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Drawing a looping spiral

From: Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals

Video: Drawing a looping spiral

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.

Drawing a looping spiral

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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This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals
Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals

182 video lessons · 38156 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
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  1. 42m 7s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      1m 58s
    2. The Welcome screen
      3m 2s
    3. Creating a new document
      5m 6s
    4. Advanced document controls
      4m 43s
    5. Saving a custom New Document Profile
      8m 46s
    6. Changing the document setup
      4m 21s
    7. Special artboard controls
      4m 58s
    8. Accepting artboard changes
      2m 19s
    9. Saving a document
      4m 33s
    10. Closing a document
      2m 21s
  2. 1h 0m
    1. Adobe Bridge
      56s
    2. Opening an illustration
      4m 45s
    3. Modifying an illustration
      6m 27s
    4. Saving changes
      4m 58s
    5. Introducing Adobe Bridge
      8m 41s
    6. The all-important file type associations
      3m 20s
    7. Navigating inside Bridge
      4m 23s
    8. Previewing and collecting
      5m 55s
    9. Using workspaces
      6m 41s
    10. Customizing a workspace
      6m 14s
    11. Cool Bridge tricks
      8m 17s
  3. 1h 4m
    1. Preferences, color settings, and workspaces
      35s
    2. Keyboard increments
      5m 12s
    3. Scratch disks
      3m 48s
    4. Changing the user interface and setting Appearance of Black
      4m 14s
    5. Best workflow color settings
      9m 17s
    6. Synchronizing settings across CS4
      3m 2s
    7. Working inside tabbed windows
      7m 14s
    8. Organizing palettes
      5m 4s
    9. Saving a custom workspace
      4m 12s
    10. Zooming and panning
      4m 19s
    11. Using the Zoom tool
      3m 3s
    12. Navigating the artboards
      5m 5s
    13. Nudging the screen image
      3m 3s
    14. Scroll-wheel tricks
      2m 8s
    15. Cycling between screen modes
      4m 39s
  4. 1h 22m
    1. The Wedjat (or Eye of Horus)
      55s
    2. The line tools
      2m 57s
    3. Introducing layers
      5m 10s
    4. Creating ruler guides
      6m 18s
    5. Creating custom guides
      5m 16s
    6. Snap-to points
      5m 25s
    7. Organizing guides
      5m 43s
    8. Making a tracing template
      3m 42s
    9. Drawing a line segment
      4m 29s
    10. Drawing a continuous arc
      5m 28s
    11. Drawing a looping spiral
      6m 5s
    12. Cutting lines with the Scissors tool
      6m 20s
    13. Joining open paths
      7m 31s
    14. Aligning and joining points
      6m 34s
    15. Drawing concentric circles
      4m 41s
    16. Cleaning up overlapping segments
      5m 34s
  5. 1h 4m
    1. The anatomy of a shape
      1m 1s
    2. Meet the shape tools
      3m 5s
    3. The traceable Tonalpohualli
      2m 52s
    4. Drawing circles
      4m 38s
    5. Enhanced Smart Guides
      4m 1s
    6. Aligning to a key object
      4m 29s
    7. Creating polygons and stars
      5m 4s
    8. Using the Measure tool
      3m 47s
    9. The Select Similar and Arrange commands
      3m 56s
    10. Rectangles and rounded rectangles
      6m 8s
    11. The amazing constraint axes
      5m 26s
    12. Grouping and ungrouping
      3m 35s
    13. Flipping and duplicating
      4m 12s
    14. Combining simple shapes into complex ones
      5m 24s
    15. Cutting and connecting with Scissors and Join
      3m 31s
    16. Tilde-key goofiness
      2m 53s
  6. 1h 41m
    1. The ingredients of life
      54s
    2. Fill and Stroke settings
      4m 22s
    3. Transparency grid and paper color
      5m 47s
    4. The None attribute
      5m 4s
    5. Color libraries and sliders
      3m 39s
    6. Industry-standard colors
      4m 38s
    7. Using CMYK for commercial output
      6m 39s
    8. Using RGB for the web
      7m 23s
    9. Color palette tips and tricks
      7m 18s
    10. Creating and saving color swatches
      4m 35s
    11. Trapping gaps with rich blacks
      6m 46s
    12. Filling and stacking shapes
      5m 38s
    13. Dragging and dropping swatches
      5m 0s
    14. Paste in Front, Paste in Back
      4m 54s
    15. Filling shapes inside groups
      5m 28s
    16. Pasting between layers
      4m 41s
    17. Joins, caps, and dashes
      6m 50s
    18. Fixing strokes and isolating edits
      7m 12s
    19. Creating a pattern fill
      4m 57s
  7. 1h 50m
    1. The power of transformations
      1m 20s
    2. From primitive to polished art
      2m 42s
    3. Using the Blob brush
      5m 46s
    4. Resizing the brush and erasing
      4m 15s
    5. Selection limits and methods of merging
      6m 39s
    6. Cloning and auto-duplicating
      6m 45s
    7. Customizing keyboard shortcuts
      3m 7s
    8. Moving by the numbers
      5m 15s
    9. Using the Reshape tool
      7m 47s
    10. Modifying, aligning, and uniting paths
      7m 14s
    11. Using the Offset Path command
      4m 43s
    12. Styling and eyedropping
      5m 28s
    13. Making a black-and-white template
      2m 27s
    14. Scale and clone
      4m 57s
    15. Enlarge and stack
      5m 46s
    16. Positioning the origin point
      6m 59s
    17. Using the Rotate tool
      3m 55s
    18. Using the Reflect tool
      4m 15s
    19. Series rotation (aka power duplication)
      6m 48s
    20. Rotating by the numbers
      6m 12s
    21. Transforming the tile patterns
      7m 52s
  8. 2h 4m
    1. Next-generation text wrangling
      55s
    2. Placing a text document
      5m 38s
    3. Creating a new text block
      6m 1s
    4. Working with point text
      3m 57s
    5. Selecting the perfect typeface
      5m 48s
    6. Scaling and positioning type
      8m 57s
    7. Leading, tracking, and lots of shortcuts
      5m 54s
    8. Adjusting pair kerning
      6m 55s
    9. Eyedropping formatting attributes
      3m 54s
    10. Flowing text from one block to another
      8m 28s
    11. Creating and applying a paragraph style
      7m 39s
    12. Rendering the text in graphite
      5m 55s
    13. Creating a scribbly drop shadow
      5m 17s
    14. Advanced formatting and bullets
      7m 43s
    15. Setting Area Type options
      4m 57s
    16. Justification and the Every-line Composer
      5m 52s
    17. OpenType and ligatures
      7m 19s
    18. Fractions, numerals, and ordinals
      9m 7s
    19. Swashes and small caps
      5m 40s
    20. The amazing Glyphs palette
      8m 12s
  9. 1h 18m
    1. Points are boys, handles are girls
      1m 20s
    2. Placing an image as a tracing template
      6m 56s
    3. Drawing a straight-sided path
      6m 8s
    4. Moving, adding, and deleting points
      6m 50s
    5. Drawing spline curves with Round Corners
      9m 7s
    6. Smooth points and Bézier curves
      8m 29s
    7. Defining a cusp between two curves
      6m 59s
    8. Replicating and reshaping segments
      8m 30s
    9. Converting anchor points
      7m 55s
    10. Deleting stray anchor points
      5m 1s
    11. Separating and closing paths
      5m 43s
    12. Eyedropping template colors
      5m 55s
  10. 1h 40m
    1. Paths never rest
      1m 34s
    2. Exploring the Appearance palette
      9m 54s
    3. Snip and Spin
      8m 3s
    4. Adding a center point
      4m 12s
    5. Keeping shape intersections
      3m 42s
    6. Lifting fills and selecting through shapes
      5m 54s
    7. Saving and recalling selections
      6m 20s
    8. Rotating is a circular operation
      8m 32s
    9. Lassoing and scaling points
      5m 28s
    10. Using the Transform Each command
      4m 11s
    11. Using the Magic Wand tool
      8m 1s
    12. Eyedropping live effects
      9m 58s
    13. Merging strokes with a compound path
      6m 50s
    14. Selecting and scaling independent segments
      7m 59s
    15. Scalloped edges with Pucker & Bloat
      5m 16s
    16. Expand before you merge
      4m 17s
  11. 1h 26m
    1. The new pleasures of printing
      44s
    2. Outlines and artboards in CS4
      7m 35s
    3. Setting trim size and bleed
      7m 17s
    4. Creating custom dynamic crop marks
      3m 41s
    5. Working with the Separations Preview palette
      7m 42s
    6. Trapping an object with an overprint stroke
      8m 20s
    7. Placing multiple artboards into InDesign
      5m 17s
    8. Working with the Print Tiling tool
      4m 55s
    9. Setting the General Print options
      6m 9s
    10. Setting printer marks
      5m 16s
    11. PostScript-only output and graphics
      9m 10s
    12. The Color Management options
      6m 56s
    13. Adjusting the Flattener settings
      7m 32s
    14. Setting the Raster Effects resolution
      5m 32s
  12. 1h 32m
    1. Illustrator does pixels
      51s
    2. Illustrator, PDF, and Save As formats
      8m 15s
    3. Saving an illustration for the web
      6m 13s
    4. Saving a continuous-tone JPEG image
      10m 1s
    5. Saving a high-contrast GIF graphic
      6m 26s
    6. The versatile PNG format
      4m 45s
    7. Saving a scaleable Flash (SWF) graphic
      11m 0s
    8. Opening and placing an Illustrator file in Photoshop
      12m 44s
    9. Exporting a layered PSD from Illustrator
      12m 57s
    10. Exporting to Microsoft Office and PowerPoint
      7m 24s
    11. Sharing with InDesign, Flash, and Photoshop
      12m 12s
  13. 1m 4s
    1. Until next time
      1m 4s

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