Transforming Only Patterns in Illustrator

使用ソフト: Illustrator CC 2018(or CS)  

Pattern settings

Prep for pattern settings

I drew a houseplant in illustrator.

Houseplant illustration
I’m going to put patterns on the pot.
Choose one of the default patterns in Illustrator.

Select the pot with the [Selection tool].
(The pot’s path is a rectangle because I created it by drawing a rectangle, then choosed [Effect] > [Warp] > [Bumpy].)
Select a pot
In this case, we will duplicate the pot and change the color to a pattern.
Separate layers for easy to do.
It’ s better to create a new layer first.
Now, let’s copy the pot.
Copy by Command+C (Windows:Ctrl+C).
Paste it to the front by Command+F (Windows:Ctrl+F).
Pasting to the front is easy to align.

Move the pasted pot to layer 2.
With that pot selected, drag the selection column on the right side of the layers panel (red square in the image below) to layer 2.
Lock layer 1 so that it cannot be moved by mistake.
Layers panel and selection column
Now you can try the patterns without worrying.
There are many default patterns.

Pattern settings

The swatch library menu is at the bottom of the swatch panel.
Swatch library menu

This time, I used diamond speckles (Color) from the “Decorative Legacy”
(CS has the same pattern in “Decorative Geometric Pattern 1”)
Select a pattern

I chose a pattern for the pot color in layer 2.
Pot with the pattern

The pot in layer 1 has not changed.
Layers Panel

There is this kind of overlap.
Overlap of the original illustration and pattern.
But it looks like a kind of messy.

Transform only patterns

Don’t change the potted plant size

Select the potted plant in Layer 2 and Double-click the Scale tool.
Scale tool

The Scaling dialog will appear. Check the option “Transform Pattern Only”.
Check the preview and adjust the size as you like.
Transform Pattern Only

Patterns can be transformed by different way not only scaling

Rotate in the same way. The direction of the pattern will change.
Rotate pattern only

Move patterns. The pattern I used in this case has colors, so move around and try to figure out where to put the red that stands out.
Move pattern only

Change the pattern’s Blending mode

Changing the Blending mode on the Transparency panel makes it easier to change the color of the pattern. Apply the Blending Mode “Exclusion”. The impression is different.

Pattern with the blending mode changed

Apply the blending mode “Screen”.
Pattern with the blending mode changed


How was it?
There are so many patterns even if it’s just the defaults.
Depending on the combination of transformations and blending mode, you may be able to create nice patterns.
Even if you’re not good at drawing, you can use the patterns to make great illustrations.

Applied Illustration

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