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In this movie I'll show you how you can use the control handles on a spine in order to adjust the speed of a blend. And the idea here is that this arrangement of posts doesn't quite match the way things would appear in real life. And even though these are kind of cartoon posts with stroked outlines, I do want them to more or less subscribe to the rules of perspective drawing. What we should have is this effect here so that the post aren't exactly equally spaced and the spacing actually becomes wider as we progress from right to left, that is as the post come toward us.
So I'll go ahead and switch to the illustration in progress here, and I'll click on any one of the posts to select it, and notice that the posts are sufficiently far apart that illustrator has automatically assigned a spine. And so all we need to do is add control handles to the spine and then adjust the control handles as well. So I'll go ahead and select that Convert Anchor Point tool from the Pen tool flyout menu, and then I'll drag from that left-hand point to the right in order to convert the point to a smooth point.
Now, I don't want to do this number where I end up bending the spine, because that's going to bend my blend as well. Rather, I want to go ahead and keep that control handle aligned with the path outline. So I'll press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac, to undo the addition of that handle, and I'll just go ahead and drag along the path outline instead in order to create this effect here. So in other words, we're using the control handles to adjust the speed, but not add any sort of bend or arc to the blend. The spine remains absolutely straight.
And you can see as a result of the fact that we have a long handle, we have a slow transition between objects over here on the left-hand side and a very rapid transition over on the right-hand side, where we have no control handle. Well, we need to remedy that. We need to add a control handle on the right-hand side in other words. So I'll go ahead and drag out from that right anchor point--and notice that I'm dragging to the right once again, because the direction of my path goes from left to right. So I have to maintain a constant direction when drawing for control handles as well. Now, at this point I still want to make some modifications, but I'm not going to do so using the Convert Point tool, because the Covert Point tool is only useful for establishing the control handles in the first place.
Instead I'll press the A key to switch to the White Arrow tool, and then I'll go ahead and drag this control handle farther out. And we're beginning to get an effect that I like actually. I might drag this control handle a little farther to the right, and this control handle a little farther to the left. And I'm doing my best to maintain a straight path, which is a little difficult to do when you're working with smooth points, but it is important in order to get the proper effect. And that actually looks pretty darn good. I might take this guy back just a little bit.
And this way we end up with a more organic transition between the posts, with a post over on the left-hand side--the ones that are closest to us having the most distance between them-- and the post over here on the right-hand side, that is the ones that are farthest away, having the tightest distance. And that, folks, is how you change the speed of the blend by adding control handles to an otherwise straight spine here inside Illustrator.
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