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Replacing the spine of a blend

From: Illustrator CS4 Beyond the Basics

Video: Replacing the spine of a blend

So we know that a spine is made up of a variety of different elements. We know that we have key objects that define the start and end points of a blend, or if I have multiple objects inside of a blend, they define just different areas that that blend goes through. I have the spine of the blend, which is this line that gets created that kind of connects the key objects inside of my blend, and then of course I have the steps that are created for the blend itself. So let's take a closer look though at the spine of my blend. I am going to use my Direct Selection tool and just click anywhere inside of the blend over here in the file. It's called replace_spine.ai. And you can see that I have three key objects and I have this spine that goes through each of them. It also has an anchor point that is defined for each of those particular stops along the way, for those key objects.

Replacing the spine of a blend

So we know that a spine is made up of a variety of different elements. We know that we have key objects that define the start and end points of a blend, or if I have multiple objects inside of a blend, they define just different areas that that blend goes through. I have the spine of the blend, which is this line that gets created that kind of connects the key objects inside of my blend, and then of course I have the steps that are created for the blend itself. So let's take a closer look though at the spine of my blend. I am going to use my Direct Selection tool and just click anywhere inside of the blend over here in the file. It's called replace_spine.ai. And you can see that I have three key objects and I have this spine that goes through each of them. It also has an anchor point that is defined for each of those particular stops along the way, for those key objects.

Now you will notice that the actual spine itself is made up of straight lines, in fact, we can think of these as corner anchor points, there are no curves here. So for example, if I were to take this key object right over here, and move it down over here, the actual spine, see, it goes straight from this object, and then straight to this one as well. However, there is no reason why you can't use a curve for a spine as well. In fact, the path that is actually created that defines the spine of your blend is simply created using corner anchor points, but you can change those to smooth anchor points at any time. So in fact, I'm actually going to go over here to my Pen tool, click and hold my mouse button down, to bring up the pop-up, and choose my Convert Anchor Point tool. I'll now move my mouse over the anchor point for this middle part over here of my spine, and I'll click- and-drag to turn that anchor point, from a corner anchor point to a smooth anchor point. When I release the mouse, now, I could see that my blend follows that particular curve.

So you can see very easily that I can really modify the spine itself at any point. It's a regular path. In fact, I can use effects on it. Like I can do a Zig Zag effect, if I wanted to. I could use the Liquefy tools on it. It acts just like a regular path inside of Illustrator, yet the steps that are created for my blend follow that particular path. In fact, when I'm going to press Undo for a second here. We can go back to where it was before. I'll press Undo twice. Because I want to show you that you don't even have to even modify that path. I can use a completely different path altogether. I'm going to use my Pen tool here, I'm just going to go over here to where it says Pen tool. I'm just going to click-and-drag, and create some kind of a curved path, something like this for example. I'll go ahead, and I'll select this particular shape right here. I don't even have to change its attributes. I could highlight that to select it. And then also select my blend.

I'm using my regular Selection tool for this. So now I have two elements selected. I have my blend and a regular plain path, and I can now choose Object > Blend and then I'll choose this setting here called Replace Spine. Because right now I actually have a separate path selected. Illustrator gives me the options to actually replace the spine that's currently in my blend, which is the straight line, with the other path that I now have selected. And doing so, I can now see that that arrow follows the path that I have already defined. Now I actually want to show you some of the settings though that apply inside of the Blend Options dialog box, because now that we understand that we could actually have our curve set for our spine. We could also take a look at some of the other settings that maybe were not so easy to figure out before.

For example, I'm going to go to the Object menu here, I'm going to choose Blend, and the Blend Options, for this particular blend here. Move this down over here. I'm going to change this to Specified Steps, just so we can more clearly see exactly what's happening here on the blend. And maybe set to around 12 steps. So now you can specifically see the arrows that are here. Now notice, all the arrows are on the same rotation, as they were and they are aligning themselves to the page, the way that they were created on the page. However, if I look over here, where it says Orientation. I see that I have two options, the first one over here called, Align to Pages, the default setting. However, if I change to this option called, Align to Path, the actual objects on the blend, the steps in the blend, will take into account, the curvature of the path, and follow that path, instead of just the orientation of the page. So by choosing this option, you can now see that the actual object kind of, rotate and flip along this area.

Now, in this particular example here, I did have the arrows on an angle, so they are all kind of aiming up towards as they kind of move upwards. But as you create any kind of a shape, by choosing the Orientation to Align to the Path, the objects themselves will actually follow the path itself, instead of just always remaining set to the page itself. Now one of the main reasons, why you also might want to replace the spine, besides trying to follow exactly how a particular blend is created, you might also want to use this when you are creating a blend for animation. For example, if I'm trying to have one object move from one side of the page to another, if I don't want to have it go in a straight line, think of, for example, a motion path in Flash, I can have those elements follow along, with specific guided path.

So remember that there are really two ways to work with a spine of a blend inside of Illustrator. I can either modify the spine that's automatically created when I define my blend, or I can create any path that I want to and simply replace that spine on the blend.

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This video is part of

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Illustrator CS4 Beyond the Basics

137 video lessons · 29034 viewers

Mordy Golding
Author

 
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  1. 2m 4s
    1. Welcome
      1m 41s
    2. Using the exercise files
      23s
  2. 33m 20s
    1. Introducing Live Paint
      38s
    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 36s
    1. Introducing the trace options
      39s
    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 58s
    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
      33s
    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
      32s
    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 23s
    1. Introducing graphic styles
      33s
    2. Applying graphic styles
      10m 8s
    3. Defining graphic styles
      8m 46s
    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
      32s
    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
      40s
    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 57s
    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
      40s
    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
      23s
    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 43s
    1. Introducing distortions
      27s
    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 44s
    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
      32s
    2. Blending two objects
      6m 18s
    3. Adjusting blend options
      5m 47s
    4. Blending anchor points
      5m 36s
    5. Blending three or more objects
      2m 9s
    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 54s
    1. Introducing charts and graphs
      35s
    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 21s
    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
      23s
    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
      25s
    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
      29s

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