The Kolam, a type of traditional floor drawing from South India intrigues me a lot. I would like to share how to create one of the hexagonal patterns using Adobe Illustrator and its scripts, in just a few minutes. This is an introductory tutorial to help you understand how by using the scripts in Illustrator can make your work much easier.
1. Install Hiroyuki's script package
First of all I highly recommend Hiroyuki Sato's scripts for AI. Hiroyuki has created this package of scripts to solve day-to-day graphic problems that saved me loads of time. Take your time check it out.
In this tutorial I'll show you how to apply two of his scripts to achieve our goal.
So after you have downloaded Hiroyuki's package, placed the unzipped folder in your "/Adobe Illustrator CS*/Presets/Scripts" folder, you're ready to open Illustrator and create a new document. Under "File/Scripts" menu you'll see Hiroyuki's script folder.
2. Create a hexagonal grid.
The basic grid is three hexagons with their centers aligned. Let's create the first hexagon and call it "H1". Double the width & height of H1 we get H2. Triple them we get H3.
With H2 selected, go to Hiroyuki's scripts, choose "Divide (Length)". When a dialogue pops out, type "2". You'll see each side of this hexagon is divided into 2 sections with one anchor point.
Similarly, choose H3 and divide its sides by 3.
Group the hexagons. Our grid system is readily defined by all the anchor points on the hexagons, as shown below.
3. Duplicate an object to the selected anchor points.
Draw a little circle in the center of the grid.
With both the circle and the grid selected, go the Hiroyuki's scripts, apply "Dup At Selected Anchors".
See the circles were duplicated to the anchor points.
Then create a hexagon which will become our pattern, as 2/3 of the width& height of H1, indicated in green color here.
4. Clean up using Shape Builder.
We're almost there.
Select all the hexagons, call out my best friend Shape Builder (came with AI CS5) by "Shift+M". Holding down "Option/Alt" key, you'll see the "+" beside the cursor turning into a "-", meaning you can subtract shapes now. So go ahead and remove all the outer areas as shown above.
You can remove some extra circles, add some colors, change the line weight and so on. The main work is done by far. Hope you enjoyed.