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Defining a cusp between two curves

From: Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials

Video: Defining a cusp between two curves

All right gang now that we've seen a corner point, which represents a corner between two straight segments, and a smooth point, which represents a continuous arc between two curving segments, let's see a cusp point, which indicates a corner between two curving segments. See a little of both, corner and smooth mixed together. So I've got my white arrow tool active here. I'm still working inside the Finished spline.ai file that I opened in the previous exercise, and to which I've added this curving line right here along the left side of the animal's head, it's right side of course, cause it's looking at us, I guess. It's got it's eyes closed or something.

Defining a cusp between two curves

All right gang now that we've seen a corner point, which represents a corner between two straight segments, and a smooth point, which represents a continuous arc between two curving segments, let's see a cusp point, which indicates a corner between two curving segments. See a little of both, corner and smooth mixed together. So I've got my white arrow tool active here. I'm still working inside the Finished spline.ai file that I opened in the previous exercise, and to which I've added this curving line right here along the left side of the animal's head, it's right side of course, cause it's looking at us, I guess. It's got it's eyes closed or something.

So I'm going to go ahead and move this point up just a little bit there, cause I want to kind of keep some floppiness to this ear, so that it looks like an natural ear to a natural animal. All right I'm going to go ahead and grab my Pen Tool now, and notice my Pen Tool cursor has a little X next to it and we learned a few exercises ago that that means that if we start clicking or dragging with the tool we're going to begin a new path and we don't want to do that. We want to add to this existing path. So I'm going to drag from the path in order to continue it. It's important if you want to retain the smooth point quality of a point because you started a smooth point, you want to keep it a smooth point, that you drag from it as opposed to just clicking on it, because that would sever away its control handle and leave it sort of a cross between a smooth point and a corner point, as it turns out. Having reactivated the path which I can see I've done because my Pen Tool now has nothing next to it, which means it's in path drawing mode, it's a happy little camper. Now I'm going to go ahead and drag down like so in order to create just a little bit of a droop on the end of the ear, and I think that looks pretty nice.

Now check this out. If I press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and position my cursor over this point and then begin dragging, notice what happens instead of drawing out symmetrical control handles so that they're locked into alignment with each other, this control handle's going at a totally different angle than this control handle. That means they're independent of each other and their point has now become a cusp point and check out what the means. If I start dragging here to draw another smooth point, we can see that we've got a curved segment joining another curved segment at a corner.

We can see that we've got a curved segment joining another curved segment at a corner. So that is the cusp point my friends. And bear in mind it's a good idea, or at least it's one approach to go ahead and create your cusp point originally as a smooth point like so, because we're going to want to cusp at this location as well, and then after you draw the smooth point, then Alt-drag or Option-drag from that same point once again in order to convert the smooth point to a cusp point. Now, that's one way to work. Another way to work as you're dragging like so, and I'm going to go ahead and move that point down a little bit by pressing the Spacebar as I'm dragging, remember that little trick, where you can move a point on the fly, as you're creating it by pressing and holding the Spacebar.

Now I've released the Spacebar and I'm back to just dragging the control handles around. If you want to create a cusp point on the fly, then midway into your drag once you've gotten the opposite control handle in place, and by opposite I mean the top one that's wiggling around ever so slightly right there. Once you've got that control handle in place, go ahead and press and hold the Alt key or the Option key as you're dragging in order to move the control handle that's under your influence here, the one under your cursor, in a different and independent direction. I'll show you that again.

You start by dragging like so, then you press and hold the Alt key or the Option key and then you move your other control handle in the opposite or not the opposite but in an independent direction. And I'm going to just keep doing that in order to draw these scales right here, and this is Bezier drawing at its best folks. This is the way that things work inside of Illustrator and it may seem a little weird and a little confusing at first, if you've never done this kind of thing before, but it is one of the things, one of the many things of course that makes Illustrator so very great. I'm going to go ahead and drag this upward a little bit. And so very powerful and so very skilled at creating exacting graphics and we'll be seeing more of this kind of thing, how we gain more and more control inside the program in future exercises. Please stay tuned.

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This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials
Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials

114 video lessons · 37037 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 59m 53s
    1. Welcome to Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials
      2m 0s
    2. The unwelcome Welcome screen
      6m 35s
    3. Browsing Illustrator artwork
      4m 53s
    4. Bridge workspaces and favorites
      6m 8s
    5. The anatomy of an illustration
      7m 2s
    6. Examining a layered illustration
      5m 38s
    7. Customizing an illustration
      5m 21s
    8. Creating a new document
      6m 12s
    9. Changing the document setup
      6m 51s
    10. Saving a document
      6m 14s
    11. Closing multiple files
      2m 59s
  2. 1h 3m
    1. Preferences, color settings, and workspaces
      55s
    2. Keyboard Increment and Object Selection
      5m 52s
    3. Scratch Disks and Appearance of Black
      6m 43s
    4. Establishing the best color settings
      5m 35s
    5. Synchronizing color settings in Bridge
      4m 3s
    6. The new CS3 interface
      3m 55s
    7. Organizing the palettes
      9m 4s
    8. Saving your workspace
      2m 33s
    9. Zooming and scrolling
      3m 39s
    10. Using the Zoom tool
      5m 27s
    11. The Navigator palette
      3m 37s
    12. Nudging the screen image
      2m 50s
    13. Scroll wheel tricks
      3m 11s
    14. Cycling between screen modes
      5m 56s
  3. 1h 4m
    1. Why learn Illustrator from a Photoshop guy?
      1m 32s
    2. Introducing layers
      4m 37s
    3. Creating ruler guides
      6m 34s
    4. Creating a custom guide
      3m 28s
    5. Organizing your guides
      5m 50s
    6. Making a tracing template
      3m 34s
    7. Drawing a line segment
      4m 10s
    8. Drawing a continuous arc
      4m 17s
    9. Drawing a looping spiral
      5m 17s
    10. Cutting lines with the Scissors tool
      6m 45s
    11. Aligning and joining points
      7m 58s
    12. Drawing concentric circles
      3m 45s
    13. Cleaning up overlapping segments
      6m 21s
  4. 1h 9m
    1. The anatomy of a shape
      1m 1s
    2. Meet the Tonalpohualli
      4m 8s
    3. Meet the geometric shape tools
      3m 47s
    4. Drawing circles
      6m 36s
    5. Snapping and aligning shapes
      7m 0s
    6. Polygons and stars
      7m 0s
    7. Rectangles and rounded rectangles
      6m 16s
    8. The amazing constraint axes
      6m 30s
    9. Grouping a flipping
      7m 37s
    10. Combining simple shapes into complex ones
      6m 36s
    11. Drawing with Scissors and Join
      6m 3s
    12. Cutting and connecting in Illustrator CS3
      3m 49s
    13. Tilde key goofiness
      2m 55s
  5. 1h 22m
    1. Three simple ingredients, one complex result
      33s
    2. Introducing Fill and Stroke
      3m 42s
    3. Accessing color libraries and sliders
      7m 8s
    4. Using the CMYK sliders for print output
      5m 6s
    5. Using the RGB sliders for screen output
      4m 39s
    6. Color palette tips and tricks
      4m 46s
    7. Creating and saving color swatches
      4m 14s
    8. Trapping gaps with rich blacks
      7m 58s
    9. Filling and stacking shapes
      5m 17s
    10. Dragging and dropping swatches
      6m 16s
    11. Paste in Back, Paste in Front
      5m 43s
    12. Filling shapes inside groups
      5m 16s
    13. Pasting between layers
      3m 34s
    14. Joins, caps, and dashes
      5m 50s
    15. Fixing strokes and isolating your edits
      7m 35s
    16. Creating a pattern fill
      4m 38s
  6. 1h 22m
    1. The power of transformations
      1m 25s
    2. From primitives to polished art
      4m 4s
    3. Clone and Duplicate
      6m 15s
    4. Moving by the numbers
      4m 16s
    5. Using the Reshape tool
      6m 30s
    6. Modifying, aligning, and uniting paths
      7m 0s
    7. Using the Offset Path command
      4m 25s
    8. Styling and eyedropping
      4m 11s
    9. The wonders of the translucent group
      5m 37s
    10. Making a black-and-white template
      3m 48s
    11. Scaling and cloning shapes
      4m 26s
    12. Enlarging and stacking shapes
      5m 6s
    13. Positioning the origin point
      6m 50s
    14. Using the Rotate and Reflect tools
      5m 16s
    15. Series rotation (aka power duplication)
      4m 3s
    16. Rotating by the numbers
      5m 15s
    17. Rotating repeating pattern fills
      4m 32s
  7. 1h 4m
    1. Points are boys, control handles are girls
      2m 16s
    2. Tracing a scanned image or photograph
      4m 34s
    3. Placing an image as a template
      5m 32s
    4. Drawing a straight-sided path
      5m 36s
    5. Moving, adding, and deleting points
      5m 51s
    6. Drawing spline curves with Round Corners
      7m 56s
    7. Smooth points and Bézier curves
      8m 12s
    8. Defining a cusp between two curves
      4m 37s
    9. Adjusting handles and converting points
      7m 4s
    10. Cutting, separating, and closing paths
      7m 31s
    11. Eyedropping template colors
      5m 11s
  8. 1h 28m
    1. Paths never rest
      1m 42s
    2. Meet Uzz, Cloying Corporate Mascot
      2m 22s
    3. Exploring the Appearance palette
      5m 37s
    4. Snip and Spin
      7m 28s
    5. Adding a center point
      3m 57s
    6. Keeping shape intersections
      3m 8s
    7. Lifting fills and selecting through shapes
      4m 14s
    8. Saving and recalling selections
      5m 18s
    9. Rotating is a circular operation
      7m 35s
    10. Lassoing and scaling points
      6m 8s
    11. Using the Transform Each command
      5m 9s
    12. Using the Magic Wand tool
      6m 46s
    13. Converting paths and text to rich black
      2m 27s
    14. The overwrought lace pattern
      3m 21s
    15. Eyedropping Live Effects
      5m 39s
    16. Merging strokes with a compound path
      6m 32s
    17. Selecting and scaling independent segments
      6m 30s
    18. Pucker & Bloat
      4m 49s
  9. 1m 59s
    1. See ya for now
      1m 59s

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