I'm using Illustrator CS6.
I'm working with closed paths on an illustrated character. I have a leg overlapping a body for example. The leg is essentially a 4 sided shape but I only want a stroke on 3 sides. On the 4th side I don't want a stroke on it so that the leg blends with the body. I first thought about using the shape builder tool to merge the 2 shapes to see what that would look like but they won't merge for some reason. Can't see why from the help.
Then I tried to use the width tool to drop the stroke on the 4th side down to a 0 width for the side I want ... but that didn't work either.
Can anyone tell me how I can change a closed shape so that a section of the shape has a different stroke colour (i.e. none!) from the rest of the shape? All ideas gratefully received.
Thanks for the speedy reply. Unfortunately I don't think that will do for me. Doesn't that render the shape "open" again? I'm looking to submit this character where the QA rules state that you shouldn't submit shapes or lines with fill colours if they're unclosed.
So that would rule that suggestion out wouldn't it?
At the moment it's open and looking lovely, how I want it but the "behind the scenes" won't pass muster.
One rather crude way would be to delete the inner leg segment as suggested, then select everything and Object>Expand (strokes will become filled paths).
If the leg and the body have the same stroke (weight etc), you may do it in this less crude but possibly too silly way resulting in just one single filled and closed path, with the leg path on top, and with View Smart Guides on:
1) Select the body path, switch to the Scissors Tool, click the two spots where the leg path crosses the body path in anticlockwise order (Smart Guides say intersect), and delete the now selected hidden bit in between;
2) Direct select the end segment of the leg and delete it;
3) Still with the Direct Selection Tool, deselect and drag over one set of corresponding leg/body path end points (avoiding other Anchor Points) and Ctrl/Cmd+J to join; if you have trouble avoiding other Anchor Points in, you may (after deselecting):
4) Select the now joined single path and Ctrl/Cmd+J to close it (or repeat 3) for the other set).
This should give you a single closed path that follows the body shape until it reaches the leg shape, then follows the leg shape inwards to the inner end, then bends over itself and follows the leg shape to the outer end, and further round.
Of course the QA rules may rule that out, too.
Or what Steve said.
Or another way.
You can use a gradient on a stroke.It does not have to be a blend between colours, you can use the same colour for the stops. Just add a transparent marker where you want the colour to disappear.
I'm looking to submit this character where the QA rules state that you shouldn't submit shapes or lines with fill colours if they're unclosed.
Have you already questioned that rule? Have you talked to your business partner in order to get the background of the rules?
You could group the closed paths, remove the stroke (or stroke and fill)at the path level. In the Appearance panel add a stroke (or stroke and fill, as I have done here) at the group level, with the stroke below the fill. Only half the stroke width is visible, so you'd have to double the stroke weight. Or you could add the stroke (or stroke and fill) at the layer level, in which case all paths on the layer would have it/them.
I'm curious about why the Shape Builder isn't working for you. Are you selecting all the paths first, and click-dragging through all the involved shapes?
Edit: Sorry Kurt – obviously not in response to you.
I kept trying to come to that conclusion myself, but can't find the evidence to support it, hence my suggestion. Nonetheless, without more information there's no explanation for why the Shape Builder (or the Pathfinder panel) can't do the job of creating a single closed path.
Thanks for the tips to date. I'm going to mull some over, some I've already tried. Note to self - it would have been helpful if I had posted a rough example to illustrate from the outset. So here's one now and a summary of where I'm at. This is a crude example showing my scenario. Jacob's right in that I want the leg on top of the body with the strokes showing.
To have a closed curve, I understand that I have to close the top of the leg off (red line here)? (I'm still quite new to illustrator but have used other packages before). I ideally want to keep the leg separate as I find that easier for using draw inside and using the feathering effect for creating shade and light. However I don't want the top line to actually appear. Since I don't know how to close but not have the top line, I have in earlier examples been clipping and joining the curves where it connects with the body as per earlier suggestions. In this case, with the "jutting out" part of the leg above the body line now essentially a line, rather than a shape. However that's disadvantageous for light and shade as I can't then use the draw inside so accurately for shading on the leg if it becomes one with the body (draw inside compensates a little for my hamfistedness with the tablet!).
I may be banging up against a limitation in illustrator but rather than flounder in my ignorance, I decided it was better to find out once and for all from the collective genius and experience of the illustrator community! My developing sketching skills may alse be limiting the avenues I am trying to explore, so thanks to date for the differetn suggestions that have already expanded my perspective!
When I get home tonight I'll try the suggestions I haven't tried yet and report back.
As for shape builder - I don't know why it's not working. I'm following the same steps as when it does work for me! draw inside is the same - some times it works, sometimes it doesn't and I haven't differentiated why yet. I know draw inside needs just one shape selected but sometimes even that doesn't work. I need to interrogate my stuff more closely. it's a crazy, parrellel learning point ride with illustrator but loving every minute of it!
I'm a goal oriented learner so I've given myself the target of getting one of my cartoons accepted by one of the stock sites as a way to drive both my sketching and illustrator development.
I'm happy with how the 'toon looks but one of the sites states clearly not to submit an image with filled open curves. Their QA checks the vector file you submit. This is the last bit of the puzzle I need to conquer (as elegantly as I can). Rather than using the workarounds I have found on my own which don't really give me exactly what I want, I figured there were more experienced brains here to pick!
So in short, it's part external QA and part efficient image management for me. Does that help?
I understand that that is something you are not able to change. It is probably a rule made by someone 20 years ago that nobody wants to change, because they have forgotten the reason why they set the rule :-).
Thanks for all the helpful tips. I've learned a lot from them; both new things and helping me understand what I have been using that bit better. Here's a summary of where it's all at:
From the last one you can see I also understand now why the shape builder didn't work. Illustrator isn't exactly helpful in terms of helpful error messages (just a "no entry" sign but I managed to figure out that it was because i was trying to merge the shapes after I had used "draw inside" to add the lines with feathered strokes for the light abd shade.
So, all is excellent: I got the result I needed plus I understand aspects of illustrator much better.
Thank you all so very much for your help - next stop world domination mwa ha ha!