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Adjusting your 9-slice scaling guides

From: Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced

Video: Adjusting your 9-slice scaling guides

In this exercise, I'm going to show you how to adjust the guidelines that are associated with 9-slice scaling, so that you get exactly the results you're looking for. I've saved my progress as 9-slice scaling.ai. I went ahead and undid the last step that I performed in the previous exercise. So that we're back to our original combination of the arrow and the tip bar. And it's called Arrow and tip down here at the bottom of the symbols panel and I do have 9-slice scaling turned on. I'm going to go ahead and drag this guy up a little bit so that I can scale it once again. You may recall that once I start scaling this graphic it's scaled in a very bizarre way, but I want to examine what's going on for moment.

Adjusting your 9-slice scaling guides

In this exercise, I'm going to show you how to adjust the guidelines that are associated with 9-slice scaling, so that you get exactly the results you're looking for. I've saved my progress as 9-slice scaling.ai. I went ahead and undid the last step that I performed in the previous exercise. So that we're back to our original combination of the arrow and the tip bar. And it's called Arrow and tip down here at the bottom of the symbols panel and I do have 9-slice scaling turned on. I'm going to go ahead and drag this guy up a little bit so that I can scale it once again. You may recall that once I start scaling this graphic it's scaled in a very bizarre way, but I want to examine what's going on for moment.

I'm going to pressed Ctrl+R or Command+R on the Mac to bring up my rulers. Then I'm going to drag a guideline down to right there, because that's where the break in the action is happening. Illustrator is strangely adding another point right there at that location. And that's because this area above the guideline, the guideline that I just added is not getting scaled, and the area below the guideline is getting scaled, which argues in favor by the way of making sure that you don't have any diagonal lines at the scale points.

And I'll demonstrate what I mean in more detail in just a moment, but I want you to see what happens if you end up setting that guideline at the wrong location. All right, so I'm going to press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac, a few times in order to restore the un-scaled version of the arrow. And I'm going to press Ctrl+R or Command+R to get rid of my rulers. And then I'm going to double-click on this instance, in order to enter the Symbol Edit mode. You can also by the way, I'll Cancel out of this it's an alert message for a moment. You can also click on the Edit Symbol button up here in the Control panel, that works as well.

Either way you're going to get this alert message, so you may want to at this point say Don't Show Again. You get the idea, thank you very much Illustrator. Click OK and now notice we've got the slices these are them I'm going to go ahead and zoom in on this graphic, we have a total of four guidelines. Notice that we've got 2 vertical and 2 horizontal and you might ask okay, so where is the 9 slices come in? Why isn't this called 4-slice scaling? And the reason is because these four guidelines slice the graphic into nine pieces.

So notice that we've got three pieces at top 1, 2, 3 right there. Three in the middle and three at the bottom. And what's happening is just the fifth slice out of the group is the one that get scaled everybody else stays the same size. So slices 1 through 3,4, 6, and 7 through 9 remain fixed, five scales in-between. So what we want to see happen is we want the shaft of the arrow to scale. So I'll go ahead and move these guidelines inward, so that just the shaft right there is trapped inside of the scaling slice, that will also include this horizontal portion of the tip bar and notice by the way everything inside of these two vertical guidelines is exactly horizontal.

So we're not going to have any of that weird stretching that we saw just a moment ago and it's no surprise that we saw the stretching, because this portion of the arrow was inside the stretch zone whereas this portion of the arrow was not. So that's why all of a sudden things broke apart. To avoid that once again what you want to see is you want to make sure that your guides are trapping vertical and horizontal elements. So, if I drag these two horizontal guides down to the tip bar so that they're inside of the rounded corners.

We don't want to integrate the rounded corners in that thing. So you just want to get the vertical portion and it's okay to cheat way inward, you could make a really, tiny area that ends up getting scaled if you want to, like so. And this region seems pretty good to me. It's entirely vertical in that region, so it's going to receive a vertical stretch and so you're not going to be able to see any weird transitions. All right, I'm going to zoom back down out, in affect I'm going to take my zoom ratio to 80%, because that's the way this page fits onscreen. And I'm going to press the Escape key in order to accept my changes and exit the Symbol Editing mode.

And now watch this, if I press Shift+Tab in order to hide my right side panel, so click on the graphic to select it, grab my Scale tool and drag in order to scale the graphic. Notice that if I perform a horizontal scale like this one here then I scale the shaft. If I perform a vertical scale, then I scale the tip bar and everything works out extremely well. So it's just this miraculous feature and 9-slice scaling is something you only get if you convert a graphic to a symbol. Now something else to bear in mind, what if you scale the graphic really small, so that the shaft is pretty much eliminated.

That area inside of the vertical guidelines goes away and the area inside the horizontal guidelines go way as well. Well, then you start making the graphic itself smaller and you end up compressing away everything inside of that fifth slice. So you just have to be aware that, that's going to happen, or can happen if you make the graphic small enough. If you scale the graphic larger, even if it's a proportional resizing, once you've scaled it beyond the size of the original symbol you're going to perform the stretch. You're going to scale out that fifth slice and the other slices will remain intact.

So, if you're all concerned about that you can create two variations on a symbol one with 9-slice scaling turned off and another with 9-slice scaling turned on. Here is something else that you might want to take advantage of. I'm just going to go ahead and make this guy sort of near the original size that it was in the first place. And let's say I decide to Rotate this arrow, because after all given that it's an arrow, I might need to rotate it. Well, in that case what you want to do is keep track of how much rotation you apply. For example, if I go ahead and double-click on the Rotate tool there and I say you know what I want to rotate this guy 30 degrees press the Tab key to preview what I've done.

Looks good. Click OK. That's a good angle for my arrow and now I think after the rotation, I want to go ahead and scale this arrow a little bit. Well if you just grab the Scale tool and you start scale on the way you are going to take advantage of the 9-slice behavior, but you're also going to end up slanting that graphic. And so if you don't want to perform and you're kind of slant there what you do and you may recall this feature from way back when. You press Ctrl+K or Command+K on the Mac to bring up the Preferences dialog box and then you would rotate the Constrain axis by changing the Constrain Angle value to 30 degrees and then you would click OK.

And now if all goes according to plan I'm going to Ctrl+Drag this guy down a little bit Command+Drag him into a different position on the Mac. And if I were to drag downward like so then I'm just going to scale the height of the graphic, excellent, and then if I were to drag to the right I'm just going to scale the length of the graphic. And because I'm scaling along 30 degrees I'm matching my original rotation value. So just a few things to keep in mind when you're working with 9-slice scaling. Brand-new feature here inside of Illustrator CS5.

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This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced
Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced

153 video lessons · 28094 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 38m 35s
    1. Welcome
      1m 48s
    2. Linking AI and EPS files to Illustrator
      6m 48s
    3. Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      7m 43s
    4. Remapping Mac OS shortcuts
      6m 56s
    5. Installing the Best Workflow color settings
      4m 54s
    6. The color settings explained
      7m 4s
    7. Preserve Numbers vs. embedded profiles
      3m 22s
  2. 1h 40m
    1. Converting pixels to vectors
      1m 2s
    2. Tracing an imported image
      6m 17s
    3. Other ways to trace
      3m 17s
    4. Raster and vector previews
      7m 2s
    5. Threshold, Min Area, and Max Colors
      5m 27s
    6. Tracing options: The raster functions
      8m 2s
    7. Using the Ignore White option
      5m 3s
    8. Tracing options: The vector functions
      6m 40s
    9. Expanding traced artwork
      5m 6s
    10. Sketching and drawing for Illustrator
      6m 24s
    11. Editing scanned line art
      9m 23s
    12. Adding contrast and color
      10m 32s
    13. Live Trace and resolution
      9m 8s
    14. Expanding and separating paths
      8m 43s
    15. Scaling and editing traced art
      8m 4s
  3. 1h 8m
    1. Gradients are good
      1m 15s
    2. Assigning a gradient fill
      6m 9s
    3. Using the gradient annotator
      7m 31s
    4. Editing multiple gradients
      4m 37s
    5. Establishing symmetrical gradients
      5m 28s
    6. Creating a radial gradient
      5m 46s
    7. Adjusting the midpoint skew
      3m 23s
    8. Mixing gradients with blend modes
      6m 11s
    9. Making a transparent gradient
      6m 42s
    10. Drop shadows and dynamic effects
      5m 58s
    11. Assigning a gradient to editable text
      5m 42s
    12. Editing text that includes dynamic effects
      2m 56s
    13. Assigning a gradient to a stroke
      6m 46s
  4. 1h 37m
    1. The earliest dynamic functions
      1m 10s
    2. The gradient-intensive illustration
      5m 26s
    3. Creating a multi-color blend
      7m 39s
    4. Establishing a clipping mask
      3m 34s
    5. Reinstating the mask colors
      9m 7s
    6. Editing blended paths
      6m 50s
    7. Adjusting the number of blended steps
      6m 49s
    8. Using the Blend tool
      4m 33s
    9. Blending between levels of opacity
      7m 32s
    10. Editing the path of the blend
      6m 22s
    11. Adding a custom path of the blend
      5m 4s
    12. Placing one mask inside another
      8m 33s
    13. Blending groups and adjusting the speed
      6m 1s
    14. Rotating objects in 3D space
      10m 21s
    15. Creating custom perspective guides
      8m 31s
  5. 1h 37m
    1. What was old is new again
      39s
    2. Introducing tile patterns
      6m 11s
    3. Determining the points of intersection
      6m 51s
    4. Extending paths from the intersections
      5m 40s
    5. Crafting symmetrical subpaths
      5m 38s
    6. The final flawed subpaths
      5m 52s
    7. Reconciling misaligned paths
      5m 34s
    8. Completing the core path outline
      6m 14s
    9. Making a symmetrical modification
      6m 47s
    10. Adjusting the interior elements
      8m 26s
    11. Coloring paths and testing the interlock
      9m 29s
    12. Establishing a rectangular tile
      6m 22s
    13. Defining a tile pattern
      3m 43s
    14. Creating a few color variations
      8m 50s
    15. Protecting patterns from transformations
      6m 9s
    16. Transforming patterns without paths
      5m 30s
  6. 1h 12m
    1. Filling and stroking virtual areas
      44s
    2. Introducing Live Paint
      7m 57s
    3. Stroking with the Live Paint Bucket tool
      5m 30s
    4. Using the Live Paint Selection tool
      7m 18s
    5. Adding a path to a Live Paint group
      4m 33s
    6. Building a classic Celtic knot
      8m 28s
    7. Constructing the base objects
      5m 31s
    8. Weaving one object into another
      6m 13s
    9. Creating a path that overlaps itself
      7m 15s
    10. Painting a path that overlaps itself
      5m 34s
    11. Creating knots inside knots
      5m 2s
    12. Adding gradients and depth
      8m 22s
  7. 1h 4m
    1. Dynamic effects and OpenType
      1m 12s
    2. Applying a dynamic effect to type
      5m 43s
    3. Creating a basic bevel effect
      4m 12s
    4. Building up a multi-stroke effect
      4m 49s
    5. Best practices for 3D type
      6m 34s
    6. Applying a "path wiggler" to type
      6m 14s
    7. Drop shadows and Raster Effects settings
      4m 52s
    8. Duplicating attributes and effects
      7m 8s
    9. Editing type with dynamic effects
      7m 27s
    10. Ligatures, swashes, ordinals, and fractions
      5m 45s
    11. Small caps and the Glyphs panel
      4m 25s
    12. Warping text and increasing resolution
      6m 9s
  8. 1h 44m
    1. A world of colors at your beck and call
      1m 32s
    2. Customizing a letterform to make a logo
      8m 37s
    3. Creating a custom drop shadow effect
      6m 26s
    4. Introducing the Color Guide panel
      9m 3s
    5. Harmonies and Color Guide settings
      5m 39s
    6. Lifting harmony rules from color groups
      7m 21s
    7. Harmony layouts and the Lab color wheel
      8m 15s
    8. Working inside the Edit Color dialog box
      6m 36s
    9. Limiting a color group to spot colors
      5m 47s
    10. Recoloring selected artwork
      5m 50s
    11. Recoloring with custom color groups
      6m 1s
    12. Swapping colors with the Color Bars feature
      5m 18s
    13. Using the options in the Assign panel
      8m 41s
    14. Moving color groups between documents
      7m 17s
    15. Distilling your artwork to one spot-color ink
      7m 45s
    16. Recoloring artwork that contains gradients
      4m 17s
  9. 1h 21m
    1. How symbols work
      1m 2s
    2. The power of symbols
      5m 1s
    3. Creating new symbols
      6m 0s
    4. Enabling the new 9-slice scaling
      4m 24s
    5. Adjusting your 9-slice scaling guides
      6m 54s
    6. Previewing and acquiring symbols
      4m 12s
    7. Finding a symbol and creating an instance
      4m 13s
    8. Duplicating and replacing instances
      4m 19s
    9. Breaking a symbol link and envelope fidelity
      5m 26s
    10. Distorting and expanding a symbol
      4m 54s
    11. Updating an existing symbol definition
      3m 40s
    12. Recoloring a symbol definition
      4m 13s
    13. Applying a basic "local" color adjustment
      5m 20s
    14. Applying a more elaborate local color adjustment
      5m 4s
    15. Laying down a random symbol set
      5m 35s
    16. The eight symbolism tools
      6m 55s
    17. Editing selected instances
      4m 11s
  10. 1h 32m
    1. Illustrator needs Photoshop
      1m 1s
    2. Two ways to place a pixel-based image
      6m 6s
    3. Working with linked images
      6m 6s
    4. Linking versus embedding
      9m 38s
    5. Stroking and blending an image
      6m 16s
    6. Adding a clipping mask and page curl
      6m 51s
    7. Creating a blended border effect
      7m 10s
    8. Rasterizing your artwork in Photoshop
      8m 0s
    9. Saving a flat raster file from Photoshop
      4m 58s
    10. Restoring cropped border elements
      5m 39s
    11. Copying and pasting into Photoshop
      6m 27s
    12. Working with Photoshop Smart Objects
      5m 26s
    13. Adding a pixel-based layer effect
      4m 12s
    14. Editing a Vector Smart Object in Illustrator
      7m 20s
    15. Creating and placing a transparent image
      7m 1s
  11. 1h 15m
    1. The many forms of transparency
      1m 29s
    2. Real-world blending modes
      7m 57s
    3. Exporting transparency from Illustrator
      6m 24s
    4. Opacity and blending modes
      6m 18s
    5. The Darken and Lighten modes
      7m 17s
    6. The Contrast, Inversion, and HSL modes
      6m 12s
    7. Blending modes in action
      5m 11s
    8. Creating a knockout group
      6m 14s
    9. Confirming the viability of your artwork
      6m 8s
    10. Introducing the opacity mask
      4m 6s
    11. Making an opacity mask
      5m 25s
    12. Drawing inside an opacity mask
      3m 34s
    13. Creating a gradient opacity mask
      5m 29s
    14. Adding an opacity mask to a single object
      3m 22s
  12. 1m 13s
    1. Until next time
      1m 13s

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