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Positioning the origin point

From: Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals

Video: Positioning the origin point

In this exercise I'm going to show you how to set the position of the origin point, so that you can precisely control the center of a given transformation. I have gone ahead and saved my progress as Enough circles.ai. After all, we have had enough of the circles already. I am going to go ahead and zoom in on the square. We want to create a couple of additional squares. I'll show you what they look like by clicking on the eyeball in front of the progress layer, so that we can see the template in the background. So we have this larger square right here that I'm tracing with my no can draw icon, because we can't affect this locked layer. Then we have a couple of smaller squares that are aligned with the bottom-left corner of the larger square. So that's where we are going to set our transformation origin, right there in that bottom-left corner.

Positioning the origin point

In this exercise I'm going to show you how to set the position of the origin point, so that you can precisely control the center of a given transformation. I have gone ahead and saved my progress as Enough circles.ai. After all, we have had enough of the circles already. I am going to go ahead and zoom in on the square. We want to create a couple of additional squares. I'll show you what they look like by clicking on the eyeball in front of the progress layer, so that we can see the template in the background. So we have this larger square right here that I'm tracing with my no can draw icon, because we can't affect this locked layer. Then we have a couple of smaller squares that are aligned with the bottom-left corner of the larger square. So that's where we are going to set our transformation origin, right there in that bottom-left corner.

All right, so turn back on the progress layer, and my Scale tool is still active as you can see here, but I want to go ahead and select the square. So I'm going to press the Ctrl key or the Command key on the Mac in order to get my last used Arrow tool on the fly, and that would be the Black Arrow tool in my case. Then I'll click with Ctrl or Command down, this path in order to select it. You can see it has a double stroke effect. If you want to figure out what's going on there, you switch over to the Appearance palette, and you can see that we have got two strokes. One is a black stroke, this guy right there, which is 2 points thick, and it's centered on the path outline. The other is the 1.5 point stroke. I'll go ahead and make this palette a little wider so you can see that. It's set inside of the path boundary. So that's what's going on.

By the way, this is a great thing in Illustrator CS4 that we are going to be exploring over and over throughout this series. You finally have eyeballs inside of the Appearance palette. It used to be if you wanted to see the way an object looked without a given attribute, you had to take that attribute and throw it in a trash. That would give you sense what it would look like without it; and then you would press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac to undo that trashing of the attribute. Now you have what you would expect to have, which is an eyeball. So if I wanted to see what this rectangle looked like without the top stroke, I would just turn off that eyeball. Then I would say oh, it's just a standard black stroke, and this is what things would look like with that inner stroke, and without the larger stroke.

So just so you know that is an option that's available to you, and you can save, if I were to go ahead and save this graphic in the Illustrator CS4 format, then I could say which attributes are turned off and which are turned on. If I were to save to earlier format, CS3, CS2, and so on, then Illustrator would just go ahead and throw away the hidden attributes; just FYI. Anyway, I'm going to turn that back on. So having gone ahead and selected this rectangle, let's set the origin point. So notice the origin point, if you look very carefully, you will be able to see this on your screen pretty easily. It's a little harder to see in video, but there is this kind of green on green target icon right there. That shows you the transformation origin. If you want to move it, you can click on it and drag it, or you can just click at a point in order to set the transformation origin there.

I want it to be in the bottom-right corner, on that corner point. So I'll click, and now we have the target right there. It's really hard to see now, but it is there. Okay, now I want to go ahead and drag this square down in order to scale it down, but we can't really see what we are doing, because we are hiding the templates. So let's go back to the Layers palette and Ctrl-click or Command-click on that eyeball, so that we are getting our results exactly right, in case you are interested in doing that. I'll now move my cursor 45 degrees away from that transformation origin point. I can even move it down here, it doesn't matter, but it's sort of more intuitive if you put your cursor near the object.

I will go ahead and drag downward, like so. So down and to the left toward the transformation origin, which is now a little bit easier to see than it was before. I'll press the Shift key in order to constrain my square to a square. Then I'll press the Alt key as well in order to ensure that I'm getting a clone; that would be the Option key on the Mac. So you have got Shift+Alt down, or Shift+Option down, go ahead and release your mouse button and you now have a new square. You can safely release the keys. Let's go ahead and switch back to the Preview mode by pressing Ctrl+Y, Command+Y on the Mac, and I'll go to the Appearance palette. This time I just don't want this inner stroke anymore. If you are not sure that you want to throw it away, you could just turn it off, you can just hide it from view; or if you decide, yes, I actually do want it to go away, then you can move down to the trash can. You can either drag it to the trashcan incidentally, or you can go down to the trashcan and click on it, and that item will disappear.

I want to change these attributes a little bit, the Fill and the Stroke, of course. So I'll go to the Fill icon up here in the Control palette, click, and this time around I'm going to choose Aztec gold as the color. Then for the stroke, I'll go ahead and click on the Stroke icon, and I'll change it to darkness. I'm happy, by the way, with the 2-point stroke. So that works just fine. Return to the Layers palette, so we can see what we are dong. Ctrl-click, Command-click on that eyeball in order to switch just this one layer to the key-line mode. The Scale tool is still active, but the transformation origin has gone ahead and reset itself. Darn it, it shouldn't be doing that kind of thing. Click in the lower-left corner to reposition that origin point where it goes.

Then dragging from about here, drag downward toward the origin point in order to reduce the size of the object. Press and hold Shift+Alt on the PC, Shift+Option on the Mac, release your mouse button, release the keys, press Ctrl+Y, Command+Y on the Mac. I'm not trying to go too fast for you here, by the way I hope I'm not? I'm just trying to give you a sense of, sort of, how you work through an illustration. It's just a lot of it's kind of these wrote things that you do over and over again, applied creatively, of course. All right, so I'll go back up to the Control palette or heck, I can switch over to the Appearance palette if I wanted to. I could have done this before too, I could abort from the Appearance palette right here. I'll do it this time. I'll click on that Stroke attribute a couple of times in order to make it active.

Then in order to switch over to this guy, Rich Black, and then I'll move down to the Fill attribute. Click on it, and I'll change it to this swatch, Plains grass. That's our fill. We also want to reduce the stroke weight to 1 point. If you want everything to align properly, I'm going to go ahead and zoom in here to show you what I mean. Notice that the black stroke of the forward rectangle is sitting a little bit above, and to the left of the brown stroke. That's because both of the strokes are aligned to their paths, and the brown stroke is thicker than the black stroke.

If that bothers you, if you want to try and get them both exactly aligned to each other, then you go and click on the Word Stroke here inside the Appearance palette, or up in the Control palette would work too. You would switch to this guy right there, Align Stroke to Outside. And because this black stroke is exactly half as thick as the brown stroke, the two will exactly align to each other. So just another way to work. I mean that's not what I did actually in the template, but that's what I'm doing this time around in the exercise. All right, looking good? In the next exercise we are going to switch away from the Scale tool, and we are going to grab these three objects here, and we are going to rotate them into alignment with each of the points of this purple star right here. Join me.

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This video is part of

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Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals

182 video lessons · 37873 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
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  1. 42m 7s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      1m 58s
    2. The Welcome screen
      3m 2s
    3. Creating a new document
      5m 6s
    4. Advanced document controls
      4m 43s
    5. Saving a custom New Document Profile
      8m 46s
    6. Changing the document setup
      4m 21s
    7. Special artboard controls
      4m 58s
    8. Accepting artboard changes
      2m 19s
    9. Saving a document
      4m 33s
    10. Closing a document
      2m 21s
  2. 1h 0m
    1. Adobe Bridge
      56s
    2. Opening an illustration
      4m 45s
    3. Modifying an illustration
      6m 27s
    4. Saving changes
      4m 58s
    5. Introducing Adobe Bridge
      8m 41s
    6. The all-important file type associations
      3m 20s
    7. Navigating inside Bridge
      4m 23s
    8. Previewing and collecting
      5m 55s
    9. Using workspaces
      6m 41s
    10. Customizing a workspace
      6m 14s
    11. Cool Bridge tricks
      8m 17s
  3. 1h 4m
    1. Preferences, color settings, and workspaces
      35s
    2. Keyboard increments
      5m 12s
    3. Scratch disks
      3m 48s
    4. Changing the user interface and setting Appearance of Black
      4m 14s
    5. Best workflow color settings
      9m 17s
    6. Synchronizing settings across CS4
      3m 2s
    7. Working inside tabbed windows
      7m 14s
    8. Organizing palettes
      5m 4s
    9. Saving a custom workspace
      4m 12s
    10. Zooming and panning
      4m 19s
    11. Using the Zoom tool
      3m 3s
    12. Navigating the artboards
      5m 5s
    13. Nudging the screen image
      3m 3s
    14. Scroll-wheel tricks
      2m 8s
    15. Cycling between screen modes
      4m 39s
  4. 1h 22m
    1. The Wedjat (or Eye of Horus)
      55s
    2. The line tools
      2m 57s
    3. Introducing layers
      5m 10s
    4. Creating ruler guides
      6m 18s
    5. Creating custom guides
      5m 16s
    6. Snap-to points
      5m 25s
    7. Organizing guides
      5m 43s
    8. Making a tracing template
      3m 42s
    9. Drawing a line segment
      4m 29s
    10. Drawing a continuous arc
      5m 28s
    11. Drawing a looping spiral
      6m 5s
    12. Cutting lines with the Scissors tool
      6m 20s
    13. Joining open paths
      7m 31s
    14. Aligning and joining points
      6m 34s
    15. Drawing concentric circles
      4m 41s
    16. Cleaning up overlapping segments
      5m 34s
  5. 1h 4m
    1. The anatomy of a shape
      1m 1s
    2. Meet the shape tools
      3m 5s
    3. The traceable Tonalpohualli
      2m 52s
    4. Drawing circles
      4m 38s
    5. Enhanced Smart Guides
      4m 1s
    6. Aligning to a key object
      4m 29s
    7. Creating polygons and stars
      5m 4s
    8. Using the Measure tool
      3m 47s
    9. The Select Similar and Arrange commands
      3m 56s
    10. Rectangles and rounded rectangles
      6m 8s
    11. The amazing constraint axes
      5m 26s
    12. Grouping and ungrouping
      3m 35s
    13. Flipping and duplicating
      4m 12s
    14. Combining simple shapes into complex ones
      5m 24s
    15. Cutting and connecting with Scissors and Join
      3m 31s
    16. Tilde-key goofiness
      2m 53s
  6. 1h 41m
    1. The ingredients of life
      54s
    2. Fill and Stroke settings
      4m 22s
    3. Transparency grid and paper color
      5m 47s
    4. The None attribute
      5m 4s
    5. Color libraries and sliders
      3m 39s
    6. Industry-standard colors
      4m 38s
    7. Using CMYK for commercial output
      6m 39s
    8. Using RGB for the web
      7m 23s
    9. Color palette tips and tricks
      7m 18s
    10. Creating and saving color swatches
      4m 35s
    11. Trapping gaps with rich blacks
      6m 46s
    12. Filling and stacking shapes
      5m 38s
    13. Dragging and dropping swatches
      5m 0s
    14. Paste in Front, Paste in Back
      4m 54s
    15. Filling shapes inside groups
      5m 28s
    16. Pasting between layers
      4m 41s
    17. Joins, caps, and dashes
      6m 50s
    18. Fixing strokes and isolating edits
      7m 12s
    19. Creating a pattern fill
      4m 57s
  7. 1h 50m
    1. The power of transformations
      1m 20s
    2. From primitive to polished art
      2m 42s
    3. Using the Blob brush
      5m 46s
    4. Resizing the brush and erasing
      4m 15s
    5. Selection limits and methods of merging
      6m 39s
    6. Cloning and auto-duplicating
      6m 45s
    7. Customizing keyboard shortcuts
      3m 7s
    8. Moving by the numbers
      5m 15s
    9. Using the Reshape tool
      7m 47s
    10. Modifying, aligning, and uniting paths
      7m 14s
    11. Using the Offset Path command
      4m 43s
    12. Styling and eyedropping
      5m 28s
    13. Making a black-and-white template
      2m 27s
    14. Scale and clone
      4m 57s
    15. Enlarge and stack
      5m 46s
    16. Positioning the origin point
      6m 59s
    17. Using the Rotate tool
      3m 55s
    18. Using the Reflect tool
      4m 15s
    19. Series rotation (aka power duplication)
      6m 48s
    20. Rotating by the numbers
      6m 12s
    21. Transforming the tile patterns
      7m 52s
  8. 2h 4m
    1. Next-generation text wrangling
      55s
    2. Placing a text document
      5m 38s
    3. Creating a new text block
      6m 1s
    4. Working with point text
      3m 57s
    5. Selecting the perfect typeface
      5m 48s
    6. Scaling and positioning type
      8m 57s
    7. Leading, tracking, and lots of shortcuts
      5m 54s
    8. Adjusting pair kerning
      6m 55s
    9. Eyedropping formatting attributes
      3m 54s
    10. Flowing text from one block to another
      8m 28s
    11. Creating and applying a paragraph style
      7m 39s
    12. Rendering the text in graphite
      5m 55s
    13. Creating a scribbly drop shadow
      5m 17s
    14. Advanced formatting and bullets
      7m 43s
    15. Setting Area Type options
      4m 57s
    16. Justification and the Every-line Composer
      5m 52s
    17. OpenType and ligatures
      7m 19s
    18. Fractions, numerals, and ordinals
      9m 7s
    19. Swashes and small caps
      5m 40s
    20. The amazing Glyphs palette
      8m 12s
  9. 1h 18m
    1. Points are boys, handles are girls
      1m 20s
    2. Placing an image as a tracing template
      6m 56s
    3. Drawing a straight-sided path
      6m 8s
    4. Moving, adding, and deleting points
      6m 50s
    5. Drawing spline curves with Round Corners
      9m 7s
    6. Smooth points and Bézier curves
      8m 29s
    7. Defining a cusp between two curves
      6m 59s
    8. Replicating and reshaping segments
      8m 30s
    9. Converting anchor points
      7m 55s
    10. Deleting stray anchor points
      5m 1s
    11. Separating and closing paths
      5m 43s
    12. Eyedropping template colors
      5m 55s
  10. 1h 40m
    1. Paths never rest
      1m 34s
    2. Exploring the Appearance palette
      9m 54s
    3. Snip and Spin
      8m 3s
    4. Adding a center point
      4m 12s
    5. Keeping shape intersections
      3m 42s
    6. Lifting fills and selecting through shapes
      5m 54s
    7. Saving and recalling selections
      6m 20s
    8. Rotating is a circular operation
      8m 32s
    9. Lassoing and scaling points
      5m 28s
    10. Using the Transform Each command
      4m 11s
    11. Using the Magic Wand tool
      8m 1s
    12. Eyedropping live effects
      9m 58s
    13. Merging strokes with a compound path
      6m 50s
    14. Selecting and scaling independent segments
      7m 59s
    15. Scalloped edges with Pucker & Bloat
      5m 16s
    16. Expand before you merge
      4m 17s
  11. 1h 26m
    1. The new pleasures of printing
      44s
    2. Outlines and artboards in CS4
      7m 35s
    3. Setting trim size and bleed
      7m 17s
    4. Creating custom dynamic crop marks
      3m 41s
    5. Working with the Separations Preview palette
      7m 42s
    6. Trapping an object with an overprint stroke
      8m 20s
    7. Placing multiple artboards into InDesign
      5m 17s
    8. Working with the Print Tiling tool
      4m 55s
    9. Setting the General Print options
      6m 9s
    10. Setting printer marks
      5m 16s
    11. PostScript-only output and graphics
      9m 10s
    12. The Color Management options
      6m 56s
    13. Adjusting the Flattener settings
      7m 32s
    14. Setting the Raster Effects resolution
      5m 32s
  12. 1h 32m
    1. Illustrator does pixels
      51s
    2. Illustrator, PDF, and Save As formats
      8m 15s
    3. Saving an illustration for the web
      6m 13s
    4. Saving a continuous-tone JPEG image
      10m 1s
    5. Saving a high-contrast GIF graphic
      6m 26s
    6. The versatile PNG format
      4m 45s
    7. Saving a scaleable Flash (SWF) graphic
      11m 0s
    8. Opening and placing an Illustrator file in Photoshop
      12m 44s
    9. Exporting a layered PSD from Illustrator
      12m 57s
    10. Exporting to Microsoft Office and PowerPoint
      7m 24s
    11. Sharing with InDesign, Flash, and Photoshop
      12m 12s
  13. 1m 4s
    1. Until next time
      1m 4s

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