Learn techniques for creating complex patterns.
- [Instructor] Sometimes when you're working on a more complex brush, you may run into problems with how the end caps align with the rest of the art. Let me show you how we can resolve these sorts of problems. Here, we're going to be using these components to create a dragon brush. This is going to be the repeating pattern portion, so I'll drag this into my brush pallette. I'm going to create a pattern brush, and we'll call this dragon. And I'm just going to use the default settings, I'll click OK. And I want the tail and the head to be used as the end caps, so once again, in order to do that, we're going to need to convert these into swatches.
And now that I have the brush already defined, I can double-click on it, and I can assign the beginning point to be the tail and the ending point to be the head. Now, again, notice how this sizing doesn't look right. This will all flesh out when we click OK. If I go ahead and draw my brush, you'll see, we get some weirdness occurring. The head and the tail don't align properly, and this has to do with how the brush is created and the bounding box that actually surrounds the art.
Let me show you what I mean about this. We didn't create any bounding boxes, but if we pull the dragon brush from the brush pallet. We'll actually see all of the art that the dragon brush is using. You can see that we even ended up with some additional art that we didn't initially create. This is the art that Illustrator generated for the corner points. If we looked at any of these pieces, and this is going to be easiest to see on the head and the tail, you can see that this art is actually surrounded by a bounding box.
In Illustrator, the bounding box defines the art segment that's going to be used on the brush. Currently, and the reason that the head and the tail aren't aligning is because the bounding box is not matching up with the bounding box that's being used on the repeating midsection of the dragon tile. So, what we're going to do is we're going to adjust this, and in all honesty, this may be easier to see if we go into our preview view. So I'm going to actually go over to my original art and I'll work on this, rather than the art that's over here, because it's not really aligned and it'll be easier for me to show you this if it's all aligned.
I'm going to go into view, and I'm going to go into outline mode, rather than preview mode. This will allow us to view the art in the more simplified way, and I'm going to zoom in on the area of Illustrator that I want to work with. I'll go ahead and I'll use my rectangle tool and I want to make sure that I'm going to use no fill and no stroke, and I'm going to draw a bounding box that's going to define the art that I want to be the repeating scaled portion of the dragon. I don't really need this for the dragon brush, but I'm going to use this as the base for the head and the tail portion of the dragon brush, so it's actually easier for me just to create this right now.
Now, if we jump back in to preview mode, you can see that this bounding box does not show up at all. Since it has no stroke and no fill, it's virtually invisible. In order for a bounding box to work correctly with any of the brushes in Illustrator, we need to send the bounding box to the back of all of the other art being used. So, with just the bounding box selected, I'm going to use object, arrange, send to back.
Now I'm going to select this art, and I'm going to drag it into my brush palette once again. I'm going to create a new pattern brush, and we'll call this dragon-fixed. And again, I'm just going to leave these default settings as they are. I'll click OK. So at this point, the brush itself would work in the exact same way as the other one, except currently, we're not going to have a head and a tail portion, but everything else looks the same.
Now, let's address the head and the tail portion. I'll zoom in one this section of my art once again and I'm going to go back into outline mode. I'm going to select that bounding box that we used on the repeating portion, and I'm going to option click-hold and drag to make a copy. The copy is going to be placed right on the end of the head section, the section of the art that I want to match up with the body scale, and you're going to want to really make sure that the bounding box lines up exactly with your art.
If it's even offset this much, you'll get a gap, so you want to make sure that it's lining up exactly. I'm going to zoom in a little more, just to be sure. You can see when I really zoom in, my bounding box isn't lined up exactly, so I'm going to want to get in really tight so that I can make sure that the bounding box is lined up exactly with my art. This will ensure that you don't have any problems later on. I'm going to go ahead and make a copy of this bounding box and drag it over to the tail section. Let's just scoot our art over so we can get over here.
I'm holding down the shift key so that I can ensure that the bounding box is staying aligned, and then again, we'll zoom in really tight so that we can make sure that at least this end that's going to meet up with the body portion of the art is right on the edge. So that looks pretty good. I'm going to go ahead and make new swatches that we'll use so that we can fix our brush. Let's go back into preview mode. I'm going to select the head section, including that bounding box. Oh, and before I do this, really quickly, let's make sure we send the bounding box to the back.
If we don't send the bounding box to the back, we're going to get undesired results. I might need to zoom in to select the bounding box, 'cause it's a little hard to get sometimes. Object, arrange, send to back, and we might as well just do this on the tail section as well. Object, arrange, send to back. Okay, great. Now I'm going to go ahead and I'm going to select the head section with the bounding box. I'll drag it into my swatch pallette once again, and we'll do the same thing on the tail section.
You can already see that there's a slight difference in how Illustrator is previewing the artwork. We actually only get a preview of the area of art where the bounding box occurs, rather than the entire piece of art. I'm going to double-click on my dragon brush, and we're going to set the tail to be... Yeah, let's make sure that we're using the right one. Our new pattern swatch 13. And I'm going to set my head to be our new pattern swatch 12.
Those are the most recent ones that we've made. Again, don't worry about the preview here. We'll click OK and we'll apply to strokes, and now, if we look at the brush, you can see that both the tail and the head section line up and look beautiful on my path. When working with complex art, you may need to add the bounding box to identify where the pattern seams occur. Remember, the bounding box doesn't necessarily have to be the same size as the art, but it does need to be placed at the bottom of the stack, behind everything else, in order for it to work correctly.
- Working with Illustrator brushes
- Loading preset brushes
- How brushes respond to variations
- Changing colorization options
- Adding textures and effects
- Segmenting a brush
- Creating a watercolor effect
- Incorporating shading
- Distributing on a path
- Adding endcaps
- Creating a complex pattern
- Using gradients
- Combining brushes
- Saving custom art brushes