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Rotating by the numbers

From: Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials

Video: Rotating by the numbers

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.

Rotating by the numbers

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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This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials
Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials

114 video lessons · 37003 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
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  1. 59m 53s
    1. Welcome to Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials
      2m 0s
    2. The unwelcome Welcome screen
      6m 35s
    3. Browsing Illustrator artwork
      4m 53s
    4. Bridge workspaces and favorites
      6m 8s
    5. The anatomy of an illustration
      7m 2s
    6. Examining a layered illustration
      5m 38s
    7. Customizing an illustration
      5m 21s
    8. Creating a new document
      6m 12s
    9. Changing the document setup
      6m 51s
    10. Saving a document
      6m 14s
    11. Closing multiple files
      2m 59s
  2. 1h 3m
    1. Preferences, color settings, and workspaces
      55s
    2. Keyboard Increment and Object Selection
      5m 52s
    3. Scratch Disks and Appearance of Black
      6m 43s
    4. Establishing the best color settings
      5m 35s
    5. Synchronizing color settings in Bridge
      4m 3s
    6. The new CS3 interface
      3m 55s
    7. Organizing the palettes
      9m 4s
    8. Saving your workspace
      2m 33s
    9. Zooming and scrolling
      3m 39s
    10. Using the Zoom tool
      5m 27s
    11. The Navigator palette
      3m 37s
    12. Nudging the screen image
      2m 50s
    13. Scroll wheel tricks
      3m 11s
    14. Cycling between screen modes
      5m 56s
  3. 1h 4m
    1. Why learn Illustrator from a Photoshop guy?
      1m 32s
    2. Introducing layers
      4m 37s
    3. Creating ruler guides
      6m 34s
    4. Creating a custom guide
      3m 28s
    5. Organizing your guides
      5m 50s
    6. Making a tracing template
      3m 34s
    7. Drawing a line segment
      4m 10s
    8. Drawing a continuous arc
      4m 17s
    9. Drawing a looping spiral
      5m 17s
    10. Cutting lines with the Scissors tool
      6m 45s
    11. Aligning and joining points
      7m 58s
    12. Drawing concentric circles
      3m 45s
    13. Cleaning up overlapping segments
      6m 21s
  4. 1h 9m
    1. The anatomy of a shape
      1m 1s
    2. Meet the Tonalpohualli
      4m 8s
    3. Meet the geometric shape tools
      3m 47s
    4. Drawing circles
      6m 36s
    5. Snapping and aligning shapes
      7m 0s
    6. Polygons and stars
      7m 0s
    7. Rectangles and rounded rectangles
      6m 16s
    8. The amazing constraint axes
      6m 30s
    9. Grouping a flipping
      7m 37s
    10. Combining simple shapes into complex ones
      6m 36s
    11. Drawing with Scissors and Join
      6m 3s
    12. Cutting and connecting in Illustrator CS3
      3m 49s
    13. Tilde key goofiness
      2m 55s
  5. 1h 22m
    1. Three simple ingredients, one complex result
      33s
    2. Introducing Fill and Stroke
      3m 42s
    3. Accessing color libraries and sliders
      7m 8s
    4. Using the CMYK sliders for print output
      5m 6s
    5. Using the RGB sliders for screen output
      4m 39s
    6. Color palette tips and tricks
      4m 46s
    7. Creating and saving color swatches
      4m 14s
    8. Trapping gaps with rich blacks
      7m 58s
    9. Filling and stacking shapes
      5m 17s
    10. Dragging and dropping swatches
      6m 16s
    11. Paste in Back, Paste in Front
      5m 43s
    12. Filling shapes inside groups
      5m 16s
    13. Pasting between layers
      3m 34s
    14. Joins, caps, and dashes
      5m 50s
    15. Fixing strokes and isolating your edits
      7m 35s
    16. Creating a pattern fill
      4m 38s
  6. 1h 22m
    1. The power of transformations
      1m 25s
    2. From primitives to polished art
      4m 4s
    3. Clone and Duplicate
      6m 15s
    4. Moving by the numbers
      4m 16s
    5. Using the Reshape tool
      6m 30s
    6. Modifying, aligning, and uniting paths
      7m 0s
    7. Using the Offset Path command
      4m 25s
    8. Styling and eyedropping
      4m 11s
    9. The wonders of the translucent group
      5m 37s
    10. Making a black-and-white template
      3m 48s
    11. Scaling and cloning shapes
      4m 26s
    12. Enlarging and stacking shapes
      5m 6s
    13. Positioning the origin point
      6m 50s
    14. Using the Rotate and Reflect tools
      5m 16s
    15. Series rotation (aka power duplication)
      4m 3s
    16. Rotating by the numbers
      5m 15s
    17. Rotating repeating pattern fills
      4m 32s
  7. 1h 4m
    1. Points are boys, control handles are girls
      2m 16s
    2. Tracing a scanned image or photograph
      4m 34s
    3. Placing an image as a template
      5m 32s
    4. Drawing a straight-sided path
      5m 36s
    5. Moving, adding, and deleting points
      5m 51s
    6. Drawing spline curves with Round Corners
      7m 56s
    7. Smooth points and Bézier curves
      8m 12s
    8. Defining a cusp between two curves
      4m 37s
    9. Adjusting handles and converting points
      7m 4s
    10. Cutting, separating, and closing paths
      7m 31s
    11. Eyedropping template colors
      5m 11s
  8. 1h 28m
    1. Paths never rest
      1m 42s
    2. Meet Uzz, Cloying Corporate Mascot
      2m 22s
    3. Exploring the Appearance palette
      5m 37s
    4. Snip and Spin
      7m 28s
    5. Adding a center point
      3m 57s
    6. Keeping shape intersections
      3m 8s
    7. Lifting fills and selecting through shapes
      4m 14s
    8. Saving and recalling selections
      5m 18s
    9. Rotating is a circular operation
      7m 35s
    10. Lassoing and scaling points
      6m 8s
    11. Using the Transform Each command
      5m 9s
    12. Using the Magic Wand tool
      6m 46s
    13. Converting paths and text to rich black
      2m 27s
    14. The overwrought lace pattern
      3m 21s
    15. Eyedropping Live Effects
      5m 39s
    16. Merging strokes with a compound path
      6m 32s
    17. Selecting and scaling independent segments
      6m 30s
    18. Pucker & Bloat
      4m 49s
  9. 1m 59s
    1. See ya for now
      1m 59s

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