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Learn what it takes to design your own mind-bending illusion, in this installment of Designs dekeConstructed—the series that breaks down popular graphic designs and show you how to re-create them on your own. Deke starts out by drawing an "impossible" Penrose triangle and a golden ball in Adobe Illustrator. Next, he plots a path for the ball to follow around the triangle. Last, he moves to Photoshop, where he shows you how to animate the ball with a combination of layer masks and the timeline.
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All right now that we have all the essential theory out of the way, let's see if we can get some work done. Specifically in this movie, we'll create this guideline that traces the path of the ball. I'll go ahead, and switch to my documents so far. And the first thing I want to do is get these center guides out of the way, by relegating them to their own layer. So I'll click on the Penrose layer to make it active. And then, I'll press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and click on the little page icon at the bottom of the Layers panel. I'll call this layer center guides.
And for the sake of variety, I'll change its color to yellow and then click okay. And now, I'm going to double click on the Swatches tab, in order to collapse that panel as well as the gradient panel so that I have a little more room to work. And then, I'll go ahead and click on this so-called twirly triangle here in order to expand the triangle and ball layer. And notice, we've got two guys right here below the ball. We'll go ahead and click on one and Shift + click on the other. And then, what you want to do if you're working along with me, is drag them down onto the name of the center guide's layer right there.
Just to make sure that you've got those guides in place, and then drop them into the layer, like so. And now, if you twirl this layer closed, the top one, and twirl the second one open, you can see that we now have those guides successfully relegated to that layer. At which point, I'm going to go ahead and turn that layer off, just so that we don't see it any longer. And you may wonder, well why didn't we just hide the guides? And the reason of course, is that we're going to create another guide and we want to be able to see it. All right, now I'll go ahead and click on the triangle of ball layer to make it active.
I want to create this new guide, on an independent layer as well. So I'll Alt + click or Option + click on the page icon at the bottom of the Layers panel, and I'll call this layer, path of ball, and magenta is fine as the color, so I'll just go ahead and click okay. All right, now we want to create that guideline, and we'll start things off by pressing the A key, to switch to the white arrow tool. We need the very first portion of the path by tracing right down the center of this edge of the triangle, and figure out where that center is.
Press the A key to switch to the white arrow tool, and then click on this point right there, and Shift + click on the anchor point to the left of it, in order to select those two anchor points independently of the rest of the path. And then press Ctrl + C, or Cmd + C on a Mac, in order to copy them. And then press Ctrl + F or Cmd + F on the Mac, in order to paste them in front. And of course, if you prefer, you can use the equivalent commands here in the Edit menu copy, and then paste in front.
But in my case of course, I did it from the keyboard. Now, I'm going to go up here to the Control Panel and I'm going to change the fill to none. And then I'll click on this down pointing arrowhead next to the line weight value, and I'll change it to 0.5. So that we have a nice thin hairline stroke. All right. Next what you want to do is blend between those two lines by going up to the Object menu > choosing Blend > and choosing Make, or you can press Ctrl + Alt + B or Cmd + Option + B on the Mac, and we end up with this single central path.
At which point, we need to gain access to that path by going up to the Object menu and choosing the Expand command, and in response to this dialog box all you have to do is click okay. And we know have three path outlines which are grouped together, as we can listed over here on the far left side of the Control panel. To ungroup them, go to the Object menu and choose Ungroup, or you can press Ctrl + Shift + G, or Cmd + Shift + G on the Mac. And then, press the V key to switch to the Black Arrow tool, up here at the top of the toolbox and Shift + click on this central line right there in order to deselect it and then press the Backspace key or the Delete key on a Mac in order to get rid of the original path outlines.
And now, we have a single path running down the center of that edge. All right now we need to extend this path outline down into the middle of this edge right there. So press the A key to switch back to the white arrow tool, and click on this final anchor point at this location, and then you want to press the enter key or the return key on the back to bring up the move dialog box. Now all this information is wrong, what we really need is a distance value of 70 pixels. Why 70? Well that's because that happens to be the width of each of one of these edges of the triangle, and the reason that they're 70 pixels is because they match the radius of those original hexagons that we created in the first chapter, and that radius value was 70 pixels.
Meanwhile we need to move this point down and to the left, using that same value that we saw in the previous movie. That is to so, either 210 degrees, that's going to work just fine, like so. Or if you prefer, and I just want to make this clear, you could enter negative 150 degrees, and you'd get the exact same result. Now, we really want to back this off half the width of this edge. And you can either do the math in your head, or you can enter /2, in order to divide 70 pixels by two and then press the tab key, and that's going to tell you 35 pixels.
Unfortunately there's a bug at work in this version of Illustrator. So the program isn't updating the horizontal and vertical values and as a result we're not moving that point to a different location. So what you have to do is just remember 35 pixels, enter something else like 20 pixels, and then press the tab key, and now I'll press Shift + Tab to go back to that value, and I'll enter 35 pixels and I'll press the tab key once again. So if you combine a distance value of 35 pixels along with an angle of negative 150 degrees or if you prefer, positive 210 degrees, you get that point right where it needs to be, in the middle of this edge right here.
At which point, go ahead and click okay in order to apply that change. The result is a three point path that represents the first three positions of the ball. In the next movie, we will add the fourth and fifth positions and we will convert our path outline to a guide
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