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3.1 Create a Repeating Geometric Pattern

In this lesson we will create a geometric pattern from scratch and set it up so it will be repeating, with no gaps and no overlaps. This is called tessellation.

3.1 Create a Repeating Geometric Pattern

Hello everybody, I am Simona and welcome back to the course Mastering Patterns in Adobe Illustrator here on Tuts+. And this is lesson Create and Repeat into a Metric Pattern. In this lesson we will create from scratch into a metric pattern and set it up so we will be repeating and this is called tessellation. It will have no gaps and no overlaps. So let's get started. Let's open up Adobe Illustrator. At the same time you can open up the source file and use source file for your call geometric pattern. As an example I already pasted one of the objects that we'll be creating in this lesson. Here's our object that we want to have repeated seamless, next to each other without any gaps or overlaps. And this first thing you want to do is, you want to create the object itself. And I would like to show you how you can do this with really some easy, simple steps and the tools that illustrator has to offer to us. First thing, let me zoom in. As you can see here, the pattern has three shapes, the top, the left and the right one. And since we want to create a geometric pattern and we want to be as accurate as possible instead of just retracing it. Or, if you don't know how to create with your magic pattern or shape like this, I wanna show you some tools that illustrate the and can help us create this kind of shape. The first tool we want to use is called the rectangle tool here in the menu bar. When you click on it and you get the fly out menu, we want to choose the polygon tool. Now when you click once on the art board, you will get the polygon pop up menu and here I have set the radius to 60 points, and the sides to be six. This will create a hexagon for us. So now we can click OK, and then we will have a hexagon shape appearing on our art board. And now here we have a polygon and we need rotate this polygon so our top point anchor point is on top here and I already know we have to rotate by 30 degrees. So with the help of the rotation tool we can rotate this exactly thirty degrees. So we'll select the polygon, then we select the rotation tool, and now, with the alt key or the option key press, we will click once on the center point, and then in the pop-up menu, we'll set the degree to 30. And then we can untick and tick the preview. And as you can see, we are rotating now the polygon exactly by 30 degrees, making it stand on the anchor points just like this. And now we can press OK. After that we want to divide the polygon into shapes so we can create our sides here. So the first thing, we'll switch the fill to a stroke, then we select the pen tool, and then we will create a line on top of our polygon. And now we'll switch this back to the fill, and now we select the line and the polygon, and then we open up the align panel here. And then we set the Align Objects to center, horizontally and vertically. And now we want to select the line, and we want, again, to rotate it. And we want to rotate it this time by 60 degrees, and we want to create a copy of it. So again, we will choose the rotation tool after that, we'll hold the Option key or the Alt key on Windows. Click on the middle and in the rotate pop-up window, we'll not choose 30 degrees, we'll choose 60 degrees, and as you can see if you toggle off and on the preview, it will rotate the line by 60 degrees. And in order to get a copy, all we want to do is just press copy. Now we want to do the same thing again, so we can, we still have the rotation tool selected, we press the alt or option key, we click on the center point once, and in the pop up window, again we will keep 60 degrees for rotation, and press the copy. Now we have the lines that we need in order to dissect the polygon to create the shapes of the geometric object on the left here. So all we have to do is select all of the lines with the polygon or hexagon and then we are going to go to the pathfinder tool and we're going to click the divide in the pathfinder. Now we've dissected the shapes that we need. After that we want to select the direct selection tool. And then we want to select the top two shapes as you can see here. And we want to unite them via the pathfinder tool. We're going to keep the dark color for now, since we want the top to be dark, the left to be a little bit lighter and the lightest part to be on the right. Next step is to select the shapes on the left. We will unite them via the pathfinder tool. And then we'll change it to a lighter gray. And then we select the two shapes on this side, here on the right. Again, go back to the pathfinder tool, unite them, and give them a lighter gray. Now you can see we're coming very close to the shape that we want to create. Now what we have to do now is, we need to select the top with the direct selection tool, and we press the Shift key and the Alt or Option key, and we're going to create a copy until we see that the smart guide's turned on where it says intersect and then we let go. Now we have two shapes and the top shape here is in front above of the shape we have just united. Now what we want to do again is use the pathfinder tool, we select both shapes, go back to the pathfinder tool, and what we want to do is, we want to select now minus front. So if I click the minus front tool in the Shape Modes here in the Pathfinder, it will delete the top shape on top, and cut out this little piece. As you can see now, we're coming very close to the shape we want to create. Of course, if you don't want to have it intersect in the middle, and you wanna have a bigger plane up here, you can do that as well. This is really up to you. I just want to show you here how we can create with Illustrator and the tools an easy geometric shape. Of course, the same thing we want to do to the sides. So we repeat it, Shift+Alt+Option, make a copy where it says intersect and then we move it to the side where it says intersect again. Select both, and click the, again, Minus Front button. And then of course, we will repeat it one more time with the other side. Make a copy and move it into place. I made a copy too much, select both and the minus font. And now we have our geometric shape. Now with this geometric shape, what we want to create is a tile. A seamless tile where one shape is on top and to the left and to the right and repeats and then we will create a swatch out of it. And that we can apply to make our seamless geometric pattern. And let me show you how we can do this. So, all we have to do now is we select the shape here, we create a group by Cmd or Ctrl+G, and then we select it. We hold the shift key and the alt or option key and we make a copy and drag it to the top. And let me move this down here a little bit. And then we repeat it one more time. And the smart guides are helping us to place it into the proper position. Now we have to create copies on the side. So, fairly simple. We just select all the shapes, make a copy, and then replace it into place, on the side here. Next, we make a copy to the other side, just like this. And, then we'll repeat it one more time. And, then, again, we select the middle one and repeat it one more time. And as you can see we are creating our pattern. But of course this is not how we want to do it. But we need to create first a few repetitions before we can use a bounding box and select the bounding box so we can create a seamless pattern out of it. Now first we have to select a few more shapes and repeat them, so I'm selecting the bottom ones here and I'm creating one more copy on the bottom here. Now we are ready to add our bounding box to it so we can crop our pattern that we've created so we can add it to the swatch panel. So first we want to choose the stroke maybe in white and then we choose the rectangle tool. And now we're going to create a rectangle. First, we're going to eyeball it a little bit and afterwards, we are choosing the Transform tool so we can actually transform it properly. And what we want to do here, and let me zoom in so I can show you directly. We want to align the bounding box to be cut to our piece, the object here in this corner. We want it to fall on the middle. And when we go over to the other side, we want it to end, again, here, right on this line here in the middle. And on the bottom, we want to end it right here where our object has the tip on the bottom, here. So when we transform our rectangle to be snapping right at the end here. And we have the guides, the smart guides still on, so it's easy to align it directly onto it. We'll make sure that it falls directly onto half the shape that we've created just like this. And here we want to make sure that exactly that it falls right into the middle here. So now if I zoom out we have created our bonding box. Now what we're going to do is we're going to select all of the shapes and the bounding box and we're going to use the pathfinder tool to crop it and when it gets cropped and then placed into the swatches panel, we'll created a tile. And then when we apply this tile to a shape or object it will seamlessly repeat and let me show you exactly how it works. So we select them, all the shapes and the bonding box, we're going back to the Pathfinder and we're going to choose the crop tool here that we can find on the bottom row. So let's click it, and as you can see, now the shape has been cropped. And now what we're going to do, we open up the swatches panel, and we select our crop shape. And now we just drag it into our swatches panel. Now if I zoom out, and I'm going to create a large rectangle here with the rectangle tool, and I'm going to select our pattern that we've just created. It get's the default name new pattern swatch 17 in my example, yours might be new pattern swatch one, depending on if you've created patterns before. And then I'm going to fill our shape with pattern, and as you can see here, now we've filled it with our geometric shape that we've created and turn into a seamless pattern. And this is actually creating a pattern from scratch. We have not used the pattern options tool. We've just created a pattern, and I showed you where exactly it needs to be cropped so when it gets repeated it becomes seamlessly. And if I'm going to enlarge our rectangle here, you can see how it gets filled, and if I wanted to actually change the pattern here, and scale it up or down, I can just choose to scale the pattern. And if I say I want to scale it down by 50%, and toggle off and on the preview, you can see much better how it is a seamless pattern that we’ve created. And of course we can drag out the swatches, and then we can rename the swatch that we just created. All we have to do is go to the fly out, select swatch options from the drop down and then we have this pop-up saying swatch name and now we can call it geometric pattern. And then we click OK. And now we are the end of this lesson. And now let's move on to the next lesson and let me show you how we can adjust, refine, and change the color of our newly created geometric pattern.

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