I'm having problems creating pattern swatches in cs6, because I can't seem to solve the problem of the background overlapping and hiding foreground shapes. I can make patterns without a background and I think I've worked out how to prevent the problem with a simple grid, but when I make a brick tile pattern, whichever overlap options I choose, at least one of the foreground shapes gets partly obscured by the overlapping background. I'm used to making seamless patterns in previous versions of Illustrator, by using guides and grids, then defining the pattern using a background rectangle but this option doesn't seem to be available in CS6, so if I can't solve the problem, it's back to CS5 :-(
Anyone else overcome this problem?
Hi. I seem to have solved this problem, but thought I'd post screenshots anyway in case anyone else is struggling with it. Above are two screenshots of a pattern with a brick by column tile type. I've exaggerated the colours to try and show the problem. The first one shows how the pink background rectangle, if it's placed in the centre of the tile, cuts off the left edge of the black motif (shown as a grey motif in the dimmed area). If you change the overlap options, the other side gets cut off. I found that if you move the background rectangle so that it covers just one quarter of the tile, as shown in the second screenshot, with the overlap on the same edges as any overlap of the motifs, the problem is solved. Any overlap of the motifs also need to be confined to either the top edge, or the bottom edge, and the left edge or the right edge. It can't overlap both (at least I don't think so). I also made the background rectangle the same size as the tile (which is defined in the pattern options panel). I know this sounds complicated, believe me, I've wracked my brains over it for ages, but once I was able to visualize what was going on, it all gradually became clearer. I think once I've got the hang of it, it will be easier than using guides and defining the pattern. It's certainly easy to use for creating simple patterns, but the more complicated patterns take a bit of thinking about. I can't say I've had a problem with blends or symbols. What happens if you try to save a pattern with a blend or symbol?
Blends and symbols are expanded when exiting the pattern editor. To keep these items live, the pattern artwork must be converted to a symbol, then the symbol must be dragged back into the pattern editor when the pattern is re-opened. Why symbols are not maintained in a pattern is beyond me.
Another little glitch then. The pattern editor certainly isn't as useful as I imagined it would be when I first bought cs6. Using guides was fiddly, but at least the outcome was predictable. Maybe it'll evolve into something more useful with time.