Join Tony Harmer for an in-depth discussion in this video Working with the Pathfinder panel and Shape modes, part of Illustrator CC 2018 Essential Training.
- [Narrator] Continuing our exploration of combining shapes here in Illustrator, I'm working on this file, and if you don't have access to it, then I'm sure you could make one very similar fairly quickly. In this, we are in the armory of Tony Towers and this is where we keep the giant foam cannonballs for parties, and the two towers here which are awaiting completion. So what I'm going to do is basically to start off with, something from the previous movie.
I'm going to select the gray shapes just here in the tower on the left-hand side, and use the pathfinder option here on the properties panel to unite those things together. Once that's done, I'm going to select across the yellow shapes and the gray shape, and then use the minus front option there to punch those out of that shape. So two operations there to get that result and it becomes one solid shape. Next I'm going to repeat that on the shapes on the right-hand side, starting with the gray shapes.
But this time, I'm going to hold down the option key, that would be the Alt key on a PC, to turn these into a shapes-mode object. And these shapes are still here. Visually, the result is you get one complete shape. But you can access the underlying shapes pretty easily. I've just gone into isolation mode here, and you can see that by just moving these things around and using my selection tool, I can change aspects of Tony Towers.
Double-click outside to exit isolation mode. Now I'll select the yellow shapes in combination with the gray shapes, and again option key or Alt key down and click the minus front option. And those shapes are still there also. So if I needed to do anything to those to change them such as to elongate this for example, I could do that just by double-clicking to go into isolation mode and then double-clicking to exit. There are a further range of operations associated with the pathfinder.
You get the shapes ones and the functions at the top, but if I click the ellipses here, you'll see that the full pathfinder panel becomes available. So for your viewing comfort, I'll zoom in on this array of shapes, which pretty much are exactly the same throughout with the exception of just this group here on the right-hand side. And when I say group, I mean as a collection of things rather than an actual group. So let's zoom in on the divide function first of all.
What I'm going to do is select all three objects there, click the ellipses to access the full options, and then go for the divide pathfinder. You'll notice there's no tool tip for holding down additional keys, these just do what they do. And if I click divide, these are all divided up into separate shapes. They're grouped as well, as a result of the operation, you'll see if I click back on them, the properties panel tells me it's a group just there. If I double-clicked going to isolation mode, then you'll see exactly what this has done, because I can move all of the parts away from each other.
It's divided them all up like so. I'll double-click to go back out to the main art and I'll pan across so you can see what trim does. I'll select these three, and again go to the ellipses for the pathfinder, and then choose the trim option. And what this does is it removes overlaps. So the blue isn't overlapped by anything at all. The green is overlapped by the blue, and the red is overlapped by both the green and the blue.
If I double-click to go into the resulting group, and move the component parts away, you can see exactly what's happened there too. Next is merge, and if I select all three objects here, go to the ellipses and choose the merge option, this does a combination operation. If I double-click to go into the group, and move this away, you can perhaps see that. So the blue shapes that had a common color, they united together, and they punch their shape out of the red shape that was in back.
I'll double-click just to exit that, and move across to the next operation and I'll select all three objects here, go to the ellipses, and this time choose crop. And what this does is it takes the overlaps here that are contained inside the topmost object, and renders those as shapes. If I double-click to go into the group, you can see they are indeed individual shapes and this shape here has no stroke in it at the moment. It's just an invisible shape that was forced to make the crop from the original shape.
If I just move across now to outline and select these three, and again ellipses, and go to outline, what this does is it removes the fill and does kind of a divide operation but it takes the fill color and applies it to the stroke. What I'll do is I'll just increase the stroke weight for this shape. So if I double-click to go into the group, and select them all, I'll just wind up the stroke rate here and there is the result. So you can see that it's divided up into stroke components, so it's just like a divide, but you end up with strokes instead of fills.
And finally, the last option is minus back. If I select the three objects there, and go for the pathfinders and click minus back, what this does is almost the exact opposite of one of our earlier operations. It leaves the top shape here, and the other two shapes are punched out from that. So there you go. Lots of different options you've got for pathfinders. I recommend drawing something simple like three-colored shapes or two colors in the case of the merge, exactly as you've got here, or even use this file if you've got it, and just keep reapplying that until you know what each one does because then you'll know when it's appropriate to use it.
- What is Illustrator?
- Navigating documents
- Saving a custom workspace
- Working with multiple artboards
- Creating and deleting layers
- Drawing shapes
- Transforming objects
- Adding fills and strokes
- Working with color
- Creating complex shapes, such as compound shapes
- Working with type
- Editing graphics
- Adding content to CC Libraries
- Printing and exporting artwork
Skill Level Beginner
Q: This course was updated on 05/04/2018. What changed?
A: New videos were added that cover modifying Anchor Display and opening PDF files in Illustrator.