31s
    3. Exercising the two rules of transparency flattening
      10m 53s
    4. Understanding complex regions in transparency flattening
      4m 50s
    5. Exploring the transparency flattener settings
      8m 37s
    6. Using transparency flattening and object stacking order
      6m 39s
    7. Using the Flattener Preview panel
      6m 31s
    8. Creating and sharing Transparency Flattener presets
      2m 25s
    9. Working within an EPS workflow
      5m 3s
    10. Understanding the Illustrator and InDesign workflow
      5m 10s
  10. 50m 1s
    1. Introducing prepress and output
      23s
    2. Understanding resolutions
      8m 27s
    3. Discovering RGB and CMYK "gotchas"
      5m 42s
    4. Using Overprints and Overprint Preview
      7m 43s
    5. Understanding "book color" and proofing spot colors
      8m 1s
    6. Collecting vital information with Document Info
      2m 28s
    7. Previewing color separations onscreen
      1m 12s
    8. Making 3D artwork look good
      2m 16s
    9. Seeing white lines and knowing what to do about them
      2m 41s
    10. Creating "bulletproof" press-ready PDF files
      3m 45s
    11. Protecting content with secure PDFs
      2m 48s
    12. Using PDF presets
      2m 47s
    13. Moving forward: The Adobe PDF Print Engine
      1m 48s
  11. 35m 43s
    1. Introducing distortions
      27s
    2. Using the Warp effect
      4m 20s
    3. The Warp effect vs. envelope distortion
      3m 48s
    4. Applying the Make with Warp envelope distortion
      2m 45s
    5. Applying the Make with Mesh envelope distortion
      2m 41s
    6. Applying the Make with Top Object envelope distortion
      3m 45s
    7. Editing envelopes
      5m 0s
    8. Adjusting envelope settings
      4m 2s
    9. Releasing and expanding envelope distortions
      1m 44s
    10. Applying envelope distortions to text
      1m 27s
    11. Using the liquify distortion tools
      3m 5s
    12. Customizing the liquify tools
      2m 39s
  12. 28m 56s
    1. Introducing blends
      32s
    2. Blending two objects
      6m 18s
    3. Adjusting blend options
      5m 47s
    4. Blending anchor points
      5m 36s
    5. Blending three or more objects
      2m 9s
    6. Replacing the spine of a blend
      4m 32s
    7. Reversing the direction of a blend
      2m 15s
    8. Releasing and expanding a blend
      1m 47s
  13. 46m 54s
    1. Introducing charts and graphs
      35s
    2. Setting expectations: Graphs in Illustrator
      3m 19s
    3. Creating a chart
      8m 2s
    4. Importing data
      3m 34s
    5. Formatting data
      5m 1s
    6. Customizing a chart
      10m 21s
    7. Combining chart types
      2m 40s
    8. Creating graph designs
      6m 0s
    9. Styling and updating graphs
      5m 33s
    10. Ungrouping graphs
      1m 49s
  14. 26m 36s
    1. Introducing Gradient Mesh
      23s
    2. Understanding the Gradient Mesh feature
      9m 34s
    3. Using Gradient Mesh to add contoured shading
      6m 14s
    4. Using Gradient Mesh to create photorealistic effects
      10m 25s
  15. 8m 18s
    1. Introducing flare effects
      25s
    2. Drawing a lens flare
      3m 28s
    3. Modifying a lens flare
      1m 27s
    4. Using a mask with lens flares
      2m 58s
  16. 29s
    1. Goodbye
      29s

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