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Learn what it takes to design your own mind-bending illusion, in this installment of Designs dekeConstructed—the series that breaks down popular graphic designs and show you how to re-create them on your own. Deke starts out by drawing an "impossible" Penrose triangle and a golden ball in Adobe Illustrator. Next, he plots a path for the ball to follow around the triangle. Last, he moves to Photoshop, where he shows you how to animate the ball with a combination of layer masks and the timeline.
In this movie, we're going to expand all the balls onto independent sublayers, because that's what Photoshop needs in order to render out the final animation. And we'll also rotate and duplicate this first trail to create the other two so that we have the entire sequence of frames. So, the first thing you want to do is click on the Trial 1 layer here at the top of the Layers panel and it can be expanded, as in my case, or not. It doesn't matter. You don't need to have anything selected.
Just make sure that layer is active and then bring up the fly-out menu and choose this command right there, Release to Layers (Sequence), not Build. That'll make a mess of things because it'll build up the balls one by one on top of each other. But rather, you want each ball on its own layer, so just go ahead and choose this first command right there. And now, notice all these colorful layers that are at work, starting, most likely, if you're been dutifully following along with me, with Layer7 and then working its way up. And these are all sublayers inside of the Trail 1 layer, which I am now collapsing by clicking on its initial triangle right there.
All right, now we need to duplicate and rotate this layer. So go ahead and make sure it's selected once again. Then return to the fly-out menu and choose Duplicate trail 1. That'll go ahead and create a new layer layer called Trial 1 copy. We want it to be called Trail 2, so go ahead and name it accordingly. Now, bring back the center guides so that we can see the exact center of the actual triangle. That's the spot around which we want to duplicate the objects on this layer. To select all of them, go ahead and click in the upper right corner of the layer, like so.
And then, you want to select the Rotate tool that you can, of course, get by pressing the R key. And I'm going to zoom in just a little bit here so I can make better sense of the intersection of these two guidelines because it's a little bit hard to see, what with all these selection edges. In fact, to hide the selection edges, I can press Ctrl+H, or Cmd+H on the Mac. The objects are still selected, but we can now better see the guidelines. And so, I'll go ahead and press the Alt key, or the Option key on the Mac, and click at the exact intersection of those two guides.
And what you want is an angle value of negative 120 degrees. So being because after all, we have three trails in all and you take 360 and divide that by three to get 120. And because we're rotating in a clockwise fashion, that angle value has to be negative. At which point, you don't need to click Copy because you already copied the shapes. You need to click OK. All right, now I'm going to go ahead and create another duplicate of this layer by returning to that Layers panel fly-out menu.
And I'll choose Duplicate Layer 2. And that seems to have expanded the layer for me. I don't need that, so I'll go ahead and collapse it once again. And I'll rename this guy Trial 3 this time around. Now all of your shapes should still be selected. If you're not seeing the little selection square right there, then you can click in that upper right corner again. But in my case, everything's ready to go. At which point, you want to Alt-click or Option+click at the intersection of those two guidelines again. You can't just double-click on the tool or any of those tricks.
You have to Alt or Option-click at that intersection. You should still, however, see an angle value of negative 120 degrees. At which point, go ahead and click the OK button in order to blend those paths. And now, I'd recommend you press Ctrl+H or Cmd+H on a Mac to bring back the selection edges. And then, press Ctrl+Shift+A or Cmd+Shift+A on a Mac to deselect everything. And then press Ctrl+0 or Cmd+0 on a Mac to back out so that you can see your entire artwork. And we now have all of these shapes we need, each of which are relegated to independent sublayers to create the final animated frames.
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