Digital Studio 5: Create Polygonal Patterns in Adobe Illustrator | Benjamin Halsall | Skillshare

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Digital Studio 5: Create Polygonal Patterns in Adobe Illustrator

teacher avatar Benjamin Halsall, Final Cut Pro X & Adobe Courses

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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

9 Lessons (32m)
    • 1. Course Intro: What You Will Learn

    • 2. Interface Overview: An Introduction to the Tools You Will Use

    • 3. Triangles: Drawing a Perfect Triangle

    • 4. Pattern: Create the Base Pattern for Your Design

    • 5. Polygonal Creation: Move, Adjust and Tailor Your Polygonal Layout

    • 6. Gradients: Adding and Editing Gradients into Your Design

    • 7. Exporting & Outputting Your Polygonal Design

    • 8. Adding Extra Points To Your Polygons

    • 9. Adding Nodes to Your Polygons

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About This Class

In this course you will learn how to have fun with triangles in Adobe Illustrator!

You will create, align and adapt your design using some great techniques for manipulating shapes and colors in Illustrator.

This lesson covers some of the basic skills you need to work in illustrator but takes a creative approach in the way that these tools can be used in your design.

Other classes in the The Digital Studio series

Digital Studio 1: Interface, Layers, Cutouts & Shapes (aka Introduces Photoshop & Makes a Meme)

Digital Studio 2: Photoshop Drawing & Painting Fundamentals

Digital Studio 3: Color Correction, Retouching & Compositing in Photoshop

Digital Studio 4: Shape Essentials in Adobe Illustrator

Digital Studio 5: Create Polygonal Patterns in Adobe Illustrator

Digital Studio 6: Photoshop Essentials Q&A

Digital Studio 7: Adobe Illustrators Essential Tools - Carving a Pumpkin

Meet Your Teacher

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Benjamin Halsall

Final Cut Pro X & Adobe Courses


For the designer in you I create fun short lessons in Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator & Adobe InDesign. I include some creative and technical tips in all my lessons which are always easy to follow. Check out my popular Banksy Yourself Photoshop Class, how to create Polygonal Patterns in Adobe Illustrator or my Photoshop Drawing & Painting Fundamentals.

For Final Cut Pro X editors check out my course Learn Final Cut Pro X in 25 Minutes or learn how to put video inside type, create grunge style text or my basic and advanced split screen tutorials.

I look forward to seeing your projects and am always happy to answer your questions.

See full profile

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1. Course Intro: What You Will Learn: how that money has been household. And I'm a teacher for this illustrate course in how to create a cool polygon pattern. So basically, what we're gonna be looking at in the step to this course is how Teoh create a pattern from polygons in Illustrator on. It's gonna introduce them nice techniques where we get real control over the shapes that were drawing in Adobe Illustrator. So we're going to run through this step by step. This course is fine for beginners, but also a cool tutorial for those that are looking to develop different skills and illustrate now that we've had a quick run through what we're gonna cover will jump in and get started with illustrator. 2. Interface Overview: An Introduction to the Tools You Will Use: OK, in this video, we're gonna have a look at how we set up our district document and then give a very quick tour of the interface for those that are new to illustrator. So the first thing we'll do is just go to file and new. And this is where we set up a new illustrated document on we're gonna be working in a standard lesser former. Okay, so we can select other sizes here if we want and also adjust the width and height. If you're working for screen based projects, then we can change the units from millimeters or inches into pixels so that we can work in a pixel based format. OK, on when you're getting start with illustrator and those the main settings that you need to set up if we drop down to the advanced settings. One thing we're gonna do here because we are gonna be working the screen is actually set up our call a mode as our GP. Okay, so what this means is that when we're saving out J pig or a gift, the color mode will be in the correct format. Okay, so let's click. Ok, and now we have our project set up. So let's go ahead and just have a look at a couple of the tools we're gonna be looking at in this project on and also introduced some of the basic elements of the interface in Illustrator. So across on the left hand side, here we have our toolbar will be using this quite a lot to select, in particular the last suit or one of the selection tools in illustrator and all the selection tools are set up in this top section of the toolbar on the other tool we're gonna be using. In particular in this tutorial is the polygon till if you don't see the polygon till then, just click and hold down on. Probably what you'll see is the rectangle tool, and you'll be able to drop down and select the polygon talk. Okay, we're gonna use the polygon tour to be making triangles as we start out with in this tutorial. Okay, so the other channels that will be using our across on the right hand side here. Now, if you don't see a lot of these panels that I've got listed here, then we'll just go to the window menu when we're gonna reset the panel locations that I know that you're looking at the same set houses may. So you go to window workspace and make sure you have essentials checked and then go to window workspace. Andi, select reset essentials that will basically reset your essentials in illustrates. Now, if you look to the right hand side, you might see the library's popped up here. We're just gonna minimize that by clicking the little double arrow there, The tools we're gonna be using across on the right hand side. Here are the swatches on the radiant panel. Okay. And those really the two windows will be looking at other important panels across here. On the right that are worth mentioning at the moment are things like the layers panel. We might pick up this as we build up the layers of our document. Okay, One of the thing that we will be using as we're building up our shapes is the smart guides . So if you go to the view menu and just make sure that you've got smart guides turned on okay, this will allow us to a line things quickly within illustrator as we work on our project. So let's begin 3. Triangles: Drawing a Perfect Triangle: Okay, So in this video, we're gonna have a look how we draw our first triangle. So if you come to the left hand side here and just make sure you've got the polygonal tool selected and just if you don't see it, just click and hold on. What? You might see the rectangle tool and just flip it to the polygon toe. Okay. Now they're a couple of different ways that we can draw out a triangle, which is what we need for this project. And the 1st 1 is to click and hold. Okay. And that will draw a triangle. Now, I already have this set up to draw a triangle, and you may not see this straight away. So what you need to do is click ones, okay? And make sure you have society of polygon set three. It may be set to six or eight. Is the default on DWI? Need to set it down to three to draw a triangle when you click. Okay, it's gonna draw one triangle. Now you want to delete thes two triangles that we've just popped onto the campus here, so we're gonna grab the selection tour and just click and hold and drag around both of those items. Okay, that's how to draw your first triangle. And we're just recap. So if we select the polygon tool again this time, we're gonna help downshift as we draw the triangle. And that's gonna keep our triangle in proportion. And also at the bottom of the triangle. Completely horizontal, which we need for this particular exercise. Okay, we can, if we need to. The different projects grabbed the move to all. And once we have our triangle selected weaken do things like re scaling our triangle. Or if we come to the edge, we can do things like rotating the triangle. Okay, so that's how to draw. A triangle will now move on to the next exercise. 4. Pattern: Create the Base Pattern for Your Design: OK, in this video, we're gonna look at how we now from one single triangle begin to multiply in a couple different ways. So we're gonna start from scratch. Or if you have a number of different triangles drawn on your canvas, then just go to select on all and that will give you a selection and just hit the back space key to clear the campus. Okay, so we're gonna draw a brand new tribal, so make sure you have the polygon tool set up. And as we covered in the previous video, you have it set to three sides to the little drawer. Triangle will hold down, shift and draw out a triangle. OK, so we're gonna adjust this triangle, first of all in terms of color and field. So I look to the bottom of your your tuba. Okay, The first thing we want to do with the triangle selected is just remove the stroke. So we need to click on the stroke to bring it to the foreground. And then just below, we'll see the little white box with a red stripe through it on with stroke. Here, in the foreground of those two color boxes will hit that and it will remove the stroke. Now jump back to the fill color. Just select that and then jump across the right hand side to this watches and we're gonna select a nice orange for the feel of this triangle. OK, now we're gonna jump to the selection tool on the toolbar. And when we want adjudication, there's a number of different ways we can do that. One is by holding down the colts option key. Andi clicking and holding and dragging that selection. Okay, the other is by going to edit copy when we have the tribal selected on edit paste and it will paste in a version of that triangle. OK, now the next step is really key. We want to rotate this triangle so these two triangles can fit together perfectly. OK, so we want to rotate by 180 degrees. So the way that we're gonna do this is just come down to the very bottom left, handle here and just come a little outside it. And as we rotated, hold down the shift key and click and hold the mouse and then just pull round and you'll see that in that little great box. I can see that I'm moving by increments of 45 degrees. So once we're 180 we can let go on. Our triangle would have been rotated by 100 90 degrees. With the selection tool still active, we're gonna drag this triangle up to the other. Triangle will see the smart guides will start to align it. So, first of all, to the center. And then if we pull this closer and closer, it will eventually snap an Intersect to the edge of the other tribal. OK, and if we want to zoom in on, we'll do this by using the shortcut. So we're going to use command and plus on the Macal control and plus in the PC. Well, just zoom in here and then toe move. Our campus interview will hold down. The space bar on the hand will pop up when we can move that. Okay. And you can see that these two triangles perfectly flush with one. Okay. Now, for the second triangle, we're gonna change the color of that to just a slight your life. The orange. Okay. Now, once we have to try and will set up here we can begin toe, multiply them both. So if we hold down shift, click and select both those triangles and then hold down the old key and click and drag and then let go make a new duplicate of our triangles, okay? And as we have those active, we can now move those into position and again they'll snap Ryan Place so we'll zoom out a little here, we're gonna be the same again. But this time we're gonna drag a marquee around or four. Then click and drag and then keep old held down and you can duplicate or for those and we can keep doing this until we have a full row of these trying bones. Okay? So just duplicate those and then Jew pick eight the other way. So now we have but duplicating in this way a nice road triangles. And the key thing here is if we zoom in to just make sure that all your triangles air really flushed together. So I just zoomed right in, and I'm using the space bar to toggle the hand tool on so I could move through and just have a look at the worst traumas they look pretty good. Okay, so the next step is Teoh. Duplicate the line. So we're gonna zoom out using command or control of minus on. Then just drag the Marquis around all of this. Okay on, then hold down the okay and click and drag. And then we just offset the colors. Okay, so we should end up with something like this, and I want to keep repeating this step until we filled our whole canvas with those triangles, making sure all the time that as we're selecting and now we can select to Rosa time than duplicating everything is flush using the smart guides as we align objects together. So go ahead and fill your canvas on. Then we'll we'll come back once that's done and just talk about the next steps. Okay? So once you fill your canvas, you should have something that looks like this where we have multiple rows, rows of triangles stocked up together. And now we're gonna go in and look at how we can manipulate these with the last brutal to create our core polygonal pattern. 5. Polygonal Creation: Move, Adjust and Tailor Your Polygonal Layout: OK, in this video, we're gonna have a look at how it used the last suitable to select points in multiple triangles, the triangles loop created here and then move them. And this is really where the magic happens if you like where we really start toe kind of play around, have some fun with the design that we're creating. So let's go ahead and jump up to our selection tools, grabbed the last little and will select these intersecting triangles here. OK, and if we now let go, we can see that we've got these points that intersect in the middle here or selected on the way that I like toe move My points with this is using the curses. So if I just start toe, push the cursor keys up into the left or to the right and you can see we start toe distort and create some fun adjustments to all those triangles around the intersecting point. So we'll just start toe, move around and play with these different points. Okay, Now we can grab intersecting points for adjacent triangles. All we can go ahead and grab a number of different points around one triangle. So if we now move this guy you can see with selecting all those different points. We can kind of move things on mass if you like. Okay, so you can see, quite quickly we start to end up with some really fun adjustments here in the streets of Okay. Now, we can also use shift to select points that are adjacent. So the selection principles with the last suit or the same as other selection tools. So if we hold down shift, you can see here we select a number of different points. So this is nice, because we can get some randomness in our pattern. But we can also get things moving quickly by moving more than one point at a time. Okay, so now go ahead and have a play around with your polygonal pattern. Move shapes around until you're happy with how it looks By dragging around the different points on. Then we'll come back and look at how we add the radiance on mass again to a number of different areas off this pattern that withstands generate. Okay, So I'm happy with how this looks now. One thing I should mention is that as I've been grabbing points in my pattern here. I've been holding on the shift modified key as I've been using the cursor keys on the keyboard to move my points. And that basically means that we can move points, make more quickly. So you can see here. I'm moving without shift selected minutes, moving quite slowly. But once I hold down shift, it's moving at larger increments. Okay, let's finish up here and then we'll come back and look at how we add Grady INTs to the different parts off this pattern. 6. Gradients: Adding and Editing Gradients into Your Design: Okay, so let's have a look. Now how we create the great in Phil's for our pattern here. So we're gonna move to working with the selection Took were to select one of our triangles here on once you got the triangle selected will jump to degrade until across here on the right hand side. Okay, now we're gonna make great in Swatch. So gonna set the grading up here with a couple of different colors. We're going to use a linear Grady in, and then we'll turn it into a swatch. So if you click on the radiance of the bottom here, it will set it up is a linear radiant. And I just clicked in the great space here a while you can select a pre defined radiant from this drop down at the top here that will work from scratch. So once you've got that, will double click on one of these color boxes. Okay, on, then select an orange, okay. And then jump across the right hand side and we're just gonna select a slightly life throws light, dark room. So we've got a nice kind of subtle Grady in there now, within our triangle. OK, So let's jump to the swatches panel on with our triangle with the great and selected. If we press the new Grady, a button is gonna grab the grade in from that shape, make into new credits. Watch the local this orange, Grady int 01 Okay, again, You can see our new greatest watches popped up here. Okay, so we'll go ahead now and select one of our other triangles that, like orange triangles on making new graded it so back through the same steps to the great. And so click here. And it will have the last radiance that we made here. So we're gonna now adjust the colors of that radiance. It will select a light orange on the left hand side here and go for a slightly darker orange or red on the left hand side. Okay, Now, one thing we're gonna do with this great. It is just that just the angle a little bit. So if we jump up into our window here, we can drop down and adjust the angle from one of these pre defiant and those. Or we can use the up and down arrow case in our Grady in here to adjust the angle. And again we can hold down shift as we do that to move Gangel by increments of town. Just looking for some of the kind of works alongside this other radium. Okay, so those are two great agents that we have set up and we can set up more, but we'll have a look at how we apply these on mass to these different shapes. OK, so before I forget, we need to turn it into a swatch. So just jump across to us watches with the last triangle selected on select swatches making your greatest watch, and we'll call this orange Grady int to Okay, so we have all to radiance set up here. Now let's go ahead and apply this Great. It's watch our master a selection of one of these orange colors that we have selected here . Now the first thing we need to do because they're working with the orange fellas is just that just that, that the fault tolerance of the next tool that we're going to use, which is the magic? Wonderful. So if you look to your toolbar just below the selection tool, you'll see the Magic Oneto select that and then just stop. We'll click on it, okay? And you'll see we have the option here to adjust the tolerance off that magic one tool. Okay, We want to just this right now. Zero will be fine. Okay. So basically, what that means is it's not gonna look for any variations of orange when we make our selection. So if we click on one of these challenges now, it will only select, in this case, the lighter orange on. We can now go across to us, watches and pick out one of our greatest watches. Okay, You can see as we apply that it's only applying it to one of those sets of orange. Okay, let's jump back to the magic. Want all on? Well, slept the darker all right triangles, and then we'll slept. The lights up are integrated. We created. Okay, so now you can see we have this nice juxtaposition of those two different orange radiance that Chris is kind of cool pattern. Now, we can go ahead and take this a little bit further. So if we jump him, we can start to refine in the individual radiance or the individual radiance, or add new credit. So if we jump ahead to our radiant panel on the right hand side and we'll just click or double click on one of our colors in the greatest slider, which up to the color options. So we get a bit more of a reduction for the colors we can select, and we'll just add a little more blue into one of our radiance so you can see it's done it to pop up there when I let go. Okay, so just a little hint on, then we'll jump across the right hand side and we'll just drop a little bit of green into this. We still get that kind of orange. We got a little bit of a slightly different kind of going on. Okay, so we can adjust that until we're happy with it. And that would also adjust the angle in here and again. I'm holding down shift and using the Upton down curses to adjust the angle that's working for May. So we're gonna go ahead and at any ingredients watch with this new color selected. Okay, a local this orange, Grady. Intense, threaten you consume. But I knew great it here. Now, if we just use the selection tool lets just jump through and add a bit of variation or randomness. So I'm just holding down shift and selecting a number of different triangles from within their no in a particular pattern. Once that's done, I'm gonna decision to the noose watch and you'll see we start to get some nice variation. We can just kind of keep moving through on adding and editing triangles as we want to. Okay, so we can adjust things. Our mascot. We can also go in to this pan and start toe work in some cool variations of what we want. So, for instance, if we start to grab these individual Grady, it's now we could go in and just kind of tweak the angle so that it's starting toe match up on work with the radio that's next door a little bit more. Okay, so thes. They're kind of fine tuning aspects of what we've been working up to before this point, but now we can go ahead and work on these. So now we're gonna go ahead to the next video and export this out in a couple of different ways. What is to take its photo shop on the other is to export it out as a PNG or genetic 7. Exporting & Outputting Your Polygonal Design: Okay, We're gonna have a look at a couple of ways of getting this image that we created out of Illustrator. So the first method and were really thinking about saving for the web here, I'm serving in a format is gonna work online. So the first option is to go to file on exports. Okay, Now we can export our great and Patton. I'll just call it great in patent to on the format. I'd say this out in would be a PNG or a J pick. We'll go for a J pick here in this instance. Now, Okay, once we've selected J, peg will press export, and that will bring up this window for J peg options. So we have some options toe compress the quality about fire in different ways. Okay, so we'll leave it at the default medium. Okay? Our screen resolution here is gonna be 72 pictures French on. That's gonna be fine for what we want. So we'll just click OK here on that will say that. Find out now, The next option one look at is how we can take this from illustrator to further shop, and it's really straightforward. So we can do command or control in a, which is essentially the select on all function from the menu edits and copy or command or control and see. And then, once we've done that and our fathers copied to the clipboard, we can jump into photo shop and go to file and you OK and you can see you want to create a new file. It's grabbing the dimensions of that selection from within. Illustrator on. We can adjust this if we need to. We'll just click OK for the moment and then if we go to edit and paste, we have a few options here, so the first option is to paste is a smart object. And this is what I would tend to go for when I'm working with these kind of patterns that are set up in Illustrator on, and it certainly gives you the flexibility to change the scale. That pattern at a late stage if we pasted as pixels, then were restricted, really to the size that we've pasted out. And then what? He starts again to pass and shape players, and there are some other things to consider. So smart object is the option. I would normally go for and you'll see that when it pastes in when we enter, it pace in smart a smart object, which means that it still has the vector quality. So if we zoom outs Andi do come on T for free transform, hold down, shift and scale this when as we scale it, it's gonna keep the quality. So if we go to view and 100% was still going to get that nice, crisp quality that we have in the illustrate far Okay, let's just take a step back here. Had it on undue free transform. Okay, so we'll finish up there. I would have look a couple of ways of exporting this out. And I hope this tutorials been useful for you in terms of how you can create this kind of effect on pattern in illustrator on Bring it into photo shop. Look forward. Seeing on the next tutorial 8. Adding Extra Points To Your Polygons: Okay, so we're back with our pattern here. I just wanted toe add one extra point here off. We looked at the exporting in our video on That is how we could add extra points to our shapes in Illustrator so that we could make them into polygons with more than one site. So we're going to select one triangle hit, and then we'll move to the at anchor point tool in the toolbar on the left hand side here. So it's the toolbar underneath the pencil, and this is what we can use. The anchor points to our already existing parts. Okay, so you can see I've added one anchor point to that that points automatically selected. Once I doubted it, so I could now use the cursor keys to now. Move that point. Now, what I need to do is out another anchor point to the shape the Jason do. It's where you end up with this gap within the shape, unless that's what I want. So I grabbed the selection tool again, select their Jason shape and then use the add a point to this new shape. Now, the next step I need to follow uses the direct selection tour. Okay, so with direct selection told I can select one point in the shape on what I want to do is come close to the anchor point by first of all, made and you'll see that they snap together. So we still get that nice kind of Chris edge to those points. And then what's? We've made those extra points we can then go ahead and grab the last little by that them around as we want to. Okay, that's how it could have an anchor point and change the shape within one of the shapes we've already created. And we can obviously do this multiple times within a shape. 9. Adding Nodes to Your Polygons: okay. And this illustrated tour, we're gonna have a look at how we create this no based power from a square on these circles . The first thing we're gonna do is jump into a new document on grab the rectangle toe. Okay, So forth. Tool down on the left hand side here. And this will allow us toe draw out a square that we need. No. When we a first drawing this, we're gonna draw a perfect square. So we're gonna hold down shift. I've kept my mouse held down as I'm doing this so that I draw a perfect square. Okay, so that's the first step here on the next that we need to swap into the little. Okay, we're gonna zoom in a little here because we want to create a No, that's gonna look proportionally good. I'm at the edge of this, this square. So we're gonna jump right into the corner here and in orderto send to the circle on the corner. We're gonna hold down Holt and shift as we draw out. And that will mean that the circle that we're drawing centers on that point. OK, so it's about the right size we're going to swap the fill of this to black. So we're going down to the bottom of our tool bar on the left hand side here so that we get this nice kind of solid point at the corner of our square M or grab a stroke for the edge of that on. Just turn that to none. Okay, so what we have here at the moment is a square on, then a node or a circle at the edge of that. And we just need to duplicate that circle. Once I'm going to zoom in a little bit of using command and plus and minus to zoom in and out and I'm gonna crab my circle here. I'm gonna hold down the old key. And then as I move this circle down, I'm gonna hold down shift so that it snaps right into the corner there. Okay, that's the first step here. I'm just gonna zoom out a little on I'm gonna change the feel of my square here to gray, just so we can kind of get a sense of what's going on so well, scroll down in our swatches on the right and crab, like right? So now I'm gonna grab this whole square, hold down the okay and drag across the right hand side. Okay? And when I'm dragging, I'm duplicating and holding down all to do that on Guy. Wanna get this square toe snap to the edge of the other square here. So now we'll grab our other square here in this time or duplicate twice, so we'll grab both of them. Well, hold on, Holt, and then shift as a cheap Cutler's again toe. Get those into position, okay? And so we keep doing this until we're we've created one row of these circles, so well, hold on all again on this will be the last one we do for this tutorial. Okay? And you can see we're building up this kind of nice, no based pattern here, okay? I don't delete its last square on the right. I just highlight it using the selection tour, and then we're going to duplicate the roads, so we'll grab all of this and then shipped it down. Okay, I'm just zoom in to make sure that we're getting a nice kind of match, and I can use the cursor keys to move things up and down to check that things. I'm moving nicely. So hold down all again to duplicate that row. Okay? And you can see it starting to snap an intersect as I do this. Okay, so this will be good enough to demonstrate what we want to hear. So now we're going to use a tool the last suitable to actually make the selections of our individual notes. Then that's suitable. Allows us toe select, and then move either with the curses, okay? Or with one of the selection tools, those points. Okay, so we can grab with the last settle one or more points that moves the direct selection toe and then move those points around. Okay. Now, the interesting part of this comes when you start toe grab how a bunch of selections and then use the tools like the rotator. Also, if we grab the rotator here, you can see we can rotate on head it. Those individual nodes. I'm on mass, Okay. And of course, with the right a total, we can change the center point where it's rotating around so we can move it down to the bottom right here, for instance, and then we'll actually be pulling our nose out so we can kind of start to work some interesting patterns into what we're doing. We can also just play around and do things a bit more freeform. Shortcut for rotate is are. So if we're jumping between the lawsuit on the rotation tour, thank you and our other tools toe to you so que to grab the last little to make a selection and then are to rotate thank you again and our to write site. Okay, so you can see that we should quite quickly start moving between these different sections. And now this is something that's popped up here. That is something to watch out for a few crab only part of your circle. Then you can distort it like this. I'm just going to take a couple of steps back and re select that area. So basically, what happened there was I'd only selected maybe three of the four points around the edge that circle, and so it kind of distorted in a way that I didn't want. Okay, so we can keep going with this and building up passing that we want. Okay, so that's how to kind of do the basics off making a selection and then right sizing, all moving our selection. Okay. And then also the next step that we can kind of do here, toe kind of build. This pattern up is to actually change the fill color of some of these sections. OK, now we could change them individually. Well, we could make selective on Matt. So to change the selection on mess, we're going to use the I just want to select that. And then we can change the Phil to whatever we want. Okay, so that's how to create a note based pattern simple, no base pattern like this. And then we can obviously go on on and make things more advanced by placing an image layer underneath and then perhaps tracing or copying the pattern of that and adding nodes. Teoh, a graphic design that we're working on it. It's been useful. If you have any questions about this tutorial, then please, that hesitates in your tweet happen household, and I'm happy to answer your questions. Well, it foreseeing on the next tutorial