Illustrator CS4 Problem
December 28, 2009 9:45 AM   Subscribe

Efficient cross-hatching (and distortion thereof) in Illustrator CS4?

I'm fairly new to Illustrator, so forgive me if this is a simple problem.

I need a cross-hatch-type grid, which I've successfully created with the line tool and judicious use of cmd+c. (I'm on a Mac, by the way, if it makes a difference.) Is there a better way?

This screenshot shows where I'm at. I need to copy that grid into the right diagram (it's a before and after) and alter the shape of it in the same way I've altered the pink part. What's going to be the best way to do that?
posted by nostrich to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Here are a couple quick ways I can think of doing this.

1. Use the duplicate command.
Draw a line. Hold down the option key and drag and new line out and into place from the original line. with the new line selected keep hitting command+d.

2. Use the rectangular grid tool.
In CS3 this is located in the same little box as the line tool. Just click and hold the line tool from the tool bar and it should fly out for you. When drawing a grid use your arrow keys to add more vertical and horizontal lines. When done just rotate the grid to your needs.(with the rotate tool, or transform command)

Whichever way you accomplish this you may want to drag your cross-hatch into the swatch pallet which will let you reuse it as a fill for other shapes.

One last tip would be to look into using a clipping mask over your completed cross-hatch, to limit the overall shape. (similar to a layer mask in photoshop)
posted by travis08 at 10:22 AM on December 28, 2009

Best answer: Suggestions for altering the shape of grid.

1. Mesh command.
Located under Objects>Envelope Distort>Make With Mesh. This is probably what you want, and while it is pretty easy, you might want to look at a couple tutorials.

2. Use the warp command.
Located under Objects>Envelope Distort>Make With Warp. This gives you some preset warps you can apply and fine tune to an object.

If you just need to change the outer shape of the cross-hatch, but don't need the inner lines to curve and flow, i would just apply a clipping mask over the grid.
posted by travis08 at 10:36 AM on December 28, 2009

One last thing, if you use the mesh or warp commands on the grid, you will need to make sure you have turned the grid into a compound path (command+8).
posted by travis08 at 10:49 AM on December 28, 2009

If you want to repeat the cross-hatch as a pattern without distortion, you could use the diamond pattern. In CS3 (guess it would be similar to CS4) go to Window/Swatch Libraries/Patterns/Basic Graphics/Basic Graphics Textures. That will open a palette with various default graphic patterns, one of which is the diamond pattern. Draw the shape you want to fill with cross-hatch and apply the diamond pattern.
posted by Gusaroo at 11:08 AM on December 28, 2009

Best answer: For a little simpler free-form warping, try the Warp tool instead of the mesh. It's right there in the toolbar, or hit shift+R.
posted by carlh at 11:44 AM on December 28, 2009

Response by poster: Great! Thanks! I ended up using the warp tool, which I discovered before coming back to this, but it sounds like there are lots of options to consider. And thanks for the grid-making tips, travis08.
posted by nostrich at 1:09 PM on December 28, 2009

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