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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 you may recall, last week, we created a Möbius strip, in Adobe Illustrator. And that's a ribbon that has just one continuous side, it never ends. Well imagine, you were to do the same thing, in three dimensions to a triangle. You'd end up with this impossible triangle. Also known as the Penrose triangle, after some guy named Penrose, I suppose. Well, you can do that. And of course I invite you to try.
But we're going to step things up a notch, and make our impossible triangle, entirely out of orthogonal cubes in Adobe Illustrator. Here. Let me show you exactly, how it works. All right, here's that mobius triangle of cubes, just so you have a chance to see it on screen. Let me show you how I made it, here inside Illustrator. The first step is to go up to the File menu and choose the New command. I started by changing the profile to basic RGB. And note that I had my units set to points. I'm going to change my width value to 720, and I'll change the height to 500 points.
Just because that works well inside the video. And now I'll click OK. In order to create that new document, and I'll press Ctrl+ or Cmd+ on the Mac, to zoom in. Now I'm going to create and orthogonal cube, just as I did back in Deke's Techniques 241, back in the year 2013. And, you do that as follows. You grab the Line Segment Tool. And then you want to click somewhere inside the artboard. We're looking for a length value of 70 points. The angle should be zero degrees, so that we're creating a horizontal line, and you want the Fill Line check box to be turned off.
Then, go ahead and click OK, in order to create that line. Now, select the Rotate tool, and you want to Alt or Option+Click on this right-hand anchor point, and I can see the word Anchor assuming that I have Smart Guides turned on, here inside the View menu. And so, I'll go ahead and Alt or Option+Click on that anchor point, in order to bring up the Rotate Dialog box. You want to set the angle to 120 degrees, turn on the Preview check box. And you should see a rotated version of the line, at which point you want to click on the Copy button, to create a copy of that line, as opposed to rotating the original.
Then press Ctrl+D or Cmd+D on the Mac, in order to duplicate the line. Now press the V key, in order to switch to the black arrow tool. And by the way, if you're working along with me, you want to make sure that the bounding box, which I so very, very hate, is turned off, because otherwise it's going to get in your way, and it's going to prevent you from being able to properly align the points. So make sure the command appears as Show Bounding Box, which means the bounding box is currently hidden, and then, go ahead and drag this line by its bottom anchor point, until it snaps into alignment with this point right here.
And then press the Alt key, or the Option key on a Mac, and drop it into place. And now click on this line right there, and drag it by its bottom anchor point until it snaps into alignment there. And now, you want to grab this line, and drag its anchor point over to this position. And press the Alt key, the Option key on a Mac, to create a duplicate. Select this line right there, and drag it by its anchor point until it snaps into alignment right there. Press the Option key or the Alt key, and then drop it into place.
And we might as well take this same line and drag it by this anchor point down to this location, press the Alt key or the Option key on a Mac to duplicate it. And then grab this line right there, and drag it by its anchor point, until it snaps into alignment at this location. Then marquee these three internal lines. The first three lines that you made. And press Ctrl+C or Cmd+C on a Mac, to copy 'em, and press Ctrl+F or Cmd+F on a Mac, in order to paste 'em in front. Now you want to click off the path outlines, and select this guy, and then Shift+click on these other three.
So that we're selecting all the lines that describe one of the faces. And I'm moving them over, just so we can better see what's happening. I'll go up to the Object menu, choose Path, and then choose Join. Or you can press Control+J, Command+J on a Mac, and that's going to fuse those four lines into a single path outline. At which point, you can then click on the Fill swatch, up here in the Control panel. And I'm going to make my swatches panel a little bigger here, and notice that I have my swatches set to the medium thumbnail view, for what that's worth.
And then I'm going to select from this group of swatches right here, I'm going to select this guy, R179 G179 B179. In order to fill that shape with this light gray. And then I'll click Off in order to hide the panel, and I'll select this path, and Shift+click on these other three. And I'll move them off to the side a little bit, and I'll press Ctrl+J, or Cmd+Jon the Mac, to fuse them all into a single path outline. And then I'll once again click on the Fill swatch, and this time I'm going to use this shade of gray.
Where the red, green, and, blue values are all set to 128. And then finally, I'll just go ahead and marquee these paths right there. And press Control+J, or Command+J in order to fuse them into a single path. And then click on the first swatch, and this time we want a dark gray. In which the RG and B values are all set to 77. Then we'll end up with these effect here. Then, you can press Ctrl+A, or Cmd+A on a Mac, to select all the shapes. And go ahead and get rid of the stroke, by clicking on the Stroke swatch, and then setting it to none.
And now you want to click off the paths to deselect them. Go ahead and drag these guys back so they snap into alignment, like so. So, I'm dragging by the anchor points, as you can see, using the black arrow tool, so that I'm moving the entire path outline at once. Now that we have our first cube, just go ahead and marquee the entire thing. And go up to the Object menu and choose the Group command, or you could just press Ctrl+G, or Cmd+G on the Mac, to group all of the those paths into a single cube. All right, I'm going to scoot it over to the left a little bit, and then with my black arrow tool selected here, at the top of the tool box.
I'll press the Enter key, or the Return key on a Mac, to bring up the Move Dialog Box. And you want to set the Horizontal value to 100, make sure Vertical is set to zero. And then, click on the Copy button to create a copy of that cube, and press Ctrl+D two times in a row, that's Cmd+D on the Mac, to create two more duplicates. So, you should have a total of four cubes, along with top of your artboard. Now we want to do the same thing but at an angle. So, press the Enter key again, or the return key on the Mac, in order to bring up the Move Dialog box.
Drop down to the distance option this time. You want it to be set to 100. And then you want to change the angle value so you're going down and to the left. And the exact angle that we're looking for is 240, by the way, and then go ahead and click the Copy button, in order to create a copy of that tube in that direction, and press Ctrl+D or Cmd + D on the Mac, twice in order to create two more duplicates. All right, now we need to duplicate this guy up into the left, by pressing the Enter key, or the Return key on the Mac, make sure your distance value is still set to 100 points, and this time you want the angle value to be a 120 degrees.
And then, click on the Copy button, in order to create a copy of that cube, and press Ctrl+D, or Cmd+D on the Mac, in order to create a duplicate. We want the cubes to appear as if they're wrapping around onto each other, so this guy need to come to the front. So go ahead and select that very first cube that you created, then right-click on it, choose Arrange, and choose Bring to Front. Or you can just press Ctrl+Shift+. Or Cmd+Shift+ on the Mac. Now that messes up this guy, and what we need to do is tear him apart. So, go ahead and select that second cube over to the right.
Then go to the Object menu and choose the Ungroup command, or you can press Ctrl+G, or Cmd+G on the Mac. And then, Shift+click on this light gray edge, over here on the right-hand edge of the cube, in order to deselect it. And right-click again, inside the artboard, choose Arrange, and choose Bring to Front. Or, again, you can press Ctrl+Shift+ or Cmd+Shift+ on the Mac. And then, I'll click off the path, in order to deselect it. Now, I want to make sure that everything is centered in the artboard. So, I'll press Ctrl+A, or Cmd+A on the Mac, to select everything.
And then I'll group all of these shapes together, just by pressing Ctrl+G, or Cmd+G on the Mac, this time around. And then you want to go up to the horizontal control panel at the top of the screen. Click on the Align option, and choose Align to Artboard. And then click Horizontal Align Center. And next click on the Vertical Align Center icon, in order to exactly center those cubes. And then you can press Ctrl+Shift+A or Cmd+Shift+A on the Mac, in order to deselect your artwork. And then finally, I'm going to go ahead and name my layer, but first I want it to be bigger, here inside the Layers panel.
Also I'll bring up the fly up menu and choose Panel Options, and I'll go ahead and select Other, and change this value to 70 pixels, and click OK. And now, I'll double-click on its existing name. And I'll enter Möbius. And by the way, if you want to get the proper accent over the O, here on a PC, you press and hold the Alt key, and then dial in on the numerical keypad, 0246. That is sequentially, so you don't press all those numbers together. You just keep that Alt key down.
And dial in 0246 on the numerical keypad, and you'll get an O with a over it. If you are looking for that symbol on the Mac, you press Option+U and then you type the letter O. And I didn't quite enter all the letters here, so now I'll enter Mobius triangle. And I'll press the Enter key, or the Return key on the Mac. And that friends is how you arrange a collection of nine orthogonal cubes, into a mobius triangle here inside Illustrator. If you're a member of the Lynda.com online training library, then I have a follow-up movie.
In which we take our artwork so far, which is pretty darn cool. And we amp it up a notch, by shading the cube, so it's that much more intense. If you're looking forward to next week's free movie, we're back in Photoshop, and I'm going to show you how to take a full color photograph, and convert, just selective elements of it to black and white, and make the other elements more saturated, and intensely colorful than ever. Deke's Techniques, each and every week. It's intense.
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