How To Create a Hexagonal Geometric Pattern in Adobe Illustrator


Hello
everyone this is Chris from Spoon Graphics back with another video tutorial for Adobe
Illustrator. Today we’re going to create a simple geometric
pattern using a bunch of hexagons and a nice colour scheme, finished off with some subtle
textures. I’ve done a couple of tutorials based on this
style of artwork in the past, but I’ve since been enlightened about a couple of third party
scripts that alleviate the tedious process of manually applying the colours, which is
the technique I showed in my previous videos. So before you start, you’ll want to grab the
RandomSwatchesFill script, and my free pack of concrete subtle grunge textures. Links to both are down in the description
area. To install the script, navigate to the Illustrator
directory. On a Mac that’s via the Applications folder,
or navigate to Program Files on Windows. Head to Presets and through to Scripts, then
drop the downloaded JS file in there. Quit and reboot Illustrator and you’re ready
to rock. First create a new document for your geometric
design. If you’re creating your artwork as a poster,
you might want to set up a document at a specific print size, but if you’re just having fun,
selecting pixels is handy just to be able to work in nice rounded numbers. I’m using a document size of 3000x2000px. Click and hold the Rectangle tool to access
the Polygon tool from its group. Click somewhere in the upper left region of
the document to create a shape at a specific size. Enter 100px as the radius and 6 sides to make
it a hexagon. Hold the Shift key and drag the corner handle
to rotate the shape by 90 degrees. Give the shape a black fill and clear out
its stroke, then go to Object>Path>Offset Path. Enter 10px, then give this new offset shape
a random colour fill. Go to the View menu and check that Smart Guides
are active. These will help you accurately snap and align
the shapes in the following steps. Drag a selection around both shapes to select
both the hexagon and its offset shape, then hold the ALT key and drag a copy to the side. Use the Smart Guides to snap it perfectly
to the side of the first shape. Use the shortcut for Transform Again, which
is CMD or CTRL and D to repeat this duplication step 7 times to create a series of aligned
shapes. Next we need to create a copy of the full
row. However if you try and snap them into place
as you would expect, for some reason Illustrator doesn’t acknowledge those particular points,
so it makes it difficult to align them exactly. There is a little trick we can use though! Select one of the coloured offset shapes,
then select the Scissors tool. Give the top and lower right points a snip,
then drag a selection across the entire row and try dragging a duplicate while holding
the Alt key again. This time the smart guides take notice of
those points and allow you to align the shapes based on their positions. Snap the second row into place to continue
the tessellation of the hexagon pattern. Select and delete the end shape on the second
row, then draw a selection around the two rows and make another copy, this time just
dragged vertically. The CMD+D Transform Again shortcut can now
be used to fill out the rest of the document. About 6 times should fill the available space. Select All with the CMD or CTRL and A shortcut
then use the Smart Guides to align the pattern centrally to the document. Click one of the coloured shapes, then go
to Select>Same>Fill Color. We only needed these offset shapes to align
the pattern, so they can now be deleted. Next we need a nice colour scheme for the
design. I like to quickly find something on ColourLovers,
take a screenshot of the palette and paste it into the document to work from. Activate the eyedropper tool and load a sample
of the first colour as a fill, then click the New Swatch icon from under the Swatches
panel. Repeat the process with all the other colours
in the palette, then delete the screenshot. Click the first swatch, then shift and click
the last swatch and create a custom group, just to keep them nicely organised. Select all the hexagons with the CMD+A shortcut,
then choose a number of colours from your custom palette, but save one for use as the
background. Click the first one, then shift click the
last one to highlight them all. This is where the custom script comes into
play. Previously I used the slightly tedious technique
of manually selecting a bunch of shapes and adding a coloured swatch fill, but the RandomColourFill
script does all the hard work in a split second. With the hexagon shapes and your chosen swatches
selected, head to File>Scripts>RandomColorFill. The script will automatically change the fill
colour of all the shapes based on your swatch selection. Select the rectangle tool and draw a shape
from the top left to bottom right of the artboard, using the Smart Guides to snap exactly to
the corners. Add the leftover swatch you chose as the background,
then right click and go to Arrange>Send to Back. Usually I’d switch over to Photoshop for texturing,
but there’s no reason why we can’t do it in Illustrator, so to keep this an Illustrator
only tutorial and cover some different techniques to my previous videos, let’s import the textures
directly. Select All and press CMD+G to group everything. Under the Transparency panel, click the Make
Mask button to create an Opacity Mask. Head to File>Place, then choose one of my
concrete subtle grunge textures. Now Illustrator is a primarily a vector application
so it defaults to 72ppi as its on-screen resolution. Because we’re working in pixels instead of
a physical measurement like millimetres or inches things get a bit weird with the sizing. These textures are actually 3000x2000px 300ppi,
so it’s safe to resize them back up, then export the artwork at 300ppi later. Rotate the texture by 90 degrees to fit the
proportions of the artboard, then use the Align panel to centre them up, making sure
to check the Align to Artboard setting. Since this texture is being placed inside
an opacity mask, it uses the white to black tones to erase the artwork. Reduce the opacity to around 40% to reduce
the effect. Click the thumbnail square on the left in
the Transparency panel to exit out of mask mode back into normal editig mode, then go
to File>Place and choose a different texture. Resize, rotate and align this texture, then
change the blending mode to Multiply with 30% opacity to add some dark grainy tones
to the artwork. The final result is a simple geometric pattern
that looks really cool with a nice muted colour scheme with subtle grungy texturing. The use of that handy script made the process
of making fun patterns like this much easier, but you might want to check out some of those
older videos for more ideas for pattern designs using different shapes. You’ll be able to whizz through the tutorial
much faster with this new technique! So I hope you enjoyed this latest video tutorial
for Adobe Illustrator. I’m super proud that this channel has almost
reach the big 100,000 subscriber milestone, so a thumbs up on the video and a share with
your friends would be a big help to push towards that goal. As always thank you very much for watching,
and I’ll see you in the next one!

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