Join Robin Schneider for an in-depth discussion in this video Making braids, part of Illustrator for Fashion Design: Creating Brushes.
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Alright, it's time to tackle the braid. Go on up to file, and click Place. I've put a template in the Chapter 3 folder for you to follow. Click on the Braid template, and click Place. Go into your Layers panel, lock the layer, and make a new layer to draw on. Make sure your Fill is set to None, the Stroke to black, grab your Pen Tool, and let's go ahead an trace this. You actually only need to trace one segment. So, let's start here, and click. The second click will be at this intersection; click anddrag to form the round curve of the braid.
Now click to release the handle, click at this point, click anddrag a slight curve, click to release the handle, and click back where you started, and drag a slight curve. That's all there is to it. That's the braid piece. The rest we can just duplicate. So select it, hold your Alt or Option and Shift key, and drag a copy until it aligns with the first piece, and then duplicate it; Ctrl+D or Command+D. Now, I'm not particularly happy with the way this is lining up.
I can see that this point is not quite hitting, so I'm going to grab my Direct Selection Tool, take that anchor point, and just move it forward a tiny bit. I think I'm going to like that better. I'll delete these two, and do this again. Select it, Alt+Shift+ Drag and move it into place; I think I like that better, and then duplicate. Now you can take all three, group them together, and we'll reflect them for the other side. Double-click on Reflect, select Horizontal, Copy, and now we can move these down.
You can use your arrow key down and over, and just nudge those into place, like so. Now you can go ahead and color them however you like. I'll select them all, and I think I'm just going to go for basic with these. We'll give them a white fill, and group them together. Now, the template I gave you is definitely much too big, but I made it large so it would be easier to trace. Let's scale this down to 10%, which will be more appropriate. Double-click on the Scale tool; type in 10%. This time you should Scale Strokes & Effects, so make sure that box is checked, and click OK.
There is our braid. Let's go back, unlock the layer, and Select and Delete the template we placed, because we don't really need it anymore, and zoom in to the braid that we've drawn. Now for the next part; we're going to take the Rectangle Tool, and draw a rectangle, but it's important where the rectangle hits. Take a look at your Smart Guides. What we want to find is the center of this very first piece. If you move around without clicking on your mouse, you'll find this center X. Click and drag out a rectangle until you hit the center of the last one on the top.
Again, see that little X? You can sort of feel it snap into place when your Smart Guides are on. Go ahead and right-click > Arrange > Send to Back to make sure that that rectangle is in the back. We need to turn the Stroke to None as well, as the Fill. We now have a rectangle behind the braid shape, with a Stroke and Fill of None. Select the whole thing; that rectangle, and the braid. Open your Brushes, click on New, this will be a Pattern Brush, click OK, and click OK. That's it! Let's zoom out and take a look at it.
Go ahead and draw a path. I'll draw a nice and curvy one, so you can see how nicely this brush works, and click on the braid. Now you've got your very own braid brush!
- Making simple pattern brushes like pin tucks and bias trim
- Adding finished ends to your brushes
- Controlling brush alignment
- Creating ruching and smocking
- Using scatter brushes for sequins, fringe, and fur
- Creating brushes from JPG images