New in Illustrator CS2 is Live Paint, a unique but more natural way of painting. By taking the focus away from objects and stacking order and concentrating on coloring within the lines, Live Paint seeks to bridge the gap between vector drawing and raster painting. For this reason, Live Paint is especially freeing when used in conjunction with the Pencil tool.

Creating and Using Live Paint Groups

Create a Live Paint group by drawing shapes or open or closed paths with any of the drawing, shape, or line tools. Select all paths and objects, and choose Object, Live Paint, Make. Then all the paths and objects in the Live Paint group are treated like equal areas for coloringstacking order is negated. When paths and objects overlap, their overlapping areas are treated as areas equal with non-overlapping areaseven if not all the parts of paths and objects are visible (see Figure 18.24).

Figure 18.24. In this 1-minute drawing of the chapter author, the original paths (left) overlap in various places. When converted to a Live Paint group, each overlapping and non-overlapping area created by the paths is separately filled to create the final Live Paint drawing (right).

In a Live Paint group are faces (fillable areas) and edges (strokable areas dividing faces). Fill faces with the Live Paint Bucket by choosing a color, gradient, or pattern from the Swatches palette, mixing a new color on the Color palette, or creating a gradient on the Gradient palette. As the Live Paint Bucket cursor moves over a Live Paint group, each face in the group highlights individually in red; clicking floods the highlighted face with the fill. Drag the Live Paint Bucket across multiple faces to fill them all. Hold the Shift key to change the Live Paint Bucket into stroke painting mode and fill strokes with the active stroke color.

Try this:


Create a drawing with several overlapping (open or closed) paths and shapes.


Select all paths and shapes with the Selection tool.


Choose Object, Live Paint, Make.


Select the Live Paint Bucket and begin filling in areas of the Live Paint group.

Use the Live Paint Selection tool to select faces and edges for coloring. Selecting a face brings the fill swatch to the front on the Tools palette; selecting an edge brings the stroke swatch to the front. Shift-click to select multiple faces or edges. Double-click the Live Paint Selection tool on a face or edge to select it and all faces and edges connected to it. Triple-click the Live Paint Selection tool on a face or edge to select it and all other faces or edges of the same color.

Paths in Live Paint groups remain editable at all times. Adjust paths with the Direct Selection, Pen, Pencil, and Bézier path editing tools. Faces and edges dynamically adapt to match path modifications. Paths and shapes may be deleted from Live Paint groups. Any faces or edges that were previously divided but combine as a result of path or shape deletions, adopt the fill and stroke of the largest adjoining faces and/or edges.

Additionally, new paths and shapes may be added to the Live Paint group at any timefor example, to further divide a face for coloring. There are four ways to add paths or shapes to an existing Live Paint group:

  • Draw the paths and/or shapes desired, and, with the Selection tool, select the paths and shapes as well as the Live paint group. Choose Object, Live Paint, Add Paths.

  • Draw the paths and/or shapes desired, and, with the Selection tool, select the paths and shapes as well as the Live paint group. On the Control palette, choose Add Paths.

  • Double-click the Live Paint group with the Selection tool. The group is bordered by a gray frame, indicating that the group is now being edited. Draw the desired paths or shapes. To exit Live Paint group editing mode, deselect the group by double-clicking the artboard or pasteboard outside the group.

  • On the Layers palette, drag existing or new paths and shapes inside the Live Paint group sub-layer.

To convert a Live Paint group into individual objects that mirror the constituent faces and edges (to export to other applications, for example), select the Live Paint group and choose Object, Live Paint, Expand. Each face and edge becomes a separate filled object.

Double-click the Live Paint Bucket to access the Live Paint Bucket Options where the highlight color and width may be changed or disabled and where whether to paint fills (faces), strokes (edges), or both may be decided. Choosing to paint strokes with the Live Paint Bucket tool eliminates the need to first select an edge with the Live Paint Selection Tool or to Shift-click with the Live Paint Bucket.

Locating Live Paint Gaps

When objects and paths don't line up or overlap gaps can occur. Live Paint stops filling faces and edges when it encounters the edge of an object or a gap between objects. This can result in unpainted areas of the artwork. Large gaps should be filled by editing paths or creating new paths to cover them, but smaller gaps can be handled automatically with Live Paint Gap Detection.

First, make sure Live Paint Gaps are viewable by choosing View, Show Live Paint Gaps.

Set the way Illustrator handles gaps in the Gap Options dialog available by choosing Object, Live Paint, Gap Options with the Live Paint group selected (see Figure 18.25):

  • Gap Detection: Determine whether paint "leaks" through to paint small gaps between paths.

  • Paint Stops At: Set whether paint stops at Small, Medium, or Large Gaps. The actual values of Small, Medium, or Large Gaps are shown in the Custom measurement field when you change the Paint Stops At setting.

  • Custom: Enter a custom size for gaps at which paint should stop. The Custom field displays measurements in the units specified during document creation, but it accepts any measurement unit Illustrator supportspx (pixels), in (inches), " (inches), p (pica), mm (millimeters), and cm (centimeters).

  • Gap Preview Color: Change the preview color of gaps with a predefined color. Choose a custom color by selecting Custom Color from the pop-up menu or by clicking on the color swatch.

  • Close Gaps with Paths: Close gaps detected with the previous settings by inserting new paths into the Live Paint group.

Figure 18.25. The Live Paint Gap Options dialog.

Under the Preview check box is the number of gaps detected using the active settings.

Understanding the Limitations to Live Paint

Because Live Paint groups are special objects unto themselves, some of the features and commands that work with many or all other Illustrator objects do not work with Live Paint groups.

Certain objects cannot be made into Live Paint groups, including type, placed images, and brush strokes. For these objects, though, there are ways to work around the limitation:

  • Type: Convert to outlines first (see the section on Creating Outlines in Chapter 19, "Working with Type in Illustrator").

  • Placed Images (linked or embedded): Trace the image with Live Trace first (see the section on Live Trace in Chapter 20).

  • Objects with Brushes: Expand the brushes and brushed objects into paths.

The following do not work on Live Paint faces, edges, or groups:

  • Brushes

  • Effects menu effects

  • Envelope Distort

  • Flare objects

  • Gradient meshes

  • Graphs

  • Magic Wand tool

  • Making a clipping mask from

  • Making a crop area from

  • Making an opacity mask from (makes the opacity mask from the entire group, not selected faces or edges)

  • Making auto-slices from

  • Making blends from

  • Making guides from

  • Multiple strokes and fills

  • Object, Slice, Make (applies to entire group, not selected faces or edges)

  • Pathfinder commands and effects

  • Rasterize (applies to entire group, not selected faces or edges)

  • Selecting Same (commands)

  • Stroke alignment options

  • Symbols

  • Text wrap (applies to entire group, not selected faces or edges)

  • Transparency and blending modes (applies to entire group)

Special Edition Using Adobe Creative Suite 2
Special Edition Using Adobe Creative Suite 2
ISBN: 0789733676
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2005
Pages: 426
Authors: Michael Smick

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