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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.
Now it's time for what I think is safe to call the most thrilling and satisfying portion of this project, where we take these three circles on the Just circles layer, these three concentric circles here, and we utterly and completely transform them into this final intricate least pattern here. I happen to be working inside of the Selecting segments.ai document that I've included for you inside of the 08_select_enhance folder. And if you'd like to follow along with me, then I want you, for now, to turn off the Just circles and One shy layers.
Turn on the Final lace layer, and let's go ahead and meatball that layer. I want to convert it into a tracing template so that we can keep an eye on it here. So go ahead and meatball that layer by clicking on it's circle and then go up to the Opacity value here in the Control palette and let's change the Opacity value to 25%. I'm going to leave the One shy layer turned off for now, so that we have no problem seeing through it because it won't even be there. Then I'm going to turn on the Just circles layer. I'm going to lock the Final lace layer so that I don't mess it up and I'm going to click on the Just circles layer to make it active. Now I'm going to grab the innermost of the three concentric circles, and I'm going to go up to the Edit menu, and I'm going to use the Copy command because I want to keep it around. I'm going to want to bring it back in just a moment. Next I'm going to go up to the Select menu and I'm going to choose Object and then I'm going to choose Direction Handles.
Now Direction Handles are one of Adobe's terms for what I call control handles, those Bezier control handles that control the curvature of a segment. And I suppose it's safe to say they control the direction of a segment as well. But this command does not select control handles because it can't. Instead what it does is it deselects the anchor points and selects the curved segments in between. Check it out. That's what it's done right here. So the anchor points are no longer selected and the segments are selected, and as if to prove that to you, I'm going to go ahead and grab my Scale Tool by clicking on the Scale Tool icon in the toolbox or pressing the S key, and then I'm going to move my cursor above and to the right of the shape, as you can see right about here.
And I'm going to drag outward while pressing the Shift key and notice what I'm doing. I'm curling the segment on itself in each of the four different directions there. So they're all curling around on themselves. When I get it to about this location so it matches the template, I'll release and we have something that resembles the Command key on the Macintosh keyboard. In fact, had they had Illustrator back in those days this might have been the approach that they took. They being the designers at Apple. Anyway so we've got a nice loop-the-loop shape going on.
Awesome. Look at those control handles, too. They're totally out of control. They're all over the map here. Now I'm going to press Control+F or Command+F on the Mac in order to paste the original version of that circle in front of the curly cue Command key variation. We're done with the innermost circle. Now let's get the next circle out by Control-clicking on it or Command-clicking on it in order to select it, then I'm going to go up to the Edit menu and copy it again, by choosing the Copy command. Now one of the things you may have noticed about curling the segments outward was that they curled 45-degrees away from their anchor point. So where the anchor points resided, the path did not move, they remained anchored in place. So the segments were allowed to move where there was no anchor point. So I want to now curl up and around like tracing this path right here, and in order to do that I need to rotate my circle. I need to displace, I need to move my anchor points. So I'm going to do that by grabbing my Rotate Tool. I'm just, in fact I'm going to double-click on my Rotate Tool here inside the toolbox.
I'm going to enter an Angle value of 45-degrees and I'm going to press the Tab key, and do you see what happened? The circle doesn't seem to have rotated of course, cause it's a circle, and rotation as we learned earlier is a circular operation. However I did move each one of the anchor points 45-degrees. Nicely done. Now I'll click the OK button. Then I'll go up to the Select menu, choose Object and choose Direction Handles in order to select the segments independently of the anchor points. And now I'll get my Scale Tool, and once again I'll start dragging about 45-degrees away from the center of the shape, and I'll drag from about here while I press the Shift key, drag up and out, away from the shape until I get this sort of loop-the-loop shape going right here. Then I'll release the mouse button in order to create the shape. Excellent. Now press Control+F again, in order to once again paste that shape in front. That would be of course Command+F on the Mac.
This time, I want to do a little more damage to my shape. Ha ha ha. So I'm going to go up to the Object menu. I'm going to choose Path and I'm going to choose Add Anchor Points. The reason being, I want to double the number of anchor points inside of the shape. The reason being that gives me twice as many segments to work with. So if you choose anchor points you just double the number of anchor points. Notice now we have eight anchor points that are tracing around the circle. Now let's go to the Select menu, choose Object, choose Direction Handles once again. What kind of surprise is that? None whatsoever.
And that selects all the segments in between the anchor points. I still have my Scale Tool active. That's a wonderful thing. I'm going to start dragging from right about here and this time I'm going to drag into the center of the shape while pressing the Shift key. Look at that right there, is that not cool? What a cool spirograph effect we have now, and once you get a match with your template, and notice you are dragging from upper right toward the center actually past the center of the shape, in order to get this effect right here. Then release the mouse button and you create this collection of completely out of control control handles.
Nicely done. Press Control+Shift+A or Command+Shift+A on the Mac in order to deselect things. We have just one more wacky path to create and that's this one right here with the scalloped edges. We are going to create that wacky path in the next and last exercise of this chapter.
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