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Creating 'walls' quickly and precisely in Illustrator

Sep 7, 2013 7:14 PM

Tags: #stroke #cs6 #outline #offset #open_paths

Hello there.

I'm a 3D artist but recently, due the high demand, I'm learning illustrator for the sole purpose of making floor plans (the artistic colorful ones), I know Photoshop very well and use it extensively, it would certainly be enough if I wasn't going to print the plans at various dimensions, even using smart objects and vectors I don't think Photoshop is the right tool for the job.

I've downloaded illustrator and so far I'm liking it a lot, I believe it's the appropriate tool for the job. However, I couldn't find a quick way to draw the walls precisely.

The biggest problem is I couldn't find a way to 'offset' open paths quickly... when the path is open, it offsets the lines to both sides, as opposed to closed paths, the way I found myself is to use the pathfinder to divide the offsets than delete the ones I don't want, but it's a pain, it's better to just draw both sides of the walls separately instead, what is a tedious process too.

I'm looking for simple ways to either offset open paths to a specific side, or maybe make strokes that are adjacent to the paths so i can use the 'outline stroke' tool to convert them to 'solid' paths, or any other way to achieve the same result.

I know Illustrator is no CAD program but I don't think I'm asking too much from it.


Thanks in advance.

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 7, 2013 8:10 PM   in reply to Ciamps

    Easiest way is via the Width Tool.


    Simply use the Width Tool and Option/Alt click at the ends of the path and drag the width marker up to the path. This creates the stroke on one side of the path:




    Once you do this you can save the Stroke Profile:




    Then applying it is as easy as selecting the profile in the Stroke Panel or Control Bar.


    Illustrator inherently centers strokes on all open paths. There's no other way to offest a stroke that I'm aware of.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 8, 2013 6:26 AM   in reply to Ciamps

    I don't think Photoshop is the right tool for the job.

    Neither is Illustrator, frankly. Yes, you can tediously do floorplans with it. But why would you choose for that purpose a program which provides no user-defined drawing scale, no dimension tools, no callout tools, and no  proper arc tool?


    I know Illustrator is no CAD program but I don't think I'm asking too much from it.

    Corel Draw, Corel Designer, or Deneba Canvas would all be more capable for your stated purpose. All three provide the features mentioned above. Canvas has CAD-like accuracy and includes drafting-industry drawing standards. Corel Designer is almost identical to Draw in user-interface, with additional technical drawing features and robust CAD imports, including abilities to import, orient and flatten 3D models.



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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 8, 2013 2:21 PM   in reply to Ciamps

    You could move the stroke to the other side of the path. So you'd have an inside and outside stroke profile.

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