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Illustrator® CS5 Bible by Ted Alspach

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Chapter 14. Using Live Paint

IN THIS CHAPTER

  • Understanding Live Paint

  • Setting the Live Paint options

  • Using Live Paint

Illustrator does its best to prove it's indeed much smarter than you with the Live Paint feature. Instead of requiring you to create the specific shape you want to fill with color, Live Paint does this intelligently, secretly creating those shapes so you don't have to. It sounds really easy, right?

Understanding Live Paint

Bitmap image-editing and creation programs have long had a fun yet often frustrating tool that's typically called Paint Bucket. With just a click of the Paint Bucket tool, you can fill an enclosed area with a solid color. The Paint Bucket tool icon is always some variation on paint spilling out of a paint can, which seems like a very good icon for something that can be so hard to control. A single missing pixel around the perimeter of the area that you want to fill provides an escape route so that the fill spills out into areas you don't intend to paint. It's almost like trying to paint a room when a nosy cat is prowling around just waiting for a chance to cause some mischief.

When vector-based graphics applications, such as Illustrator, took on the paint bucket metaphor, things were considerably different than they had been in the bitmap world. For one thing, in a vector-based application, objects are typically treated as a unit. If you want to change the fill color of an object, you typically don't have to worry about the dreaded missing pixel paint ...

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