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Live Paint in Adobe Illustrator CS2, Part 2

Multi-path intersections, stroking regions and additional fill options By Dave Nagel
In our last tour through Live Paint in Illustrator CS2, we took a look at a simple method for generating multiple vector objects with a single path. But Live Paint can also be used to slice and dice existing objects using additional objects or paths. So in Part 2 of our series, we'll take a look at this more complex functionality, plus methods for stroking individual Live Paint path segments and additional methods for filling regions.

Keep in mind that Live Paint was designed primarily as a tool for vectorizing and editing scanned line art (in conjunction with Live Trace), and what we're doing in Parts 1 and 2 of this tutorial series is essentially a byproduct of this functionality. What Live paint does is to take a path or group of paths and extrapolate new regions where the paths overlap. Then each region can be filled and stroked as independent objects, while still maintaining the editability of the objects and paths that make up the Live Paint group.

Nifty, eh?

"Well," you say, "you can do the same sort of thing with Pathfinder commands." True, but Live Paint is much quicker and much better suited for the creation of complex object groups from just a few objects or paths, particularly when you need to maintain the editability of the objects involved in the creation of the more complex group of objects. But there are side benefits as well, including the ability to stroke individual faces of your object with the click of your mouse.

Before we get started, if you have not done so already, you'd probably benefit by going back and reading Part 1 of this tutorial. You can access it by clicking here.

Creating Live Paint groups with multiple objects
For our first example, starting with something fairly simple, we'll create a complex ornament, like the one below.

Step 1: base objects. To create this, we'll start with four identical circles all on top of one another. To each one, we'll individually apply the Pucker & Bloat filter (Effect > Distort & Transform > Pucker & Bloat). Use varying degrees of positive and negative values to create some round and some pointed elements.

Step 2: expand. When you're done, select them all, and choose Object > Expand Appearance. This will commit the circles to their effect shapes.

Step 3: create Live paint group. Now, keeping all of the objects selected, choose Object > Live Paint > Make. This will convert all of the objects to a Live Paint group.

Step 4: filling in colors. At this point, you can begin filling the newly created regions with the colors of your choice. Choose the Live paint Bucket (K) from the Tools palette.

Then select your colors and begin filling regions by clicking with the Live Paint Bucket on those regions.

Remember, because this process is live, if you wind up with any aberrations in your group (such as miniscule regions that you hadn't intended to create), you can always change the individual paths. Using the Direct Selection tool (A), click on one of the elements of the original four objects, and then you can transform it using any of the available tools or simply adjust tangents or paths directly with the Direct Selection tool. Modigying elements of the group will allow you to eliminate unwanted regions--they simply disappear where there is no overlap--or add new ones. (In the next section, you'll see a sample movie demonstrating this.)

Step 5: committing the regions to objects. When you're done filling in the object with basic colors, you can then commit the regions of your Live paint group to new objects by choosing Object > Live Paint > Expand. Now each one of the former regions can be manipulated as individual objects with the Direct Selection tool (or you can ungroup the objects and use the regular Selection tool).

In my case, I then went ahead and moved some of the individual elements to separate them from the main body of the group.

Step 6: effects. Finally, I applied several effects to the group of objects for depth and texture. These are as follows and should appear in the Appearance palette in this order.

? The SVG Filter known as Nagel Series 3-Bevel 11. You can download this effect by clicking here.
? The SVG filter called AI_Alpha_1 (Effect > SVG Filters > AI_Alpha_1)
? InnerGlow, with the blend mode set to Soft Light, the Opacity set to 100 percent and the location set to center (Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow).
? A second Inner Glow, with the blend mode set to multiply, the color set to black and the location set to edge.
? A basic drop shadow with no modifications (Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow).

And this is the result, a complex ornament made in six quick steps.

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Related Keywords:adobe illustrator cs2, making ornaments, combining paths, live paint, livepaint


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