Live Paint In Illustrator | How To Use Live Paint In Illustrator – 5 Pro Tips

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How To Use Live Paint In Illustrator - 5 Pro Tips

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Some users love illustrators, live paint feature while others absolutely hate it. It is brilliant when it works, but there are so many ways you can break it in this video. I will give you five tried and tested techniques that will help you to make the most of life paint and avoid tearing your hair out looking for ways to fix it. [MUSIC] For almost everything that you do in illustrator, it is important to plan first before you jump into designing things. So in case of live paint groups, it’s best to decide whether you will work with a single live paint group or multiple. Now I recommend to use multiple instead of one wherever possible, so for instance, with the illustration on my screen, I would create a separate live paint group for the pattern in the background and another one for the crest in the foreground. This design by the way was submitted to us by our student or pro member Steven Willis, And if you are interested to see more of his work, check out the link in description below for his behance portfolio. If you would like me to review your design work and help you with your portfolio, make sure you join the pro membership. You can also find out more about this program from another link in the description below, but coming back to life painting illustrator, as I said, planning is crucial and besides deciding how many live paint groups you are going to use. You should also know where to find the settings now. When you select the live paint tool for which the shortcut is K, it doesn’t actually give you much options, so the options bars is not going to change and you won’t see much changes in the user interface either, but if you double click on the tool you can get to the live paint bucket options. Which mainly changes the visibility options for this feature. So for example, you can change the highlight color here and also the width of the highlighted details. So let me show you this on another artboard here. We have some lines. I’m going to select all of them together. Press K on the keyboard and select the color. And when I hover over these details, you can see this part here can be filled in with the color and that red rectangle. The highlight is the feature that you can adjust so for example. If you’re working with something predominantly red, it’s probably wise to change the highlight color for the live paint bucket tool now notice that there are some gaps between these lines and still the tool will be able to fill in that detail. So if I click on it now it’s filled in, and if I click away, you can see that even though there are gaps, the tool was still able to fill it in with the selected color now. Why is it not working here on the left side? It is because there’s two large gaps there, and there’s another setting for that, which is in a different part in illustrator. So if you go into object menu under live paint, there’s. These additional options called gap options. Once you select that here, you can find a feature called gap detection. Now, first of all, you can decide to disable it, so you can completely turn it off and notice how that changes even the current live pane groups. So when I turn it back on that detail that we added will come back Another thing you can change. Here is the extent of this feature. So if I want, I can increase this to work even with larger gaps. And once I click on that and click OK now. When I hover over this section here, it’s again going to be able to fill that in. Thanks to the fact that we increased the tolerance for the gap detection feature live paint is an amazing feature, but it can also be really annoying when it doesn’t work the way you want it to so to avoid struggling with it, It’s good to understand its limitations, and in the help you can find the limitations listed, so as you can see, there’s actually quite a lot of things you won’t be able to do when you are working with live paint groups and probably one of the most crucial things that you can’t use within live paint is a clipping mask, and this is actually something that you very often would use in an artwork. And sometimes you might not even realize that you’re creating clipping masks When, for example, you are using the draw inside mode so just to demonstrate this to you. If I have a circle, for example, and I switch to this drawing mode draw inside and I start drawing. Maybe with the brush tool over this with a different color. The details that I’m drawing will only show inside that circle and the way illustrator is doing that is by creating a clipping group where this ellipse that we started with ends up being the mask. So let me show you how to eliminate clipping masks in your illustration If you wish to turn everything into a live paint group and of course, under elimination, I mean, to keep everything. Look the same, but without relying on clipping masks, but first, it might not be obvious where you can find your clipping masks. So for this, there is actually a very useful option under the slack menu. If you go into object clipping masks, this is going to highlight all the clipping masks in your artwork so here in the layer’s panel, I can see the little signs and I can immediately find all of the clipping masks. I can also press command or control Y on the keyboard, which turns into the outline view and there it’s easier once again to identify where my clipping masks are. Now let’s focus on a single one out of all of these. I’m going to zoom a little bit closer here, and this is an obvious part or detail where we needed the clipping mask because we want only a part of these wheat symbol details to show in this small section here. The rest needs to be hidden, but once again, when I switch to the outline view, we can clearly see that there is a clipping mask here, so we can still see all the hidden details. Now what I’m going to do is once. I identified where this detail is. I’m going to just duplicate this quickly. Alt click or option, Click and drag, and I’m going to put it all the way on the top of this layer or maybe even create a separate layer for it just so we can really keep track of everything that’s happening here, so you can see on Layer 2 which I’m just going to quickly rename clipping mask. We have the group inside the clipping mask. Those two details or wheat details that we talked about earlier, and then we have the clipping path itself, which is that shape. So if I turn off the clipping path, we can reveal what’s inside, and when I turn it back on, it again, Hides anything that falls outside of that path. It’s also useful to remember that every clipping mask within your layer’s panel will have an underline on it, so that’s a distinctive attribute, which can help you to quickly find them in complex illustrations. Now what I’m going to do with this group Next is to release the clipping mask. So we go to object menu under clipping mask. Choose release or you can remember the shortcut as well command option, 7 or control Alt 7 on PC. Once you do that, it will get rid of that clipping mask group. And now the path just turned into a normal single path, so the structure is still the same. We have the group underneath it, and then we have that path above it. Now what I’m going to do next is to duplicate that path. So having it selected, I will use Command C or Ctrl C and then command F for Control F, which pastes in front and exactly in the same position as the other path. So just to show it to you. It’s on top of it. That’s why we don’t see it, But from the layer’s panel, I can see there’s two of it now that I have all of this ready. I’m going to select the path below and shift click on the other detail, which is that group underneath, and then I’m going to use the Pathfinder panel, which you can always find from the window menu. There’s Pathfinder and within that I am going to use the crop feature. Now crop is one of my favorite ones out of all of the Pathfinder features because this is actually very similar to creating clipping mask without relying on a clipping mask, but this is more destructive, so it actually deletes everything that’s outside of that frame or path that we are using on top of the veet details. So when I click on it see, that’s exactly what happened. It just simply uses that path on the top as a cookie cutter and cuts everything and deletes them that’s outside of the path, so when we look at this in outline view, I can press command Y or control y now there’s no details left there, so the reason why I kept a duplicate of the original path is because when I use this feature, the path that’s used for the cropping is also going to disappear, so that’s why it’s worth saving a duplicate, and now I can just select all of this together and group them into a single group, and this is ready to be used with live pane, so if I press K on the keyboard and then select the color, I can now start clicking here and adding these details and paint over these sections as well one by one and so on and so forth. Once you turn something into a live paint group. Every time you come back to it, It automatically is going to behave accordingly to this setup, so you can continue changing the colors and details and you can also see a special way to identify a live paint group. Are these little axes or stars in the control points of the bounding box? So just to show you if I come back to the original detail here, which, as you recall was a clipping mask, so I’m just going to select that again. So that little detail there. If I were to use the live paint tool on this, I click on it. Of course it’s going to tell me that I can’t have clipping parts within a live paint group, so that’s why we had to do this round trip of eliminating the clipping mask and turning it into something more manageable for live paint, a simple yet very effective tip when working with complex live paint groups is to hide the edges and this is a feature that can hide all the anchor points and you can see already that it is very hard to see the details on the tree, for example, or even the V details. When I’m using the live paint on this whole design. So this is when I would go into the view menu and choose hide edges. This temporarily will hide all the anchor points so now it will be much easier to click on details and add the colors that I wish to work with. I actually use a custom keyboard shortcut for this as well. I use function 4 or f4 but this is something that you can customize. If you go into the edit menu keyboard shortcuts, you will just need to go into menu commands and then view and within this, you will find hide edges so here you can assign whichever key you prefer to work with. And then simply pressing that keyboard shortcut will allow you to quickly switch back and forth between seeing or hiding them. It’s good to get used to turning it back on once you are done with the live paint feature. Otherwise, you won’t be able to see your selections before we continue. I just wanted to let you know about our creative membership program for a small monthly fee. You get access to over 200 hours of Adobe Certified Online Training Courses, Master. All the tools and skills needed to become a professional graphic designer or illustrator as a pro member. You will get mentoring from me and my team access to Webinars, Student Forum and creative briefs to help you build an outstanding portfolio. Pro members can also download the project files for all of our Youtube tutorials sign up at yasmerdesignercom memberships and start your free trial today, and now let’s head back to the tutorial. It’s important to learn what it means to merge, expand and release live paint groups so first of all when you have two live paint groups next to each other, you can select both of them together and here on the top in the options bar, you can choose to merge them into a single live paint group so notice, also in the layer’s panel, and once I click on this and say continue, it’s going to create a single group. It can take sometimes long, depending on the complexity of your groups, but essentially what this is going to allow you to do is to have a single selection and paint over it. Now remember what I said in the beginning about planning and deciding how many life pain groups you need for your illustration? I actually prefer to keep most of the time my life pain groups separate, and even when you think one single group would be enough, it’s actually better and easier to work with multiple groups, so I prefer to keep them separate. And when it comes to finalizing or converting a live paint group back into its normal editable state, then you have two options. One is to expand, so you can do this from the object menu and choose, expand or click on this icon here in the options bar. They will both do the same thing, so it will keep all the colors that you assigned, but now this is not a live paint group anymore. It’s a simple, normal group, and you will be able to find all the details and objects generated within there on the contrary. If you decide to release the live pin group, this is something you can do. From the object menu, live paint release. This is going to remove all the fill colors and set all the strokes to one point black appearance. Another major limitation of the live paint feature is that it cannot be used within a pattern. So here is a pattern Swatch as an example that Celtic pattern that we’ve seen before. If I just drag the Swatch onto the artboard, I can see the tile that has been used for the pattern, But if I apply the pattern on an object like this rectangle, we will see how it repeats itself. So this is a brilliant feature, of course, creating patterns. But when you try to put the two things together the live paint and the repeat pattern option, they just don’t go well with each other. They don’t work. So what you need to do is to apply the live paint before you turn your tile into a pattern. So in this case, if I just press K on the keyboard and select the color and start clicking here, you can see it works perfectly. I’m just going to use the hide edges feature. Once again, you can see why it’s so useful and I’m just going to go through a couple of details quickly. Add this color. Maybe also use a different color on these details. We can also colorize the strokes, maybe something like that or a darker blue, and, by the way I’m using left and right arrows on the keyboard to toggle through the swatches from the panel and you can also use the up and down arrows to jump from one color group to another now without me, adding all the colors. If I have this tile selected which is still using the live paint feature, I can actually go into the object menu and choose pattern make, which is going to turn this into a pattern and I can just accept it by clicking on done, which will make it appear here in the swatche’s panel as a new Swatch. And if I just create again another rectangle and click on that you can see, it’s working perfectly, however, if I double click on the Swatch, which will open up the original tile and the definition now when I select it, it’s not going to be a live paint group anymore, so we can check in the layer’s panel is just a normal standard group and if I were to press key on the keyboard and select the color to be able to change the fill colors. It’s going to again. Warn us that it can’t work so within a pattern, you just can’t use the live paint feature, so you might be wondering what happens if you already used the live paint feature and created your pattern, but then you don’t like the colors you end up with well. In those cases, you don’t have to use the live paint bucket anymore. You can just use the recolor artwork option. Which is this little color wheel here on the top, so make sure you are editing the pattern’s source and select that tile in the middle and then click on the color wheel, which will open up the recolor artwork panel where you can either use the assign panel or go into the edit mode and then start messing around with the colors. So that’s just a very quick and easy way to refine your colors if you are not happy with them, and this is why it’s not that big of a deal not being able to use live paint within a pattern because once you used it on the tile to begin with, you will always be able to make changes here in the recolor artwork window, and that is all. I wanted to show you in this video. Hopefully these techniques will help you to be more confident using the live paint feature in illustrator. And don’t forget if you create something using the things that you’ve seen here, make sure to use hashtag. Yes, I’m a designer when sharing it on social media, so we can check it out and maybe even feature it on our own channels. Thanks a lot for watching like and share this video. If you enjoyed it, don’t forget to subscribe and hit the bell icon to get notified whenever we release new videos. Click on the link on my right and start your membership today to get access to over 200 hours of training courses and personal mentoring by me and my team of creative professionals have fun learning guys, and I will see you in the next one. [MUSIC].