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Distorting and transforming objects

From: Illustrator CS6 Essential Training

Video: Distorting and transforming objects

Up until now, we have been performing some really basic and mundane transformations on our artwork. Now it's time to get a little bit more creative by utilizing some of Illustrator's Distortion and Transformation tools. Let's take a look. I have got a blank document open here and you can do that by simply going to the File menu and choosing New and creating a document. It doesn't matter how big or anything else, just a blank document will do. And then we are going to draw some basic shapes that we can manipulate. I am going to come over to the Shapes, click and hold and find the Star tool.

Distorting and transforming objects

Up until now, we have been performing some really basic and mundane transformations on our artwork. Now it's time to get a little bit more creative by utilizing some of Illustrator's Distortion and Transformation tools. Let's take a look. I have got a blank document open here and you can do that by simply going to the File menu and choosing New and creating a document. It doesn't matter how big or anything else, just a blank document will do. And then we are going to draw some basic shapes that we can manipulate. I am going to come over to the Shapes, click and hold and find the Star tool.

In the Star tool, I am just going to click and draw out a star like this and I will move it out on my artboard. I am then going to hold down my Option or Alt key and click and drag out a duplicate. Then I will hold down my Option or Alt key again and duplicate this one as well. So now I have three stars out of my artboard. Once I have my stars out there, I am going to select the first one here and I will give it a nice color there, take the stroke away. The middle one here, I will put a no stroke on that as well, make it yellow.

And then the final one, we will make that green, just like this. So I have got these three stars out here and I'm going to distort them all differently. Let's first select this one and then we will come over here to tools and I'm going to look inside of a tool called the Width tool. This is what you should see by default. When I click and hold on the Width tool, you are going to notice that there are several other tools inside of this toolbox. If you want to break this toolbox out, you can simply click right here on this little arrow.

Doing so, turns those tools in their own free-floating panel, which is really cool. Right here, the first tool, it's called the Warp tool. The Warp tool allows you to warp objects based on anchor points that you draw across while you are using it. So for instance, I can click and drag here and it warps in that point, click and drag here warping that one, and here warping that one; almost gives me like a starfish like appearance. I can undo that with Command+Z or Ctrl+Z. I can then use something called the Twirl tool.

This is one of my favorites. So I will come here, click and hold, come here, click and hold for a shorter time. I will come right here to the bottom and I will click and hold for a longer time, and you can see that I created three totally different looks with the same tool, simply by holding my cursor down at different lengths, it's pretty neat. Now let's switch over to the Pucker tool to see how that works. The Pucker tool is located right here, and basically what the Pucker tool allows you to do is suck different pieces of the artwork inward creating a puckered like effect.

I am going to do this on the middle star right here, so I am going to actually grab the Selection tool really quick and select this star, then I will grab the Pucker tool. Once I grab the Pucker tool I can then pucker different pieces of this inward. See how it kind of just draws those points in, as I drag, so I can almost create like a flower really quickly, something kind of like that. Finally, let's take a look at the Bloat tool. Again the Bloat tool works much the same way the Pucker tool does, in that I just come to an anchor point, click hold and it bloats it out rather than sucking it in.

So I will use it for this shape over here. I will grab my Selection tool and grab this guy. Select my Bloat tool. Then I can come right here and watch what it does to the end of the star. It just bloats it right up. Same thing right there, right there, right there. As you can see, you can get pretty creative with what it does. I'll actually bloat this out a little bit more, almost making like a little person out of this.

Then I will just click away to deselect. So three shapes that started out identical, now look completely different simply by clicking and dragging around with these tools. You can experiment with all the different tools such as the Scallop tool, the Crystallize tool and the Wrinkle tool as well. Each one does different things and will make your artwork look that much more different. A lot of these tools referred to as Instant Logo tools, because you can take a basic shape and transform them instantly into a remarkable shape, like the one you see here in the middle, and then use that for a logo or an icon.

It's really simple to transform ordinary artwork into something really amazing just by using these little tools. If you don't like the way these tools behave, that's okay, you can actually refine the way the tools behave by going into the tool options for each tool. This is not something that you'll find in the Object menu or the Preferences or anything like that. Again, it's hidden inside the tool itself. So if you wanted to change the way that the Twirl tool worked for instance, simply come to the Twirl tool and double-click. Double-clicking opens up the Twirl tool options.

This is where you can adjust the Width of the tool, that's how big the actual brush is that you are working with, the Height of the tool, the Angle of the tool, and also the Intensity. If I bump up the Intensity, so let's say a 100, and bump up the size, so let's do 200x200, then I can also select the Twirl Rate, so I will set this at about 75 degrees and I can type that in just like that. The amount of Detail, I can crank that up just a little bit to 5, and we want this to remain a simple path, so the Simplify option, we want to crank that up just a little bit.

Once we have that all set, I'll go ahead hit OK. When I hit OK, you'll notice my brush is significantly larger than it was before, and if I come over to this shape, the same shape I was on before and click, look how wacky that is, really quick and really fast, because I turned up the Intensity. Do the same thing right over here. And you notice, since I was in between these two and I didn't actually have them selected, it twirled both of them together intertwining them in that pattern, which is really neat. Do the same thing right here.

Really and truly the magic formula here is putting yourself in a seat and playing with these tools to see exactly how they work and how they will interact with your artwork. You can create some amazing things simply by pointing, clicking, and watching the magic happen.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS6 Essential Training
Illustrator CS6 Essential Training

116 video lessons · 73856 viewers

Justin Seeley
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 15s
    1. What is Illustrator?
      1m 15s
  2. 2m 17s
    1. Welcome
      58s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 19s
  3. 41m 25s
    1. Understanding vector graphics
      5m 0s
    2. Setting preferences
      9m 24s
    3. Touring the interface
      9m 41s
    4. Exploring the panels
      6m 54s
    5. Working with the Control panel
      4m 25s
    6. Creating and saving workspaces
      6m 1s
  4. 43m 42s
    1. Creating files for print
      4m 42s
    2. Creating files for the web
      3m 36s
    3. Managing multiple documents
      3m 25s
    4. Navigating within a document
      5m 21s
    5. Using rulers, guides, and grids
      6m 59s
    6. Changing units of measurement
      1m 50s
    7. Using preview modes
      3m 10s
    8. Creating and using custom views
      3m 12s
    9. Locking and hiding artwork
      3m 43s
    10. Creating and using artboards
      7m 44s
  5. 1h 1m
    1. Setting your selection preferences
      5m 57s
    2. Using the Direct Selection and Group Selection tools
      4m 6s
    3. Using the Magic Wand tool
      5m 45s
    4. Using the Lasso tool
      4m 9s
    5. Selecting objects by attribute
      6m 48s
    6. Grouping objects
      3m 7s
    7. Using isolation mode
      4m 48s
    8. Resizing your artwork
      3m 55s
    9. Rotating objects
      2m 10s
    10. Distorting and transforming objects
      6m 26s
    11. Repeating transformations
      5m 6s
    12. Reflecting and skewing objects
      4m 54s
    13. Aligning and distributing objects
      4m 38s
  6. 29m 27s
    1. RGB vs. CMYK
      1m 46s
    2. Adjusting Illustrator color settings
      5m 10s
    3. Process vs. global swatches
      5m 6s
    4. Creating spot colors
      3m 40s
    5. Using the swatch groups
      2m 33s
    6. Working with color libraries
      3m 17s
    7. Importing swatches
      4m 4s
    8. Using the Color Guide panel
      3m 51s
  7. 57m 36s
    1. Understanding fills and strokes
      4m 18s
    2. Working with fills
      4m 58s
    3. Working with strokes
      8m 46s
    4. Creating dashes and arrows
      8m 1s
    5. Creating variable-width strokes
      4m 3s
    6. Using width profiles
      3m 31s
    7. Outlining strokes
      3m 51s
    8. Creating and editing gradients
      5m 45s
    9. Applying gradients to strokes
      3m 8s
    10. Applying and editing pattern fills
      4m 52s
    11. Creating your own pattern fill
      6m 23s
  8. 20m 20s
    1. Understanding paths
      2m 41s
    2. Understanding anchor points
      4m 20s
    3. Working with open and closed paths
      5m 28s
    4. Joining and averaging paths
      4m 9s
    5. Using the Scissors tool and the Knife tool
      3m 42s
  9. 37m 56s
    1. Understanding drawing modes
      4m 23s
    2. Creating compound paths
      5m 15s
    3. Creating compound shapes
      4m 11s
    4. Working with the Shape Builder tool
      6m 32s
    5. Working with the Blob Brush and Eraser tools
      5m 26s
    6. Working with the Paintbrush and Pencil tools
      7m 8s
    7. Smoothing and erasing paths
      5m 1s
  10. 35m 53s
    1. Exploring the Pen tool
      2m 39s
    2. Drawing straight lines
      5m 12s
    3. Drawing simple curves
      5m 23s
    4. Understanding the many faces of the Pen tool
      6m 10s
    5. Converting corners and curves
      1m 46s
    6. Your keyboard is your friend
      2m 14s
    7. Tracing artwork with the Pen tool
      12m 29s
  11. 35m 33s
    1. Adjusting your type settings
      4m 10s
    2. Creating point and area text
      3m 36s
    3. Basic text editing
      2m 14s
    4. Creating threaded text
      4m 59s
    5. Using the type panels
      9m 48s
    6. Creating text on a path
      5m 11s
    7. Converting text into paths
      1m 43s
    8. Saving time with keyboard shortcuts
      3m 52s
  12. 27m 25s
    1. Exploring the Appearance panel
      4m 44s
    2. Explaining attribute stacking order
      1m 40s
    3. Applying multiple fills
      3m 1s
    4. Applying multiple strokes
      4m 20s
    5. Adjusting appearance with live effects
      4m 46s
    6. Saving appearances as graphic styles
      8m 54s
  13. 20m 44s
    1. Exploring the Layers panel
      4m 18s
    2. Creating and editing layers
      3m 27s
    3. Targeting objects in the Layers panel
      3m 3s
    4. Working with sublayers
      3m 0s
    5. Hiding, locking, and deleting layers
      4m 14s
    6. Using the Layers panel menu
      2m 42s
  14. 46m 0s
    1. Placing images into Illustrator
      2m 53s
    2. Working with the Links panel
      6m 5s
    3. Embedding images into Illustrator
      3m 12s
    4. Cropping images with a mask
      5m 8s
    5. Exploring the Image Trace panel
      12m 14s
    6. Tracing photographs
      8m 6s
    7. Tracing line art
      4m 33s
    8. Converting pixels to paths
      3m 49s
  15. 19m 21s
    1. What are symbols?
      2m 45s
    2. Using prebuilt symbols
      3m 3s
    3. Using the Symbol Sprayer tool
      4m 19s
    4. Creating new symbols
      3m 50s
    5. Breaking the symbol link
      3m 19s
    6. Redefining symbols
      2m 5s
  16. 12m 9s
    1. Defining a perspective grid
      4m 29s
    2. Drawing artwork in perspective
      3m 49s
    3. Applying artwork to the grid
      3m 51s
  17. 35m 7s
    1. Printing your artwork
      6m 16s
    2. Saving your artwork
      2m 2s
    3. Saving in legacy formats
      3m 0s
    4. Saving templates
      4m 18s
    5. Creating PDF files
      5m 23s
    6. Saving for the web
      4m 46s
    7. Creating high-res bitmap images
      3m 58s
    8. Using Illustrator files in Photoshop and InDesign
      5m 24s
  18. 56s
    1. Next steps
      56s

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