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Adobe Illustrator has long been the most popular and viable vector-drawing program on the market but, for many, the learning curve is steep. In Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials , author and leading industry expert Deke McClelland teaches the key features of Illustrator in a way that anyone can understand. He also goes beyond that, showing users how to get into the Illustrator "mindset" to make mastering Illustrator simple and easy. The training covers how to use the core drawing and shape tools, the transformation and reshaping features, text and gradients, and color management and printing features. Even if learning Illustrator has been a struggle in the past, this time it is going to make sense. Exercise files accompany the training.
In this exercise I'm going to show you how to rotate objects by the numbers, numerically, and this little trick that I'm going to show you works for all the transformation tools. It works not only for the Rotate Tool but also for the Scale Tool and the Sheer Tool and the Reflect Tool. I'm working inside of a document called Season of the eggs.ai and you might wonder, Hunh, that's a curious title for an illustration of a 260-day Aztec spiritual calendar that we've seen 20 times now. What gives? Well there's this little egg right there. See it? See that egg? Aww. It's cute.
And just imagine the cute little chicky that's inside of that egg. That's how cute that egg is. And I'm going to go ahead and rotate it, not so surprisingly, and I'm going to do that by grabbing my Rotate Tool. Now I was telling you I'm going to rotate by the numbers. Inside of another program, that is not being Illustrator, if you is switch to the Rotate Tool or if you switch the rotation mode or something, you would see an angle value up here in the Control palette or inside the options bar, someplace on the screen right away you'd see it and you'd be able work with it. Well not Illustrator. It does have a Transform palette that you can bring up, and then you could go ahead and dial in a numerical rotation value, but if you did, let's say I say, Hey, I want to rotate this egg by 45 degrees and then you press the Enter key in order to make it happen, well that's what happens when you rotate a circle 45-degrees. It just sits there. Its points rotate around and nothing else happens.
So let's undo that rotation. We need to be able to control the center of the rotation, don't we? And we can do that using the Rotate Tool. Now a couple of different ways to work. One is you double-click on the Rotate Tool, but if you do that you're in that same sticky situation where you're rotating around the center of the selected item. So here I am rotating it -45 degrees. I've got Preview turned on. You could turn it on too, if you want to and I can see what's going to happen, which is nothing. All right so how do I define the rotation origin and rotate numerically? Well I'll cancel out of here, and I'll show what you what to do. You go ahead and position your cursor where you want it to be, where you want the rotation origin to be that is.
And then you go ahead and Alt-click at that location. On the Macintosh side you would Option-click and now the notice it's come up with the same default angle value of -45 degrees, and by the way this is a little confusing, negative values rotate clockwise, positive values rotate counterclockwise, and the reason is that's the way it is in the world of mathematics. If you recall back to your geometry days in school or trigonometry, any of those things, any of those spatial math things that's the way that rotation works, so you'll have to forgive Illustrator for following the rules of math but anyway, that puts the egg over here as you may notice. Well that's not what I want. I want -8 degrees and I'll press the Tab key in order to update my preview. There it is and I just happen to know that -8 degree is going to work for this egg.
So now what I want to do is click Copy in order to create a clone of the egg, so that we have two eggs in a row and then I'm going to go ahead and press Control+D, Control+D. That would be Command+D, Command+D on the Mac in order to create two more eggs so that we have a nice row of eggs, like they're in a little egg container don't you know, that just happens to be mounted on the side of an Aztec calendar, that makes sense. All right now I'm going to go ahead and grab my black arrow tool and I'm going to Shift-click on each one of the eggs in order to select all four of them, and then I'm going to group them as I'm want to do, by pressing Control+G or Command+G on the Mac so that I can keep them together. I don't want those eggs to stray, should they hatch. Now I'm going to go get my Rotate Tool once again, and I'm going to Option or Alt-click right there in the center of the fellow's nose, once again.
And by the way I should say that, I said this before but I want to mention again, this Alt-clicking or Option-clicking technique, it works for the Scale Tool. It works for the Sheer Tool. It works for the Reflect Tool. Okay, so just bear that in mind. You can do it with those tools as well. Now I'm going to say, let's just say 45 degrees this time, positive value. Now it's under the dialog box, so I'll move the dialog box so we can see them. So there they are. Good, that's a good thing. I'll go ahead and click Copy in order to copy them over there, and then Control+D, Control+D, Control+D, Control+D, COntrol+D and Control D. That's Command+D several times in a row there on the Macintosh side, and you have all the eggs you'd ever want to have on a calendar.
And I believe this calendar is almost done. I pronounce it almost done at this point. There's only one more thing that we're going to do folks. In the next exercise, the final exercise of this chapter we're going to rotate these little nose patterns. See the nose patterns that are showing up inside of some of these documents are based on the god's nose, right here and we're going to rotate those patterns, as I said next.
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