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Create a Fur Trim Scatter Brush in Illustrator CS6

I recently had a problem with tiled printing in Illustrator CS6 and turned to an old friend, the lynda.com Online Training Library, for help. While searching for the solution, I stumbled upon Robin Schneider's 'Illustrator for Fashion Design: Creating Brushes' video tutorial. I particularly enjoyed the 'Creating fur trim' subchapter, and it's the subject of this post.

If you believe—as I do—that…

You don't learn anything from what you see or hear or read. That makes you aware of an idea, but you haven't learned it. It's not yours until you express it, give it away, or teach it.
— Burt Hotchkiss, author of Your Owner's Manual

…then, please, follow along.

Step One

Create a line segment 5pt in length at an angle of 0°. Select a neutral gray Stroke color (i.e, #666666) and no Fill. Set the line weight to 0.5pt and, from the Variable Width Profile dropdown box, choose Width Profile 5.

Illustrator Scatter Brush - Fur Trim: Spike

Step Two

With the line segment selected, click New Brush from the Brush Panel and select New Scatter Brush from the New Brush dialog. This will open up the Scatter Brush Options dialog. Enter the values shown below. Remember to set Rotation relative to: Path.

Illustrator Scatter Brush - Fur Trim: Scatter Brush Options - Spike

Step Three

Make 5pt by 5pt circle. Select a neutral Stroke color (i.e, #666666) and no Fill. Apply the FurSpike Brush we made in Step Two.

Note: The Scatter and Rotations were set to Random in Step Two. Apply the brush one or more times to get the affect you like.

Step One: Illustrator Scatter Brush - Fur Trim

Step Four

Choose Expand Appearance from the Object menu.

Step Two: Illustrator Scatter Brush - Fur Trim

Step Five

With the Direction Selection Tool, select one of the bounding boxes.

Step Three: Illustrator Scatter Brush - Fur Trim

Step Six

From the Select menu, choose Same » Fill & Stroke, then press Delete.

Step Four: Illustrator Scatter Brush - Fur Trim

Step Seven

From the Pathfinder Panel, choose Unite.

Step Six: Illustrator Scatter Brush - Fur Trim

Step Eight

On the Tools Panel, double‑click on Rotate to open the Rotate dialog. Type in 40° for the angle and click Copy. Apply a lighter gray Stroke color (i.e., #999999).

Step Seven: Illustrator Scatter Brush - Fur Trim

Steps Nine and Ten

Repeat Step Seven twice more, with Stroke colors of #CCCCCC and #FFFFFF.

Step Eight: Illustrator Scatter Brush - Fur Trim
Step Nine: Illustrator Scatter Brush - Fur Trim

Step Eleven

Scale the last object created to 75%.

Step Ten: Illustrator Scatter Brush - Fur Trim

Step Twelve

With the clump of 'Fur' objects selected, click New Brush from the Brush Panel and select New Scatter Brush from the New Brush dialog. This will open up the Scatter Brush Options dialog. Enter the values shown below. Again, remember to set Rotation relative to: Path. Select Hue Shift for the Colorization Method and set the Key Color to White (#FFFFFF). This will allow you to change the color of the brush once it is applied to an object (by changing the Stroke color).

Illustrator Scatter Brush - Fur Trim: Scatter Brush Options - Fur Trim

Step Thirteen

Draw a new line segment with a Stroke Weight of 1pt and a Stroke color of White (#FFFFFF). Apply the brush.

Illustrator Scatter Brush - Fur Trim: Scatter Brush Options - Fur Trim

To demonstrate the affect of the Hue Shift Colorization Method, I've changed the Stroke color to Red (#CC3300).

Illustrator Scatter Brush - Fur Trim: Scatter Brush Options - Fur Trim

Here, the Stroke Weight was changed to 0.5pt.

Illustrator Scatter Brush - Fur Trim: Scatter Brush Options - Fur Trim

Where to Go for More Information

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