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Duplicating shapes along an angled line

From: Designs dekeConstructed: Animating a Mind-Bending Illusion

Video: Duplicating shapes along an angled line

In this movie, we'll create the ball at positions 1, 2, and 5.

Duplicating shapes along an angled line

In this movie, we'll create the ball at positions 1, 2, and 5. We'll address positions 3 and 4 in the next movie. I'll go ahead, and switch over to my document so far, and click on the one and only ball with the Black arrow tool. And now, I'll drag it by it's bottom anchor point. This is very important. So, that it snaps into alignment with the middle of the top of the triangle like so. Now we want to create a duplicate of the ball. So, before you release, go ahead and press and hold the alt key, or the option key on the Mac.

And then release the mouse button like so. The next step is to rotate the ball into the proper position so that it's what's known as tangent. To this edge right there. It means it's just barely touching. And we'll do that by selecting the rotate tool, which you can get by pressing the R key. Then alt or option click on that bottom anchor point, and you want to set the angle value to 30 degrees in order to match the angle of that edge, and then go ahead and click OK.

In order to rotate the ball. The next step is to press the V key to switch back to the black arrow tool, up here at the top of the tool box and then drag the ball by its bottom anchor points, so that it snaps into alignment at the corner of this guideline right here. And then once again press the ALT key or the Option key on a MAC. In order to create, yet another duplicate. Now, with the black arrow tool still selected, go ahead and press the enter key, or the return key on the Mac, in order to bring up the Move Dialogue box. And you should see that the angle of your previous move is negative 30 degrees.

Which is exactly what we want. But we don't want a big distance value like this, so just go ahead and change the distance value to eight pixels, in order to get this very same result right here. And the reason I went with eight is I want the appearance that the bottom of the ball, which is out of our view, were it a sphere. Which if it was a sphere, would be hidden from view is right about at this location here. And then click ok in order to nudge that ball. Now you want to drag the ball by this point, where it intersects the guideline like so.

And you want to drag it until it snaps into alignment with this final point in the guideline, and then again, press the Alt key or the Option key on a Mac in order to create a copy. And just to confirm that you've dragged the ball in the proper direction, press the Enter key or the Return key on a Mac to bring up the Move Dialog box. You should see a strange distance value that's not really important. But the angle value should be exactly negative 30 degrees. If it isn't, click Cancel, and then redo that last step. In other words, reduplicate this ball.

In my case, however, everything's fine except for one fact. And that is these guys right here are all rotated. And there's two reasons that's a problem. For one thing, the gradient got rotated slightly. So, you can see that it no longer matches the angle of the original ball. And the point structure is messed up as well. We need the points to be exactly upright as in the case of this original ball. So, what we're going to do is duplicate this ball, the original one, into the three new positions.

And you do that by selecting it, and then dragging it by its center point this time around, until it snaps with the center point of the top ball. Then press the Alt key or Option key on a Mac. And drop that ball in order to create a duplicate of it. Now drag this one all the way down to this position here, and when you snap in to alignment with its center point, go ahead and press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac in order to create yet another duplicate, and then drag this guy down to this location by its center points. Snap it into alignment with the other ones. Center point, and then press the alt key, or the yellow key on a Mac, in order to create that final duplicate.

Now we need to get rid of all the rotated extras, and you do that by just clicking in one. Notice that they're still in front. So, click on this guy right here, you should see the rotated point structure, shift click on this one and then shift click on this guy, so all of the points should be rotated. In which case, press the back space key or the delete key on a mac in order to get rid of them, and now if you click and shift click on the remaining balls, you should see that all of the anchor points are upright, in which case, go ahead and click off of those balls and just select this guy right there.

We no longer need him, so press the backspace key, or the delete key on the Mac, to get rid of it. Alright, so that takes care of the balls at positions 1, 2, and 5. In the next movie, I'll show you how to create the balls at positions 3 and 4.

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