Illustrator: Create Complex Concentric Circles & Abstract Shapes | Benjamin Halsall | Skillshare

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Illustrator: Create Complex Concentric Circles & Abstract Shapes

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

    • 1.

      Create Complex Concentric Circles & Other Abstract Shapes


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About This Class

Learn how to create complex concentric circles in Adobe Illustrator as well as other abstract shapes.

Using smart techniques you will create cool abstract designs in Adobe Illustrator by creating multiple strokes on one shape, use pathfinder tools to combine and intersect shapes as well as learning how to use the awesome width tool to create abstract tapered lines.

If you like this class you might also like to check out my other Illustrator Tutorials:

Digital Studio 4: Shape Essentials in Adobe Illustrator

Digital Studio 5: Create Polygonal Patterns in Adobe Illustrator

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.

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1. Create Complex Concentric Circles & Other Abstract Shapes: Okay, So here, No straight. We're gonna have a look at how we create this concentric style circle. And we'll have a look at a couple of different methods in which you can do this, which will generate a different effect. Will also have a look at how we can combine the same technique with different shaped. Also, we're gonna have a look at how we use the pencil and then use the path. Fine. It'll to create some nice abstract shapes. I'm such we've done here with this path that then uses the wit tool to create some interesting effects. So the first way is to grab the Ellipse tool from the toolbar across here on the left hand side. Okay. And we're just gonna draw out a very small circle on basically with this circle. Now we're going to enlarge it using the scale tool, and then we're gonna adjudicate that scale enlargement. So it's gonna create several circles that we can then work with together. So we're gonna jump across the scale tool on as we scale this, we're gonna hold down to short cookies the first his option, and you can see I get double our there. That's gonna mean now that I duplicate that and I'm gonna hold down shift, which is gonna mean I keep that circle proportional. That's gonna make a perfect circle. Okay, once I've done that, I could hold down command and D, and it will recreate that duplications that's gonna make multiple circles if we jump back to the selection tool. Okay, here, you can see that we have multiple circles or set up there. Okay, so now we're gonna do is we're gonna go ahead and we're going to add four squares to this sub. Okay, so if we grab the rectangle tool okay, in a draught square. And really, all that matters is that it intersects with the center of all those circles, okay? And then I'm gonna grab a selection to once have drawn out one of those squares and just hold down the l key to drag that on. Move that I'm holding down shift as well to stop it moving up and down and let me move in one direction if I hold down shift at the same time. So hot, not cold on shift. I'm dragging that down until it snaps perfectly to the edge of that square. Okay? I don't any distance between these different squares. Once we've got these snapped into position, okay? We can select all of our objects. You conceal the circles there and the squares, and now we're going to use the path. Fine. It'll if you don't see this, just go to window, show the Pathfinder, and it will pop up. OK? And then we can now use this first option, which is to divide. So basically is gonna take a while. Those shapes and it's going to divide them into a set of different shapes. OK, so press divide. Okay. And now they're group together still. But if we go to object and un group there become separate objects, so you can see now I can pull out the separate objects and delete the outsides of that shape. So now I'm gonna do is just change the color of some of these so that we can see the different concentric circles. Okay, just move in and tweak some of these. Just making sure that no one shape next. Another shape is the same color so that we can really see them or we can change this later . But we just wanna make it easy to see the different sections that we have here. I'm not in tune entirely about the colors I'm selecting just running through the nice and quickly. So once we've done this, we're gonna offset some of these circles. So you can see now we've got nice set up for these circles laid up, okay? And now we can do is if we hold down shift. As we select one set of these circles, we can then come to the edge there on rotate them and offset them. So we get this nice kind of offset pattern. Okay, So that's one method for creating set concentric circles. And obviously, because we're enlarging it by a certain percentage, it's enlarging them slightly unevenly so that the size those circles is increasingly getting larger as we get these different circles moving around the outside. So let's zoom out. We've got a nice design there that we can work with. We could add some other effects to that. Let's have a look, a second method. So if we grab the lips toe okay, and we'll just draw out on the lips, okay. And now we're going to add a stroke to that lips, and we're just add a five inch stroke. And now with the strokes, what we can do is we can add multiple strokes to one shapes using this appearance feature here. So I'm gonna add a new stroke. It's gonna add it on top. I'm gonna make this next 14.5 inches. Okay? And then I'm gonna change the color. Oops. 0.54 point five is what I want, Okay? And then I'm gradually gonna add new strokes at 43.5 and so on there. So I get this kind of nice even pattern. And I started with the biggest stroke. Because in Illustrator always stacks the stroke on top when you create a new one just like other layers. So by starting with the biggest one weaken set this up nice and quickly. Okay? And we'll just go down to 1.5 inches, okay? And then we'll go ahead on and set up the rest of this. So, in order to now break this apart, we need to go to object path and outline stroke and then go to object. Expand appearance. Okay, so now we have a stroke for each of these thes sections. Okay, so now we can come in here, grab the rectangle till Andi move this square over the top of everything. So I just move this into position, OK, we've got different colors there, but actually, we're probably gonna have to remake those once we do this next step. So actually, we should have aligned are strokes outside of our path to get a nice, neat effect. So basically, with stroke, When we added that we should have outlined outside so that we get just the stroke, Azi, break it apart, create the outlines. But actually, we've got now got some overlapping strokes, which is gonna create different effect, but should still be pretty interesting. So we'll grab that will use the divide option. Okay. And then I'm gonna un group that. And now I have a number off evenly spaced concentric circles. They're all black at the moment. We can go in and tweak and adjust the color. Let's just make sure with Selectman Phil and adjust the color of each of those. Okay to get our design. Okay, So go ahead. Create a stroke or concentric circles from just one circle on. Then you'll be able to get this very neat effect in Adobe Illustrator. And I just wanted to come back to one point about keeping the colors from the strokes that you've created here. So, actually, with a little further experimentation, I realized that you can, actually, when you create your squares, we'll just take the stroke off this one. Okay, so we got three green squares here, Okay? Once you create those squares, if before we go on and do the Intersect in the Pathfinder, that actually, if we send these to the back, so go to object, arrange centre back, or the shortcut shift command in this left square bracket, and then make those player those four squares and we'll just break this apart so we'll go to object path, outline, stroke, then object. Expand appearance to get those concentric circles. Now, if we select those, we have our squares behind there on the circles in front. And now, when we come here to the Pathfinder and click on the Intersect option and basically we keep the colors off those circles while still break them apart. So I just jumped the wreck selection tool here and I can delete the parts outside. Okay, Where I was coming here and select each of these individually, and that's a little bit quicker method than having to re color everything once you've broken its apart. So we can just work through and re color some of the sections but keeping the original color from the outlines now, before we completely finish up, I just wanted to share with you one other techniques. So one of the tools I've been using a lot lately is the mental. I've been using it in conjunction with the wit tool that's available here on basically, what I like to do a lot of the time is create some simple lines, okay? And I'll just press escape here, come away from the pen. Tal. I'm just gonna flip that to a stroke. Now, once I've got a stroke drawn on here with the wit tool. If you've not used it before, then we can jump to that, and we can change the width of a particular shape from or line that we've created. Okay. Now, as you're using the width tour, it basically works and create a stroke that we can continually edit so we can go back in change the color of that stroke. But if you want to work with this as a shape, then we can outline the stroke. So if we just go to I'm just gonna tweak this line at the end here to get a slightly different effective. Okay, so we've got a stroke. Care if we come to object path outlines stroke. Then we get this kind of cool free form, shape and the width told, it's certainly great for creating those things. But if we want to add some other colors or shapes into their that I've found working with something like the Ellipse tool and just moving over this shape with some circles okay, then jumping in, grabbing all those circles and using this insect all give you some very cool patterns that you can then work on and re color. So if we just moved through here, will eventually find original stroke that we created, okay? And all the circles are intersecting with one another, has taken a step back there. So you often get some of these smaller shapes where you need to kind of jump in and zoom in and delete stuff, but you can see we're getting the nice outline off that shape that we created. But then, with these creditable shapes within that I'm really liking this is a method for creating shapes and pounds in Adobe Illustrator. Okay, so you can see you can get some really quick, nice, complex patterns that you can then are to an edit. The color off. I'm in a very neat way, so it's very much like a kind of abstract painting style or kind of quilting sky away your credit almost like a patchwork off different shapes in your your illustrate illustrations you can see. And that was quite a nice, complex shape or illustration from just combining and using those different tools A lot of time I'll try and use a combination of different tools to make my shapes rather than trying to draw them FREEHAND myself. It's just the way I like to work, and you can certainly end up with some nice abstract style patterns in this way. I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial on. I look forward to seeing some of the examples that you come up with, and I'll see you in the next tutorial