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Adobe Illustrator CC - Advanced Training

More shape builder goodness

Daniel Walter Scott

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Just when you thought the last video of our Shape Builder was long, there's more. There's a few special tricks we're going to do to complete some of the previous drawings we've done. Like this guy we did earlier. We're going to run a line from the middle, and split them up into Gradients. Over here I'm going to show you how to expand some of these lines so that you can add the feet and stuff that we started earlier on in the tutorial series. First thing you need to do though is go and open up the file called-- 'File', 'Open', and it's in your 'Exercise Files'. It is called 'Shape Builder Extra'. Go do that now, and I'll see you later in the video. 

So some extra Shape Builder goodness. I like it that much. There's a couple of things we haven't covered, one is, the first one is like a bit of a shortcut, so I've got three circles. Just happen to be circles, we have lots of circles. I'm going to select all three, jump to my 'Shape Builder Tool'. So over here, in my Tool Bar I can join these up by clicking all through, that's fine. Three circles is no big drama but if you hold the 'Shift' key, and click, and drag, you get kind of a rectangle marquee tool. Just kind of does that all in one big go, so if you've got lots of objects, instead of trying to drag across them and scroll through them all, just hold 'Shift' drag across all three, and that kind of uses the Shape Builder where it kind of flattens them all into one solid object. 

Next little thing that's going to happen is, remember this from earlier exercise, if I select all of this, and grab the Shape Builder Tool, you'll be like, "Why can't I fill the center bit?" and you might be like, "Oh, because this is a gap." It's not because of that gap. If I fill that gap it still won't work, so 'White Arrow', drag it right across. A bit exaggerated there, but grab the 'Width Tool', it's still a big hole. And you can kind of see why. If I select it all you can see, blue lines here, indicating that's the path, the kind of spine of the art there. You can see, this is more in effect. It's not a Fill around the outside. There's actually a massive gap between this line and this line. This here is just like a pretty effect. 

So what you need to do is to fix that. There's two things I want to do. I'm going to copy and paste this, so I've got a version of it up here-- because I never want to-- I hate destroying stuff that I've made because I'll come back and be like, "I want to adjust it." I can't, because I've smashed it into pieces. So with it selected here, we're going to go to 'Object' and we're going to go to this one that says 'Expand Appearance'. Just kind of expands it. So it's no longer an effect, it's actually a shape running around the outside. So now, I'll do my Fill. The gap's pretty big over here, but let's grab our 'Shape Builder Tool'. And it does it fine. 

Another thing I want to show you before we move on, if you double click the Shape Builder Tool you can have Gap Detection. By default I think it's medium, you can crank it right up to large, or you can custom, where you say, I want to fill and join all these holes. So you might have an artwork that just needs like that. You've done some hand drawing and you want to fill it up after a Live Trace, or something like that. Everything else in here is-- what I turn off, is this one here, Cursor Swatch Preview. Just gets rids of the colors above my arrow. We'll align it, that annoys me so much, but it does. Let’s look at two things. I want to fill this with a white. White, I'm going to fill this with a random green. I'm going to fill it properly in a second. And I want to kind of split that in half. I want it to be a line running down the outside. 

So I’ve got kind of two colors within here. It's going to be this tool here basically. I'm going to make another duplicate of him. With my 'Black Arrow', holding down the 'Alt' key on a PC, or 'Option' key on a Mac, get a duplicate. And what I want to do is, actually go to 'Stroke' here and go 'Profile', 'Uniform'. I don't want any of that Width Tool goodness. I want to turn the Weight down to something really tiny. It doesn't really matter what size it is. I'm going to drag it down now. What I want to do is, I'm going to click off, grab this end part of it. Can you see, where it says Anchor I'm going to try and jam it, then hope for the best. Feel like I might have got that. I'm going to select both of these. 'Black Arrow, drag along both. What I'd like to do is, back to my 'Width Tool'. You can see, it's kind of carved that into two little pieces. You might have to go play around with Gap Detection to fix that but I'm just going to put him around in colors. 

I'm going to do Gradients in a second. That's kind of where I wanted to start. I'm going to select it all, say 'Stroke', 'None'. I kind of have to stop myself there, I'm going to go and add Gradients to this. Gradients aren't particularly exciting, I'll do that at the end because there's more important stuff like this, over here. What I'm going to do is, whenever I'm expanding a line, I'd like to have a copy. Just stick them up here, it goes in later on. And what I'd like to do is add the feet. We're going to kind of join the two bits and pieces. So what I'll do is, I'll draw-- what should I draw first? Let's grab the Curvature Tool. I click off in the background, so it doesn't select it. You'll notice every now and again that my cursor changes from the cross heads to the pen. That's just your Caps Lock key. Just happens sometimes. You can kind of see, my keyboard tells on the screen what it's doing. 

So what I'm going to do is, zoom in here, and I'm going to double click. Double click. Holding 'Shift', so it's a perfect line. Double click. Double click. That curve in there. I'm going to double click here for another corner. So that's one side. What I might do is turn this Stroke Weight down to something hairline, which is 0.25. So that's one side. Again I want to start on this side. What I might do is just kind of overlap it here, and get it close. Double click it, so it's a corner, not a curve. Click once for a corner. Clicking once to kind of tidy it all up at the end. So I've got my kind of rough guides. I'm going to just tidy this up using the White Arrow. Get it kind of how I want it to. I'd love to spend a lot more time fixing these up. I'm going to do that while you're watching; sorry about that. 

So we've got this, now we want to kind of join these two up, right? So I'm going to-- I'm going to leave some of the badness in there. What I need to do is expand this one, we kind of looked at it before. So we're going to 'Object', 'Expand Appearance'. Now it is no longer-- I can't use the Width Tool to fix this now, so I've got a copy at the top there but now, I can grab these two, grab my Shift Tool sorry, 'Shift M' for my Shape Builder Tool. I'm going to join these two, and delete that bit. Probably join these two, and have a look how bad it is. That's not too bad. I'm going to grab my 'A' for White Arrow. This guy here needs some corner love. Same with this guy. Corner Love, I love those guys. 

When you first see these targets, you're like, "Oh, what to do?" You can do corners, that's okay. It's kind of cool but it's when you get to this, and you start joining these that we've run into trouble before. That's a terrible Serif, Dan. I'm going to leave it. I followed my drawing without thinking, "Wow, that's bad." It's kind of run down here. But you get the idea, right? Learning principle. We had to outline this, and we kind of drew this separately. So there's a lot in this document where-- that, I will draw with the Width Tool, but this bit down the bottom here, and the Serif, I will draw separately. That's where I should end it, and you can carry on. 

I'm going to show you what I probably do with these Serifs rather than what I've done currently, and I'm going to go add Gradients to it. I'll show you what I do with these Serifs. You probably can do it. I'm just going to draw this straight up. I'm going to say, that's going to be my Serif, and I'm going to copy, paste this. I'll align these both up. Go to center, center. No, click center once. I'm going to use the Shape Builder Tool to join them. I use my sneaky shortcut 'Shift', drag a box across them. And I'm going to grab my 'A' tool. I'm going to click on this guy. You can grab more than one. I'm holding 'Shift' to grab both of those two inside ones, and drag them up. 

This guy here I want to skew across. Up here, my Transform window-- you might not see it, it's under 'Window', go down to 'Transform'. I'm going to use 'Skew', I'm going to use this to get started. Nice little trick for-- they call it Shear, is, because I've got kind of really per-defined ones, you're like-- you're not going to probably find it in there. So if you just click in here, and use the up and down arrow, I find that's a really easy way. I'm just kind of tapping my up arrow, and it's going up a degree at a time. A little slow, but I'm going to get this kind of working. That's going to be my Serif for rest of the job. 

What I'll do is, I'll just use it for lots of things. Am I happy with the weight of it? Probably a little thick, but you get the idea, right? So, I'm going to make a duplicate of it, and use it a good few times. It's actually way too thick. I'm going to use it here, I'll use it again. Where else? I can use it here. In this case, I want to split it up, and open. So I'm going to move it out, grab my 'A' tool, and select that guy. Hold 'Shift', grab all of these fellows. I've got everything on the right hand side, I'll use arrow keys to tap them across. This is how to build that. That's going to be, say, my main Serif, and this is going to be my thin one. I deleted that one, come back. I'm going to use these two guys to start building out that rubbish one. I'm going to remove. You can see, I can do it for-- there's lots of times I can use that. All these kind of use a version of it. I can use that as my starting, I probably have to lob that bit off. I can use him, and I can kind of-- I guess, use it for lots of things to get started, to kind of smooth things up. I'm rambling now. 

Gradients, I'm going to do that, you don't need to be around for that. I'll get the editor to speed it up actually. I'll see you in the next video. That's it, don't judge me. Those are the colors I've picked. See you in the next video.