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Illustrator CS4 Brushes and Brush Library


Eventually you will want to create a custom brush library to hold a special group of IllustratorR brushes or to hold your own custom made brushes. For myself, I had a project that required me to create a group of custom brushes. I decided to make a new brush library for these special brushes. Here are the steps to create a brush and save it in a new brush library.

  1. Open the artwork into Illustrator CS4.

  2. Resize the artwork to a good size for your brush. In the example, I reduced the heart from the original 5.5 inches square to 2 inches square.

  3. Decide the best type of brush for your purpose. In the example, I want the heart shape to repeat along the path. I also want the heart to keep its shape (not be distorted) if the path curves. As you can see from the descriptions below, my best choice was to make a Scatter brush because the heart will not be distorted on a curved path.

    Scatter This brush will place copies of the heart shape along the path, positioning the center of each shape on the path and rotating the heart for a curved path (instead of distorting the shape).

    Calligraphic This is usually a brush tip shape such as a dot or line. The shape will be drawn along the center of the path.

    Art The heart shape will be stretched evenly along the length of the path. If we were to use this option, our heart will be flatten into a strange looking line and stretched out lengthwise.

    Pattern The heart shape will be tiled along the path but the shape of the heart will be stretched or pinched as needed to follow a curved path. If we use this option, our heart shape will be distorted.

  4. Select the heart shape on the Artboard. From the Brushes panel menu, click New Brush. In the New Brush dialog box, click on the radio button for New Scatter Brush.

  5. In the Scatter Brush Options dialog box, give your new brush a name. We will keep the Size and Spacing to 100%. We want the hearts to be placed evenly in a row along the path and we do not want any heart shapes to be above or below the path. So we need to turn off the scatter for this brush. We will set the Scatter and Rotation to 0%. Keep the other default settings and click OK. You will see our new heart brush icon appear in the Brushes panel.

  6. When you create a new library, you place all the brushes that you wish to include in the new library in the Brushes panel. So, we first need to remove all brushes from the Brushes panel that we do not wish to include in our new Library.

  7. Once we have only the brushes that we want for our library in the Brushes panel, click Save Brush Library from the Brushes panel menu. In the Save Brushes as Library dialog box, give your new library a name.

  8. To test your new brush, draw a curved path on the Artboard with the Pen tool. With the path selected, click on the icon for your new brush in the Brushes panel to apply that brush to the path.

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Content copyright © 2014 by Diane Cipollo. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Diane Cipollo. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Diane Cipollo for details.

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