Illustrator CS4 Beyond the Basics
Illustration by Richard Downs

Repeating transformations


Illustrator CS4 Beyond the Basics

with Mordy Golding

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Video: Repeating transformations

In Illustrator, anytime that you move or make an adjustment to an object using any of the following settings, for example, the Rotate, Scale or if you look beneath these tools, there is a Reflect tool as well and also the Share tool. These are called Transformations. So the most common transformation is simply like moving or copying an object or rotating or scaling an object for example. Well, in Illustrator there is also a command called Transform Again, which allows you to repeat the last transformation that you made which depending on how you are working could be incredibly useful. Let me give you a couple of examples.
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  1. 2m 4s
    1. Welcome
      1m 41s
    2. Using the exercise files
  2. 33m 20s
    1. Introducing Live Paint
    2. Drawing in Illustrator
      4m 21s
    3. Creating a Live Paint group
      2m 54s
    4. Using the Live Paint Bucket tool
      3m 17s
    5. Using Live Paint with open paths
      2m 29s
    6. Detecting gaps in Live Paint groups
      4m 17s
    7. Adding paths to a Live Paint group
      3m 41s
    8. Using the Live Paint Selection tool
      5m 44s
    9. Releasing and expanding Live Paint groups
      2m 55s
    10. Understanding how Live Paint groups work
      3m 4s
  3. 49m 35s
    1. Introducing the trace options
    2. Setting expectations: Live Trace
      2m 26s
    3. Using the Live Trace feature
      1m 51s
    4. Understanding how Live Trace works
      5m 41s
    5. Making raster-based adjustments
      5m 52s
    6. Tracing with fills, strokes, or both
      2m 55s
    7. Making vector-based adjustments
      6m 12s
    8. Adjusting colors in Live Trace
      4m 39s
    9. Using Photoshop with Live Trace
      5m 22s
    10. Releasing and expanding Live Trace artwork
      2m 57s
    11. Saving and exporting Live Trace presets
      2m 36s
    12. Tracing in Batch mode with Adobe Bridge
      1m 35s
    13. Turning an image into mosaic tiles
      2m 28s
    14. Tracing an image manually
      4m 22s
  4. 1h 24m
    1. Introducing 3D
    2. Setting expectations: 3D in Illustrator
      2m 53s
    3. How fills and strokes affect 3D artwork
      4m 43s
    4. Applying the 3D Extrude & Bevel effect
      6m 25s
    5. Applying a bevel
      5m 40s
    6. Showing the hidden faces of a 3D object
      4m 49s
    7. Applying the 3D Revolve effect
      5m 22s
    8. Visualizing the revolve axis
      3m 5s
    9. Applying the 3D Rotate effect
      1m 35s
    10. Adjusting surface settings
      9m 33s
    11. Understanding the importance of 3D and groups
      3m 24s
    12. Preparing art for mapping
      10m 19s
    13. Mapping artwork to a 3D surface
      14m 21s
    14. Hiding geometry with 3D artwork mapping
      4m 0s
    15. Extending the use of 3D in Illustrator
      8m 7s
  5. 44m 37s
    1. Introducing transformations and effects
    2. Using the Transform panel
      12m 37s
    3. Repeating transformations
      5m 23s
    4. Using the Transform Each function
      3m 48s
    5. Using the Convert to Shape effects
      5m 49s
    6. Using the Distort & Transform effects
      5m 12s
    7. Using the Path effects
      6m 58s
    8. Using the Pathfinder effects
      4m 18s
  6. 28m 24s
    1. Introducing graphic styles
    2. Applying graphic styles
      10m 8s
    3. Defining graphic styles
      8m 47s
    4. Previewing graphic styles
      2m 10s
    5. Modifying graphic styles
      3m 30s
    6. Understanding graphic styles for text
      3m 16s
  7. 22m 49s
    1. Introducing advanced masking techniques
    2. Understanding clipping masks
      7m 15s
    3. Using layer clipping masks
      6m 30s
    4. Creating opacity masks
      8m 32s
  8. 1h 6m
    1. Introducing color
    2. Considering three types of color swatches
      7m 7s
    3. Managing color groups
      2m 58s
    4. Understanding the HSB color wheel
      3m 57s
    5. Understanding color harmonies
      2m 58s
    6. Using the color guide
      3m 54s
    7. Limiting the color guide
      3m 17s
    8. Modifying color with the Recolor Artwork feature
      6m 25s
    9. Using the Edit tab to adjust color
      5m 44s
    10. Using the Assign tab to replace colors
      8m 37s
    11. Making global color adjustments
      2m 17s
    12. Using Recolor options
      7m 3s
    13. Converting artwork to grayscale
      3m 23s
    14. Simulating artwork on different devices
      3m 18s
    15. Accessing Kuler directly from Illustrator
      2m 7s
    16. Ensuring high contrast for color-blind people
      2m 42s
  9. 53m 19s
    1. Introducing transparency
    2. Understanding transparency flattening
      2m 31s
    3. Exercising the two rules of transparency flattening
      10m 53s
    4. Understanding complex regions in transparency flattening
      4m 50s
    5. Exploring the transparency flattener settings
      8m 37s
    6. Using transparency flattening and object stacking order
      6m 39s
    7. Using the Flattener Preview panel
      6m 31s
    8. Creating and sharing Transparency Flattener presets
      2m 25s
    9. Working within an EPS workflow
      5m 3s
    10. Understanding the Illustrator and InDesign workflow
      5m 10s
  10. 50m 1s
    1. Introducing prepress and output
    2. Understanding resolutions
      8m 27s
    3. Discovering RGB and CMYK "gotchas"
      5m 42s
    4. Using Overprints and Overprint Preview
      7m 43s
    5. Understanding "book color" and proofing spot colors
      8m 1s
    6. Collecting vital information with Document Info
      2m 28s
    7. Previewing color separations onscreen
      1m 12s
    8. Making 3D artwork look good
      2m 16s
    9. Seeing white lines and knowing what to do about them
      2m 41s
    10. Creating "bulletproof" press-ready PDF files
      3m 45s
    11. Protecting content with secure PDFs
      2m 48s
    12. Using PDF presets
      2m 47s
    13. Moving forward: The Adobe PDF Print Engine
      1m 48s
  11. 35m 44s
    1. Introducing distortions
    2. Using the Warp effect
      4m 20s
    3. The Warp effect vs. envelope distortion
      3m 48s
    4. Applying the Make with Warp envelope distortion
      2m 45s
    5. Applying the Make with Mesh envelope distortion
      2m 41s
    6. Applying the Make with Top Object envelope distortion
      3m 45s
    7. Editing envelopes
      5m 0s
    8. Adjusting envelope settings
      4m 2s
    9. Releasing and expanding envelope distortions
      1m 45s
    10. Applying envelope distortions to text
      1m 27s
    11. Using the liquify distortion tools
      3m 5s
    12. Customizing the liquify tools
      2m 39s
  12. 28m 56s
    1. Introducing blends
    2. Blending two objects
      6m 18s
    3. Adjusting blend options
      5m 47s
    4. Blending three or more objects
      2m 9s
    5. Blending anchor points
      5m 36s
    6. Replacing the spine of a blend
      4m 32s
    7. Reversing the direction of a blend
      2m 15s
    8. Releasing and expanding a blend
      1m 47s
  13. 46m 56s
    1. Introducing charts and graphs
    2. Setting expectations: Graphs in Illustrator
      3m 19s
    3. Creating a chart
      8m 2s
    4. Importing data
      3m 34s
    5. Formatting data
      5m 1s
    6. Customizing a chart
      10m 22s
    7. Combining chart types
      2m 40s
    8. Creating graph designs
      6m 0s
    9. Styling and updating graphs
      5m 33s
    10. Ungrouping graphs
      1m 49s
  14. 26m 36s
    1. Introducing Gradient Mesh
    2. Understanding the Gradient Mesh feature
      9m 34s
    3. Using Gradient Mesh to add contoured shading
      6m 14s
    4. Using Gradient Mesh to create photorealistic effects
      10m 25s
  15. 8m 18s
    1. Introducing flare effects
    2. Drawing a lens flare
      3m 28s
    3. Modifying a lens flare
      1m 27s
    4. Using a mask with lens flares
      2m 58s
  16. 29s
    1. Goodbye

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Watch the Online Video Course Illustrator CS4 Beyond the Basics
9h 42m Intermediate Apr 03, 2009

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Covering a wide range of topics, from advanced masking to chart creation, Illustrator CS4 Beyond the Basics reveals a whole new level of power, creativity, and efficiency with Illustrator. Instructor Mordy Golding explores how to work with Live Paint groups, get the most out of the Live Trace feature, and take advantage of Illustrator’s wide range of effects. He also discusses advanced transformation techniques, powerful 3D functionality, and important color concepts. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Tracing artwork both automatically and manually
  • Mapping artwork to complex 3D surfaces
  • Using pressure-sensitive distortion tools
  • Recoloring artwork across a document
  • Using Excel data to create charts and graphs
  • Understanding how transparency really works
  • Creating high-quality, press-ready PDFs
  • Building efficient files with graphic styles
Mordy Golding

Repeating transformations

In Illustrator, anytime that you move or make an adjustment to an object using any of the following settings, for example, the Rotate, Scale or if you look beneath these tools, there is a Reflect tool as well and also the Share tool. These are called Transformations. So the most common transformation is simply like moving or copying an object or rotating or scaling an object for example. Well, in Illustrator there is also a command called Transform Again, which allows you to repeat the last transformation that you made which depending on how you are working could be incredibly useful. Let me give you a couple of examples.

I have this file, I'm going to use my regular Selection tool to select this group of objects, and so I need to make several of these. So what I can do is I can select it and then hold down the Option key and then click-and-drag this particular object. So again if I'm on a Mac right now I'm holding the Option key, which copies an object, and the Shift key, which constrains the movement of this. If you are on a PC we would hold down the Alt and the Shift keys to do the exact same thing. Now what I'll do is I'll drag it just about over here and I'll let go. So what I've just as I have created now a copy of that artwork and that's a standard transformation side of Illustrator, the Option or the Alt key simply copies the object that you are moving instead of just moving the object itself.

But now that I have just applied that transformation what I can do is I can tell Illustrator that transformation that we just did right now, we copied, we moved it all in one motion, I want you to do that again. And what I'll do is I'll press the Command+D key on my keyboard or if you are on a PC there will be Control+D and that will repeat the last transformation. So see now I have a third copy here. If I have to press the key again I'll get a fourth one. I'll show you where that command exists inside of the menu. If I go over here to the Object menu, I can choose Transform and then Transform Again. Here we can see what the keyboard shortcut is.

So I can also likewise take these four groups right now. Again hold down the same keys, I'm on the Mac here so Option and then Shift drag down and constrain in a straight line, again if you are on a PC, there will be Alt and Shift. I release the mouse. Now I have a whole bunch of copies here. Again, Command+D or Control+D. We continue to make more copies that way. So that's one easy way to simply take one object and make multiple copies of it. Now let me show you another example here which really makes the Repeat Transform or the Transform Again feature very, very useful. I'm going to delete all these objects right here. I'm going to take this little surfboard that I have.

Let's say I want to create some kind of design where I have surfboard, it's kind of fanning out in a circular motion. What I'm going to do is I'll actually draw a guide right down the center of this object. One of the great things about working with Illustrator is that the guide snaps to anchor point inside of Illustrator. So I have this object, when you select it there is an anchor point right, smack here at the top of surfboard, so what I have just done now is I've drawn a guide that now aligns directly to the center of the surfboard. I don't really care where the ruler sits over here. I just know that I wanted to snap directly to the center of this particular surfboard. Now we know that when we are working inside of Illustrator we want to use transformations, for example, say the Rotate command. We have the ability to set an origin, of where that particular rotation takes places from. So for example right now if I take my Rotate tool here or I just tap the Alt key on the keyboard to do this, you will see this little icon here in the middle which identifies that origin point right there. So if I were to just click-and-drag you see how it rotates around that center point, press Undo for a second here.

If I were to click let's say on this corner of the object right here, what I'm doing is I'm now basically redefining where that origin point is and if I click-and-drag the object rotates from that point right there. Now it's really important to know that Illustrator is that the origin point does not need to even be on the object itself it could be anywhere arbitrarily on the artboard. So for example if I were to go ahead and define an origin point by just clicking once right over here, I can now go ahead and drag this particular piece of artwork and see how it rotates around that center. So I'll press Undo one more time and what I can do, by that way, is I can simply go ahead and again using that as my origin point, I would say right about over here, click once over here. I can hold down the Alt key, right, or the Option key to create a copy. And now if I were to repeat the transformation, because the transformation had an origin point down over here pressing Command+D or Control+D would simply continue to rotate those objects around in a circle.

Now notice if they don't really line up exactly the way that they should and that's because I just arbitrarily rotated a certain amount. But of course when we think about a circle it's 360 degrees so if I were to actually think of any particular rotation value that I would add, that would be an amount that would divide directly into that 360 degrees. Then I could get a bunch of surfboards around in a circle, which would all be precisely and perfectly distributed around the circle. So let me show you how I would do that, I would actually use the Transformation inside of Illustrator but doing so with a specific amount. So what I'm doing is I'm going to hold-down the Option key, I'm going to click right over here where I want origin point to be, and now in doing so I get to Rotate dialog box. And I'll specify any value that will be able to divide even into 360. For example I'll type-in 30 degrees. And instead of just clicking OK we should rotate the actual object itself, I'm going to click on the Copy button. So now what I have done is I have taken my regular surfboard here and I have rotated a copy of that exactly 30 degrees but using this as my origin point.

So now that was my last transformation if I were to choose Repeat Transformation yet again I could simply use that keyboard shortcut, and I get a perfect circle, I basically get these surfboards distributed around this circular area in a very nice and even way. So as you are working inside of Illustrator don't forget that quick keyboard shortcut Command+D or Ctrl+D to quickly go ahead and repeat the last transformation that you have applied. It's a command, I'm sure you will be using many times throughout your day.

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