The Pattern Editor (AICS6)
Before Illustrator CS6, creating intricate seamless patterns in Illustrator was a daunting task. Most artists would have to pre-determine how every element would overlap or repeat, and then execute the elements carefully in Illustrator. Using the new CS6 pattern editor, you can now enlist the help of Illustrator to take over many of the tasks involved with figuring out how to connect elements that stick out on one side of a pattern tile and show up properly in the adjoining tiles. The pattern editor also helps create and preview offsets and allows you to shift the repeats so they’re not constrained within a strict grid.
Although it can be somewhat slow when you’re working with complex patterns, the pattern editor does provide illustrators and designers with a way to interactively experiment while they preview different ways to work with the elements of their pattern.
The pattern editor certainly makes it much easier for almost anyone to create pattern repeats from a simple collection of elements. And in the hands of pattern experts such as Sabine Reinhart and Von Glitschka, the pattern editor provides many added controls and opportunities for creating the most complex repeating patterns and designs (see Figure 6).