Custom Corners for Pattern Brushes in Adobe Illustrator - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class | Helen Bradley | Skillshare

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Custom Corners for Pattern Brushes in Adobe Illustrator - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

teacher avatar Helen Bradley, Graphic Design for Lunch™

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

3 Lessons (28m)
    • 1. Graphic Design for Lunch Custom Corner Tiles Intro

      1:05
    • 2. Make Custom Corner Tiles for Brushes - Part 1

      11:37
    • 3. Custom Corner Tiles Part2

      14:53
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About This Class

Graphic Design for Lunch™ is a series of short video courses you can study in bite size pieces such as at lunchtime. In this course you'll learn to create corner tiles for pattern brushes in Illustrator. If you are using Illustrator CS6 (or earlier) Illustrator won't provide sample corner tiles for you to use so you need to make your own - I'll show you how. In Illustrator CC 2015 you can make your own corner tiles if you don't like those that Illustrator provides. 

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Meet Your Teacher

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Helen Bradley

Graphic Design for Lunch™

Top Teacher

Helen teaches the popular Graphic Design for Lunch™ courses which focus on teaching Adobe® Photoshop®, Adobe® Illustrator®, Procreate®, and other graphic design and photo editing applications. Each course is short enough to take over a lunch break and is packed with useful and fun techniques. Class projects reinforce what is taught so they too can be easily completed over a lunch hour or two.

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Transcripts

1. Graphic Design for Lunch Custom Corner Tiles Intro: Hello, I'm Helen Bradley. Welcome to this Graphic Design for Lunch class, create custom corner tiles for pattern brushes in Adobe Illustrator. Graphic Design for Lunch is a series of classes that teach us a range of tips and techniques for creating designs and working in applications such as Illustrator, Photoshop, and Procreate. Today we're looking at creating custom corner tiles for pattern brushes in Illustrator. You're going to learn how to create a very simple corner tile and then a more complex one. As you're working through these videos, you may see a prompt which lets you recommend this class to others. Please, if you're enjoying the class, give it a thumbs up. These recommendations help me get my classes in front of more people who just like you want to learn more about Illustrator. If you'd like to leave a comment, please do so. I read and respond to all of your comments and I look at and respond to all of your class projects. If you're ready now let's get started creating custom corner tiles for pattern brushes in Illustrator. 2. Make Custom Corner Tiles for Brushes - Part 1: For the first of our Pattern Brushes, which is going to be the simplest, I'm going to choose File and New. I'm creating a document with two art boards. The spacing between them is going to be 20 px. I've got a Width and a Height of 200 px for each of the art boards, I'm working in RGB Color Mode, and I have Align New Objects to Pixel Grid disabled. So I'm going to click OK. I'm going to focus first on this art board for creating our brush. Now, I have another class here at Skillshare on creating Zentangle inspired Pattern Brushes, which looks a lot at creating start and end tiles for your brushes. So, we're actually going to do some start and end tiles in this class, but not of the complexity that I do in that other class. We're going to focus here on the inside and outside corner tiles. So if you want to expand your knowledge of Pattern Brushes, I suggest that that other class is a good one to look at as well. I'm going to give you a link to it in the Class Project area. But, for now we're going to concentrate on the Pattern Brush we're going to create here. So, I'm going to get the Rectangle Tool, I'm going to drag out a very small rectangle here, it's actually a square because I held shift as I created it. I'm flipping the Fill and Stroke colors so that it has a black Fill and I don't want any Stroke at all. I'm going to zoom into the shape so that I can see it a bit more clearly. I'm going back to the Rectangle Tool and I'm going to create a rectangle that is just a little bit wider than my square. I'm going to give it no Stroke and no Fill. I'm going to select over both of these shapes. I'm going to the Align options, which are here. When I open the flyout menu, choose Show Options, make sure that I have Align to Selection selected, and I'm going to align these Centered. So the black square is Centered inside this no Fill, no Stroke rectangle. This is going to be our brush, and the way it's going to paint is it's going to look something like this. So, it's going to paint as a series of boxes that are going to be separated by a gap. The gap is being created by this no Fill, no Stroke rectangle that is a bit larger than the square and double this space is going to be the space between each of these shapes. So, I don't need this set, I just wanted to show you what was going to go on. I'm going to select over these two shapes and make a brush out of them. So, I'm going to the Brushes panel, I'm going to click the flyout menu, choose New Brush, Pattern Brush, click OK. Now, in earlier versions of Illustrator, you won't have a outside corner tile in your brush. In later versions of Illustrator go and turn it off, because what we've come here to do is to create our own custom tiles. So we're not stuck with what Illustrator gives us, we're going to learn how to create our own custom tiles for inside and outside corners. We're also going to have passing look at start and end tiles. Going to set this Colorization mode to Tints, because that's what you do to be able to paint your brush in color. Now I'll click OK. Now I'm going to press ctrl or cmd 0, and let's go to the second art board. Just going to click away from this shape, because I want to deselect that. I'm going to create a large rectangle here that has a Stroke but no Fill. Going to create a second rectangle just up here in the top corner. Going to select both of these and go to the Pathfinder palette. Again, if you don't see it in your palette list over here, you can get it by choosing Window and then Pathfinder. I'm going to choose mine as front. That just gives me a shape that has inside and outside corner tiles that we can use to experiment with our brush on. I'm just going to center this up a little bit, and let's go and apply our brush to it. I'm just going to click on the brush. The brush is painting as we expected it to and it's got gaps where there are inside and outside corner tiles, because we're going to create those ourselves. Let's just zoom into this top one, which is an outside corner tile. I'm going to choose View and then Rulers, Show Rulers. So, what I want to do is to bring down some Rulers to mark out roughly where my corner tile is going to go. I'm just lining these up to the top and bottom of the boxes in the brush. Now, guides are just shapes in Illustrator so you can move them around a little bit if needed. You'll want to be a bit more accurate than me at this stage, try and get them in the right place. Now, this is going to be where our corner tile goes, so I'm going to the Rectangle Tool. I'm just going to drag out a rectangle that fits in this area, exactly. I'm going to give it a Stroke, but no Fill. Going to the Stroke Tool though, and I'm going to put the line on the inside, and then let's just click away. You can zoom in and just make sure that this is nicely aligned. Make sure your guides are correct which mine are not, and make sure that your rectangle, or square whatever it is up here, is nicely sized. This is where you don't want to have Align to Pixel Grid turned on because Illustrator just does terrible things when you're trying to align things if you have that turned on. So this is going to be our tile, so I'm actually going to drag it out of this corner area here. I'm going to select over it, and in earlier versions of Illustrator, you will need to do this. You'll need to open up the Swatches panel and you'll need to drag and drop this tile into your Swatches panel. I'm just going to zoom in so I can do that, and just pop it in your Swatches panel. In later versions of Illustrator, you don't need to do that. Next up you're going to go to your brush. So I'm just going to select here on our brush, double-click. In earlier versions of Illustrator, you're just going to open up this box and there's going to be a text list of Swatches and you're going to have your new Swatch as an option. So you can just select it to add it as your outside Corner Tile, and then you'll just click OK. Then click Apply to Strokes so it can be applied to this line. At which point you're going to say to yourself, I thought I just made and outside corner tile. In actual fact, what Illustrator is doing is it's showing us this as an inside corner tile. Well, the problem is the way that Illustrator is reading this line. If we go and select over this line and go back to our brush, this is Options of Selected Object and if we Flip it, and turn Preview on, then it's flipped, so it's the outside corner. So, it doesn't really matter how it appears as long as you've got one of those created. The next one you're going to create is going to be the inside corner tiles, so let's just click OK. So let's go now and create an inside corner tile, so I'm just going to zoom in here and we're going to do the same thing to mark out the area that our inside corner tile is going to consume. In the case of this brush, it really is going to be the same shape piece, but for this let's go and create an Ellipse. I'm just going to drag out an Ellipse, it's actually going to be a circle because I'm holding the shift key down as I draw it. Going to give it a black line, and I'm going to move this to the inside. Now, in earlier versions of Illustrator, if this is to be my inside tile, I'll first have to add it to the Swatches panel. So I'm going to drag and drop it into the Swatches panel. In later versions of Illustrator, you'll be able to just alt drag it. So you can alt drag this into this position in the Pattern Brush, so let's just go and do that. Alt drag into this position and it automatically becomes the inside corner tile. Earlier versions of Illustrator, you're just going to click this flyout menu and you'll have access to the Pattern Swatch you just added, so I'm just going to click OK. I do want to apply it to my Strokes, so I'm just going to click OK, and let's just ctrl or cmd 0. Again, you can say that it's gone in as the wrong tile and that's simply because of the way our line is drawn. If we flip it across, it's going to work as we expected. Just click OK. So, in here is our outside corner tile, our pattern tile itself. This is the inside corner, and then we have the start and end tile. So, if we want to start with something that's different, let's go and create a start tile. So, I'm just going to zoom into this shape, I'm going to create something based on this shape. What I'm going to do is actually flipped the Fill and Stroke here, so that it is a filled shape. I'm going to select the Ellipse Tool and just drag a circle over the top. I'm just going to move it down, so it's centered inside this shape. I'm going to select both of these. I'm going to choose mine as front and poke a hole in this shape. This is going to be my starting tile, so again, if I'm working in an earlier version of Illustrator, I'm going to the Swatches panel. I'm going to drag this into the Swatches panel, so it will be available for selection. In later versions of Illustrator, I can just alt drag this into the start tile position. Then it becomes the starting tile for a line. I'm going to click OK. I'm going to Apply To Strokes, but it's actually not going to really do anything to this particular shape because there's no start point for it. But, if I draw a line, this is the starting tile. So now, let's quickly create an end tile. I'm going to zoom back in here, because I'm going to use this as a guide to how big I want my tile to be. I'm going to choose the Polygon Tool, I'm going to click once on my document, I'm going make a three-sided polygon. I think it probably needs to be about 10 px in size. Well, that was an overestimation. Let's Flip, Stroke, and Fill, and let's just come down here and use this shape to work out just how big this needs to be. So, this is pretty much the size that I need, but I want it to be my end tile, so I'm just going to rotate it, so it's going to brush along the line. Again, working in an earlier version of Illustrator, I'm going to drag and drop it into the Swatches panel. In a later version of Illustrator, I can just alt drag it into the brush here and it goes on as our starting tile. Earlier versions of Illustrator, you'll find it in the list here. So I'm just going to click OK, Apply to Strokes, ctrl or cmd 0 to come back out. Here is the line with a starting point and an end point, and here's the brush painted around our shape. It's just got a loose circle in the middle that we use to create these outside tiles and that's what's covering up our custom inside tile. So, that's a very simple example of creating tiles for a Pattern Brush. In the next video, we're going to look at creating quite a bit more complex tiles that have additional spacing in them. 3. Custom Corner Tiles Part2: For a more complex pattern brush, we're going to create a new document, we're going to have two artboards exactly the same as before, 200 pixels by 200 pixels RGB color mode, no align objects to pixel grid and I'm going to click, ''OK''. Now, in this case we want a grid, so I'm going to choose edit and then preferences and I'm going to units to start off with, if you're working on a Mac you go to Illustrator and then preferences and then units. I'm setting general and stroke both to pixels. Then I'm going to guides and grid. I'm going to have a grid line every 10 pixels with 10 subdivisions and click ''OK''. To actually view my grid I'm going to choose view and then show grid. This is the point at which it becomes a little bit scary to look at but it's actually a little bit easier to work this way than not. I'm going to click the rectangle tool, I'm going to click and create a rectangle that is 60 pixels by 60 pixels in size, click ''OK''. It doesn't want to have any stroke at all and I want to give it a light color fill just so I can see it as I'm working, that's a little bit bright. I'm going to move this into the top corner of the document and I want to make sure that it's positioned in exactly the top corner being half a pixel offers half a pixel too many. This is perfectly aligned. I'm now going to drag a duplicate away, making sure that it's perfectly aligned to and one more. Again, checking its positioning as I'm going because we're working in 10s and everything's nice and evenly divided is going to be really easy to check if you've got them in the right position because every value that you are looking at should be a whole number. That's going to click away and just double-check the positioning here by clicking on each of them in turn and just making sure that all of these are whole numbers. Let's go to the layers palette, I'll open up the layers palette. I'm going to lock all these shapes down. Now, for my initial shape, I'm going to draw a pen tool so this is going to be my line, going to have it intersect at halfway down the side of this rectangle. I'm going to drag out in a perfectly horizontal direction so I'm holding the shift key as I do this. I'm going to put a small wiggle in this line at this point, very, very small and then click and drag in a perfectly horizontal direction at the end. I'll press ''Escape'' to stop drawing. I'm selecting this line, I'm going to press D for my default colors. I don't want it to have a fill, I do want it to have a stroke, and I'm going to the appearance panel which you can also get to by choosing window and appearance. I'm going to increase the stroke to four pixels. Let's just zoom in here because we might need to do a little bit of work on this line. I don't want to change the start and end points, they're really really critical that they're in the exact right position. But we could just change the bend in this line just a little bit. It's really important that this line lines up right on the grid line here and right on the grid line here because that's going to make it joined correctly later on. Let's just zoom back out with control or command zero. I want to unlock these rectangles for the need to pick up this particular rectangle here. I'm going to set it to have no fill and no stroke. It's going to become the foundation of my pattern brush, so I'm going to select over the bounding box and the stroke here. I'm going to the brushes palette, click the flyout menu, choose new brush, pattern brush, click ''OK'' and this is my pattern brush. Now, probably at this size for this document is going to be too big so I'm just going to wind it down to probably about 36 percent, so that will just make it a little bit easier to work with and I'm going to set it to tints and click ''OK''. Then click away from the shape and now let's create a couple of rectangles just to see how this brush is going to work. Rectangles have no fill, they do have strokes, select over both and just minus front with the pathfinder. Let's keep them selected and just apply the brush and that's how the brush is drawing so far. We're going to re-lock down our green rectangles and we're going to draw our corner tile in here. Again, I'm going to the pen tool, again, I'm going to start at the very intersection of the side of this shape, I'm going in a perfectly horizontal direction by holding the shift key. Now I'm going to come around the corner here, I can be a little bit wiggly if I want to but I have to hit this side going in a perfectly vertical direction it has to be in the very middle which it isn't. Let's just zoom in here and clean up the mess I've created here. I'm just going to move this across, it has to be exactly vertical and we can change exactly how this line draws if we want to. You can build in a little bit of wiggle but it has to be exactly right at the end. This has to be perfectly vertical and this one has to run perfectly horizontally which it does. Now, let's select it and take it back up to four pixels because it has to be the exact same width as the rest of the brush here. Again, we're going to double check that its center point is correct and it's not. Let's check center point over here. Again, they should be round numbers for the values here for x and for y. At this point you can also draw something else into this corner if you want to, so I'm actually going to draw a heart shape. I'm just going to draw a very simple heart shape with the pen tool and press ''Escape'' once I've finished drawing it, go back to the direct selection tool. I want to just move it so that it is entirely within this green rectangle. Doesn't matter that the handles are outside but the actual shape has to be entirely encompassed in this green rectangle. This is going to become my outside corner tile, going to unlock my bluey green circles, select on the one that is affecting this corner and make sure it's no fill, no stroke. Go and select over the entire tile including the lines that are part of it. In earlier versions of Illustrator you will need to create this as a swatch so you need to drag and drop this entire element into the top of the swatches panel. In later versions of Illustrator, you can just Alt, drag this shape into this first panel here. But in any case, you can still just double-click to open the brush and go and grab the swatch that you just created. Here's our new pattern swatch and you can see it in position. I'm going to click ''Okay'' and I'm going to click ''Apply to Strokes''. Now it's applied to our line. But at this point you might be thinking, well, I thought we were creating outside corner tiles not inside corner tiles. Well, the problem is that this line is going the wrong way. If I click here on the options of selected object and click ''Flip Across'', then the inside tile becomes the outside tile. Let's click ''Okay''. That's also giving us an indication that this would make a perfectly acceptable inside tile as well. Just so that we can see a difference. I'm actually going to create this now as an inside tile but it's going to be a little bit smaller. I'm going to add a few dots beside it. I'm going to grab the Ellipse tool, drag out a couple of small ellipses. Let's just zoom in to see this. Then I can just move this, I'll whole to create a few more provided I stay within the ambit of that transparent rectangle, I can do whatever I like here. Let's just Control zero to zoom back out, I'm going to select over this shape which is the no fill, no stroke rectangle plus my new inside corner tile. I'm going to open my Swatches panel. I'm just going to drag and drop this in here. Open up my brush, click away from this element right now, double-click on my brush. From this inside corner tile list here, you can just go down and choose my pattern swatch. Now in earlier versions of Illustrator, you might have a list of names here, but it's going to be pretty clear which is the correct tile to use. I'll click ''Okay'' and yes, we do want to apply to strokes. Now we can go and have a look. Well, it's gone to the outside here, but we just need to select the line and flip it. While we're here, let's have a look and say how we would create start and end tiles. I'm going to do that up here. I'm just going to lock this down for the moment just so that they don't move. Again, I'm going to Pen tool. We're going to click here so that my pen starts where the line is going to finish. I'm just going to make a very short line here. It doesn't have to fill this rectangle. I'm going to select this and I'm going to the Appearance panel and let's just crank it up to four pixels. Let's zoom in to make sure that everything is aligned perfectly. Because again, this has to join up to the end of the other lines. Let's select it. Let's go to the transform dialogue and just make sure it's in the correct position. Don't worry about the x value, I am worried about the y value here. For the starting point of my brush, I'm just going to put a circle. I'm just going to the Ellipse tool and drag out an ellipse, position it at the end of my brush, like these two shapes to be centered. I'm going to select over both of them. Let's open up the Align panel. Let's go to Show Options. This time I want to align to Key object and then I want to click on this line because I want it to be the key objects, because I know it's in position, but I know the circle is not so, I want the circle to move, but not this line. Now I'm just going to click ''Vertical Align Center'', Control zero to just zoom back out, I'm going to unlock my rectangles at this point, I'm going to locate this rectangle and just drag it in because it doesn't have to be as wide as it was. But it does have to be this height. If you mess around with the height, these brushes are not going to line up, so no need to make it no fill, no stroke. Select either the rectangle and the starting point for my brush. Drag them into the Swatches panel, particularly if you're using an earlier version of Illustrator, click away from it, open up the Brushes panel and go and create it as the starting point for your brush. Of course, we don't have a brush stroke get to test it on, but let's go and create our end brush. Again, for the end brush, we're going to the Pen tool. Let's start out with a small line. Select that line. I'm going to fill it with black, which I can just sample from any of these other lines to get not only the fill, but also the line weight. Let's zoom in here. It's not lined up correctly. It needs to be on one of these guides here. Let's double-check here. It should be 140 and now for the very end of my brush, the bit that's going to be at the very tip of it. Just going to borrow this heart again. I'm just going to Alt, drag it over here, rotate it around, and connect it as my end point for my brush. Now, this rectangle's loose right now so I can reshape it. Make sure it has no fill and no stroke. Make sure to select over the entire object including its bounding box, because that's going to do the spacing for us. Drag and drop it into the Swatches panel here, click away from it, and let's add it as a brush tip, there we are, and click ''Okay'', apply it to strokes. Let's go back over here. Let's flip this one because that's what we were expecting it to look like with its inside corner tile and it's outside corner tile. Let's go and get the Brush tool and just draw a brush. Now, what's happened with my end tile is it's gone in the wrong way round. Let's just go and get this and flip it. Object transform, reflect, vertical, click ''Okay'', and let's rebuild it. Chances are you'll do something like that and something will be in the wrong way, but it really is just a matter of a few seconds work to flip it, so that it works properly. It also helps that you test these objects as you build up your brush and that you don't destroy anything that hasn't been tested. I didn't destroy this pace before I tested it, so I still had it to be able to use it. Your project for this class is going to be to create a pattern brush with custom tiles. Create custom tiles at the very least for the outside and inside corners. If you'd like, go ahead and create custom tiles for the start and end of your pattern brush. Post a picture of your brush in the class project area. I hope that you've enjoyed this class and that you've learned something about creating your own custom inside and outside corner tiles, as well as start and end tiles for pattern brushes in Illustrator. If you did enjoy this class and if you say a prompt to recommend it to others, please give it a thumbs up. This helps other people to identify this as a class that they may want to take. If you'd like to leave a comment, please do so. I read and respond to all of your comments and I look at and respond to all of your class projects. My name is Helen Bradley. Thank you so much for joining me for this episode of graphic design for Lunch, and I look forward to seeing you in an upcoming episode soon.