Join Deke McClelland for an in-depth discussion in this video Using the Join command, part of Illustrator CC 2015 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
- In this movie I'll show you the simplest way to build more complex paths inside Illustrator and that's using the "Join" command. Along the way I'll show you how to create this linear spiral or coil, if you prefer, and it's actually easier than drawing with a standard spiral tool. Assuming that you created that "Center guides" template, a few chapters back, go up to the "File" menu and choose "New From Template" or press the keyboard shortcut of "ctrl + shift + n" or "cmd + shift + n" on the Mac. Then go ahead and locate your template and click on the "New" button in order to load it up.
Now what you want to do is go to the "Line" tool, here, and select the the "Polar Grid Tool" from the fly-out menu, and then I want you to position your cursor, right there, at the intersection of those two guides and then press the "alt" key, or the "opt" key on the Mac and click. And by virtue of the fact that you have the "Alter option" key down, you'll create your shapes from the center outward. And by virtue of the fact that you clicked, you'll have brought up this dialogue box. I just happen to know the size that I'm looking for, which is "616 pt" wide as well as "616 pt" tall and then we're looking for 25 concentric dividers, you want to make sure you're skew value is 0%, and then go ahead and take the number of radial dividers down to zero as well, and then click "Okay" and you'll end up with a bunch of concentric circles as we're seeing here.
The "Polar Grid Tool" always results in a group, as we can see over here on the far left side of the control panel. That group is just going to get in our way, so go up to the "Object" menu and choose the "Ungroup" command to break all the circles apart. Now you want to make sure your guides are locked down, so go up to the "View" menu, choose "Guides" and then, if the command does not have a check mark in front of it, as it doesn't in my case, go ahead and choose that command. Now you want to switch to the white arrow tool which, of course, you can get by pushing the "a" key, and then just go ahead and marqee all of the top points.
Then go up to the "Edit" menu and choose the "Cut" command, or you can press "ctrl + x" or "cmd + x" on the Mac, and now cut away the top halves of those circles. Now, return to the "Edit" menu and choose the "Paste in Front" command, or you can just press "crtl + f" or "cmd + f" on the Mac. Now what you want to do, is drag this point, right here, over one; just like that, that's as far as you go and it will just snap into alignment. as we've seen. Now you want to press "ctrl + a" or "cmd + a" on the Mac to select everything, then go up to the "Object" menu, choose "Path" and choose "Join" or you can just press "ctrl + j" or "cmd + j" on the Mac.
And that will go ahead and join all these half circles into a single, larger open path. Now go ahead and click off the paths to deselect them. Click on this little path, right there, do you see that? If you go ahead and press "ctrl + plus sign(+)" a bunch of times in order to zoom in, you'll see that we have this straight edge in the center of the document. Click on it with your white arrow and then press the "Backspace" key or the "Delete" key on the Mac to get rid of it, then press "ctrl + 0", or "cmd + 0" on theMac to zoom back out.
I'm going to take the line wave up to, let's say "6 pt", just so we can better see what we're doing, and I'm going to click on the word "Stroke" and select the round "Cap" so that we have round caps at either end of our spirals. And I say "spirals" because we actually do have two. I'm going to press the "v" key to switch to my black arrow tool, and I'll click off the paths to deselect them and then I'll click on this guy, right there, to select it. I'll change the color of that stroke to, let's say, blue, so that we can see that we've actually ended up with two spirals; I just want one so I'm going to click on that blue spiral again and press the "Backspace" key or the "Delete" key on the Mac to get rid of it.
Now let's dress up our spiral by adding a few strokes. I'll click on it to select it and then I'll go up to the "Line Wave" option and raise it to "20 pt" for starters, then I'll go to the "Window" menu choose the "Appearance" command to bring up the appearance panel and I'll drop down to the "Add New Stroke" icon in the lower left corner of the panel, and I'll click on it to add a new stroke. I'm going to change the line wave this time to "10 pts" and I'm going to click on its swatch and then I'm going to select this shade of red, right here, which is "R=237 G=28 B=36", in order to add this nice bright red stroke, and now with that stroke selected, there inside the appearance panel go up to the "Effect" menu choose "Distort & Transform" and then choose the "Transform" command; then I'm going to change both of my "Move" values to "-2 pt", like so, and then turn on the "Preview" check box and you can see that that stroke moves up and to the left, at which point I'll go ahead and click "Okay".
Now let's make a copy of that stroke by clicking on it, the red stroke that is, then you want to click on the little "Page" icon, at the bottom of the "Appearance" panel, and this time we're going to take the line way down to "6 pt"and I'm going to change the color of this stroke to this shade of orange, right there, "R=241 G=90 B=36" and then I'll twirl the stroke open by clicking on this little "twirly" triangle and I'll click on the word "Transform" and I will take both these values down to "-3pt" this time around and as soon as I click "Okay" you can see the stroke move just a little bit up and to the left then I'll click on this stroke, click on the "Page" icon at the bottom of the panel to make another copy of it, change its color this time to this, kind of, yellowish orange, which is "R=247 G=147 B=30" and then I'll take the line way down to "2 pt" this time around, I'll click on the word "Transform" and I will take both of these values down to "-4 pt" and click "Okay", at which point we now have all the strokes we need.
Now I'm going to zoom out a little bit by pressing "ctrl + minus sign (-)" or "cmd + minus sign (-)" on the Mac and I'm going to get the rectangle tool from the "Shape Tool" fly-out menu and I'll draw from one corner of' that bleed-guide to the other, like so, and then I'm going to get rid of the stroke for this shape. Now I'll change the fill to this second to darkest shade of gray, which is all values at 26, now I'll press the "Escape" key to dismiss that panel and I'll "Right click" inside of that shape, choose a range and then choose "Send to Back" in order to send it in back of that spiral.
Then I'm going to switch back here to "Layers" panel, I'm going to turn off that "Guides" layer, I'm going to press the "v" key in order to switch back to my black arrow tool, I'll click off the shape to deselect it and then I'll zoom back in. That's how you create a linear spiral, that in our case, looks like a hot burner, using a combination of the "Polar Grid Tool" along with the "Join" command.
Start watching to learn how to create multipage documents with artboards; how to draw anything you can imagine with the Pen, Pencil, and Curvature tools; and how to start adding color to your artwork with swatches. Deke also covers drawing shapes, adjusting strokes, formatting text, and painting digitally, with or without a tablet. Each chapter should leave you with a new set of skills—and a sense of accomplishment.
And as Creative Cloud evolves, so will we. Check back every time Illustrator updates for new movies, new feature reviews, and new ways to work.
- Opening, creating, saving, and closing documents
- Working with artboards
- Zooming and panning
- Drawing lines, arcs, grids, and spirals
- Drawing shapes
- Creating compound paths
- Working in RGB vs. CMYK color modes
- Creating and applying swatches
- Adjusting the line weight of strokes
- Formatting text
- Building custom paths with the Shape Builder and Join tools
- Freeform drawing with the Pencil
- Painting and erasing artwork
- Painting with a tablet
- Drawing with the Curvature tool
Skill Level Beginner
Q: This course was updated on 02/24/2016. What changed?
A: We added five new videos and updated eight others, to keep up with the latest version of Illustrator CC.
Welcome to One-on-One4m 20s
1. Working with Documents
2. Working with Artboards
3. Getting Around
4. Drawing Lines
5. Drawing Shapes
6. Color and Swatches
7. Strokes, Dashes, and Arrows
8. Creating and Formatting Text
9. Building Custom Paths
10. Using the Pencil Tool
Creating a tracing template3m 28s
11. Painting and Erasing
12. Using the Curvature Tool
13. Using the Pen Tool
14. Drawing with Round Corners
15. Making Screen Graphics
Until next time1m 50s
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