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Illustrator can be used to accomplish many different design tasks. For this reason, Illustrator CS4 Essential Training teaches core concepts and techniques that can be applied to any workflow for print, the web, or assets that will find their way into other applications. Mordy Golding explains the elements that make up vector graphics—paths, strokes, and fills—and shows how to use each of Illustrator's drawing tools. He demonstrates how to combine and clean up paths, and organize them into groups and layers. Mordy also covers text editing, working with color, expressive brush drawing, effects, and much more. Exercise files accompany the course.
A function you will find yourself doing quite often is scaling artwork inside of Illustrator; either making things larger or smaller. As with many things that we have seen until this point there are really two ways to do something inside of Illustrator, you can either do things precisely by the numbers, or you can eyeball it on the screen. We have already seen that when you have the bounding box option turned on inside of Illustrator you can click on any object. With the Regular Selection tool you will see a bounding box appear and you can click on any corner and drag it to resize that object. You can either do it non-proportionally or hold down the Shift key to constrain that it is always going to be proportional.
However, you will notice that when you go ahead and you scale things that way it's always scaling from one place. For example, if I click and drag on this corner here I'm scaling up from this lower right hand corner. If I click and drag in the upper right hand corner I'm now scaling it from this particular part of the object as well. I'm going to press Command+Z or Ctrl+Z to undo that. We will now focus on using a specific tool inside of Illustrator called the Scale tool. When you use the Scale tool you have far more options available to you on how you want to scale your artwork. For this exercise we will go ahead and we will zoom in on the Flip Box that's right here. So I'll go ahead and I'll just simply marquee, select an area here that I want to zoom in on. I'll select it. I'll come over here to the tools panel and click the Scale tool.
The first thing you will notice right now is that there is an icon that appears right here in the center; it almost looks like a little cross hairs. That is something that's called the Origin Point. Whenever you scale an object, the object gets scaled from a certain point, that's where the scale originates from; we call that the Origin Point. By default, Illustrator places the Origin Point in the center of your selection. However, you could change the position of that Origin Point at any time. For now, we will leave the Origin Point in the center in its default location. The way to use the Scale tool is you want to move your cursor away from that particular Origin Point. I'm not clicking down the mouse button right now; I'm simply moving my cursor round on the page.
Basically, the way that you think about it, imagine if you had this artwork right now as a regular piece of paper and you stuck a pin right there in the middle. So now this part does not move. So what you can do is you can drag somewhere outside of the edge of the paper and pull it to basically stretch it if you want to, and it will stretch from that point of the artwork. Obviously, if you grab something that's too close to the Origin Point you don't have a lot of leverage to work with. So what you want to do is move your cursor away from that. So for example, I'll click over here and start dragging. I'm not holding down the Shift key, so what I'm able to do is actually scale this non-proportionately. But you can see what I'm doing is, see how its scaling out from the center. If I hold down the Shift key as I do this I'm now basically forced to scale this in a proportional manner. Now when I release the mouse I have scaled it up in size.
I'm going to press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z just to undo that for a moment here. I also want to let you know that if I start doing the exact same thing of holding down the Shift key, I'm also going to add the Alt key or the Option key as I drag. Notice, now you see that double cursor again. This means that I'm not scaling the original artwork; I'm actually scaling a copy of the artwork. So when I release the mouse I'll now have the original plus the copy that's here. I'll undo that one more time, because I want to show you how you can actually change the position of that Origin Point. You could simply click on it and reposition it elsewhere. For example, if I wanted to scale from this part of the artwork right over here, I can now click and drag and it scales from that point, or let me undo, move the Origin Point to let's say over here and now scale from here as well.
Based in the needs for every design task, you may want to position that Origin Point where it makes the most sense. It's also possible to scale artwork numerically. To do so, come over to the Scale tool and simply double click on it. That brings up the Scale dialog box. Here you can enter either an uniform scale number or a non-uniform, meaning different numbers for horizontal and vertical. You could choose to scale the strokes add effects. For example, if you had 1-point stroke on your object and you choose to uncheck, no matter how large you make your object it will always have 1-point stroke. However, if you have 1-point stroke and you turn the setting on and you enlarge it let's say 200%, your stroke will now be 2 points in weight.
As we had discussed in the last chapter, you also have the ability to choose to scale your objects, your patterns, or both. Of coarse, you can choose to scale or copy here by clicking on this button, but I'm going to click Cancel to go back to where I was before. Finally, there may be times when you want to scale something numerically but you also want to specify where the Origin Point should be. To do that, simply select your Scale tool and Option Click in a location from where you want that Origin Point to be. Now, it's important to note that the Origin Point doesn't have to be in the artwork itself, it could really be anywhere. I can scale it from let's say this point right here, by Option Clicking here I get the dialog box and I also get the ability to specify an Origin Point right over here.
It may not be as evident of why it would be important to position the Origin Point so far away from the object when using the Scale tool, but in the next movie we are going to explore using the Rotate tool inside of Illustrator, and there are many uses for actually positioning the Origin Point far away from the object when rotating objects.
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