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Basically I have been using the Pen Tool to create cloud shapes similar to the image below. I feel it can be a bit time consuming. Isn't there any way I can increase my workflow of making such shapes using another approach or a plugin (not too expensive)?

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  • Sorry if this is a bad answer, but can't you save the paths and add it onto another project? Then, you can mask out the part you don't want? – Ben Boy Apr 16 '15 at 1:22
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The Shape Builder might be the best friend you never knew you had, here. It's a tool that allows you to add shapes together easily and quickly, even better than the Pathfinder does. Create a group of objects, select them, and select the Shape Builder tool (Shift+M). Drag to add shapes together and Alt-drag to exclude them.

In this cae, you could first set up a grid of horizontal lines, with lots of circle shapes repeated horizontally. Those would be the building blocks you can use to build your cloud shapes with:

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  • Thank you. I followed your instructions. I created one circle in a grid and transformed it to give me a row of circles but the ungroup has been grayed-out. How can I make each of circles individual objects? – NSologistic Apr 15 '15 at 12:39
  • I'm sorry, I don't follow that question. What I did was draw the horzontal lines, one circle and copy that over and over (Ctrl/Cmd + D) and then use the shape builder. – Vincent Apr 15 '15 at 12:42
  • I rather used the transform effect to make the other circles. All my circles (in a row) where seen as one object. I wanted to separate them but I couldn't. – NSologistic Apr 15 '15 at 12:50
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    ah! then you'll want to Object > Expand Appearance that group to actually turn them into actual objects. – Vincent Apr 15 '15 at 12:52
  • I haven't been able to get the effect you have. My shapes are quite different and I am not sure where they are (I can't find them in the objects in the layer). Here is a screenshot Grid for Shapes of what I've done – NSologistic Apr 15 '15 at 15:31
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here's the old way using path finders

  1. draw some round cap paths

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  1. add more round cap paths, to use as negative space

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  1. select all paths and go to Object->Expand->Stroke

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  1. draw some rectangles where you want to connect the green clouds

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  1. select the rectangles and the green clouds, apply Unite PathFinder

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  1. select both your new shape plus your negative space beige shapes and apply Minus Back PathFinder

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  1. done

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