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How to fill a shape with a dot grid

New Here ,
Aug 05, 2014

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I am trying to recreate the style shown at left, where an irregular vector shape (a map) is filled with a grid composed of whole dots, no partial dots.

When I create a dot pattern swatch and fill a shape, I get the appearance shown at right, where the edge of the shape truncates dots.

How is this done?Dot fills-01.jpg

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Correct answer by Monika Gause | Adobe Community Professional

See this on how not to get mad with deleting:

Vektorgarten - Pathfinder-Special

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How to fill a shape with a dot grid

New Here ,
Aug 05, 2014

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I am trying to recreate the style shown at left, where an irregular vector shape (a map) is filled with a grid composed of whole dots, no partial dots.

When I create a dot pattern swatch and fill a shape, I get the appearance shown at right, where the edge of the shape truncates dots.

How is this done?Dot fills-01.jpg

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Correct answer by Monika Gause | Adobe Community Professional

See this on how not to get mad with deleting:

Vektorgarten - Pathfinder-Special

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Aug 05, 2014 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Aug 05, 2014

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mpc,

You may create a large dot pattern extending past the factor shape and expand it so you have individual dots, then simply delete the unwanted dots; you can do that in larger numbers, and decide whether each individual dot that is both inside and outside should extend past the factor shape or be deleted.

To create and expand the dot pattern, you may start with a single dot, then use Effect>Distort&Transform>Transform with a horizontal Move and many copies, then the same vertical move with many copies, then Object>Expand Appearance.

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Aug 05, 2014 0
New Here ,
Aug 05, 2014

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Thanks Jacob, I was afraid of that - a manually intensive process. I was wondering if there was some automatic way, perhaps a script, but I guess not.

Karol: thanks for an alternate possibility. Unfortunately it doesn't give me a geometric grid that I need for this case.

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Aug 05, 2014 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 05, 2014

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See this on how not to get mad with deleting:

Vektorgarten - Pathfinder-Special

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Aug 05, 2014 1
Most Valuable Participant ,
Aug 05, 2014

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For my part you are welcome, mpc.

Presuming dots and factor shape as closed paths with the same fill colour and no stroke (if the factor shape has another fill colour, you will need to reset the dot fill colour, and if the factor shape has a stroke instead of a fill, you will need to change the dots from that stroke to the original fill), you may get most of the unwanted dots deleted easily if you:

1) Select the factor shape path and Object>Path>Offset Path, using an offset that makes the outer path fully enclose all dots that are partly inside the factor shape;

2) Lock the factor shape and bring the new offset path to the front (Ctrl/Cmd+X+F);

3) Select everything and Pathfinder>Minus Front, this should turn the offset path and all the dots (partially) within it into a Compound Path, with all the outlying dots deleted;

4) Object>Compound>Release and delete the offset path (with its funny shape);

5) Change the dots to the right fill and no stroke if needed;

6) Delete the remaining unwanted dots individually for best fit as described;

7) Unlock and Hide or delete the factor shape.

Below is a simplified imagery.

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Aug 05, 2014 0
New Here ,
Aug 06, 2014

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Well, now I have a real dilemma. Both Monika and Jacob have provided solutions and I can only mark one as correct. I'm going to mark Monika's as correct because it is a lot less labour intensive. My example is a world map and deleting individual partial dots is a lot of work on a convoluted outline. Using Monika's technique gives me a stylized map (it loses the small islands, but is pretty good for the continents) with minimal effort.

I can see there will be times when Jacob's method could be useful for manually fine tuning some shapes.

Thanks to both of you.

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Aug 06, 2014 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Aug 07, 2014

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For my part you are welcome, mpc.

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Aug 07, 2014 0
New Here ,
Feb 17, 2020

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You have done well thanks

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Feb 17, 2020 0
Explorer ,
Aug 05, 2014

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I know it sounds trivial, but using Area Type Tool works quite well. Simply type zillions of dots, inside the map shape, in a preferred font family (Arial Rounded?), adjust the font size, leading, baseline shift, and tracking for best result. I promise interesting and diversified results . After you're satisfied, create outlines.

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Aug 05, 2014 2
New Here ,
Jun 12, 2020

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I think your idea is brilliant the easiest and efficient one! 

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Jun 12, 2020 0
LEGEND ,
Aug 07, 2014

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You can do something like this by creating an object mosaic of the map. Then use Round Corners and Transform Each to modify the mosaic tiles.

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Aug 07, 2014 0
LEGEND ,
Aug 07, 2014

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1. Apply a solid fill to the path.

2. Object>Rasterize.

3. Object>Create Object Mosaic. Use Ratio. Delete Raster.

4. Ungroup.

5. Select one of the resulting white rectangles. Select>Same>Fill & Stroke.

6. Delete.

7. Select all the remaining rectangles.

8. Effect>Convert To Shape>Ellipse. Absolute.

That will give you whole circles.

JET

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Aug 07, 2014 1
Guide ,
Aug 07, 2014

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I thought Object Mosaic, but is there a way of stopping it from generating grey dots? I think the example in the original post is all black ones.

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Aug 07, 2014 0
LEGEND ,
Aug 07, 2014

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It doesn't matter if some of the squares are gray. After creating the mosaic, simply apply the desired solid fill to all the resulting tiles. Then apply the Convert To Shape effect.

JET

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Aug 07, 2014 0
New Here ,
Aug 07, 2014

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JET -

Now that's a really elegant solution! I tried it on some simple freehand shapes and it worked quickly and it seems to be the most painless technique.

I'm trying it on my world map (10" x 5") right now, but in order to get a result with reasonable detail, I need dots that are 0.1" in size, so that's 500,000 mosaic tiles even though most of them (the oceans) will get deleted.

It looks like it will take 2-3 hours or more on my 2.66 GHz Mac (i5 processor). It's chugging away right now...

(Nice to see you back in the forum. I've learned a lot from the techniques you post to other people's questions)

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Aug 07, 2014 0
New Here ,
Aug 07, 2014

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Update: I just recalculated the grid I need and it's only 34,000 tiles. That rendered quickly. After deleting the oceans, it's only 12,000 tiles.

The original one with too many tiles was going nowhere - looked like it was going to be 12 hours if Illustrator didn't crash in the process.

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Aug 07, 2014 0