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Setting colors in objects arranged using a pattern brush

Community Beginner ,
Jan 22, 2023 Jan 22, 2023

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[I want to attach the file so you can see directly what I'm working with, but this page keeps giving me an error message saying The attachment's suncatcher 2 - 12.5x4.5 21 hangers 4 supports.ai content type (application/postscript) does not match its file extension and has been removed." I don't know how to fix that; I've carefully checked that I am uploading the right file.]

 

The attached .ai file gets used in a woodworking CNC setup (Shaper Origin, for those who might be familiar with it) to show the system where and how to cut. The colors have meaning to the CNC, so it's nice to be able to preset them.

 

The project is a boomerang-shaped piece of wood with various holes drilled through it that a friend of mine, who is a beading enthusiast, uses to create suncatchers made of beads hung on strings that are suspended from the holes in the hanger. Each hanger gets up to 17 small holes for the beads a 4 larger holes for the support wires. When she doesn't want all 17 holes, I just don't drill all of them.

 

So that's the background. 

 

I createed the 21 small holes by using a pattern brush that arranged the dots that represent the holes along a pre-drawn arc. Unfortunately I didn't save a link to the tutorial I followed, so I don't know now exactly what I did.

 

Anyway, when I try to select dots or any one dot to set the colors, the selection lights up all the holes and the path at once. The color indicators in the toolbar become question marks. Then I try to set the colors by double-clicking the color indicators in the tool bar as I usually would; the color picker opens as usual, but whatever selection I make doesn't get set in the object.

 

So I would like to understand what's going on with selecting and the color setting process in this file. My goal is to be able to arrange objects along paths and set their colors via a repeatable workflow that I understand. As I'm sure is completely obvious, I don't yet know much at all about Illustrator, so explanations in baby-talk are entirely appropriate!

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Community Expert ,
Jan 22, 2023 Jan 22, 2023

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To share the file, you could use CCfilesharing, DropBox, Google, WeTransfer....

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 23, 2023 Jan 23, 2023

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I suppose there's a reason why the "attach file" function here doesn't work, but perhaps there are things humankind must never learn.

 

Anyway, here's the file link to my Google Drive: Here's the problematic file

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Community Expert ,
Jan 23, 2023 Jan 23, 2023

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WHen you create a brush out of several objects and then assign that brush to a path, the brush is an attribute of that object. So you actually don't select a single object on the brush, but you select the path.

You can still color the dots, but not in the way you want. They can either keep their color or they can be colored as one using several colorization methods the brush has.

Or you can use the Recolor artwork feature, which allows you to redefine several colors. But if a certain dot is blue, and you redefine blue as green, then you cannot also change the green to be on a different dot. You can only change colors.

 

So your options when you want complete freedom of colorization would be to use Object > Expand appearance. Then you can ungroup the dots and color them as you like. But you can no longer bend the path differently and expect the dots to follow along, because the path is then gone.

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Community Expert ,
Jan 23, 2023 Jan 23, 2023

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Thank you, but this is not a Brush but a Blend. To color them individually use Object > Blend > Expand. After that Object > Ungroup.

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 25, 2023 Jan 25, 2023

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Thanks to you both! This got me on the right track - sort of. By clicking on any hole, I get a selection that looks like a path. I then do Object > Blend > Expand and I see the holes all grouped together and I can set the colors on all of them (I want them to be all the same.)

 

When I then select the curved, I see "Clip Group" up in the upper right corner. I don't know what that is, but if I right-click on the curved object and choose "Isolate Selected Clipping Mask" I get just the shape without the holes, and I can then set the fill and stroke colors as I need to.

 

I'm doing this by rote and by guess. I have no idea what a blend is, or a clipping group, or a clipping mask. I don't know how to figure out that the holes are a blend and not a brush. I got myself here somehow, but where do I go to understand what "here" is?

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Community Expert ,
Jan 25, 2023 Jan 25, 2023

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The Help file from the Help menu can Help.

So does the https://helpx.adobe.com/illustrator/user-guide.html

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Adobe Employee ,
Jan 24, 2023 Jan 24, 2023

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Hello @bobbethune,

 

Thanks for reaching out. I hope the suggestions shared by Monika and Ton helped answer your queries.

Feel free to reach out if you have more questions or need assistance. We'd be happy to help.

 

Thanks,

Anubhav

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