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Adobe Illustrator has long been the most popular and viable vector-drawing program on the market but, for many, the learning curve is steep. In Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials , author and leading industry expert Deke McClelland teaches the key features of Illustrator in a way that anyone can understand. He also goes beyond that, showing users how to get into the Illustrator "mindset" to make mastering Illustrator simple and easy. The training covers how to use the core drawing and shape tools, the transformation and reshaping features, text and gradients, and color management and printing features. Even if learning Illustrator has been a struggle in the past, this time it is going to make sense. Exercise files accompany the training.
Now so far we've seen how you can scale shapes with respect to their centers. For example, when we were scaling the circles in the previous exercises, we were scaling inward and outward uniformly so that each circle was concentric, that means all of the center points for the circles were at the same position. In this exercise I'm going to show you how you can relocate the center of that transformation, which is known as the transformation origin by the way, to gain more control over what's going on, and if that sounds like so much gibberish, believe me it is. No, no, I kid.
It's actually really great information. So I'm going to zoom in here on this square on the side of the calendar, by the way I'm working in a document called Enough circles.ai that's found inside the 06_Edit_transform folder. It's called Enough circles because we're done creating circles. We have enough circles in this document. We've attained enough circles, isn't that great? All right, so here's this square over on the far left side of the calendar. If I were to hide the progress layer for a moment so that we can see the underlying calendar template layer, you would see that what we've got, what we're going for is a square with two inset squares and notice that they're not centered, these squares aren't centered on each other. They're aligned to the lower left point. That's where we are going to put our transformation origin. All right, so I'm going to bring up the progress layer once again the active progress layer.
And then I'm going to go ahead and select this shape right here by clicking right along the seam between the black and green strokes So I'll go ahead and click right there to select the shape, and the reason that that's seam is where the path is actually located is because I have one centered stroke and one inner stroke applied to this shape, and you can see those strokes over here inside the Appearance palette, and if you bring your Appearance palette up on screen you'd see it as well. Go to the Window menu and choose Appearance, and you can see that we've got a path that has two strokes assigned to it.
I'll go ahead and move Layers down just a little bit so we can see what's going on. Two strokes assigned to it and the lighter of the two strokes is inside. So I used that inside stroke function right here inside the Stroke palette, you know what I'm talking about? Align Stroke Inside that guy? Just FYI, that's all that's about. Now let's go ahead and scale and clone this rectangle. I'm going to go ahead and grab the Scale Tool right here, inside the toolbox, and notice right there in the center, it's a little bit hard to see because it's sort of green on green for some reason, but there's a little target. It's sort of a cross with a circle in the center of it.
You'll be able to see it better on your screen, and that shows you the center of the transformation, which as I say is called the transformation origin. I'm going to move that centerpoint by clicking in the lower left corner of my rectangle. So if you click before you start using the Scale Tool that sets the location of the transformation origin. I just moved it down there. Again it's very, very difficult to see on screen here, but I did move it. Might be able to see it better in that outline mode. If I press Control+Y or Command+Y on the Mac. There it is, see the green thing.
I don't know why Illustrator's choosing to make it green so that we can barely see it, but still Illustrator works in mysterious ways. Having put the transformation origin right there, now I'm going to start dragging at about this position, notice where my black arrowhead is. And I'm going to drag thusly, and notice as I drag toward the transformation origin I make the shape smaller. As I drag away if I were to drag away, I'd make it bigger. I'm pressing the Shift key by the way, while I do this so that I'm getting a proportional resize, or you can also get a width only resize or a height only resize, when you have the Shift key down. That's why that shape's snapping around there. So I want the shape to be about that big there, I think.
And I'll go ahead and press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac, and then I'll release in order to create a new version of that shape. And we need to assign some different strokes and fills. Now make sure that your Appearance palette is up on screen, cause see that drop shadow right there, I need you to get rid of it, by grabbing the drop shadow item and dropping it on the trash can just to delete it, and let's throw one of the strokes away too. Your call, you can throw either stroke away. It doesn't matter which one because we're going to replace both the stroke and the fill. So here's what I want you to do with the stroke. I want you to make, let's see if the stroke is active, it is inside of the toolbox. You can also make the stroke active just by clicking on it here inside the Appearance palette.
And I'm going to make the stroke 1 point, and I'm going to go ahead and change it to one of the swatches here inside the Swatches palette, this guy right there, which is known as Darkness. It's a very dark brown. And then I'm going to switch to the fill either by pressing the X key or I could click on this fill item here inside the Appearance palette, as long as we're doing Appearance palette stuff. And now we're going to switch this guy to Aztec gold, because the marauders thought the Aztecs had gold anyway. So I'm going to go ahead and apply that gold to this doohickey here, to this square. I've still got the Scale Tool active. I'm going to click once again just to make sure the transformation origin, which notice has been reset. Illustrator thoughtfully reset it to the center. Thank you, very not Illustrator.
I don't appreciate when programs do things when I'm not looking. Anyway, I went ahead and clicked in the bottom left corner, because I want to keep the transformation origin at that point, then I'm going to drag, press and hold the Shift key and the Alt key and release, and the new attributes that we're going to assign here. I'm going to assign, for fill I'm going to assign this guy: Plains grass. And then for the stroke, I'm going to go ahead and switch it out by pressing the X key and I'm going to apply good old Rich black, Richie Rich Black, there we go. Very nice, and that's it, that's really all that I'm going to do to this shape, but because I have that transformation origin control, I can do the scaling and the alignment all at once.
I don't have to scale and then drag the shapes into place and so on. Now I'm going to go ahead and select these three items by clicking on one and Shift-clicking on the other two, and I'm going to group them together by pressing Control+G or Command+G and a Mac, might as well use the keyboard shortcut. And now I'll zoom out so that we can take in our artwork from a little bit of the distance here. That's it. That is that little square ornament over here, group of squares ornament over here on the left hand side. In the next exercise we'll go ahead and replicate this squares ornament to the other points on the star here and we'll do that using the Rotation Tool.
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