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Reflecting and skewing objects

From: Illustrator CS6 Essential Training

Video: Reflecting and skewing objects

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.

Reflecting and skewing objects

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.

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This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS6 Essential Training
Illustrator CS6 Essential Training

116 video lessons · 75747 viewers

Justin Seeley
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 15s
    1. What is Illustrator?
      1m 15s
  2. 2m 17s
    1. Welcome
      58s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 19s
  3. 41m 25s
    1. Understanding vector graphics
      5m 0s
    2. Setting preferences
      9m 24s
    3. Touring the interface
      9m 41s
    4. Exploring the panels
      6m 54s
    5. Working with the Control panel
      4m 25s
    6. Creating and saving workspaces
      6m 1s
  4. 43m 42s
    1. Creating files for print
      4m 42s
    2. Creating files for the web
      3m 36s
    3. Managing multiple documents
      3m 25s
    4. Navigating within a document
      5m 21s
    5. Using rulers, guides, and grids
      6m 59s
    6. Changing units of measurement
      1m 50s
    7. Using preview modes
      3m 10s
    8. Creating and using custom views
      3m 12s
    9. Locking and hiding artwork
      3m 43s
    10. Creating and using artboards
      7m 44s
  5. 1h 1m
    1. Setting your selection preferences
      5m 57s
    2. Using the Direct Selection and Group Selection tools
      4m 6s
    3. Using the Magic Wand tool
      5m 45s
    4. Using the Lasso tool
      4m 9s
    5. Selecting objects by attribute
      6m 48s
    6. Grouping objects
      3m 7s
    7. Using isolation mode
      4m 48s
    8. Resizing your artwork
      3m 55s
    9. Rotating objects
      2m 10s
    10. Distorting and transforming objects
      6m 26s
    11. Repeating transformations
      5m 6s
    12. Reflecting and skewing objects
      4m 54s
    13. Aligning and distributing objects
      4m 38s
  6. 29m 27s
    1. RGB vs. CMYK
      1m 46s
    2. Adjusting Illustrator color settings
      5m 10s
    3. Process vs. global swatches
      5m 6s
    4. Creating spot colors
      3m 40s
    5. Using the swatch groups
      2m 33s
    6. Working with color libraries
      3m 17s
    7. Importing swatches
      4m 4s
    8. Using the Color Guide panel
      3m 51s
  7. 57m 36s
    1. Understanding fills and strokes
      4m 18s
    2. Working with fills
      4m 58s
    3. Working with strokes
      8m 46s
    4. Creating dashes and arrows
      8m 1s
    5. Creating variable-width strokes
      4m 3s
    6. Using width profiles
      3m 31s
    7. Outlining strokes
      3m 51s
    8. Creating and editing gradients
      5m 45s
    9. Applying gradients to strokes
      3m 8s
    10. Applying and editing pattern fills
      4m 52s
    11. Creating your own pattern fill
      6m 23s
  8. 20m 20s
    1. Understanding paths
      2m 41s
    2. Understanding anchor points
      4m 20s
    3. Working with open and closed paths
      5m 28s
    4. Joining and averaging paths
      4m 9s
    5. Using the Scissors tool and the Knife tool
      3m 42s
  9. 37m 56s
    1. Understanding drawing modes
      4m 23s
    2. Creating compound paths
      5m 15s
    3. Creating compound shapes
      4m 11s
    4. Working with the Shape Builder tool
      6m 32s
    5. Working with the Blob Brush and Eraser tools
      5m 26s
    6. Working with the Paintbrush and Pencil tools
      7m 8s
    7. Smoothing and erasing paths
      5m 1s
  10. 35m 53s
    1. Exploring the Pen tool
      2m 39s
    2. Drawing straight lines
      5m 12s
    3. Drawing simple curves
      5m 23s
    4. Understanding the many faces of the Pen tool
      6m 10s
    5. Converting corners and curves
      1m 46s
    6. Your keyboard is your friend
      2m 14s
    7. Tracing artwork with the Pen tool
      12m 29s
  11. 35m 33s
    1. Adjusting your type settings
      4m 10s
    2. Creating point and area text
      3m 36s
    3. Basic text editing
      2m 14s
    4. Creating threaded text
      4m 59s
    5. Using the type panels
      9m 48s
    6. Creating text on a path
      5m 11s
    7. Converting text into paths
      1m 43s
    8. Saving time with keyboard shortcuts
      3m 52s
  12. 27m 25s
    1. Exploring the Appearance panel
      4m 44s
    2. Explaining attribute stacking order
      1m 40s
    3. Applying multiple fills
      3m 1s
    4. Applying multiple strokes
      4m 20s
    5. Adjusting appearance with live effects
      4m 46s
    6. Saving appearances as graphic styles
      8m 54s
  13. 20m 44s
    1. Exploring the Layers panel
      4m 18s
    2. Creating and editing layers
      3m 27s
    3. Targeting objects in the Layers panel
      3m 3s
    4. Working with sublayers
      3m 0s
    5. Hiding, locking, and deleting layers
      4m 14s
    6. Using the Layers panel menu
      2m 42s
  14. 46m 0s
    1. Placing images into Illustrator
      2m 53s
    2. Working with the Links panel
      6m 5s
    3. Embedding images into Illustrator
      3m 12s
    4. Cropping images with a mask
      5m 8s
    5. Exploring the Image Trace panel
      12m 14s
    6. Tracing photographs
      8m 6s
    7. Tracing line art
      4m 33s
    8. Converting pixels to paths
      3m 49s
  15. 19m 21s
    1. What are symbols?
      2m 45s
    2. Using prebuilt symbols
      3m 3s
    3. Using the Symbol Sprayer tool
      4m 19s
    4. Creating new symbols
      3m 50s
    5. Breaking the symbol link
      3m 19s
    6. Redefining symbols
      2m 5s
  16. 12m 9s
    1. Defining a perspective grid
      4m 29s
    2. Drawing artwork in perspective
      3m 49s
    3. Applying artwork to the grid
      3m 51s
  17. 35m 7s
    1. Printing your artwork
      6m 16s
    2. Saving your artwork
      2m 2s
    3. Saving in legacy formats
      3m 0s
    4. Saving templates
      4m 18s
    5. Creating PDF files
      5m 23s
    6. Saving for the web
      4m 46s
    7. Creating high-res bitmap images
      3m 58s
    8. Using Illustrator files in Photoshop and InDesign
      5m 24s
  18. 56s
    1. Next steps
      56s

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