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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, we're going to establish the final sub-path in this core path outline inside of our seamlessly repeating pattern. But it's going to be a little trickier this time, because we're trying to match the existing endpoints, which don't necessarily have anything to do with each other. So in other words, we've got this far left endpoint in the red path, and then we've got the far left endpoint in the right path. They were drawn without any knowledge of each other. There was no symmetrical matching between these two paths either. So we're bound to have to a little bit of mis-registration this time around.
I'll show you how to resolve that. I've saved my progress as Red path blue path.ai. Before we draw anything, I'm going to establish yet another guide. So I'm going to go ahead and draw up down to this guides layer. I'm going to drag it up to just above the humanoid layer, like so. Then I'll go up to the View menu, and I'll choose Guides. And I'll choose Lock Guides to turn it off. I'll grab any one of these circular guides. Because they're in front now, I can drag them by their center points. I'll drag this guide by the center point until it snaps into alignment with that endpoint there, the left- hand endpoint in the blue path.
Then I'll press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac in order to duplicate that guide. Now I've gone ahead and created a total of six different circular guides. So I've managed to identify every point of intersection, as well as the points at which the various sub- paths meet up with each other. All right, now I'm going to go back to the View menu, choose Guides, and choose Lock Guides to lock those guides down. Let's set that about continuing this sub-path right here along the thigh. So I'm going to click on that segment with the Black Arrow tool to select it.
I'll zoom in a little bit as well. Press the P key in order to switch to the Pen tool. Click on that point in order to sever off its control handle and make it a cusp point. Then I'll click here to create a corner point under the arm. Click at the elbow. Click at the wrist, or whatever wacky thing this is. Then finally, click around here, because I don't want to click on that endpoint or I'll go ahead and connect the two paths. It's too early for that. Now I'll switch to the White Arrow tool, grab that endpoint, and drag it until it snaps into alignment with the first one.
All right, now let's get rid of these other thigh paths here. They helped us to establish the point of intersection, but we don't need them anymore. So I'll press the V key to switch to the Black Arrow tool. I'll marquee around both of them, and press the Backspace key or the Delete key to get rid of them. All right, let's grab this path, the one we're working on. Let's change its color to green, just so that we can keep all the sub-paths separate from each other. This time around, I'm going to grab my Rotate tool. However, I don't want you to Alt+ Click exactly at that endpoint.
I want you to Alt+Click a little bit away from it. This requires a leap of faith on your part. But we're not going to try to nail the location of that knee this time around. Instead, we're going to go ahead and align this new path, the clone that we're about to create to this point down here. Then we'll figure out how far off the knees are from each other. So Alt+Click or Option+Click let's say right about there, just slightly away from the knee. A 120 must not be the right value. So I'll change it to -120. That looks right. I'll click the Copy button in order to create a copy of that path.
Now go back to the Black Arrow tool. Grab this endpoint here, and drag it until it snaps into alignment with that tail point. We end up getting a great match all the way around, except right here. Let's go ahead and zoom in like crazy. I'm pressing Ctrl and the Spacebar, or Cmd+Spacebar on a Mac. I'm going to marquee around this point, so that we can see that the two points are not coincident. That is no surprise. That is going to happen, unless you were just incredibly lucky, as you were drawing this path outline, these two points are going to be slightly out of whack with each other.
Now, the quick and dirty solution is to marquee these two points with the White Arrow tool, like so. Then you'd go the Object menu, choose Path, and choose Average, or press Ctrl+Alt+J, Cmd+Option+J on a Mac, then you would average to Both axes. But if you do that, you will go ahead and average the points together, and that's great. However, that also doesn't really reconcile the fact that these two lines now have slightly different slopes than each other. So the way in which they're bending may now be different from each other.
They may not quite align. If you want to check that out, what I suggest you do is go ahead and click off those paths. Click with the White Arrow tool on one of the segments. It doesn't matter which one. Press Ctrl+C or Cmd+C on a Mac to copy it. Then click off the segment to deselect it. Press Ctrl+F or Cmd+F on the Mac to paste it in front. Then press the R key to select the Rotate tool. Alt+Click on that knee point right there, that being an Option+Click on the Mac. Change the value to -120 degrees.
That looks like it's going to work out fine. Click OK. Then let's press Ctrl+Y or Cmd+Y on a Mac. I'm going to zoom in here. I'm going to turn off the template layer by clicking on its eyeball. So what we've done by pressing Ctrl+Y or Cmd+Y on a Mac is we've switched to the Preview mode, and we can see whether these two lines exactly match each other. They're not quite exactly on. Now that might not be a problem. That might be good enough for you. But it is going to mean that when those strokes align with each other, they're going to get slightly thicker than the other strokes inside of your illustration.
So, I think there is a better way. I'm going to press Ctrl+Z, Cmd+Z on the Mac a few times in a row, until I get my points back away from each other, like so. Now, that didn't take me out of the Outline mode. So I'll press Ctrl+Y or Cmd+Y on a Mac to switch to the Preview mode. Then I'm going to show you the better way to exactly, precisely align those two endpoints in the next exercise.
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