Join Chad Chelius for an in-depth discussion in this video Pattern creation, part of Illustrator CS6 New Features Overview.
Longtime users of Illustrator and beginners alike will appreciate Illustrator CS6's ability to seamlessly create patterns with the greatest of ease. Using this new feature you can define a pattern from an existing object and then apply that pattern as a fill to another object. I'm beginning this video with the pattern dot A I file open on my computer. And as you can see this is really just a basic shape that I had created using ellipses inside of Illustrator. Now the New Pattern Creation feature basically allows me to select an object. And then come up here to the object menu.
And choose Pattern > Make. Now it's going to tell you that the new pattern has been added to the swatches panel. And we can see that right there. That pattern exists. So we'll go ahead and click okay, and now we can start working with our pattern. Now, a couple of things are going to happen. And I'm just going to slide my document over a little bit, so that we can see what we're doing. And you can see that when we first define this pattern, the pattern options panel opens up and allows us to give it a name.
So. I'm just going to give this a name of maybe spiral pattern. You can call it whatever you like. And then in the tile type, you can choose how you want this tile created. So as you could see by default it creates a basic grid, okay? And then your other choice is to create a tile based on a brick by row. So if I choose that, you can see it shifts it by row. So we have a row. A row here, a row here, here, and here.
Now, before I go too far, I want to show you that, down here at the very bottom, we get to choose how we want this previewed in our document. So, you can see that right now it's creating five copies of the pattern just to give me a visual idea of what this is going to look like. If you want more or less, you could choose 3 by 3, or you can go up as high as 7 by 5, you know, however big you want to get, that's perfectly fine. In addition, beyond the actual pattern tile, by default, it's dimming those copies so that you get a better idea of what your actual pattern tile looks like versus the repeats of that pattern. You can also choose to show the tile edge or not. So I can turn that on and off.
And I can also show the swatch bounds, so you can see where the swatch itself is being defined. So if you wanted to dim your copies more or less, you can change the percentage here, so if I change to 30%, then I get less of a visual representation here, or we can increase it to 90, whatever you prefer. So I'm going to change mine back to seven here. Now back to the tile itself. We change this to brick by row. You can see how it's being shifted accordingly. You can also choose brick by column. And as you can see now these are columns of patterns that we're looking at. When you're choosing either one of those choices you can change the brick offset. This is being offset by half, I can change it to a quarter or a third, really whatever I'm looking for here.
You can even do two-thirds, you can even do three-quarters, you can change it to really whatever you want. So I'll go ahead and change this back to a half. For the tile type. We can also choose > Hax by column. Now when you choose this one. We really don't get any offsets. Because, it's applied by default. So this one is hex by column. Then of course, Hex by row. And when you're choosing those, you have the ability as you move down here, to change the width and height of the tile itself. You can also instruct Illustrator to size the tile with the art.
So if I change the size of the art itself, I'm just going to make this a little bit bigger here. You can see that it adjusted the size of the tile as well. Same thing with move tile with art, so if I happen to move the art itself it's going to move the tile along with it. I'm going to turn these off for now. In addition, when you get down here to the bottom, you also are able to choose how you want the overlap to occur.
So this first button is left in front. If I choose right in front and I have any overlapping tiles, you' ll see how they change as I modify those. Over here if we choose Bottom in Front, again here's where you can see the change happen because we're going Hex by Row in this example. Now, what we can also do here is we can make some more manual adjustments, and what I'm going to do is, you can click on this Pattern Tile tool And you can also change the size of the tile. You can see that it's been represented here, we're using hex by row. And if you change this, you can squeeze this if you want. And that's going to change how they overlap.
You can adjust these, however you want. And that's going to change how the repeat is going to occur. So, let's go ahead and come back up here and choose brick by row. And now we'll make some more manual adjustments. I going to select my selection tool. And you can see here is my tile that I am working with. So, what I am going to do is, I'm going to scale this object down, I'm going to make it a little bit smaller. And we will move this up here. And then by holding down the option key on mac or the old key on windows. I'm going to make a copy of this, and I'll drag this maybe, down here. As you can see its repeating that.
And I'm just going to continue holding that key and I'm going to make overlaps of this object. So I'm just going to keep overlapping these. And I'm trying to create more of a random pattern in this example. And so you can see we're not getting a little bit more randomness within this pattern definition. Now, when you're finished, you can click on the left arrow. An that will exit out of that pattern editing mode. An you can, select this now an delete it.
An now if we draw a shape, I'll just use a, rectangle here or a square. I'm just going to draw a shape, an then we're going to go to our swatches panel, an we're going to choose that pattern that we created. And you can see that this is now filled with that pattern. Now you can always go back later on and adjust that pattern if you wish. If you go to object, pattern and you choose edit pattern. That's going to take you back to the definition of the pattern. And if you wanted to try and make some adjustments you could make some more copies and you could even start scaling some of these down.
To create a little bit more randomness within this pattern. So we'll take a couple of them and make themem smaller or bigger. And then once again, when we exit It. This pattern editing mode, now we're back to the pattern we created. You can refine this as much, or as little as you want. But the point is that using this pattern editor, you can really customize your pattern and adjust it and see it visually as you're making these changes. If you're a seasoned Illustrator user, you're probably thinking wow why did it take so long for me to get this feature? And if you're new I'm sure you appreciate the ease by which Illustrator allows you to create a seemingly unlimited array of patterns from your own artwork.
- Performance and interface enhancements
- Pattern creation
- Image trace
- Unembedding images
- Package files
- Links panel enhancements