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It has arrived!

A new, powerful feature in Illustrator just flew right into your inbox! Time to take a close look at the brand new Intertwine and see what we can do with it.

In this deep dive, we will take a look at where to find the tool, how it works, in which tasks it will greatly improve your workflow, and when to be careful with it.

Let's get started!

What is it?

Oooooh La La!
Can it really be that good?

»Intertwine allows you to create overlapped / intertwined shapes easily. And it keeps the shapes live and editable (that is, it’s non-destructive). Let's GOOOO!«

Object > Intertwine

Where is it?!

Right here!

The new Intertwine feature lives in the Object Menu. You won't find it in the toolbar, because it does not have it's own tool (yet?!).
To use it, select two or more objects, then go to Object > Intertwine.

You get three options here. You can Make, Release and Edit the Intertwine Effect. 

If you start using Intertwine in your workflow, you might soon get tired of clicking your way through the drop down menus. There is a faster way.

Shortcuts!

Go to Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts or hit Shift+Option+CMD+K to open your shortcut settings.

To change the shortcut for Intertwine, choose Menu Commands from the drop down and navigate to Object > Intertwine. 

You won't find the new Intertwine Feature in the toolbar. Maybe one day it will get it's own tool?!

Punch in any shortcut you like for your Commands. When you're happy with them, hit OK and they will show up next to the Command in the Object Menu.

You can add a shortcut to your Intertwine Feature. Just go to Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts or click Shift+Option+CMD+K.

Enter your new favorite Shortcut. You can use Letters, Numbers, Shift, Option and Command to create it.

Make it!

It takes two, baby!

Let's dive into it and make our first intertwine! 
You will notice, first, that you have to select more than one object to make an intertwine. You can't intertwine an object with itself. Bummer! 

So let's got ahead and select two shapes, then go to Object > Intertwine > Make! 

BOOM! … Nothing happens, except that you now have the Lasso Tool selected. Where did that come from, you might ask? 

You are in the midst of making an intertwine!. All you have to do now is draw a selection with the Lasso Tool where you want the overlap of the two selected shapes to change.

Having only two shapes selected, Illustrator automatically swaps the foreground and the background object in the selected area!

Like Magic!

Rectangle it!

You don't want to wing it with the Lasso tool? No Problem! Just hit the Shift Key and your Lasso Tool turns into a Rectangular Selection Tool. 

Now you can draw a box around the selection you want to make, and be more precise.

Applying the Intertwine Effect to two Objects turns them into an <Intertwine> Object in the Layers Panel.

Release it!

You're not happy with the selection you made or you changed your mind altogether? Just select your intertwine object, go to Object > Intertwine > Release, and you're back to where you started. 

Intertwine is a non-destructive effect, that can be released at all times to start over or have your single objects back.

We want More!

More than two objects?!

Two Objects is not enough, you say?

Go ahead and select as many objects as you like, and repeat the steps! 

Select your many objects > Go to Object > Intertwine > Make

Now the situation is a bit different. You have to really think about which shapes you want to have in the front or back. 

When selecting an area, Illustrator won't automatically swap the objects back and forth. It will now wait for your instructions. Which of the selected objects do you want in the front? 

When you hover over the selection with your cursor, you can see that various shapes will light up, ready for you to make a choice.

Hold your Lasso!

Be Careful, because every time you use your Lasso Tool to select an area, Illustrator alters the shape of the mask, as you will see later, when we expand the Intertwined Object. 

If you use your Lasso Tool too many times, you will create chaos when you expand the intertwine later. 

Each Selection with the Lasso Tool changes the shape of the mask and adds complexity when we expand the intertwine object.

Another way!

A better way to arrange your composition might be to make a selection, then hover over the object you want to move and right clik on it.

You will then get a drop down menu with four different options.

You can Bring to Front and Send to Back, which brings the object in front of all other objects and behind all other objects.

You can also Bring Forward and Send Backward which will bring your object one step to the front or back. 

Right click on the highlighted object to get the context menu and choose from 4 different options.

Before & After

You can quickly use Intertwine to create depth and 3 dimensionality in your work.

It works well for illustrations, and quickly testing ideas of shapes and designs.

You have to be more careful though, if you want to produce outlines, die cuts or simply expand your designs.

At the moment (October 2022) the tool gives you a wacky output if you want to expand the Intertwined Objects.

What Else you got?

More than two objects?!

Earlier, I told you that you can't intertwine an object with itself and that you can intertwine more than two objects, even live text and Shapes with styles.Now let's take a look at what else we can intertwine!

Shapes

Brushes

You can apply Brushes to your vector shapes and intertwine them. Illustrator will recognize the shape of the brushes and you can create some great visual effects.

You can apply Brushes to your vector shapes and intertwine them. Illustrator will recognize the shape of the brushes and you can create some great visual effects.

Lines

You can intertwine lines that have a stroke applied to them and many different styles.The fun thing is that the actual lines don't have to touch. Illustrator is smart enough to see where they touch visually. Boom!

In Outline Mode you can see that the lines don't touch. Only the styles that are applied to them touch.

3D Objects!

Here is where it get's really fun! You can select two or more 3D Objects and intertwine them to create real depth, and the illusion of space. 

If you've used the 3D Effects before, you will know what a great game changer that is.Illustrator will even recognise the dropshadow of your object and overlap it with the other object. 

You need to be careful with big and soft shadows though. If you make a selection with the Intertwine object, you can easily cut of a shadow and destroy the illusion.

The Big Picture

Quick and Easy

You can quickly use Intertwine to create depth and 3D dimensionality in your work. It works well for illustrations and quickly testing ideas of shapes and designs.

BUT...You have to be careful if you want to produce outlines, die cuts or simply expand your designs.

At the moment (October 2022), the tool gives you a wacky output if you want to expand the intertwined objects.

In Outline Mode you can see, that all objects are still whole and no masks or compound shapes were used.

Let's Expand!

Expanding an Intertwined Object, in this first release, gives us a result that might not be production ready or a file your might wanna give to a client. 

Wherever we made a selection, to change the hierarchy of the objects, Illustrator created a clipping group. The objects themselves are sometimes turned into pixel graphics, and you might not be able to scale the artwork after this step.

In Outline Mode you can see, that all objects are still whole and no masks or compound shapes were used.

In Outline Mode you can see, that all objects are still whole and no masks or compound shapes were used.

When to use it?

The new Intertwine is a great, valuable tool to quickly change hierarachy and visibility of objects to create depth and an interesting composition. You can use it to make cool graphics and illustrations in no time. You can also use it quickly test out different design ideas and present it to your clients. 

When it comes to the production workflow you have to be careful when your expanding the art, and other tools, like the Shape Builder Tool and actual masks might be a better choice when building the final files.

Play with it!

Intertwine is a great tool with lots of potential. I encourage you to test it, play with it, and then give feedback to the Adobe Team. 

LIVESTREAM

Watch my Adobe Max Stream on Wednesday Oct. 19, 15:30 CEST

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