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Learn what it takes to design your own mind-bending illusion, in this installment of Designs dekeConstructed—the series that breaks down popular graphic designs and show you how to re-create them on your own. Deke starts out by drawing an "impossible" Penrose triangle and a golden ball in Adobe Illustrator. Next, he plots a path for the ball to follow around the triangle. Last, he moves to Photoshop, where he shows you how to animate the ball with a combination of layer masks and the timeline.
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In this movie, we'll mass the ball so it appears to occasionally travel behind the triangle. Now the first thing we need to do is switch to the first frame. And the easiest way to pull that off is to click on this Select First Frame button down here at the bottom of the timeline panel. And you should see the ball at this location right there. Now we need to duplicate this triangle and ball layer a few times. But before we do. You want to click on the fly out menu icon in the upper right corner of that timeline panel, and then turn off this command right there, New Layers Visible in all Frames.
That must be off or you're going to make a mess of things. Now go ahead and duplicate the triangle and ball layer. By selecting it, and then press Ctrl+Alt+J or Cmd+Opt+J on a Mac, the J being for Jump. And because you have the Alt key down as well as the Ctrl key, that's the Opt key as well as the Cmd key on a Mac, you bring up the New Layer dialog box. At which point you want to call this layer Mask 1 and then, click OK. Now move this layer to above the Trail 1 group, don't drop it inside the group, move it above the group so we have this thick line between Trail 1 and Trail 2, like so.
And next, go ahead and duplicate that layer again by pressing Ctrl+Alt+J or Cmd+Opt+J. And we'll call this guy Mask 2, click OK, and move it to between these two groups right there. Not inside, don't drop it inside. And by the way, if you see the layer just disappear like this, it just kind of goes away, that means you just dropped it in a group. So go ahead and press Ctrl+Z or Cmd+Z on the Mac to undo that and then try again. And then finally press Ctrl+Alt+J or Cmd+Opt+J on a Mac in order to bring up the New Layer dialog box and we'll call this guy Mask 3.
Click OK, and move it above the Trail 3 group, like so. And then turn off each one of these mask layers. Turn it off here, here, and here, like so. So that all three of the masks are off. And now, just to confirm that we haven't done any damage to the file so far, go ahead and click on the background layer to make it active. And then, go ahead and click on the Play button once again, down here at the bottom of the timeline panel. And you should see the ball move around, without ever passing behind the triangle.
So it should always be visible, throughout the entire duration of the animation, until it arrives at this final position right here. And now that we've managed to successfully create the three layers of triangle that we'll need to mask the ball, without harming the integrity of our animation so far. We are ready to apply those masks in the very next movie.
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