Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals
Illustration by Don Barnett

Selecting and scaling independent segments


Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals

with Deke McClelland

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Video: Selecting and scaling independent segments

In this exercise, I'm going to show you how to select and scale independent segments inside of Illustrator. It's pretty easy to do and you can accomplish some amazing effects as you are about to see. I have gone ahead and saved my progress so far as Merged found inside the 10_select_enhance folder and here is what I would like you to do. Go ahead and for now turn off this All objects layer in order to hide it and we're going to want to be able to see this Final Lace layer and the Circles layer, the Just circles layer at the same time, except this is pretty confusing to see them both on top of each other.
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  1. 42m 8s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      1m 58s
    2. The Welcome screen
      3m 3s
    3. Creating a new document
      5m 6s
    4. Advanced document controls
      4m 43s
    5. Saving a custom New Document Profile
      8m 46s
    6. Changing the document setup
      4m 21s
    7. Special artboard controls
      4m 58s
    8. Accepting artboard changes
      2m 19s
    9. Saving a document
      4m 33s
    10. Closing a document
      2m 21s
  2. 1h 0m
    1. Adobe Bridge
    2. Opening an illustration
      4m 45s
    3. Modifying an illustration
      6m 27s
    4. Saving changes
      4m 58s
    5. Introducing Adobe Bridge
      8m 41s
    6. The all-important file type associations
      3m 20s
    7. Navigating inside Bridge
      4m 23s
    8. Previewing and collecting
      5m 55s
    9. Using workspaces
      6m 41s
    10. Customizing a workspace
      6m 14s
    11. Cool Bridge tricks
      8m 17s
  3. 1h 4m
    1. Preferences, color settings, and workspaces
    2. Keyboard increments
      5m 12s
    3. Scratch disks
      3m 48s
    4. Changing the user interface and setting Appearance of Black
      4m 14s
    5. Best workflow color settings
      9m 17s
    6. Synchronizing settings across CS4
      3m 2s
    7. Working inside tabbed windows
      7m 6s
    8. Organizing palettes
      5m 4s
    9. Saving a custom workspace
      4m 12s
    10. Zooming and panning
      4m 19s
    11. Using the Zoom tool
      3m 3s
    12. Navigating the artboards
      5m 5s
    13. Nudging the screen image
      3m 3s
    14. Scroll-wheel tricks
      2m 8s
    15. Cycling between screen modes
      4m 35s
  4. 1h 22m
    1. The Wedjat (or Eye of Horus)
    2. The line tools
      2m 57s
    3. Introducing layers
      5m 10s
    4. Creating ruler guides
      6m 18s
    5. Creating custom guides
      5m 16s
    6. Snap-to points
      5m 25s
    7. Organizing guides
      5m 44s
    8. Making a tracing template
      3m 42s
    9. Drawing a line segment
      4m 29s
    10. Drawing a continuous arc
      5m 28s
    11. Drawing a looping spiral
      6m 5s
    12. Cutting lines with the Scissors tool
      6m 20s
    13. Joining open paths
      7m 31s
    14. Aligning and joining points
      6m 34s
    15. Drawing concentric circles
      4m 41s
    16. Cleaning up overlapping segments
      5m 34s
  5. 1h 4m
    1. The anatomy of a shape
      1m 1s
    2. Meet the shape tools
      3m 5s
    3. The traceable Tonalpohualli
      2m 52s
    4. Drawing circles
      4m 38s
    5. Enhanced Smart Guides
      4m 1s
    6. Aligning to a key object
      4m 29s
    7. Creating polygons and stars
      5m 4s
    8. Using the Measure tool
      3m 47s
    9. The Select Similar and Arrange commands
      3m 56s
    10. Rectangles and rounded rectangles
      6m 8s
    11. The amazing constraint axes
      5m 26s
    12. Grouping and ungrouping
      3m 35s
    13. Flipping and duplicating
      4m 12s
    14. Combining simple shapes into complex ones
      5m 24s
    15. Cutting and connecting with Scissors and Join
      3m 31s
    16. Tilde-key goofiness
      2m 53s
  6. 1h 41m
    1. The ingredients of life
    2. Fill and Stroke settings
      4m 22s
    3. Transparency grid and paper color
      5m 47s
    4. The None attribute
      5m 4s
    5. Color libraries and sliders
      3m 39s
    6. Industry-standard colors
      4m 38s
    7. Using CMYK for commercial output
      6m 39s
    8. Using RGB for the web
      7m 23s
    9. Color palette tips and tricks
      7m 18s
    10. Creating and saving color swatches
      4m 35s
    11. Trapping gaps with rich blacks
      6m 46s
    12. Filling and stacking shapes
      5m 39s
    13. Dragging and dropping swatches
      5m 0s
    14. Paste in Front, Paste in Back
      4m 54s
    15. Filling shapes inside groups
      5m 28s
    16. Pasting between layers
      4m 41s
    17. Joins, caps, and dashes
      6m 50s
    18. Fixing strokes and isolating edits
      7m 12s
    19. Creating a pattern fill
      4m 57s
  7. 1h 50m
    1. The power of transformations
      1m 20s
    2. From primitive to polished art
      2m 42s
    3. Using the Blob brush
      5m 46s
    4. Resizing the brush and erasing
      4m 15s
    5. Selection limits and methods of merging
      6m 39s
    6. Cloning and auto-duplicating
      6m 45s
    7. Customizing keyboard shortcuts
      3m 7s
    8. Moving by the numbers
      5m 15s
    9. Using the Reshape tool
      7m 47s
    10. Modifying, aligning, and uniting paths
      7m 14s
    11. Using the Offset Path command
      4m 43s
    12. Styling and eyedropping
      5m 29s
    13. Making a black-and-white template
      2m 27s
    14. Scale and clone
      4m 57s
    15. Enlarge and stack
      5m 46s
    16. Positioning the origin point
      6m 59s
    17. Using the Rotate tool
      3m 55s
    18. Using the Reflect tool
      4m 15s
    19. Series rotation (aka power duplication)
      6m 48s
    20. Rotating by the numbers
      6m 12s
    21. Transforming the tile patterns
      7m 52s
  8. 2h 4m
    1. Next-generation text wrangling
    2. Placing a text document
      5m 38s
    3. Creating a new text block
      6m 1s
    4. Working with point text
      3m 57s
    5. Selecting the perfect typeface
      5m 44s
    6. Scaling and positioning type
      8m 57s
    7. Leading, tracking, and lots of shortcuts
      5m 54s
    8. Adjusting pair kerning
      6m 55s
    9. Eyedropping formatting attributes
      3m 54s
    10. Flowing text from one block to another
      8m 28s
    11. Creating and applying a paragraph style
      7m 39s
    12. Rendering the text in graphite
      5m 55s
    13. Creating a scribbly drop shadow
      5m 17s
    14. Advanced formatting and bullets
      7m 43s
    15. Setting Area Type options
      4m 57s
    16. Justification and the Every-line Composer
      5m 52s
    17. OpenType and ligatures
      7m 19s
    18. Fractions, numerals, and ordinals
      9m 7s
    19. Swashes and small caps
      5m 40s
    20. The amazing Glyphs palette
      8m 12s
  9. 1h 18m
    1. Points are boys, handles are girls
      1m 20s
    2. Placing an image as a tracing template
      6m 56s
    3. Drawing a straight-sided path
      6m 8s
    4. Moving, adding, and deleting points
      6m 50s
    5. Drawing spline curves with Round Corners
      9m 7s
    6. Smooth points and Bézier curves
      8m 29s
    7. Defining a cusp between two curves
      6m 59s
    8. Replicating and reshaping segments
      8m 31s
    9. Converting anchor points
      7m 55s
    10. Deleting stray anchor points
      5m 1s
    11. Separating and closing paths
      5m 43s
    12. Eyedropping template colors
      5m 55s
  10. 1h 40m
    1. Paths never rest
      1m 34s
    2. Exploring the Appearance palette
      9m 54s
    3. Snip and Spin
      8m 3s
    4. Adding a center point
      4m 12s
    5. Keeping shape intersections
      3m 42s
    6. Lifting fills and selecting through shapes
      5m 54s
    7. Saving and recalling selections
      6m 20s
    8. Rotating is a circular operation
      8m 32s
    9. Lassoing and scaling points
      5m 28s
    10. Using the Transform Each command
      4m 11s
    11. Using the Magic Wand tool
      8m 1s
    12. Eyedropping live effects
      9m 58s
    13. Merging strokes with a compound path
      6m 50s
    14. Selecting and scaling independent segments
      7m 59s
    15. Scalloped edges with Pucker & Bloat
      5m 16s
    16. Expand before you merge
      4m 17s
  11. 1h 26m
    1. The new pleasures of printing
    2. Outlines and artboards in CS4
      7m 35s
    3. Setting trim size and bleed
      7m 17s
    4. Creating custom dynamic crop marks
      3m 41s
    5. Working with the Separations Preview palette
      7m 42s
    6. Trapping an object with an overprint stroke
      8m 20s
    7. Placing multiple artboards into InDesign
      5m 17s
    8. Working with the Print Tiling tool
      4m 56s
    9. Setting the General Print options
      6m 9s
    10. Setting printer marks
      5m 16s
    11. PostScript-only output and graphics
      9m 10s
    12. The Color Management options
      6m 56s
    13. Adjusting the Flattener settings
      7m 32s
    14. Setting the Raster Effects resolution
      5m 33s
  12. 1h 32m
    1. Illustrator does pixels
    2. Illustrator, PDF, and Save As formats
      8m 15s
    3. Saving an illustration for the web
      6m 13s
    4. Saving a continuous-tone JPEG image
      10m 2s
    5. Saving a high-contrast GIF graphic
      6m 27s
    6. The versatile PNG format
      4m 45s
    7. Saving a scaleable Flash (SWF) graphic
      11m 0s
    8. Opening and placing an Illustrator file in Photoshop
      12m 44s
    9. Exporting a layered PSD from Illustrator
      12m 57s
    10. Exporting to Microsoft Office and PowerPoint
      7m 24s
    11. Sharing with InDesign, Flash, and Photoshop
      12m 12s
  13. 1m 4s
    1. Until next time
      1m 4s

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Watch the Online Video Course Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals
16h 48m Beginner Feb 06, 2009

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Adobe Illustrator has long been a popular vector–based drawing program, but for many the learning curve is steep. In Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals, author and leading industry expert Deke McClelland shows users how to get in to the Illustrator mindset and overcome this learning curve. He covers the application's key features in a new way, making it simple and easy to master Illustrator. Deke teaches viewers how to use the core drawing and shape tools, the transformation and reshaping features, text, and the Pen tool. He also explains how to export and print. Even if learning Illustrator has been a struggle in the past, this training can help make sense of it. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Creating continuous arcs and looping spirals
  • Building with geometric shapes
  • Selecting, placing, and scaling type
  • Creating spine curves with round corners
  • Using the new Blob brush to quickly draw and merge paths
  • Working with flattener and raster effects
  • Saving illustrations for the web
Deke McClelland

Selecting and scaling independent segments

In this exercise, I'm going to show you how to select and scale independent segments inside of Illustrator. It's pretty easy to do and you can accomplish some amazing effects as you are about to see. I have gone ahead and saved my progress so far as Merged found inside the 10_select_enhance folder and here is what I would like you to do. Go ahead and for now turn off this All objects layer in order to hide it and we're going to want to be able to see this Final Lace layer and the Circles layer, the Just circles layer at the same time, except this is pretty confusing to see them both on top of each other.

So make sure Just circles is turned on and then let's convert Final lace into a tracing template by unlocking it for the moment, meatballing the entire layer by clicking on that circle right there and then I'm going to go on to the Control palette and change the Opacity to 25%. Now we can tell the difference and then go ahead and lock the layer back down once again. All right, I have got my Black Arrow tool active. You should too. Go ahead and select this central circle right here and I must have hidden my selection edges. So I'll press Ctrl+H or Command+ H on the Mac so that I can view those selection edges once again and I have got that central circle selected, we are going to need two versions of this circle.

So let's go ahead and copy it by going up to the Edit menu and choosing the Copy command or you could press Ctrl+C, Command+C on the Mac. Then I want to be able to select the segments independently of the anchor points because I want to scale those segments without moving the anchor points which is something you can do and to select just the segments in the shape, nothing more, you go up to the Select menu, you choose Object and you choose Direction Handles. Now why Direction Handles? Because it's Illustrator's way of saying control handles right now inside this specific sub-menu.

Illustrator calls control handles quite a few things, I think a total of three things throughout the program but it's not really true, right? You can't select control handles. You can't actually select and scale control handles. You can however select and scale segments and so that's what it really means here. So just go ahead and select the curving segments. So choose that command. You will see the control handles and the anchor points will disappear thereby indicating that each one of these segments is active. Now, I want you to go ahead and grab the Scale tool and the origin point is set to the center by default. That's a good thing.

Move your cursor so that its 45 degrees out from the center point. I'm going to move mine up into the right but yours could be up into the left or wherever you want it and then click and drag in that direction. So in other words, I'm going to drag up into the right, farther up into the right, then press the Shift key in order to constrain your scaling so that it's proportional, and once you're matching that loop to loop in the background there in the tracing template, as I'm here, then release your mouse button and then release the Shift key and notice how far those direction handles, those control handles -- oh, no I'm adopting the language of Illustrator's Object sub-menu there.

Notice, how far the control handles are extending outside the illustration window. So it totally violates that rule. I was telling you of that one-third rule where each of the control handles should extend about a third the length of the segment. These control handles are extending like twice the length of the segment in the case of each one of them. That's okay. It looks great and the shape sort of resembles that cloverleaf pattern of the Command key on a Macintosh keyboard and now what we're going to do is press Ctrl+F or Command+F on the Mac to reinstate that central circle. Now, we're done with it, go back to the Black Arrow tool. I'm going to click on this next circle out to select it. I'm going to go ahead and press Ctrl+C or Command+C on the Mac to copy it to the clipboard, very important because we're going to need it again.

Now, I want to create this looping line right here that I'm tracing with my cursor for you. See how it goes around and down and then over to the left, up and then over to the right. Now, when you are stretching segments, they are going to go in the direction of the segment. So if we were to try to create the shape by scaling the segments, we would once again scale them up into the right and down into the right and so on. So we need to rotate these segments 45 degrees in order to get the proper effect and you can do that using of course, the Rotate tool. So make sure you see the Rotate tool there in the toolbox, double-click on it in order to bring up the Rotate Dialog box and then enter a value of 45 degrees.

You can see that doesn't change the shape of the circle at all. It just moves the anchor points. So watch these anchor points right here. This is before. If I turn off Preview, this is where they were and then when I turned on Preview, they just shift to different locations that also puts the segments in different locations which is exactly what we need. Click OK to accept that modification. Now, go to the Select menu, choose Object and choose Direction Handles once again. Illustrator deselects the anchor points and selects the segments. Now I want you to get that Scale tool. Now you might think you should drag up or over to the right or something along those lines. So let's try that. If you were to drag up while pressing the Shift key, you would create an Up loop and a down loop but you wouldn't create any loops over on the left hand and right hand sides of this shape. So you will get this effect, which is mighty cool, but it's not what we're looking for here.

So I'll go ahead and undo that modification, Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac, instead do that same drag you did just a moment ago. In my case, I started up into the right from the central origin point and then I drag even farther up into the right while pressing the Shift key. When your path outline matches the loops of the template as mine do right here, then go ahead and release the mouse button and then release the Shift key and you will get the effect you are seeing here on my screen. All right, so much for that one, press Ctrl+F or Command+F on the Mac to reinstate that original middle circle. Now what I would like to do is something even more ambitious here. I want to actually take these segments and instead of scaling them out which increases their size, I want to reduce them so far that they flip around on each other and then we enlarge them in the other direction.

So let's say I'll go ahead and try this out here. Go to Select menu, choose Object and choose Direction Handles once again and I still have my Scale tool active. So I'm going to start up into the right as I want to do and I'm going to drag down into the left like so. So pass the center, all the way to the other side while pressing the Shift key and then I'll release my mouse button in order to get this effect. Now that's pretty nifty but I want just this amazing network of different paths that are going on in the background here in a template and that means I need more segments to work with.

So I'm going to press Ctrl+Z, Command+ Z on the Mac to undo that modification. If you want twice as many segments which is what I want, then you want twice as many anchor points as well and you can automatically add anchor points in the middle of each and every segment by going up to the Object menu, choosing the Path command and choosing this command right there, Add Anchor Points. I just love this command. It allows you to add greater complexity to a path thereby giving you more segments and a lot of different commands, a lot of different effect functions respond quite positively to having more segments to work with inside Illustrator.

So go ahead and choose that command, you will double the number of anchor points from 4 to 8 now. So we have an anchor point at every 45 degrees inside of this circle. Now, go up to the Select menu, choose Object and choose Direction Handles to deselect the anchor points and only select the handles. I still have my Scale tool active. So I'll start up into the right. I'll drag all the way across like so down into left and I'll press the Shift key in order to constrain my scaling. Once I get this shape right there, you can see how the blue path outline matches the template in the background. Once you get that effect, then go ahead and release your mouse button and then release the Shift key and you'll end up with this effect here. I'll press Ctrl+ Shift+A, Command+Shift+A on the Mac to deselect my illustration.

All that's left are the scalloped edges right here in the background. We're going to make those from the outer circle in the next exercise.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals .

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Q: Adobe Bridge CS4 is not previewing files in the same way for me as it is in the tutorial. All I am seeing is a low-quality thumbnail of the image, not previews of each artboard.  Why is there a difference between the tutorial and what I am seeing?
A: There is a different view in the tutorial because the author used a beta version of Bridge during the recording. The final release of Bridge CS4 displays thumbnails as you describe.
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