Adobe Illustrator Nuggets For Surface Designers: Level Up Your Art Skills | Esther Nariyoshi | Skillshare

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Adobe Illustrator Nuggets For Surface Designers: Level Up Your Art Skills

teacher avatar Esther Nariyoshi, Published Illustrator based in the US

Watch this class and thousands more

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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

    • 1.

      Class Trailer


    • 2.

      Setting Up, Colors, and Other Hidden Gems


    • 3.

      All About Shapes


    • 4.

      Silky Smooth Paths


    • 5.

      Thoughtful Curves


    • 6.

      Selections (aka Herding Cats)


    • 7.

      Actions and POD Export Tips


    • 8.

      Thank you


    • 9.



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About This Class

This class is designed for Illustrator users with a special focus on surface design. Esther Covers some of the essential functions that designers use, and she also goes the extra mile to walk through alternative methods to achieve similar results. This class is great for someone who has some basic knowledge of Adobe Illustrator, and wants to grow in fluency.

Some of the functions covered:

  • Setting up optimal workspace
  • Global Edit (selection tool)
  • Effortless color picking
  • Selection by lasso, magic wand, same attributes and beyond
  • Making compound shapes (shaper tool, pathfinder, etc)
  • Creating Custom Actions
  • Precise Alignment
  • Puppet Warp Tool
  • Recolor
  • Smoothing curves
  • Curvature tool
  • and much more


Connect with Esther:  Shop Esther's Handcrafted Procreate Brushes | Portfolio | Instagram 

Follow Esther on Skillshare for her new upcoming classes on Illustration.

If you are a beginner in Illustrator, you are welcome to check out two other beginner friendly classes Esther offers

Meet Your Teacher

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Esther Nariyoshi

Published Illustrator based in the US

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Level: Intermediate

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1. Class Trailer: If I could give this class a different title, it would have been, Things That I Wish I Knew Ten Years Ago in Illustrator. Hi, my name is Esther Nariyoshi. I'm a surface designer and illustrator based in Michigan. In terms of tools, my work really bounced between illustrator on iPad, but in terms of pattern-making, almost 99 percent of my patterns are made in Illustrator. I've used Illustrator for more than 10 years for most of my work, and I still feel like I'm learning new things every day. There are a lot of golden nuggets that I didn't discover until much much later, so hopefully in this class I get to show you all the things that I wish I knew. These classes are really helpful for designers who have a focus in surface design, but really if you are using Illustrator at any capacity, I bet you will come away with tons of knowledge. In this class, we really get to dive deep in the nooks and crannies for Illustrator. For this class, we're not really creating anything from Scratch. It would be most helpful if you can pull out some of the unfinished work, or working progress, or previous pattern that could use some refreshing. You get to decide what do you want to work on, and we'll sit down and work together. I'm really excited that I get to share my joy of creating patterns with you. I'm so glad you're here. Let's get started. 2. Setting Up, Colors, and Other Hidden Gems: Like I said in the introduction, this class is most beneficial for those who already have some level of experience inside Illustrator. You don't necessarily have to be a surface pattern designer to come away with tons of knowledge for Illustrator, but if you are a surface designer, I'm really, really happy that you're here because most of the tricks actually took me a long time to learn. It's not necessarily because these things are hard. It's mostly because you don't really encounter the tricks and tips unless someone tells you and then you're like, "What?" Hopefully, the topics that I cover will bring you a little delight in your pattern design or graphic design process. Without further ado, let's get started. Your screen may look something like this. You have your Illustrator in front and there are like 50 different things behind it. If that bothers you, you can simply just press F on your keyboard to fit everything in your screen. If you're familiar with all the keyboard shortcuts and stuff and you don't really need the toolbars, you can press F one more time and it will get rid of all the tools, and whenever you need them, you can press F to bring the views back. Basically, F key will let you toggle between different view modes. So I find that really helpful. If you're starting with a fresh document, for example, Command N, to start and then select whatever template or dimension, it will take you to a fresh, new document. It always bothers me that there's predefined textures and colors that I don't really use a whole lot. To get rid of that, you can come over to "Window" and "Actions". In the middle, you will find the option called Delete Unused Panel Items. You can just press the "Play button", it will get rid of all the unused things. But I will say that you want to do this at the very beginning of your process. So if you already have something on your screen, you don't want to accidentally get rid of them. This is just a quick tip on how to set up your document and cleans your palette a little bit. However, if you feel like your swatches panel is too lonely and too bear, you can go with some color themes that are pretty awesome. It's located over here under the swatches panel. What you want to do is to come over to Explore, and that will give you some pretty decent colors to work with. You can search for some keywords, for example, fall. Let's see what we can get out of this. This is a pretty nice palette. If you have any object on your panel at this point, let me just create some random squares, make sure one of them is selected. Whenever you click on one of the colors in your Adobe Color Themes, it will translate that color to your square. Hold onto Command key to temporarily change to selection, and then keep selecting. You can jump over to different themes. You don't have to stick to one. Keep on scrolling. These are pretty awesome. These two look too close. Once you're happy with the color you have, you can select them all and click on this little neat folder icon to create your own color group, and make sure to check the convert process to global. This will just give you a lot of benefit. If any of your art work use this particular color in your group, and if you need to change to a certain spot color later on, you can just change your swatch instead of going into your artwork to recolor everything. I'm just going to click "Okay" here, and now, you have some basic color to work with. That's pretty neat. Again, this little magic tool is tucked in over here. It's called Open Color Themes panel. For each technique that we cover, you will see our screen formatted more or less like this. In the middle, there is unofficial definition, which I come up with just to help you understand what it is. It may not make immediate sense, but as I explain to you, it will help you to remember what it is. In the corner, you will see the official terminology, that's the language Illustrator is using to describe the function that I'm teaching you. Basically, that will give you a handle to Google if you want to learn additional information about this function. Now, it brings us to the first tip that we're going to cover that is called Transform Each. You're probably familiar with Reflect. If you select them both and right-click "Transform", "Reflect", it will let you reflect either based on the vertical axis or horizontal or at an angle. In either case, if you turn on the Preview, Illustrator will see your object as a group. Their relative distance is about the same. There is alternative transformation that is called the Transform Each. Currently, each flower is grouped within itself. So we have the blue one and the orange one. If you select them both, and right-click, come over to "Transform", and "Transform Each", you'll have an entirely new dialogue. If you just turn on the Preview and the third section, it's called Rotate, it will let you rotate the flowers at an angle, but independently. It's almost like they're dancing. That's why this section is called on the dance floor. This is really neat if you want to create some kind of symmetry but not exact copy. Sometimes, you see a pattern where very few motifs, you can tell if something is just pasted over and flipped because they look the same. However, if you rotate them, they will look a lot less similar. At the very top, for some reason, Illustrator will let you scale horizontal dimension and vertical dimension separately. Like something like this. Don't ever do it because this will just make your design really horrible. If you want to scale them smaller or bigger, do it proportionally. Don't ever use this option. I don't know why it's offered. It's horrendous. You can move them too, but in my opinion, it's easier if you just use a mouse to move them. So the most useful function of Transform Each in this is to rotate them at a different level independently. You can also reflect them according to the x and y axis, or at random, which give you new ideas. This is pretty neat. I'm just going to click on "Okay" and leave it as it is. The next tip we're going to cover is called precise align. Basically, it will help you to put your ducks in a row in a more organized and predictable way. I'm going to select all of them and come over to my "Align" panel over here. I use it so often, so it's tucked in already, but if you don't have the option, you can come over to "Window" and click on "Align", and it will bring out the Align panel. Actually, I'm going to drag it out and put it in the corner. We're on the same page. Let me zoom back off for a second so you can see my artboards. I'm going to click "Command Shift H" to bring the borders back. First, let me select all my dots here, and come over to the "Align To" over here, and this will let you select your visual reference. Basically, you can't align all your motifs or objects to within its selection, or to a certain key object, or to the artboard. Let's go with the artboard for now. Basically, Illustrator will see the artboard as the visual reference. If you want everybody to be aligned in the middle vertically, you can click "Horizontal Align Center", that's easy enough, or to the bottom, and everybody will be aligned to the bottom of the artboard. Similarly, if you want to do the Align to Selection, it will look at everybody's position and decide where to move. For example, if you want everybody to have the same horizontal line to the yellow object, which is the lowest, you can click on the "Vertical Align Bottom". Instead of coming all the way down to the artboard, this time it will come only to the lowest object. If you want them to have even space between each other, you can click on "Horizontal Distribute Space". Even if one object is really significantly bigger than others, it will still evenly distribute the space. Let me just demonstrate. We want to bring everybody to the same level and evenly distribute the space. You will see everybody has the same space between neighbors. If you understand that concept, let's go deeper. Let me just shuffle the place one more time so we have a group that is all over the board. Now, I want to select everybody and align to the middle. You can see the space is uneven. I want to select one key object, and I want the distance between each neighbor is well defined. For example, I want everybody to be 67 pixels away from each other. That's pretty random number, but Illustrator can do that. First, we want to select everybody and decide on who will be your reference. I'm just going to click on the green circle in the middle. If you go a little closer, you will see the green circle is highlighted in a thicker line. Let's just zoom back out. You will see that over here, we have a new option to select a distance. I think I decided on 67 pixels. Let's do that. Instead of distribute evenly based on where they are, we're going to distribute evenly based on the definition of the space. Now, we can be sure that the space between each object is 67 pixels. Similarly, you can align everybody along the y-axis as well, and you select them all. I'm going to align them all to the middle first before I distribute them, just so that you can see the distance better. But you don't have to do this. Now, I want them to have zero pixels between each other. So I'm going to select my key object, which will be this lighter pink, and then I want to make sure the pixel is zero pixels, and I can click on the "Vertical Distribute Space". Now, you're sure that they're just right on top of each other. I bet you can go under zero. For example, I'm going to select the same guy and make everybody overlap for 10 pixels, which translates to negative 10 pixels for space, and you click on "Vertical Distribute Space". Let me just turn on the multiply as their blending mode so you can see the overlap area, and they're just 10 pixels on top of each other. This is a really nice way to organize your motif if you're making something that is really geometrical and you need this type of control. That's our precise align. 3. All About Shapes: I hope you are warmed up and let's talk about shapes. In this part of the class, we're going to cover Pathfinder, Shaped Builder Tool, and Shaper Tool. They work in very similar fashion, sometimes they can be used interchangeably. But each one of them they have their own strengths and weaknesses. First, let's look at the first group of shapes. Let me just zoom in a little bit. Actually, I'm going to put these two guys away for now, and then bring these two guys in and make them bigger so that you can still see the title of the video. Over here we have two identical circles. We want to bring out the Pathfinder tool or Pathfinder panel. I have it readily available over here. But If you don't, you can come over to Window and Pathfinder, and you will have it available. Let me just get it out for now and collapse this one. Basically, the Pathfinder lets us make all kinds of compound shapes, which is really really helpful. But before we use it, we want to make sure we have the right grouping. In our case, we want to make sure the two circles are independent from each other instead of being in the same group. When you click one of them, you want to make sure the other one is not automatically selected. Let's walk through different options real quick. When you select both circles and click on the first option which is "Unite", you will combine both shapes. But in terms of color and graphic appearances, when I mean graphic appearances, I meant the stroke color, the gradient, and everything. The result will take on whatever the shape that was in front. Let me just undo. Our first shape is orange. When we unite both shapes, we will turn the final object into orange. If we have a stroke color, it will also pick up on that. The second option, let me just undo, is called Minus Front. Basically, when you select them both and you click on "Minus Front", it take off the whatever the front shape is as well as the overlapped area. Similarly, the last option which is the last option of the second line, it's called Minus Back. It's the same logic. It will take off whatever the back is as well as the overlapped area, and it will give us the other half moon, which is on the orange site of the shape. The next option is called the intersect. If we undo and restore both shapes, select them both and you click on "Intersect", it will give you the overlapped area. Again, in terms of the graphic appearance, it will take on whatever that was in front. Similarly, the next option is called an Exclude. It will give you everything except the overlapped area. Let's keep going. The next option is called Divide. Again, you need to select them both and you click on "Divide". Initially, it doesn't make any visual difference. It's not like previous options that you immediately know what it is. This command acts like a cookie cutter or stencil using a selected object to cut through other objects. In our case, if we use Direct Selection Tool, which is the white arrow over here or A to select just the shape in the middle and give it a different color, you will see that by actually clicking on "Divide", we have cut through the two shapes and made three shapes out of it. Right now they are grouped together and that's why they're moving together. But if I'm clicking on Command Shift G to ungroup them, you will see that we actually have three independent shapes. The next option is Trim Tool. Basically, it cuts away the top shape layer from the visible bottom layer. In this case, when I select both of them and click on "Trim" and "Ungroup", this will give me a full moon which is the shape on the top and a half moon, which is the visible bottom layer. As a result, the top layer will still be what it was, but the bottom layer will lose the overlapped area. The next option is Merge. On a surface level, it looks very similar to the previous option which is Trim. When we click on it, it just basically trims It. You see the shape? However, here's the caveat. If we have one other shape on top of the front shape that has the same color, I know it's super complicated. If we have orange square over here, when we select all three of them and click on "Merge", it will merge this one with the same color. It's super complicated. In my opinion, it doesn't really worth the brain power to memorize what it does. We have already talked about the Minus Back option and the Outline option is pretty obvious as well when you select them both and click on "Outline", basically, it will give you outline. Personally, I don't really see the benefit because you can easily do the same thing by just turning off the Fill in your Swatch panel. But for the sake of the class, I just have to mention that to you. You will notice that I did not talk about this option, which is awesome. It's called a Crop. Because in itself it deserves undivided attention. As a service designer, I use this tool a lot. For example, I have this little blobby shape at the bottom and on top we have three colorful lines. My goal is to eventually trim off what's around it. What I'm going to do is to create a clipping mask. I want to select the little blobby shape, which will serve as the outline. I want to copy it, Command C, and I want to past it in place. What I mean by that is two paste it right on top of each other. If you just do a Command V, your will copy will be pasted at a different location. You don't have to align everything if you just do Command C and Command F. So now we have two copies right on top of each other. I'm going to bring the top copy all the way to the very top. I'm going to do that by pressing Command Shift right bracket. If you can't remember, just right click and find Arrange and bring to front. That's what you want to do. While it's still selected, I want to click on Shift and select all three lines as well, and Command 7 to make a clipping mask. You can also right click and make clipping mask. But Command 7 usually works faster. Now we have a trimmed shape. After you make the clipping mask when you hover over the lines, you still see this little ghost line around it. When you double click it, you will go to isolation mode, which means that at the very top, you will see some level of brackets over here, which means that you can still for example rotate, and this is still changeable and then hit "Escape". Once you're really happy with your final result, I highly recommend you to crop it. What you can do is to make sure the top layer is selected, and come over to the crop tool, and just click crop. Basically what this one does is to trim all the excess, that you don't need anymore, to make your file size a lot smaller. It probably won't make a whole lot of difference when it's just one little blobby, but if you have a surface pattern that has turns of woodland animal and really complicated shapes, that is hiding under a mask, by trimming them off would really save your file. Sometimes will save you some headache of having to deal with crashes. Let's go back to our original starting point. The blobby and three lines. We'll select them all and go over to a mysteriously helpful tool that is called shape builder. If you press shift M, it will take you to the tool, which is nested over here. This tool is super helpful because it lets you do all the shape decisions on the fly. You will see by default, it will combine shapes. You can tell because there is a plus sign on top of that. For example, whenever you want to combine two shapes, you just drag across for example. In this case, I highlighted both and they will turn into one shape and if I do highlight all the way across, let me just click out, all of a sudden my blobby has a hat, this little pink thing. Lets just pretended it's a hat. Then once you select them all and go back to the shape builder tool, you can also trim things off just like what we did, but very selectively. For example, if you hold onto the option key, it will turn the plus sign into minus sign, which will let you take off whatever parts that you don't want. You just click on it and it will get rid of it. In addition to combining and trimming, you can also use that for dividing. For example, this yellow line right now, let's call it belt. It's still an independent shape. Let's put it back. However if we select blue blobby and the yellow at the same time and Shift M for shape builder tool and instead of dragging, we just click it once. You will actually divide the blobby, based on the yellow shape. Right now if we select our direct selection tool, you will see that, the blobby has been divided based on the yellow line. That's really, really handy. Personally I like shape builder tool much more because I get to see the final result on the fly. I can't always remember what each pathfinder option does, so this would save me some brain power. The next option we going to cover is called Shaper Tool. It's rarely used in my workflow, but I feel like it has a lot more potential, so I want to learn deeper with you over here. The keyboard shortcut is shift N, and the icon looks something like this. Immediately the most obvious application is when you free hand something, it will automatically interpret into a perfect shape. For example, if I'm just drawing very roughly into a triangle shape and I will have a perfect triangle. Same thing for circle or oval, rectangle or square, something like that, or you can even do hexagon. This is a pretty terrible one, but still the Shaper Tool can make a pretty good interpretation. Although I can see the limitation of this particular application because unless you are constantly drawing geometric shapes, this doesn't get used a whole lot. But the Shaper Tool does much more than this. I'm just going to delete all the little gray shapes around this and take a look at these two group of shapes. Over here we have two rectangle overlapping each other. But the overlapped area is knocked out. If we were to do this in pathfinder tool or shape builder tool, the result is not live, which means that if we want to change the position, we have to redraw the two shapes and redo the configuration. However, if we have done the shape making using the Shaper Tool, that's what I did for this shape, you can still move things around. If I just double-click over here to go into the isolation mode, I can still move this orange rectangle and the effect is still there. The overlapped area is still knocked out, but I can experiment with the positioning. That's pretty neat. Once you are happy with the position, you can hit Escape key to get out of it and anytime you want to change the position again or color or any attribute, you can always just double-click to go into the isolation mode to do that. I'm using two very simple geometric shapes to demonstrate, but if your shapes are really complex, that same logic still apply. In a coffee mug over here is another example of the Shaper Tool. When I double-click and move the straw around, you can see the overlapped area where the straw touches the coffee, turns white as I move, but the effect is live. Let's learn how we can do that. Let's start with two shapes over here. I will give them different colors so we can tell them apart. Without selecting either one of them, you can go over to the Shaper Tool over here, and as you hover, you will see the dotted line around the edges to show you the definition of the shapes. At this point, whenever you scribble in the portion, it will basically get rid of that part. For example, if I want to get rid of the overlapped area, I'm just going to scribble and it's gone. Because this effect is live, you can double-click to go to the isolation mode to change the position. You can even rotate over here by clicking on R to rotate. This is pretty convenient. Let's just hit escape to get out of it and draw another pair. This time, I'm going to combine certain portion of the shape. Let's just make it a little more complex, so it's more interesting. Let's see what happens here. We have three shapes over here. Let's click on the Shaper Tool, shift N, and then this time I want to combine this portion over here. I'm just going to scribble to draw across. You can see the two squares are combined. Even though they look like they're in one shape, the shape is not final because you can always click in to go into the isolation mode to change the position. If you want to say knock this part off completely, you can just use the Shaper Tool again to scribble this part. How does the Shaper Tool know you want to knock certain parts out or combine the two together? Because it's all just scribbling, the easier answer is that if you're scribbling in a single section, whether it's overlapped area like this one or an outside area that doesn't overlap with anybody else, but it is a single section, you will knock things out. Let me just undo. However if you're scribbling across that area, it will take on the graphic appearance of your starting point and give it over to the combined shape. For example, if I'm doing starting from the lighter blue over here and scribble across, it will color the rest of the darker blue with the lighter blue color. However, if I start from the yellow portion and scribble my way across the different shape, it will turn everybody into yellow. At least that's my understanding of how it works. I can see the Shaper Tool being very helpful for someone who is working on a geometric shapes and you want to see how the combination works in before you decide on the final result. However, if you are just doing a lot of hand-drawn motifs, maybe this is not the best option because it just takes a lot of brain power to remember how to scribble and how to overlap. It might not just worth it. But again, as a teacher I still feel like it's so helpful to present to you all the information and the options that you have, so that you can make a decision that is best for you. That's all I have for you in terms of shapes. Now let's move on to the next section. 4. Silky Smooth Paths: In this section of the class, we're going to talk about Pencil Tool and Smooth Tool. That's probably something that you get to use a lot as a surface designer. If you're like me, you probably do a lot of hand drawing outside of Illustrator, maybe on iPad, or using an actual paper and watercolor and stuff and you use live trace to bring all the shapes and vectorize them in Illustrator. If you got lost when I mentioned live trace, you're welcome to check out my other class that is called drawing in Adobe Illustrator CC, that will quickly bring you up to speed. In front of us we have a leaf that we want to work on. So this is something that I drew on my iPad and then vectorized it in Illustrator. If I zoom in, I can still see the brushy texture that was interpreted pretty well in this portion, and I want to zoom in to look around to see if there is anything that strikes me as odd, which always will be. Over here, I see this little tension point that we can fix. So let me just zoom in and I'm using the direct selection tool, which is the white arrow, and I want to take the yellow dots away. You can still see these a jagged edge, and there are different ways of fixing it, I will show you at least a couple. The first one I want to show you is the smooth tool, that is nested under the shaper tool we just used over here. If you long click and go into the flyout menu and click the smooth tool, and this will help you to make your lines smoother. You can double-click on the smooth tool to change your configuration, and you can change the fidelity to very accurate to very smooth. I'm just going to stay in the middle for now, and zoom out just a tiny bit to see how much changes the smooth tool is going to bring. With the smooth tool selected, you want to hold onto command key to temporarily change your cursor to select, and then you can select your branch. You can see this little portion is totally connected to the larger body of the leaves. So let's just click on the tension point and see what happens. Whoa, this is pretty crazy. So basically, Illustrator went ahead and smoothed out everything that's obviously not what we want. So thank you, command Z. Obviously we want the smoothing to be last dramatic, so let's come over to smooth tool to double-click, and then change the fidelity option to very accurate, all the way to the left and we click on okay. With the smooth tool selected, we want to hold onto command key to switch to selection just for now, and then release it to go back to the smooth tool. We want to click it multiple times as much as we need, and now this area seems to be fine, but here we have a different problem. You see this little gap happening over here, this is because we have changed the outline of our green shape entirely, not just locally over here, but also entirely, so the corner actually got shrunk a little bit. It is smoother but it doesn't match the original shape anymore. So in this case we might have to consider a different option. Let me just go back to square 1, and show you a much easier option. So now we have our original shape back. This time we're going to try pencil tool, which is keyboard shortcut N and the icon is just right under the rectangle tool. It's easy peasy, you just draw as if you want the final result to be and voila, there's that. In this case, pencil tool is way easier because our mistake is very, very local. In general pencil tool is really helpful when you are fixing very local mistakes. If you're trying to just making a very general shape very smooth, you can use those smooth tool. But it really depends on what type of work you're looking for, and how rough or textured you want it to be. The general rule of thumb is to practice, and to see which tool is more accurate and more efficient for you. For almost anything you want to do in Illustrator, there are at least two ways of doing it. So it really depends on what you feel more intuitive and then stick to that. My job here is really to show you all options that we have. At least all the options that I know that we have, and let you make the decision yourself. 5. Thoughtful Curves: In this section, we're going talk about how to draw thoughtful and elegant curves. On here, we have a path. Let me count, we have six anchor points over here. If we use our Direct Selection Tool, which is keyboard shortcut A, to select one anchor point and then move it, it will just pick up one section of the curve. If we drop it somewhere, you will see our transition doesn't go super well. I suppose you can use the Smooth tool, we just covered, to smooth out the curves, but I will show you a different solution. The name of the tool is called Reshape tool. To bring it out, I'd like to have my full menu over here. At some point, I restarted my illustrator and by default, when I open the file, I have only the essential tools on the left. If I want to see everybody and when I click on the three dots at the bottom, then the three dots and drop-off menu at the very top and click on advanced, now I will have everybody back. First, I want to select my path that I want to change and then click S on the keyboard, to select the Scale tool. In the Flyout menu, click the third option, which is Reshape tool and come over to one of the anchor points, and just start moving. As you will see, the movement is much more thoughtful and elegant, which is what I really desire. Once you let go, you will have the final shape. There are a few applications that I can think of, one of them is to use the tool to redirect a line and you can also use this tool to make a compound shape. Let me just hold onto my Option key and Shift key to drag one copy on the side so you can compare different functions side-by-side. For the first one, I'm going to use a Width tool that looks like the harp, the musical instrument over here. You can drag across this action to create a fine little wave over here. This tool is pretty fun if your variation is limited. However, if you add another point the connection will become a little rough. Let me just undo. In another way, which is a more dynamic way to create the same effect, would be using the Reshape tool. We have another copy over here. First, we want to make a copy right on top of this one. Command C for copy and Command F for paste in place, and then you want to click on the reshape tool to drag the top portion. You have a lot of freedom in terms of variation and pace. In my opinion, it's a lot more flexible tool Say that you are happy with this shape, then you can just let go. Currently, we have two separate lines that we want to join to make a shape. You want to select the anchor points over here by using Direct Selection Tool and Commend J for drawing anchor points. Do the same thing for the other end, select, Command J. Now, we have one shape. If you've selected and then flip the fill and stroke, which is Shift X, you will have a pretty fine shape. Again, there are two ways of doing very similar things and you get to decide which one you like better. The next tool I want to introduce you to is called Curvature tool. It's this little pen that has a little tail. It's super nice. Currently, I have it selected. Basically, for this little straight line, I can just pick up any point along the path and start moving. You will see this beautiful dance of anchor points, which is really hard to achieve if you are just doing everything from scratch using pen tool. Let me show you a couple of ways why this is a helpful tool when you are drawing. Say you want to draw a leaf. You want to start out by having a straight line over here, and then select your Curvature tool and just drag it to the side. You can reflect that by clicking transform, reflect, and click on the vertical and preview and make a copy. Of course, you want to join the points in the very end, Command J, Command J again on the other end, to have a perfect shape, so now you have a leaf. Curvature tool can also be used on shapes as well. For example, if I am making polygon and I want to turn this thing into a flower, I can select my curvature tool and just start dragging the sides. One nice thing about this is that you have the freedom to vary each petal so they don't look super mechanical and flat, although this is a kind of symmetrical. You can continue to manipulate the points so that your flower looks a little more hand-drawn, but not too crazy. You can keep on playing with different anchor points. You can see that the string makes some pretty crazy moves, but relatively elegant. Your lines are still relatively clean. I would really play with it and see what it does. If you spend a whole lot of time on Pen tool and not be able to produce the result you want, Curvature tool is a really nice alternative. Just go ahead and draw a random shape and play with it. I think this is really awesome tool. Anyways, I'll stop here. 6. Selections (aka Herding Cats): If you're a pattern designer, your screen will probably at one point look something like this. I don't mean that you are drawing flowers all day, I mean that you will have a bunch of motifs surrounding each other and, for example, for this little flower friend, this pink little guy in the middle, has been surrounded by other flower and leaf friends. But when I click on it, I quickly realize that everything is not grouped together. If I want to change just the pink, I can either go super close to select all the pinks that I see. I can still miss something like a little thing over here and change the color and come back again and pick up the leftover pieces. This is not very sustainable, especially if you have three of these guys in one composition. You will spend hours just doing the selection. The alternative is to use Lasso Tool. In one location, Lasso Tool is really great. It's located over here or you can press Q on your keyboard and you can just go around it and select this little flower guy. You can click command G to group it. Now this flower is in one group. If you want to change color, just come over to Recolor Artwork, select the color that you want to change, and swap it out. That makes your work 10 times easier. If you have a common denominator for certain attributes, for example, I want to select all the pink that appears in this canvas. You can just select one of the element, for example, this one piece of leaf over here, and come over to Select and find Same and you can select that common denominator. In this case, it's going to be Fill Color, and voila, all the pinks are selected. If you want to just change it to a different color, go right ahead. I'm not sure that's the best option, so I'm going to undo, but you get the point. The third option would be using the Magic Wand Tool, which is located right over here or you can click on Y. Basically, this will select the same color or appearance depending on what you define. I'm going to double-click and define what I want to select. In this case, if I want to select all the pinks, I'm going to do Fill Color and I want to turn tolerance all the way down because I want this Magic Wand to pick up that one exactly pink. Say if I have 30 shades of pink, you will only pick up and target that one shade. However, you can also dial up the tolerance, so you will pick up a broader range of pinks. In this case, I will go all the way down and click on one of the pinks and it will pick up the rest. Speaking of selections, we have to talk about Global Edit. This is a relatively new function that illustrate or rolled out recently. This one is pretty similar to the Symbol Tool. If you know what I'm talking about, you can define a symbol and use it across the board. Once you go into the symbol and make a change, and all the rest of the incidences will be updated as well. But this one is even smarter than that, it allows you to tell Illustrator a few more parameters so that you can make your selections smarter and you don't have to define them as a symbol. Let's walk over the case together. Over here we have a bunch of flowers. They are basically in two different sizes. The large one are just different in color and the smaller one are different in color and scale. First, we want to bring out their property panel. It's under Window and all the way down Properties. If you use it pretty frequently, you can just tuck it in somewhere. I'm just going to leave it here and then click on the icon. Say that I want to select all the orange incidences. There are two big ones and one small one. Well, since there are only three, I can just click them. But imagine, just pretend if we have 100 of them and you probably are not willing to do it one by one. I'm going to select the big guy over here. Under the section called Quick Actions, we have the Start Global Edit option. But before we do that, we want to click on the drop-down menu. By default, we have the Appearance checked and you can also check the Size. If we do that, illustrator will help us to find whatever flowers on our artboards for the same size and appearance. By appearance, I mean same fill and stroke. You can also define if you want to search All Artboards or certain orientation or Square Artboards. You can also even define the range of your artboards. If some pieces fall outside of your artboards, you can also make sure this one is checked, which is called Include Objects On Canvas. In this case, I want to look for things are same appearance, not necessarily the same size because I want the little orange flower included in the middle. I'm going to click off the drop-down menu and Start Global Edit. You can see, in addition to our original flower, two additional flowers are selected. That's what we want because we want the same appearance. However, if we also check the size as well, this little flower in the middle get dropped because it's not the same size as the original flower. All right. Let's try it again. Maybe we want to select this dark green guy. This time we want the size to be the same, but not necessarily appearance. We'll probably end up selecting all the larger flowers of all different colors. Let's test this thing out. Start Global Edit. Voila. We have all the large flowers selected, but not the small ones. These are pretty helpful and intelligent selection. The limiting factor for this selection is that your objects have to be very similar to one another. For example, if you have drawn a bear and then you make a copy and turn the second copy upside down, no problem, global edit can select it. If you change your second pair to a different color with upside-down orientation, global edit can still pick it up. However, if you make certain edits, say that changed the course of the bear and add another decorative detail and illustrate our global edit we'll see the two bears as true distinctive objects. It will not pick up both bear at the same time, if that makes any sense. Let me just give you a quick example. Let's go back to our hand-drawn flower over here. We have three little sacura across the board. The first two are actually just the exact same copy, but the third one, I drew it independently, although in human eyes, these three looks highly similar, but since they are not identical, illustrator sees it as a different object. For example, let me just click this little flower in the middle and I want to match in appearance because they're already around the same size, so I don't have to check this box. If I just start ''Global edit'', it will only pick up the first flower because they are the same exact flower copy. Similarly, if I select the third flower and start "Global edit", it will not pick up anybody it says, "It can't find similar objects. Adjust the filters and try again." Still I think it's good enough, so when in doubt, try it out. Knowing the different options for selection is really helpful because when you have all kinds of motives all over the place, some are properly grouped, others may not. If you find that one common denominator or find that central concentrated location, you get to decide which toy you get to use for that specific situation, so that you can move on to the next step for your pattern-making. Next step, we're going to talk about a function called Puppet Warp. This is something that Illustrator rolled out not too long ago. This is pretty newish and I think this can be really helpful for surface designers who want to diversify their motives without really completely redrawing everything. Currently I have two identical twins over here. They are exactly the same. If I select my second one and Press 'E' on my keyboard, it will take me to free transform tool. If you long click, you will find the Puppet Warp tool underneath. That's what we need. Once you click on that, you will see your flower has been wrapped with all kinds of mysterious web. You can just feel free to click on one of the dots and see what it does. Basically, it does some pretty elegant stretches to your motive, to a certain degree. You don't want to go too crazy, that your motive will look crazy as well. You just want to nudge it here and there, so that when you use this motive in a different section of your pattern, it doesn't look like it's being copied somewhere else. Your pattern is a lot less repetitive. Anyways, you have to use it very wisely and don't go too crazy on this. This is a really helpful tool. Talking about family resemblance. This time we're going to talk about recolor. This is something very common in surface pattern design. If you have created one small or big collection of patterns, it's very likely that you will be asked to create a separate different color way, which basically means that you use the same shapes with different colors. I'm just going to delete this one and create an identical copy right next to each other and recolor the second copy. While I have it selected, I'm going to come over to the pinwheel icon at the very top to recolor my art work. Upon selection, you will see all the four colors that I have used currently. You can cycle through them to randomly change their color order, which is pretty fun sometimes, or you can select one of the color groups in your color swatches to rotate through the color options over there. The same button randomly change color order and you can circle through different options to see which one gets your attention. I really like this one, but I think the pink and the yellow kind of blends together. I'm going to click "Okay" for now and click on "Yes" and then go back to the same panel, the recolor artwork panel, again to change just the pink and the yellow. I'm going to lock the bright yellow and the dark green first, by clicking the arrow and turn it into a straight line. This means that my two color is locked. I have two options. One is to just select one of the colors that I want to change and then directly change it in my color slider over here. By doing that, you will introduce another color to the pattern. If you have to limit all your colors to certain pallets or certain number, you probably don't want to do that. An alternative way is to click on one of the color groups over here, and to cycle through the colors again. You will notice the bottom two colors hasn't changed, the bright yellow and the dark green, which is really neat, that's what I want. I'm going to settle what this. This is a more kind of summer flower and the other one kind of reminds me of fall. I will just stop right here. 7. Actions and POD Export Tips: If you have made any patterns in Illustrator before, this probably looks super familiar. This little square is 500 pixels by 500 pixels, yours may look different. Basically, it's a square or rectangle that defines your pattern and just for the convenience, I made it 500 by 500. Basically, you have one motif that is touching the left border and you will need to move it exact 500 pixels to the right. Anything that touches the top, you will have to move it 500 pixels downward to make sure all the edges have the exact same pattern, so that's what makes it repeat. But if you have large collections and especially, if you work with a certain dimension all the time, say in this case, 500 by 500, you might not want to do the moving 500 pixel thing over and over again. In this section, I'm going to show you how to make it into an action. Basically, once you do it one time, you don't have to ever do it again. All you need to do is to just click a button and Illustrator will automatically make a copy 500 pixels or whatever dimension you use to the right, or left, or top, or down, it depends on what you need. It's pretty flexible. I think you've got the picture, let's get started. First, you want to grab your motif and you want to make sure everything is grouped well together. If you have multiple object on the left border, you'll want to make sure you have selected all of them. You don't want to leave anybody out and then, come over to Window and Actions. There are a bunch of default actions already and you can explore to see any one of them can be of help to you. But for now, we want to create our own action. You can do that by clicking this "Create New Action" button, and you'll want to name your action as specific as possible. So I will say, Make a Copy 500 pixels to the Right. It's a pretty long name, but the goal is that, if you come back, say after holiday and vacation and you don't remember what you have done here, so you'll want the name to remind you that exact action. You can choose the folder and you can even assign a hotkey to it. Let's be fancy and even give it a different color. Let's do orange and record. At this point, the recording has already started, but it's not recording everything on your screen, it's only memorizing the action portion, so take your time. This time, I want to transform and move, and as you can see, I moved my horizontal level to 500 pixels to the right and to keep my vertical pixel to zero. I want to turn on the preview so that I can see the final result. Instead of clicking "Okay", I want to click "Copy", so I retain both copies at the same time. Technically, I'm done here. I'm going to click stop recording, and now I have a completed action. You can do the same thing for moving things from top to bottom or bottom to top. Let's just test this thing out for now. I'm going to delete the second one and click on the first one and make sure the, Make a Copy 500 pixels to the Right is selected and click on this Play button. Voila! I don't have to ever do it again, especially if all my pattern definition is at the same size, so this will save you a lot of time. Since we have the action recorded and this is not tied specific to this motif, so I'm actually going to delete both of them and create entirely new thing on top of it and to test it out. Let's pretend this is a very complicated grouped object. It works the same way. So let me just click the Play button again and boom, we have another copy, 500 pixels to the right. Last but not least, let's talk about tips on exporting. Sometimes when you export to a [inaudible] unit, to print on demand websites like Spoonflour and order your little fabric swatches, and then you see this little thin white hairline on your pattern. This can be really heartbreaking, especially if the pattern's precious to you. Good news is that there is an easy fix. Let's look at our pattern structure over here. We have our motifs at the very top over here and then, the next layer is our background layer, or the background color layer, and then, at the very bottom is our pattern definition layer. Usually, it's no stroke, no fill. This one tells Illustrator that whatever that is above will be in your pattern. It's like a Sandbox, whatever that falls into the Sandbox gets exported. Usually, the second and the third layer are the same size, at least you are most likely instructed to do so. To avoid the hairline, you just need to do one thing. Grab your background color layer and then expand it. As long as it's bigger than the pattern definition layer, you're good to go and export your pattern unit as usual, the hairline will disappear. 8. Thank you: Thank you so much for taking my class. I hope it's helpful for you. If you have any questions, please reach out to me on Skillshare or Instagram, I'll be happy to help. Until next time, bye. 9. Bonus: Here's our bonus video, and I will give you some random tips. Over here, we have a rectangle. Normally, if we click the right or a left arrow, it will just move one pixel at a time. However, if you hold onto your shift and click your arrow, it will move ten pixels at a time. Let's get rid of that and pick a different color. Normally, if you drag and drop a shape, it will start from a corner, depending on where you started. However, if you hold onto your option key, it will start from the middle. What? I know, this was a shock to me too. Say if you have two objects, one is smaller than the other, and the bigger one is on top of the small one. How do you select the one that is under? Normally, I would click on the yellow one and lock it so that I can select what's underneath. There is a quicker way of doing that. Let me just unlock. If you hold onto your option key and click on the yellow, and you see this little left arrow here and click on the position of the smaller rectangle again, and you will select the object behind. Pretty sneaky. Looking at our art board, If you are pressing "Command Shift H", that'll turn your border of the art board on and off. If you press "Command 1", that will let you view your art boards a 100 percent. If you press "Command 0", that will fit the entire art board to your screen. However, if you press "Command Option 0", you will be able to see all the art boards you have in this document. Enjoy.