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In Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced, author and industry expert Deke McClelland teaches how to take advantage of the wide array of dynamic features in Illustrator CS5. This course demonstrates how to apply these features to paths, groups, and editable text to create professional-quality artwork. The course covers Live Trace, Live Paint, and Live Color, as well as symbols, gradients, exporting, and integration with Photoshop. Exercise files accompany the course.
I have saved my progress to Slightly off alignment.ai. So called, because our endpoints here at the knee are slightly out off alignment with each other. So here's how to solve the problem. At least this is what I came up with in my case, you may have to experiment a little to get exactly the same results. But what I am going to do here is scroll to the bottom of the layers panel and turn off the template layer so that we can focus our attention just on this green knee. I am also going to turn off the guides layers for now. We will come back to it later.
I am going to press Ctrl+Y or Cmd+ Y on the Mac to switch to the outline mode, so that we can better see our path outlines. I am going press Shift+Tab in order to hide those right side panels so I have more room to work. Now with the Black Arrow tool I am going to click on this path outline to select it here and I am going to switch over to the Scissors tool, which you may have to select from the Eraser tool flyout menu, or you can press C key. I am going to click right there at the toe, at the base of the calf, and then I will press and hold the Ctrl key or the Cmd key on the Mac to temporarily get my Black Arrow tool, and I will click on this thigh path right there to select it, and then I will click right there.
Having released Ctrl or Cmd I will click with the Scissors tool in order to cut that point. So we now have two independent paths to work with right here. Using the Black Arrow tool I will lift these guys up and I am going to align them together at their end point so that they snap into alignment right there. Then I am going to press the A key to switch to the White Arrow tool. I will marquee those two coincident end points, and to make sure they are coincident, again very, very important, press Ctrl+Shift+Alt+J or Cmd+Shift+Option+J on the Mac to join the two points together.
You should bring up the Join dialog box. If so, select Corner and click OK. Again, it's very important that you see that dialog box. Now I am going to press the V key to switch back to my Black Arrow tool and I am going to grab this endpoint right there, and I am going to drag it so that it snaps into alignment at the top of the thigh right there, which means that those two endpoints are exactly aligned, but these two are not as you can see. So now what we need to do is a combination of rotating and scaling these paths into exact alignment.
Let me show you how that works. And this is where you and I might differ. You might have to try out something different, because after all your path outline's going to be a little different than mine. But anyway, I am going to switch to the Rotate tool. Then I am going to click to set my transformation origin on that endpoint that is properly aligned, so over here on the far right side of the thigh. Then I am going to zoom in like crazy at this location where the points are not aligning properly and I am going to drag up like so and I am going to drag just slightly beyond the other end point.
See that, I am just leaving a little gap between the two, and now I am going to grab my Scale tool. The great thing about the Transformation tools is as long as you switch back and forth between them, you maintain the same origin point. So I don't have to go all the way back over there to the right side of the thigh to reset the Transformation origin. It's already there. I will just go ahead and drag from this anchor point until it snaps into alignment with the other one. Now if I have done everything properly, then I should find out that these two outlines here, these two segments are more or less in alignment with each other, or very, very darn close.
So I will go and switch back to the Rotate tool and this time I am going to Alt+Click or Option+Click on the knee. I am going to set the Angle value -120, press the Tab key. It looks like this is going to align very well, because what was formerly this anchor point is swung around to this location. It looks like I have a alignment, I will click Copy, and all I am doing is testing whether these two path outlines meet each other, and here I am zoomed into 2400% and they are almost exactly on top of each other. So that is going to be good enough.
Now I am going to go ahead and zoom out. I don't need that path. I was just using it for confirmation. So I will press the Backspace key or the Delete key in order to get rid of it and then I am going to switch back to my Black Arrow tool. Now a couple of little cleanup chores here. I will press Shift+Tab to bring back my right side panels. I will turn on the template layer so I can see it once again. Press Ctrl+Y or Cmd+Y on the Mac so that I switch back to the Preview mode. You may notice, I will press Cmd+Y or Ctrl+Y again, you may notice that my new path outlines here on the humanoid layer are not exactly in alignment with those on the template layer.
That, again, does not matter. As long as you create these humanoid paths correctly, these various subpaths that we've been working on, then it doesn't matter whether you get different results in the template or not, all of your various little men are going to align with each other once we start rotating them. Anyway, I will press Ctrl+Y or Cmd+ Y again to switch back to the Preview mode, and I am going to bring back my guides layer. And notice that this guide is no longer in alignment with the knee. I want it to be exactly aligned with the knee. So I will go up to the View menu, I'll choose Guides, and I'll choose Lock Guides to turn it off, and then I will click on this little circle right there, and I'll drag it until it snaps into alignment with the knee, everything is copacetic now, so I will go back to the View menu, choose Guides, lock him back down.
Then I am going to take that guides layers and drag it below template once again. All right, we are now ready to embark upon the task of joining our various path outlines to each other, and we are going to do that in the very next exercise.
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