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This course is a collection of short Photoshop and Illustrator projects and creative effects that can be completed in ten minutes or less. The series is taught by computer graphics guru Deke McClelland, and presented in his signature step-by-step style. The intent is to reveal how various Photoshop and Illustrator features can be combined and leveraged in real-world examples so that they can be applied to creative projects right away.
Hey gang. This is Deke McClelland. Welcome to Deke's Techniques. Now today I'm going to show you how to draw a Möbius strip, in Adobe Illustrator. And for those of you who do not know what a Möbius strip is, you start with a strip such as this, piece of paper right here. And then you want to sort of wrap it around itself in order to create a ring. But instead of creating just a standard ring that has an outside edge and an inside edge, independent of each other, you go ahead and do a half twist. With this top piece of the paper.
And then you go ahead and stick it together like so. And now, we've got a strip that never ends. Notice that this forward edge right here ends up becoming the rear edge and then it twists to become the forward edge for a moment. Then it's the rear edge. And then it's this little bit of forward edge right there. And then it becomes the rear edge and so on, so in other words if you were travelling along the strip in a tiny little car, it would never end. You'd never get to your destination because there is no destination. Anyway, we're going to create something more complicated inside of Adobe Illustrator.
We have this Möbius strip that wraps around itself a total of six mind-boggling times here. Let me show you exactly how it works. All right, let's get to drawing that Möbius strip. Now, I'm working inside of Illustrator and the first thing I need to do is create a new document. By going up to the File menu and choosing the New command or you can press Ctrl+N or Command+N on the Mac. And then, if you're working along with me and you want to get the exact same results. Then switch your profile to Basic RGB. And make sure your units are set to points.
And then go ahead and dial in a width value of 720 points. And a height value of 500 points. The only reason for this, by the way, is just so it looks good here inside the video. Now I'll go ahead and click OK in order to create that new document and I'll zoom in slightly by pressing Ctrl+ or Cmd+ on the Mac. Now, you want your Smart Guides turned on so go up to the View menu and make sure that Smart Guides has a check mark in front of it. If it doesn't. Go ahead and choose the command. My Smart Guides are already on, so I'm ready to go. Now what we need to do is create a rounded hexagon.
So bring up the Shape tool fly up menu, and then select the Polygon Tool. And then, move your cursor so it snaps into the center of the art board and you should see the word center in green. At which point, just go ahead and click. With the tool. And then, inside the Polygon dialog box, dial-in Radius value of 240 points, and we want a total of six sides. At which point, you can go ahead and click OK in order to create the polygon that you see before you now. I'll go ahead and change the Line Weight to two points and I'm also going to change the fill from white to none.
Like so. If you're working inside of Illustrator CC, you can round the corners using the white arrow tool. So go ahead and get the white arrow, and then double-click on any of these round corner markers and dial in a radius value of 50. If you want to get the same results in Illustrator CS6 or earlier, here's what you do, it's kind of weird. I'll go ahead and cancel out. Go up to the Effect menu. This works inside of Illustrator CC as well, by the way. Choose Stylize and then choose Round Corners. You want to dial in a radius value for whatever reason.
An equivalent radius value is 28.87 points. Go figure. Just happens to work. Then click OK in order to round those corners. And then you want to go up to the Object menu and choose to Expand Appearance. In order to render those round corners as smooth points. And as you can see, if I double-click now on one of these round corner markers. I have a radius of 50 points. So why 28.87 is the same as 50? I don't know but they are. All right, I'll go ahead and cancel out.
Again with the white arrow tool, you want to go ahead and marquee these two upper points right there, in order to select them. You should only have those two points selected and nothing else. Then press Ctrl+C, or Cmd+C on a Mac, in order to copy the selection. And then press Ctrl+F, or Cmd+F on a Mac, in order to paste it in front. And then you want to do it again. You want to press Ctrl+F or Cmd+F a second time, in order to paste yet another copy of this thing. And now go ahead and drag it down to this position here.
You want it to snap into alignment with an anchor point, like so. And so we should have two anchor points that are coincident. That is one is directly on top of the other. In which case, go ahead and marquee these two anchor points right here. And then drag them over to the left while pressing the Shift key until they snap into alignment as well. Now press the V key in order to switch to the black arrow tool and go ahead and click on that path that you just created to select it and then Shift+click on that top path.
So we've now selected the two partial path outlines. Both of those paths we created by pressing Ctrl+F or Cmd+F on a Mac. Now what we want to do is blend between them by going up to the Object menu, choosing Blend, and then choosing Make. Now, we have too many intermediate paths. To fix that problem, go ahead and drop down to the Blend Tool near the bottom of the toolbox and double-click on it, in order to bring up the Blend Options dialog box. Change Spacing to specify its steps. Go ahead and dial in a value of 2.
And then when you turn on the Preview check box, you'll see two steps in the center of this blunt. At which point, go ahead and click OK. And then we need to render those out by going up the Object menu and choosing the Expand command. Now you'll see this dialogue box asking you what you want to expand. The answer is everything, so just go ahead and click OK. And you'll end up with a group, as you can see over here in the far left side of the control panel. We don't want that group, so go up to the Object menu and choose the Ungroup command. Now we want to create a few rotated copies of these paths.
Now we're going to rotate them around the center of the art board, but first we need to figure out where that center point is. So go ahead and press the V key to switch back to the black arrow tool. And then click somewhere on the outline of the hexagon, down in this region, in order to select it. And then go up to the Window menu and choose the Attributes command, which will bring up this Attributes panel right here. You want to make sure that the panel is expanded. So go ahead and click on that double arrow icon so that you can see these icons right there.
One of which reads Show Center, go ahead and turn that guy on so you can see that center point. Then you can hide the Attributes panel. Now press Ctrl+R or Cmd+R on a Mac to bring up the rulers. And drag a horizontal guide down from the top ruler and a vertical guide out from the left ruler, until they snap into alignment with that center point. And then press Ctrl+R or Cmd+R in a Mac in order to hide the rulers. All right now I'm going to marquee these four paths right here, the open paths.
And I want to select them independently of the hexagon. So I'll Shift+click on the hexagon in order to deselect it. Next, go ahead and select the Rotate Tool. Line your cursor up with the center of the document, and Alt+click or Option+click in order to bring up the Rotate dialogue box. And then go ahead and change the Angle value to 120 degrees, the idea being that 360 degrees describes a circle. And we want to rotate these objects one-third of a circle. So 120 degrees, then click Copy in order to create those copies there.
And then press Control+D, or Cmd+D on the Mac. In order to duplicate the objects. All right, the next step is to merge everything together using the Live Paint feature. So, press Control+A, or Cmd+A on the Mac, in order to select all of the objects. And by the way, you don't want to select the guides and if you think you might have selected them, then go up to the View menu. Choose Guides and then choose Lock Guides in order to make them inaccessible. In my case, that command is already chosen. So what I'm going to do instead here, is click and hold on the Shapebuilder Tool and then select the Live Paint Bucket from the fly out menu.
And now you want to go to your Swatches panel and select the color that you want to use to fill the Möbius strip. I'm going to go with this shade of orange right here, which is R241G9EB36 and then I'll just go ahead and change that fill color like so. It's important, by the way that the Fill Swatch, is active. And then I'm going to switch to the Strokes swatch right there and I'm going to set it to None. And notice that doesn't affect any of the selected objects and that's because I have the Live Paint Bucket selected. Next, you want to double-click on the Live Paint Bucket Tool, in order to bring up these options right here.
And make sure that both Paint Fills and Paint Strokes are turned on. In which case, go ahead and click OK. All right, now I'm ready to begin filling some of these objects here. And bear in mind that the tip of the arrow head is the hotspot for this cursor. Click right there and then we want to click here and here and here. And all the way around, as well, until we get all of this stuff right here filled. So, I am just going to be clicking around this shape in a few different locations, in order to get these guys resolved, and this should be, it.
Next we want to get rid of some strokes. So go ahead and hover your cursor over this point right there, and you should see a little paint brush now, instead of the paint bucket. At which point click right there in order to get rid of that stroke. You want to get rid of this stroke, and this one, and this one as well, so might as well just go ahead and do those right away. This stroke needs to go away, so does this one. So we're trying to create the impression that this portion of the ribbon overlaps this region right there. But then it goes behind this area of ribbon.
So I'll go ahead and click like so, in order to get rid of those strokes. And, I want to get rid of this stroke as well. So you can see that the ribbon is twisting all the way around here. And then it goes in back of this section, so we'll go ahead and get rid, of these strokes like so. And finally we want to get rid of this tiny bit of stroke right there. And now if I press Ctrl+Shift+A, or Cmd+Shift+A on a Mac, to deselect the art work. And I'll go ahead and press the V key to switch back to the black arrow tool and, I'll press Ctrl+; or Cmd+; on a Mac in order to hide my guidelines.
We now have a Möbius strip that twists around itself a total of six times here inside Illustrator. All right, so isn't that awesome, but it gets even more interesting, if you want to play with Möbius strips in the real world. So here's my Möbius strip that I created in advance. Imagine you decide to cut this in half, right down its length. So I'm going to start things off here by creating a little bit of a cut and then I will cut it around. Of course, this, if this was a reg, standard ring of paper, right? And I cut it in half, then it would become two independent rings of paper, whereas if I take this Möbius strip and cut it in half, once again.
Lengthwise as I'm doing here, and I'm having to go through the seam which is a little tough. Instead of the two halves falling apart, I end up with a still longer Möbius strip. Which is really amazing. And, if I were take that Möbius strip that I just cut and I were to cut it in half. And I have it right here already cut almost all the way in half. Except for this little bit, right, there. So you can see it's one big long Möbius strip, that's cut in half, then I end up, with two, independent Möbius strips.
They're not really independent because they're, they're interlocking, but isn't that wild? Well, that's the kind of stuff you'll learn here at Deke's Techniques, and I'll tell you what. If you're a member of the lynda.com online training library, I have a follow-up movie in which I show you how to add shading and these blue edges to the Möbius strip. And if you're waiting for next week's free movie, I'm going to show you how to create an impossible Penrose Triangle, in Adobe Illustrator. Deke's Techniques, each and every week. Keep watching.
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