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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.
In this movie we'll blend the remaining balls, and we'll expedite the process with the help of a handful of keyboard shortcuts. So, for starters, click on the ball with the black arrow tool. That's located at position number two, and then Shift-click at the one at position number three, and go ahead and press Ctrl+Alt+B, or Cmd+Option+B, to blend between them. Next, we may or may not want to change the number of steps here. And rather than go up to the Object menu and tediously choose Blend and then Blend Options over and over again.
The hidden shortcut for that command is to switch to the Blend Tool, which you can also get by pressing the W key. You don't need to remember that one, just go ahead and select that tool. And then, press the Enter key or the Return key on a Mac and that will bring up the Blend Options dialog box. In which case, turn on the Preview Check Box. Go ahead and switch spacing, if necessary, to specified steps. And we are indeed looking for sixteen steps this time around, at which point click OK. Then I'll go ahead and hide this blend, not by choosing the command under the Object menu but rather pressing Ctrl+3 or Cmd+3 on the Mac.
Which is why it's fortunate that you can access the last arrow tool you used by pressing and holding the Ctrl key, or the Cmd key on the Mac. So, as long as Ctrl or Cmd is down, you have access to the arrow tool. At which point, click on the circle at position three and then Shift+Ctrl+click. And then add the Shift key. So, I have both the Ctrl and Shift keys down, or Cmd and Shift on a Mac, and click on the ball at position four to select it as well. Then, press Ctrl+Alt+B or Cmd+Option+B on a Mac in order to blend the shapes.
And now, if you just go ahead and release the Ctrl key or the Cmd key on a Mac, you will return to the blend tool. At which point you can press the Enter key or the Return key on a Mac, turn on the preview check box, make sure the spacing is set to specified steps, and enter a value of 16, then click OK. Now, press Ctrl+3 or Cmd+3 on a Mac to hide that blend, which leaves us with just one more. And so I'm going to re-run those steps there. I'll press, and hold the Ctrl key, or the Cmd key on a Mac. Click at the ball at position four. Then, Ctrl+Shift-click, or Cmd+Shift-click, on the ball at position five right there.
Go ahead and press Ctrl+Alt+B, or Cmd+Option+B on a Mac, in order to blend those shapes. And then release all the keys and press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac to bring up the blend options dialogue box. Turn on the preview check box, set spacing to specified steps and increase that value to 24 and then click OK. And now you can return to the black arrow tool, by pressing the V key, which of course looks like an upside down arrow. And now to bring back all your blends, go up to the Object menu, and choose the Show All command.
This time around, because we're only doing it once, you don't need to worry about the keyboard shortcut. Now, very likely, your blends aren't ordered exactly the way they should be. Now, you may have a problem in which the blends aren't in quite the proper order. So right now notice the blend from position two to position three is in front of the one from position three to position four, which is not what we what. We want the frames constantly moving forward. And the easiest way to identify and solve this problem is to twirl open the path of ball layer up here at the top of the layers panel.
And then you can go ahead and turn off these three blends on top, and that leaves just one blend available to you. And it should be the blend between positions one and two. Then turn on the next one, and you can see, it's in the wrong place. So I'll go ahead and turn it off, and turn this guy on instead. This is the blend from positions two to three, which is what we want. So I'm going to take this guy right here, the vertical blend and move it up a notch, just by dragging it up the stack, here inside the layers panel. And then I'll turn it on and sure enough, now were blending from position three to position four.
And finally that last blend takes us from position four to position five, which is exactly what we want. And we now have all the circles that we need to animate one continuous trail of balls, here inside Illustrator.
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