Learn how to use offset path command in Adobe Illustrator CS3 Advanced
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Okay, so there is your Outline Stroke command. Here is another one, something called Offset Path and one more time I think what I will do is show you this command on a basic shape and then we'll come back to our crunch sound effect here and actually apply it to some of our squiggly lines here.
So I am just going to pane over to my right just a little bit here until I have some empty space here and go ahead and draw yourself yet another basic shape here. You can use an oval or a rectangle or whatever you'd like. Whatever fill or stroke you'd like on your object, that's fine. I am just going to take my gradient here that got applied by default; there we are.
This Offset Path command is kind of a neat command here. I am going to show you this along with the Appearance palette here. Now we'll be talking in much more detail about Appearance and Live Effects and so on later on, but what I want you to do is target your stroke. So I am going to highlight my stroke here and then I will go up to my Object menu and down to Path and then choose Offset Path and I get my Offset Path dialog box coming up here. I will turn on my Preview, so I can see what I am going to get and what that does is that offsets my entire object by the amount that I specify right here.
So I could come in here and type in 20 and press Tab to get my preview to refresh. There is a 20 point offset or maybe I want a 5 point offset. So 5 and then press Tab and I get my preview showing up there. If you like that, you can hit OK or if you don't, you can hit Cancel.
Now, I have two objects happening here one on top of another. It's kind of a fast way to duplicate objects as well. Now, here is something else. I am just going to delete one of my shapes here and come back to the original. Yo can use the Offset Path command from the Object menu, that's fine, or you can also use the Offset Path command from the Effects menu and I will explain the differences in just a second. I have my original object selected, I go up to Effect, and I will go down to Path and there is Offset Path, choose it here, same dialog box. I always like to turn on Preview here.
Now, here's the difference between using the regular command and using an effect. Remember earlier, I had you target your stroke? Well, what's happening right now because I am using a Live Effect is it's only expanding my stroke; it's not expanding the fill like it had earlier. So I could click on OK here. So that's one reason for using an effect over the straight command. Here's another reason.
Inside my Appearance palette, I can see, there is my stroke, I have this little twisty arrow here beside it and I can see they're offset path. Now, the neat thing about Live Effects if you don't know already is they're always temporary, they're always editable. So I can double-click on the Offset Path inside the Appearance palette, come back into the dialog box. Again, I always turn on preview here and I can come in and say, you know what, 10 is a little bit too far off. I will type in 5; I will hit Tab to see my preview. There it is, perfect, okay. No, it's still too far off. I will double-click on the Effect here, come back in here. Unfortunately you have to keep having to turn on your Preview here which is a little bit annoying and I will type in 2 for example and Tab, there it is, perfect.
I will do the same thing on my fill here. So this time I'll target my fill, I'll go back up to Effect. I could choose Apply Offset Path or Offset Path but just as a refresher, in case you don't see that there, head down to Path and then Offset Path. Come in here and turn on my Preview. Now you can see that it's my fill that's expanding here. You can even use negative value, so this time I went negative ten there, OK, and again, it's always editable. That's the whole idea behind Live Effects; there we go.
So hopefully that gives you the concept of working with Offset Paths here. Now let's actually go and use this inside our artwork here. So first of all, I am going to get rid of my Swatches palette, I don't need that, and I will pane back over to my Crunch Sound Effect here and what I want to do is apply an Offset Path to all of my squiggly lines here.
So I need to do a couple of things here. First of all, I like this black stroke that's happening all the way around the object here. So I don't want to lose that. What I want to achieve is I want to have another black stroke going all the way around the outside of each of these squiggly lines here. So this again require a little bit of set up here, but hopefully this will be educational.
So I am going to select this object here. I will bring my Appearance palette over here, so you can see what's going to happen here. The Appearance palette is telling me that I have a group selected, I will double-click on Contents. There, I can see that its 1 point black stroke and this red to white gradient and what I will do is from the Appearance palette menu, I am going to choose Add New Stroke, that duplicates the original stroke there and that's the stroke that I want to offset.
So with this new stroke selected here, I will go up to my Effect menu, down to Path, over Offset Path, inside my dialog box, yet again turn on your Preview. There we go, there is that additional path that I just added in the Appearance palette getting offset here in my artwork, but it's getting offset a little bit too far to my liking here. So I am going to come in here and I will try 3. There we go, that looks pretty good. So I hit OK. I can see the Offset Path effect in my Appearance palette.
So there is the first squiggly line there. I want to apply the same effect to all the others. Is there a fast way to do this? Of course. So I will select all of my other squiggly lines here. By the way, to marquee and add to a selection, I am just holding down my Shift key and dragging here. There they are and I will go to my Effect menu and then down to Apply Offset Path. But, you can see here that it's applied the offset to the entire object, not what I wanted. So I am going to Undo here, Ctrl+Z or Command+Z and don't forget in your Appearance palette, double-click on Contents and then target and then don't forget that we have to add that new stroke.
So I am going to go up to my Appearance palette menu>New Stroke, make sure it's selected there, it's targeted and then go back up to your Effect menu and down to Apply Offset Path. Perfect, now that's a sound effect. And there is how to work with Illustrator's Offset Path command.