Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
The final stop on our tour of the transformations inside of Illustrator brings us to skewing and reflecting. Skewing allows you to transform an object into almost like a slanted-like appearance, while reflecting actually creates exactly what you think; a reflection of that object, almost like you've mirrored it in a way. Let's first start off by taking a look at the reflecting. I'm going to select this object that I have on my artboard here and I'll make it a little bit larger so you can see it. I'll just resize it like so. If I wanted to reflect this apple, I'll go over to the Tools panel, click and hold on the Rotate tool and find the Reflect tool.
Once I've got the Reflect tool, I can simply come to the edge of this apple and click and drag to reflect it. As you see, it's flipped it right over. If I want to undo that, Ctrl+Z to undo. I can also move this reference point as well. So if I move the reference point and then click, the reference point creates the point of reflection just like this. Without letting go of my mouse, I can also hold down the Option key on Mac; the Alt key on PC, and then when I let go of my mouse, I create a copy of that artwork in a reflected state.
Let me go back and do that one more time. Again, use this little reference point to determine exactly where the reflection is going to occur. So I'll anchor this to the right-hand side. I'll come over and I'll click. Once I click you can see that I get this reflection which I can then rotate based upon that anchor point. If I want to create a duplicate, I hold down the Option key or Alt key. I'll let go of my mouse and then I'll let go of the Option or Alt key. Then I can switch to my Regular Selection tool, and this acts just like any other object. There's no link to this previous object whatsoever.
This object was just a basis for this object. If I want to remove it, I can simply hit the Backspace key. Now you can also reflect artwork by simply using your keyboard as well. If I wanted to do that, I could simply come right here to the edge, click and drag across, and it automatically reflects it for me. Now unfortunately, you can't really constrain the proportions with it that way, so you'll have to know exactly how wide it is. But in this case, you can sort of estimate and get it pretty close. Once I release, I've reflected the object.
If I undo that, come back and do it again, but this time, hold down the Option key, or Alt key on PC, I can actually rotate both sides at the same time in proportion with one another. Once they line up, I can release and I've successfully reflected the object as well. Let's undo that. Now let's take a look at how we can skew the object. I'll move it towards the center of the artboard because I'm not creating a copy this time. I'm going to go up to the Window menu and I'm going to find the Transform panel.
You can also hit Shift+F8 to bring up this panel with your keyboard. Inside of the Transform panel, you're going to notice that you get a lot of information about the current piece of artwork you have selected, like the X and Y coordinates of where it lives currently on the artboard, also the Width and Height. You can constrain the Width and Height so if you make any adjustments, they automatically flow with it. You can also rotate it and specify increments from here, and you can do a Shear or a Skew. In this case, what I'm going to do is just start to skew it and you can pick it at specified increments or you can actually enter in your own value.
In this case, I think I'll do 20. You can see there it just kind of skews it off to the side. I could undo that and let's try it in the other direction, -20 to slant it the other direction. Each time I apply it, it skews it even more. I can use Command+Z or Ctrl+Z to get it right back to normal any time I want. If you don't like using the Transform panel, you can also come right back over to the Tools panel and utilize the Shear tool.
The Shear tool allows you to simply click and drag to perform the shear. That might be a little bit more up your alley, especially if you're an artistic person. We'd like to draw and see things visually on screen. We don't like to pick and choose numbers. So if you want to use the Shear tool, that's a great way to do it. Again, Command+Z or Ctrl+Z the undo and it returns you right back to normal. So now we've completed our tour of the transformation tools here inside of Illustrator. There's no doubt that you're going to be transforming artwork all the time inside of Illustrator and there are certain times when you'd use one transformation over another.
In this case, you would use the Shear tool to create a little bit more of a stylistic look on your artwork, or you might use the Reflect tool to create another copy of it for the use in patterns or something like that. In any case, utilizing these tools is a great way to add a little bit of creative flair to your next project.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
120 Video lessons · 63282 Viewers
119 Video lessons · 70981 Viewers
125 Video lessons · 31959 Viewers
84 Video lessons · 18596 Viewers
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.