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Expressing motion as a custom guide

From: Designs dekeConstructed: Animating a Mind-Bending Illusion

Video: Expressing motion as a custom guide

In this movie,

Expressing motion as a custom guide

In this movie, we'll complete the path of the ball and we'll convert it to a guideline. But first I'm noticing that when my path is selected it's appearing green which tells me that it's located on the triangle and ball layer. That's not what I want, so with the path selected I'll go ahead and drag this little green square up to the path of ball layer like so. Then, I'll switch to the Pen tool, which once again, you can get by pressing the P key. And I'll click on this point right there, that final anchor point, in order to activate the path so that I can add to it.

And then, I want to click up here, but if I do so, I'll end up adding a point to the path, which is not what I want. So, I'll press the Shift key and click right about there. And the reason I'm pressing the Shift key as I click is so that I end up with an exactly vertical segment. Now I need to drag this point up so that it snaps into alignment with this first segment, and for that to happen, I need to have smart guides on which you may recall, I turned off a few movies ago. So I'll go up to the View menu and choose the Smart Guides command.

Or I can press Ctrl+U or Cmd+U on the Mac. Then, I'll press the A key to switch back to the wide arrow tool, and I'll go ahead and drag this point upward, while pressing the Shift key, until I see the word Path, which tells me that I've snapped into alignment. Now I'll press the P key to switch back to the Pen tool. My path outline is no longer active as you can see, so I'll click on that point right there to wake the path up. So I'll go ahead and turn them on here inside the Layers panel. And then I'll click where I see the word intersect, so right there at the intersection of this vertical path segment and the horizontal guideline in order to add that final point.

Now, chances are very good that things aren't properly aligned. And to check out if anything's amiss go ahead and press Ctrl+Y or Cmd+Y on the Mac to switch over to the outline mode. Press the A key to switch to the white arrow tool. And then press and hold the Ctrl key along with the Space bar, that's Cmd+Space bar on a Mac. And marquee this anchor point right there. And chances are very good that you'll see a gap, like this one right here. In which case, go ahead and drag that anchor point down, while pressing the Shift key until it snaps into alignment.

Now we need to once again bring up the navigator panel so I'll go up to the Window menu and choose the Navigator command and then I'll go ahead and click on that final point like so to see if it's in alignment and it appears to be, which is totally great. If yours isn't, go ahead and move it so it is aligned. And then you might want to click right about here, at that second position point to make sure that it's aligned, as well, and in my case it is. So I'll go ahead and hide the Navigator panel and then I'll press Ctrl+0 or Cmd+0 on a Mac to zoom out, and I'll press Ctrl+Y, or Cmd+Y in a Mac to switch back to the Preview mode.

And then with that path still selected, go up to the Vview menu, choose Guides, and choose Make Guides, or you can press Ctrl+5 or Cmd+5 on a Mac in order to convert that path outline to a custom guide, at which point you can go ahead and turn off the center guides layer. In order to simplify the objects that you see displayed on screen and that's how you describe the exact motion of the ball using a custom guideline here inside Illustrator.

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