NOVEMBER 26, 2003
Pattern Brushes in Adobe Illustrator
Assembling the final brush
So now we're ready to finalize this puppy. Go to your Brushes palette, and double-click on the brush you previously named "Preliminary Brush." This will call up the Brush Options dialog.
Here you'll see your original brush pattern up in the top left box, along with four empty boxes with a red line through them. Select the one just to the right of the original brush by clicking on the empty box. Then select your new pattern swatch from the list of available swatches.
You can, of course, repeat this process or expand the brush further by filling in patterns on the remaining empty boxes, but for now we're done with this portion of the tutorial. So just rename the brush whatever you wish to name it, and set your Colorization options, as seen below. Then click the OK button.
Here's what it now looks like in your Brushes palette.
To test out your new brush, draw a rectangle on your canvas. With the new object selected, change its stroke value to 1 point (if necessary), and then click on your brush in the Brushes palette. And voila!
Now, if you'd like to make the pattern thicker or thinner, simply adjust the stroke value in the Stroke palette up or down. When applying brushes to paths, a value of 1 point in the Strokes palette means "100 percent." A value of 2 points means "200 percent." A value of 0.25 points means "25 percent." Et cetera. You get the idea.
You can also place multiple iterations of your brush-stroked object on top of one another to create some nice, complex shapes.
Now go out and design some pattern brushes of your own! If you have any questions, drop me a line at the address below or visit me in one of my forums.
Contact the author: Dave Nagel is the producer of Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; host of several World Wide User Groups, including Synthetik Studio Artist, Adobe Photoshop, Apple DVD Studio Pro, Mac OS, Adobe InDesign, Adobe LiveMotion, Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; and executive producer of the Digital Media Net family of publications. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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