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  • How to fill area between different paths?

  • nick harambee

    January 2, 2010 at 3:34 pm


    This is a newbie question about filling areas between a number of paths in Illustrator CS4 which form a bounded area. Here is an image I created using Illustrator:

    I would like to be able to fill the area between the lines that flow from the centre of the circle. I have a path for each line coming from the centre and a path for the outer circle. When I select two lines next to each other and try and fill them by selecting the fill colour I get this:

    i.e. Illustrator is filling between the start point and end point of each path, rather than the area bounded by the two paths and the outer circle, which is what i would like. I have tried grouping the paths and dividing the outer circle into separate paths for each section of the outer circle between the paths coming from the centre, but can’t get this to work. If i open this Illustrator file in Photoshop however i simply need to click on an area bounded by lines/paths with the paint bucket tool and they are filled which whatever colour I choose. So i am looking for a similar method in Illustrator.

    I would be grateful for any help in getting this working



  • Chris Markland

    January 3, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    Hi Nick, In illustrator you need the selected object to be a closed path for it to fill. In you case you will need each segment to be a continous path you can then change the fill colour and stroke colour. (think of it as a box start and finish at the same point)

    Hope this make sence for you.

    Cheers, Chris.

  • Stuart Gill

    January 6, 2010 at 3:19 pm


    Chris is correct but a quicker way for you colour the objects is by using the Live Paint tool. Live Paint allows you to fill areas without them having to be individually closed polygons. To release the objects from the Live Paint Group (once filled) choose ‘Expand’ from within the Control Panel at the top of the screen.

    Search for Live Paint to learn more.

  • nick harambee

    January 6, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    i have attached a simple line flash file to illustrate what is happening for me. the nib is set to start at the edge of the stage in the first frame, and follows a motion guide, the script is in the first frame, and yet the resultant movie has a gap between the edge and the start of the line drawn

    line example

  • Vincent Rosati

    January 6, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    Maybe this will work…

    Duplicate your object, and place a shape underneath.

    Select only the radial patterns and slightly oversize. View in Outline Mode (Ctrl+Y) to see what I mean.

    Select everyhing, then Pathfinder/Divide. If you didn’t oversize the radial pattern, you may not get a clean division.

    Now you have an object for each shape, that can be filled individually. Either Ungroup, or use the Direct or Group Selection tool.


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  • nick harambee

    January 6, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    thanks for the messages, and sorry for my misplaced post of earlier today which belongs in another thread.

    the easiest way i found of accomplishing the task was to select all and then create a live paint group, then i could use the live paint bucket to fill any area

  • Stuart Gill

    January 7, 2010 at 11:12 am


    Expanding the Live Paint group gives you the same result without having to mess around with ‘oversizing’ any of the objects. The linework and the individually filled objects are then all available to be worked on separately.


  • Scott Roberts

    January 30, 2010 at 6:46 am

    Leave them as strokes instead of filling them. Use the blend tool to do a smooth color blend between the two strokes. Here’s a tutorial showing use of the blend tool:

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