Perfectly Overlap Rotated Shapes in Adobe Illustrator - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class | Helen Bradley | Skillshare

Perfectly Overlap Rotated Shapes in Adobe Illustrator - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

Helen Bradley, Graphic Design for Lunch™

Perfectly Overlap Rotated Shapes in Adobe Illustrator - A Graphic Design for Lunch™ Class

Helen Bradley, Graphic Design for Lunch™

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5 Lessons (27m)
    • 1. Graphic Design for Lunch Perfect Overlapping Rotated Shapes Introduction

      1:15
    • 2. Pt 1 - Understanding the Problem

      0:57
    • 3. Pt 2 - Make a Simple Flower

      4:50
    • 4. Pt 3 - More complex flower

      8:49
    • 5. Pt 4 - Multicolor flower

      10:43
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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 see how to create perfectly overlapped rotated shapes in Illustrator. The instructions cover all versions of Illustrator. On the left is the typical rotated shape you get from Illustrator and on the right is the one you will learn to create - we'll create this simple flower and some more complex ones requiring a more complex solution:

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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 Perfect Overlapping Rotated Shapes Introduction: Hello, I'm Helen Bradley and welcome to this graphic design for lunch class. Create perfectly overlapped, rotated shapes 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 for working in applications such as Illustrator, Photoshop, and Procreate. Today we're looking at a problem which occurs when you try to rotate shapes, for example, to create a flower using the transform tools. I'm going to show you what the problems are and I'm going to show you a technique for resolving them to get perfectly overlapped, rotated shapes. As you're watching these videos, you will see a prompt which lets you recommend this class to others. Please, if you're enjoying the class, do two things for me. Firstly, give it a thumbs up, and secondly, write in just a few words why you're enjoying this class. Recommendations like this help other students to say that this is a class that they too might enjoy. If you'd like to leave a comment or a question, please do so. I read and I respond to all of your comments and questions, and I look at and respond to all of your class projects. Now, if you're ready, let's get started creating perfect, overlapping, rotated shapes in Illustrator. 2. Pt 1 - Understanding the Problem: Before we start looking at the solution for creating nicely overlapped shapes, let's have a look at what the problem is. I have a shape here that I have rotated around using Effect, Distort and Transform, and Transform. The problem with this is that when we look at the final representation, we get nice overlaps all the way around except for this last leaf. This one should be in front of this life, but behind this one. But that's not possible to do in Illustrator. So we'll have to come up with a solution if we want to create a flower that looks like this instead of one that looks like this. Now this is a little bit complicated, so we're going to start out with a very simple flower, and then we're going to move on to a slightly more complicated one. The process is the same, but I just want to show you a few techniques that you can use with a slightly more complex flower. But what we're going to do is turn this into this. 3. Pt 2 - Make a Simple Flower: To see one of the solutions for this overlapping problem, we're going to create a simple flower with File and then New. I'm going to create a document 1000 pixels by 1000 pixels in size and I have aligned new objects pixel grid disabled. In Illustrator 2017, that option will be up here. I'm going to drag out an ellipse and that's going to be my petal. We're using a very simple shape here so we can get an indication or feel for how are we going to solve this problem in future. I'm going to choose a purple color for the flower and a darker color for the stroke. I'm going to apply a fairly sizable stroke to this shape so that we can see it clearly. Next up I'm going to rotate this, so I'll select it and I'll choose "Effect", "Distort & Transform" and then "Transform". I'll turn preview on. I'm going to rotate around this point here, which is the bottom of the nine possible rotation points, the bottom middle. In these nine boxes here, I'm going to make sure that I select the bottom middle one. I'm going to rotate around 45 degrees. I chose 45 degrees because it's one of those numbers that will divide evenly into 360. If you divide 45 into 360, you get eight and you don't have any remainder. It's important that you don't have any remainder if you want evenly spaced petals around your flower. I'm going to make seven copies because I have an original and then seven copies makes my eight petaled flower. I'll click, "Okay". This is a problem here. This leaf should be on top of this one and behind this one. Both these two leaves here are not looking the way that they should. But right now, everything is attached to this single petal because it's just a circle or an ellipse that's being rotated. We need to expand it to do something with it, but I don't want to have to work with these lines. What I'm going to do is I'm going to turn off the stroke at this point. I'm going to select this shape that now only a fill and choose "Object Expand Appearance" and then "Object Ungroup" until ungroup is no longer an option. In the last pallet, when I have a look in this layer, I'm going to see eight individual shapes. One for each of these petals and every one of these is just an ellipse. I'm going to select over all eight of the shapes. I'm going to the Pathfinder. If you don't see the Pathfinder here, choose "Window" and then "Pathfinder". I'm going here to the trim tool. I'm going to click once on the "Trim Tool." What that does is it breaks out these petals. Well, let's just ungroup it. I'm going to select this and choose "Object Ungroup". It breaks out these petals into the actual shape that they are within this rotated element and you can see that these are the two petals we have problems with. This one's a little bit knocked out as well, but this is a pretty good set of petals here. I'm going to press "Control or Command Z" until I return everything back to where it was. What I'm going to do is I'm going to grab one of these petals and I'm going to choose one that's going to be really easy to rotate. I'm going to choose the one at the bottom here and I'm going to rotate around this point here now. I'm going to put these other petals just out of the way. I'll select this petal shape that now has the cutout in it and choose "Effect", "Distort & Transform" and then "Transform". This time, I'm going to rotate around this top middle point. I'll turn Preview on. I'm going to make seven copies and I'm going to rotate around the exact same 45 degrees. This is my flower shape, I'll click "Okay". I'm going to expand this shape with Object Expand Appearance. I'll choose "Object Ungroup" until ungroup is no longer an option. Now let's go back and select these shapes and apply our stroke to them. This time we have a perfectly overlapped flower. We found this shape by creating a flower that wasn't overlapping perfectly, but we had one petal that we could use. Having done that or achieved that petal, we then rotated it to create the final overlapping flower, where everything is nicely overlapping and we don't have something in the middle that just looks plain wrong. There's the simpler of the flowers that we created using this technique. 4. Pt 3 - More complex flower: Now, let's look at a more complex flower. I'm going to choose File and New, draw a same size document. I'm going to just drag out a narrow ellipse here. I'm going to add another ellipse to the side and another one to the side as well. I just want to get a bumpy shape happening here. It will select all of these and I'm going to the Pathfinder to just unite them into a single bumpy shape, a shape that is off-center. I'm going to make it further off-center by just rotating it a bit. I'll select over it. I'm going to choose Object Transform, Reset Bounding Box. You can see that this shape is really off-center. I'm going to fill it with a color, so we can just see it as we rotate it. At this stage, I'll still give it a stroke, although we're going to remove that later on. Let's take this and make a flower from it with Effect, Distort and Transform, and then Transform. I'm going to rotate it around its bottom midpoint, which is not the center of the shape. I'm going to make 11 copies, and this time I'm going to rotate through 30 degrees. It's a more complex flower shape and as you can see, it's an off-center flower shape. I'll click "OK". We still have just a single shape with a rotation applied to it. Before I do anything else, I'm going to turn off the stroke. I'm going to select this choose Object, Expand Appearance, and then Object Ungroup until ungroup is no longer an option. In the last pallet, we're going to have individual shapes for all 12 of these petals. We had one original petal and 11 copies, so that's 12 in total and we have 12 paths here. With these all selected, I'm going to the Pathfinder, and I'm again going to choose Trim. Going to the group that is created, I'll choose Object Ungroup and now we have a whole series of paths, but they're different shapes this time, they're not all the exact same shape. I also have this little middle path left over at the bottom. That's the center area. If you're going to have left over paths like this, they're going to be at the bottom of the list here, and you'll just select it and press Delete because you don't need it. Let's just temporarily put a stroke on this, so we can see what we're working with. This shape is not correct and neither is this one, and this one could probably use a bit of work too. But all these other shapes are going to be just fine. Just going to undo everything because I want them all to go back into their original position. I'm going to take one of these shapes that looks pretty good. I think this one here, I'm just going to all drag it away to make a copy of it. I want to show you that we can't do the same thing as we did last time with this particular shape. Going to select it, I'll choose Effect Distort and Transform and then Transform. I'm going to turn preview on. I'm going to make 11 copies and try and reassemble my flower. I'm going to choose a different rotation point, but you'll see that none of these rotation points is going to give us the same flower as we started off with. We get other and very interesting styles of flowers, but we're not getting the same one as we started with. This process is not going to work at this time, so I'm just going to get rid of that. Going back to this flower and I'm going to locate one of the petals that is a good shape. I'm going to turn off the stroke on this and I'm going to recolor it just so that we can see the petal that we're working with. Let's see if you got things going wrong here. I have a green petal here. I'm going to select this petal and I'm going to rotate it, Effect Distort and Transform, Transform. Then we just proved that the rotation wasn't going to work, but we're doing something a little bit different this time. I'm going to count up how many petals I need. This is the one I'm rotating. I'd need one to replace this 2, 3, 4. If this were perfectly okay, I would still need four because I need to get around to this angle here. I've got four copies to make, so I'm going to type four in here. I'm going to use the same rotation angle as I used previously at 30 degrees. I'll turn Preview on, and I want to rotate around this point, the closest point I can get to where the rotations are going to work they are there, but they're not lined up perfectly and that's just fine. That's not a problem with this. I'll click "OK". Let's just put a line on this just so you can see what's happening. What I've done is I've created the petals that I need to use to replace these petals here. I'm going to turn my stroke off. I'm going to keep the shape selected. I'm going to choose Object Expand Appearance, and then Object Ungroup until all of these green leaves are ungrouped. Now, they're selected in the last pallet here. What I'm going to do is I'm going to take all of these and move them to the very top where I can see them really clearly. Then I'm going to select the four that I want to use to replace the petals in the flower, but not the one that I rotated, I'm just going to drag them out of the way and I can separate them. What's going to happen is that this petal is going to replace this one because it's got the cut out on it. It's a perfect replacement for this petal here. I'm going to select this petal and just Shift click on this petal here. Just these two petals are selected. We're looking in the layers palette here, just two petals are selected. I'm going to click again on this one to make it the key object. Because I don't want to move it. I want to move this one right over the top of it. Now, I can align these two to the left edges and their top because they both have top edges and left edges that they share. I'll click left and top. Now, this green shape is perfectly placed on top of the blue one. I'm going to select the blue one here. I'm just going to delete it by pressing the Backspace key. Here is the replacement for the leaf or the petal that I just got rid of. With it selected, I'm just going to the Eyedropper tool. We're going to click on one of these other shapes just to borrow its formatting. We have this shape in place now. Now, let's go to this one. The replacement for this one is this piece here so I'm going to Shift click on it. Again, just two paths selected in the last pallet. I'm going to click again on this one because this one is going to give me the positioning. I'm going to align them so that their tops are aligned. I'm going to align them so that their right edge here is aligned. Now, they're perfectly layered on top of each other. In the past palette here, I want to isolate the blue one just selected, it's behind the green one. I no longer need it. I only kept it there as a guide to where that green one needed to be placed so I'm going to delete it. I'm going to select this and borrow the formatting from another leaf. We've got two more to go. This one and this one are pigeon pairs. This is my key object. Align them to the top, align them to this right edge. Locate the blue path here, make sure only it's selected press Backspace to delete it, go and select the green one, and borrow the formatting for it. If I go to this green one here, I can borrow the formatting for it. If everything looks right, I didn't actually need this leaf. I needed to make it to get the other rotated petals here, but I don't actually need it to replace this one, so I can just get rid of it. There is a flower that has a perfect set of rotations. In this case, we couldn't just take one of these pieces and rotate it around because we couldn't duplicate that flower exactly. What we did was we just used one of these to make a few spare petals that we could then position using the original petals as a guide. Now, I appreciate that this is a little bit complex to get your head around. In the next video, we're going to take it a step further. We're going to use this exact same process, but we're going to create a slightly more complex flower again, but I'm going to repeat these exact steps so you can get a real handle on this process. 5. Pt 4 - Multicolor flower: For our final flower, we're just going to add a small level of complexity with some additional colors. I'm creating a document the exact same size as we've been working in a 1,000 pixels by 1,000 pixels. I'm going to create a petal shape here. What I'm trying to do is, again, create something that is not symmetrical. I'll choose Object, Transform, Reset Bounding Box, just to put the bounding box back into position. I'm going to fill this with red and remove the stroke from it. I'm going to select this and make a duplicate with Edit, Copy, Edit Paste in place. I'm going to hold Alt and Shift, that's Option Shift on a Mac. I'm going to size this down a little bit and fill it with an orange color. I'm going to do that once more. It's going to give me a multi-colored petal on my flower, and I'm going to fill that with a yellow color. Select over this petal choose Object, Group so that this petal, all these objects here are going to rotate as a single object, Effect, Distort & Transform, Transform. You use the exact same transformation as I used in the previous one. Eleven copies, 30 degrees and rotating around this center point here. I'll click "Okay". Before I go ahead, I'm just going to squeeze up this flower petal a little bit, because that's the last chance I have of creating the look that I want. I really like this bent edges here. I'm pretty happy with that. With the selected Object, Expand Appearance to expand it out to the component shapes, and then, Object, Ungroup until Ungroup is no longer an option. I'm going to select either all of the shapes, and again we're going to the Pathfinder and we're going to click on the Trim option. Now, let's go to the Layers palettes and choose Window, Layers, I seem to have lost my Layers palette. I'm going to select this group and choose Object, Ungroup. I'll do that until Ungroup is no longer an option. I'm going to have a quick look at this Layers pallet and if there are any stray paths, they're going to be at the bottom. I've got one, I'm just going to remove it. Let's look at our flower and see what we're working with now. I've got one petal here that obviously has to be replaced with something over the top of it. This one will need to be replaced too, and so will this one. The first complete petal I have is probably one of these two. I'm liking this one here. I'm going to select the petals which I think go to form this leaf. I've got this yellow bit. Just Shift-click on the orange, and then Shift-click on the darker red, right-click and choose Group. Now, I've got a group. I can test it by pulling it out of the way and just making sure that it seems to leave everything intact behind it. Zooming in, I think that I've probably left a paste out of it. I think that this little piece in here also belongs with it. I've selected it and it probably does belong to it because it's really close by it. Just going to drag and drop it into that group. It's in that group now, and it's going to travel with it. Let's just re-test that. Looks like everything that belongs to that petal is now coming with it. Again, Control Z to put the pedal back where it came from. It's really important you don't want to lose its placement. Now, with my grouped petal that I'm going to rotate in a minute, before I do that, I'm just going to change its colors because that just makes it a whole lot easier to deal with when it's a totally different color and it's so easy to re-color later on. Now with it as a group and with it selected, I'm going to rotate it around and to make it all the way to this petal, I'm going to need 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 copies. Even if I don't use them all, I'm still going to need them. I'll choose Effect, Distort & Transform, Transform. I'm going to make five copies. I'm going to rotate it around this point here. Turn preview on, use the exact same angles as I used previously. You can see that they're not lining up perfectly, but that's fine. We didn't expect them to line up perfectly, we just wanted to create them. That's all we came here to do. I'll click "Okay". Now, this is the group here. I'm going to move it all the way to the top of this layer just so I can see it. It's right at the top here. With it selected, I'm going to choose Object, Expand Appearance because I need to burst it out of this particular petal rotated into a series of individual petals. Object, Ungroup. I'm watching the Layers pallet here, because these are going to be easier to deal with if they're left in their groups. I don't want to burst them all the way out this time, I just want them to be accessible here. With each of these groups selected, I'm now going to move them out of the way so that I can then go and put them into position. Now, this is the one that we just rotated. It's perfect. I'm really pretty happy with this one too so I don't think I need to replace this one. But this one probably does need to be replaced. But let's start with this one up here. I'm going to go and grab all these three objects that go to make this leaf here, and I'm going to group them, Object, Group. This is the object that I'm going to line up with its sides. This one selected, I'm going to Shift-click on this one. I'm going to click on this one again because I want it to be my key object. I'm going to align to the left and the top. Left and top. It's in perfect alignment now. I'm going back here to this group which is the one that is the red and yellow version underneath everything, just press backspace to remove it. Let's go and get this one. At this point, you could take this group here and just move it out of the way, or you could even turn it off if you wanted to just so that you can get to these paces in here. I'm going to select these three, right-click and choose Group. Now, they're going to be lined up to this group here. Select it, select this one, click again to make this the key object. Here, top and right are going to be my alignment options that are going to work. They're all lined up nicely. Scroll down here to see where the red and yellow version is. Well, it's down here. Make sure I have only it selected. Backspace to remove it. If things are a bit confusing at this point, just turn this one off. The next one we're looking at is this. We're going to select the component paces, right-click and choose Group. This is the petal that's going to replace this, select it, select this group, re-select this, just tap on it again so that it's the key object. The alignments here are going to be top and right. Go and locate the red orange version that we no longer want and press Delete. If you need to, just come up here and turn this one off. I probably will replace this one. It looks like it's a bit cut off here, so I'm just going to grab these three paces, group them, go and grab this one. Select this group and this group. Click again on this to make it a key object. Probably top and right are going to be the best for this. Turn this off because it's in position. I'm going to select this because turning the top one off gave me access to that one. Now, I'm going to just turn everything back on and I think I'm pretty right here. I can get rid of that group. Now, with these groups, I can go into the groups and recolor them. I'm going to pick up the component paces here. For example, this pink, and I'm going to sample the color in the leaf here that I want to use for it. I'm going to have to recolor each of these pieces individually, but it's not a huge amount of work to do. The lion share of the work has already been done. It helps at this point that the eyedropper actually stays selected so as I'm selecting individual objects here in the Layers palette, I'm not actually losing my eyedropper. I'm just clicking on a shape and then going straight to the color I want to fill it with. My flower is now recolored. What I'm going to do is actually burst everything out of its group by choosing Object, Ungroup, until Ungroup is no longer an option and I'm going to choose Object, Group. That packs the entire flower into a single group. Now from here, you could do all sorts of things with your flower. Of course, one of the things that you might want to do with it is to make a pattern out of it. You can of course, just select it and go to the re-color option now that everything's just colored with those three colors, and you can recolor it at your leisure. Your project for this class is going to be to create one of these flowers yourself and to create the overlap so that you get a good looking result. Post an image of your completed flower in the class project area. I hope that you've enjoyed this class and that you've learned a bit about working with groups and rotations and shapes in Illustrator. As you're watching this class, you will have seen a prompt to recommend it to others. Please, if you're enjoying the class, give it a thumbs up and write just a few words about why you're enjoying the class. Recommendations like this help other students to say that this is a class that they too might enjoy. If you'd like to leave me a comment or a question, please do so. I read and respond to all of your comments and questions and look at and respond to all of your class projects. My name's 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.