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Adobe Illustrator has long been a popular vector–based drawing program, but for many the learning curve is steep. In Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals, author and leading industry expert Deke McClelland shows users how to get in to the Illustrator mindset and overcome this learning curve. He covers the application's key features in a new way, making it simple and easy to master Illustrator. Deke teaches viewers how to use the core drawing and shape tools, the transformation and reshaping features, text, and the Pen tool. He also explains how to export and print. Even if learning Illustrator has been a struggle in the past, this training can help make sense of it. Exercise files accompany the course.
All right, the next tool in our cavalcade of line drawing tools is this guy right here, the Spiral tool. Go ahead and click on it to select it or you can select it from the Line Segment tool flyout menu right here. If you are just joining me, you can open this catch-up document right here. It's called Line & arc.ai and this tool allows you to draw a Spiral. Fairly obvious I think. Sort of a curly pigtail if you will. Notice what direction it goes in. By default, it goes as if we're reading this spiral going from the inside out; we're going in the counterclockwise direction. But notice this spiral that we're trying to match over here is going in a clockwise direction.
So we're drawing this in a wrong direction and by the way, I'm gesturing like this by pressing the Spacebar as I'm dragging with the tool. So that old thing works. You also have the Shift key, by the way, to constrain to 45-degree angles like this. All right, so some standard stuff that we've seen in the past. The Alt key or the Option key on the Mac doesn't really do anything. Now I'm going to go ahead and release because the other thing that doesn't do anything is the F key. You can't just press the F key the way you can with the Arc tool in order to flip this shape, which is too bad actually.
So you've got to bring up the dialog box settings, one would surmise, I think, quite reasonably. But where you can double-click on the Line tool to bring up the Line Segment tool Options, I'll cancel out, and you can double-click on the Arc tool icon here to bring up its options. I'll cancel out once again. You can do no such thing with the Spiral tool, double-clicking doesn't get you anywhere. However, there is a way to bring up a Spiral tool dialog box and that's another way that you can use these tools which is to click with them. Watch this. if I grab the Line Segment tool and I click with it and I say yeah I want a length of 100 points. That sounds great, and I'll do an angle of 0, let's see, which is horizontal and I'll click OK. I get a nice horizontal line that's 100 points long. So I have numerical control over this line that I'm creating.
Same with the Arc tool, I could grab the Arc tool, I could click with it, I have got 100 points, fine. You may wonder, by the way, about this guy right here, Base Along, which is currently set to Y axis. The difference between X axis and Y axis is the difference between flipping the arc. I'll show you. Let's go with Y axis, click OK, looks like that. Backspace it or Delete it, click again. Try X axis instead, it's flipped. All right, so let's go in this direction instead. So what works for the line in Arc tool this around also happens to work for the Spiral tool. I'll go get that Spiral tool and I'll click and it brings up a list of Spiral options here. So you can specify the radius, which is how big the shape is, and I'm going to just say something like 80 for now.
We'll come to Decay in just a second; we will cover that and Segments. Here's Style. So right now it's going in this counterclockwise direction as I was saying. Let's go clockwise instead. We can't control the angle of the shape, so it's going to look just like this little preview there. I'll click OK and there it is. Now, I would Backspace that, I would Delete it, and then I would start dragging in order to create my shape. Some other controls that are available to you as well as the Spacebar, of course. Notice that we have got too many segments that are associated with the Spiral. It curls in too far. With the Spiral what we're drawing it just goes like this, right? I'm sort of tracing along it, whereas the spiral I'm tracing just goes around like this. I'm tracing along its path like so, whereas the one I'm drawing here goes in a couple of more degrees right there. It's got more segments associated with it and you can reduce the number of segments as you are drawing the shape.
This whole time, I have the mouse button down. I can press the Down Arrow key. Notice that's reducing segments, every time I press the Down Arrow key a segment goes away. Basically, a segment is essentially an arc, so it's a quarter ellipse essentially is going away. There is a little skew associated with it. So it continues to spiral inward. If I press the Up Arrow key, I have still got the mouse down. If I press the Up Arrow key, then I add segments and this is how many segments I need. It turns out to be six segments. Then I have got another issue here where you can see that my shape doesn't really line up, the shape of my spiral and that's what's met by Decay. Remember that Decay option we saw just a moment ago inside the dialog box.
So to change the decay, you press the Ctrl key or the Command key as you drag. So if you drag inward you get a faster decay, if you drag outward you get a slow decay like this. It's not very scientific drawing spirals, you just kind of need to play with them until you get it roughly right and I'm going to just keep -- looks like it might be about the right decay but it's too big. So let's take it downward. It looks like we're doing pretty good now at this point. Then I'm going to press the Shift key. So I'm aligning straight down. So I'm doing a straight vertical drag that is to say. I might just make this a little bigger, knock it up a little bit and press the Shift key and release and I get a pretty good trace. This looks pretty darn good.
So the ultimate settings I ended up using, I'll click now to show you, and by the way, these dialog boxes are always tracking the last shape you drew. So if you draw a shape or a line in this case and then you are wondering, I wonder what the numerical values associated with that line are, then just click after drawing it and it will tell you that you've got a radius as you can see here of approximately 59 points. Then the Decay is-- all right, well this time I have got 76.96%. I determined previously that it was 77.4%, six segments, this direction.
So if you want to exactly match my results that I'm making right now, you would enter these values, click OK. You can see it's going to be at the wrong angle, of course, but then if you wanted to, I'll go ahead and delete that shape. Then you would just draw it again at the right angle, match it up and you should get a good match, pretty easily actually if you just sort of noodle around with the Spacebar there. Okay. So anyway, this is my result, I think it looks pretty good. The Horus arc coming down into the Horus spiral, so this makeup or whatever it is under the great God Horus's eye.
In the next exercise we are going to make this little shape right there, which is actually a combination of two partial arcs joined together.
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