Combining Shapes

We’ve been working with Illustrator over the past little while and one of the most difficult, but most important concepts to pick up is combining shapes to make a clean outline that can be cut out of vinyl to make a sticker or a shirt.

Not only do you need to put something together using shapes, but you have to figure out how to combine shapes or cut pieces out so that each different coloured piece can be cut out and put together separately.

Here’s a quick and easy challenge. I want you to draw a simple picture of a snowman, kind of like this:

But… here’s the tricky part, you need to be able to go into the View menu, turn on Outline

And see something clean and simple like this:

If you have a whole mess of overlapping lines, it isn’t right and you’ll have to fix it because it wouldn’t cut out properly.

You could draw something else if you want to instead, but make sure it incorporates the same tools and ends up with the same, simple outlines for the different coloured pieces. There are no points for creativity here. It’s either right or it’s wrong!

In order to do this, I recommend learning a bit about the Pathfinder options:

Here’s a good writeup (the video is way too fast for me):–cms-25572

Official Adobe info:

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