Merging pattern tile destroys some objects

New Here ,
Jan 21, 2022 Jan 21, 2022

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Hello guys!

I am having a problem with merging my pattern tile and I run out of the ideas..

So, I drew a pattern, it has 3 layers: background, background texture and icons.

In icons layer I drew a flower consisting of a circle with a stroke and lines on top of it.

I copied the flower 3 times.

I expanded appearance and used Expand on fill and stroke.

Magdalena5CEC_0-1642759395147.png

 

Then I created a square of the size of my artboard - with fill and no stroke - for the clipping mask purpose.

I selected all objects and layers and used clipping mask - my pattern tile is "cut" as it should.

But when again I selected all the objects and all layers and used Pathfinder -> Merge to cut all unnecessary lines outside the pattern tile (which were hidden by clipping mask in a step before) strange thing happens. 

Two of the flowers merge just fine - they do not change the way they look.

But other two suddenly get thinner lines.

This is a complete mystery to me as they are a perfect copy of the flower which merges fine.

Even if I repeat copying it does not change the result..

Any ideas what the reason might be??

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Bug , Draw and design

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 21, 2022 Jan 21, 2022

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Magdalena,

 

Why expand appearance, especially why expand Stroke?

Why use Clipping Mask?

Why Pathfinder>Merge?

 

The (appearance of the) tile is determined by the pattern bounding box.

 

You can look at the Helpx entries here,

https://helpx.adobe.com/search-results.html?q=pattern+tile+illustrator&scope=%5B%22helpx%22%5D&subsc...

 

such as the second one,

https://helpx.adobe.com/illustrator/using/patterns.html

 

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New Here ,
Jan 21, 2022 Jan 21, 2022

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Hello Jacob!

 

Thank you for a quick reply! 🙂

I browsed the links you mentioned.

Let me reply to your questions first - I did not provide enough detail in my description 😉

 

Why expand appearance, especially why expand Stroke?

2 reasons:

1) Initially, I used a brush to create lines on the top of the flower. As per the advice I was given by another pattern designer it is a good practice to expand all strokes as otherwise there might be some problems with scaling down or up (it did happen to me as well).

In the link you sent it is also said:

  • To ensure smooth tiling, close paths before defining the pattern.

I assume in practice it means replace strokes with shapes (expand), right?

2) The circle of the flower I created was with fill and stroke. After merge stroke dissapeared - it doesnt happen when it is expanded.

 

Why use Clipping Mask?

I used it instead of pattern bounding box you mentioned. It just was my practice also learnt from somebody else. I am happy to change it 😉

 

Why Pathfinder>Merge?

To finalise clipping mask. Sometimes when I had just the tile with clipping mask but not merged I was not able to drag the tile to the swatches panel. Also, it was my understanding it helps to prevent any issues with printing. Merge option moves all layers into one - thats the first benefit and another, it somehow flattens the layers into one (i.e. when I move object somewhere else I would see the white hole in the background in the shape of this object). Maybe my thinking is wrong - feel free to let me know 😉

If this is some unnecessary step and tile would print fine without it - it would be fantastic news 😛

 

Thanks!! 🙂

 

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New Here ,
Jan 21, 2022 Jan 21, 2022

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PS I tried using bounding box. It doesn't work. After draging the pattern to swatches (including all objects and layers: icons, background texture, background and bounding box at the very back) it gives me the tile bigger than the bounding box size:

Magdalena5CEC_0-1642773441500.png

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 21, 2022 Jan 21, 2022

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The bounding box is not a pattern box.

The bounding box covers all the selected elements:

2022-01-21_17-10-59.png

The pattern box limits the visible part of the pattern:

2022-01-21_17-17-15.png

If you want to create the pattern box manually, it must be empty (None for Stroke and None for Fill) and the lowest in the stack. You can add the colored rectangle above it. But the modern versions of AI allow us to add a semifinished item to the Swatch panel and then adjust the pattern settings by double-clicking on the pattern in the Swatches panel.

2022-01-21_17-15-57.png

When you set the pattern box size, the pattern elements move closer and combine the protruding parts.

You can also choose the pattern type. It can be not only Grid but some other interesting versions.

2022-01-21_17-23-12.png

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 21, 2022 Jan 21, 2022

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You've made too complex work. I would suggest checking your workflow with this guide:

https://helpx.adobe.com/illustrator/using/create-edit-patterns.html

Now there are too many points where something can go wrong 🙂

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