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Separate one path from another

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Steve George
Separate one path from another
on Mar 11, 2015 at 12:48:03 am

Hello,

I am a noob to illustrator, been working with photoshop for over 10 years. I recently started to learn illustrator with the lynda.com tutorial videos which are great but this thing in particular isn't taught and i can't figure out how to do it ...

My project is a logo that i made from text, then i used the "create outlines" option to flatten the layer so i can make adjustments to parts of the text.

First i un-grouped the paths then selected an inner part of the type ..



I wish to change the colour of this inner part but not the entire "R" letter.

With this inner part selected when i hit the fill option to change the colour but it changes the whole "R" letter to that colour ?

I need the logo to remain a vector so it can be resized without loss in quality. I am guessing i need to flatten the paths somehow so i can isolate those inner parts i need to change the colour of ?

Please help



I am using illustrator cc on a pc.


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Steve Crook Jr
Re: Separate one path from another
on Mar 11, 2015 at 4:24:00 pm

What you are looking to do is simple, but the why is complicated. :)

Solution:
When you converted your text to outlines, Illustrator made a group of compound paths - you need to break up those compound paths so that you can work on their component parts.
Simple way (for PC, similar for MAC but different keys): select the compound path and SHIFT+CTRL+ALT+8
Menus: Object > Compound Path > Release

There you go, all the component paths are yours to select and work with. NOTE: For what you want to do, do not make them a compound path again - it will negate your work and make parts transparent again.

Why:
There are two methods that have historically been used to use paths to make transparent parts of other paths, ie. holes and cut-outs.
The older method (I think) was assigning a "direction" to a path, clockwise or counter-clockwise, with paths going opposite directions cutting holes in each other.
The newer method is counting. For example if you make a circle, it is path 1. Then make a smaller circle inside path 1, it is path 2. If you make them compound, path 2 will cut out a section of path 1. Simple. If you were to make a third circle smaller than the second (path 3) and combine all three into a compound path (Object > Compound Path > Make; Pathfinder : Subtract front or back; etc.) you would get something like the Target logo -> Path 1 would be filled to the edge of path 2, path 2 would be unfilled to the edge of path 3, and path 3 would again be filled. So, odd numbered sections are filled, even are not.

Hope both the practical and theoretical help!

Steve Crook, Jr.
http://www.stevecrookjr.me

I am a simple creative professional that can get my Adobe suite and a few other creative tools to do what I want. Barely. :)


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Steve George
Re: Separate one path from another
on Mar 11, 2015 at 4:43:04 pm

Thank you for a very quick reply Steve.

I followed your directions but in the Object > Compound Path menu i only have an option to click on "make", release is greyed out.

Any idea why this is happening ?


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Steve Crook Jr
Re: Separate one path from another
on Mar 11, 2015 at 7:26:23 pm

No, sorry. I found myself a font with "holes" in it, converted to outlines (CTRL+SHIFT+O, Type > Create Outlines) and the Object > Compound Path > Release was immediately available.

To cover the obvious, you have selected one or more of the objects, correct? After releasing one compound path, I deselected everything then selected everything again and could still release the others.

Try starting a new document, type the text again and going from there. Once you have the compound paths released, copy them into your original document.

Hope it works. :)

Steve Crook, Jr.
http://www.stevecrookjr.me

I am a simple creative professional that can get my Adobe suite and a few other creative tools to do what I want. Barely. :)


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Steve George
Re: Separate one path from another
on Mar 11, 2015 at 8:12:03 pm

Thanks i have it sorted now.

The font i am working on is actually very owkward in this case as it has lots of pits overlapping and inner and outer parts, probably not the best font to try and edit in ai. Either way this has solved the problem, thanks for your time steve :-)


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