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Setting up angular construction guides

From: Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Mastery

Video: Setting up angular construction guides

In this movie, I'll show you how to work with construction guides, which are a variety of smart guides which allow you to create lines at very specific angles. So inside of this artwork we have these diagonal lines that are running at 60 degree angles. And then we have the vertical lines which are 90 degrees. And both 60 and 90 are multiples of 30 degrees. So sometimes you have to use a little bit of math, I don't think it's that hard, but you do have to think it through. I'll go ahead switch over to this starterguides.ai file which contains a few horizontal guidelines as well this big guide structure in the center here. But it'll just help us to better keep track of what's going on. Then you want to press Ctrl+K or Cmd+K on the Mac to bring up the preferences dialog box.

Setting up angular construction guides

In this movie, I'll show you how to work with construction guides, which are a variety of smart guides which allow you to create lines at very specific angles. So inside of this artwork we have these diagonal lines that are running at 60 degree angles. And then we have the vertical lines which are 90 degrees. And both 60 and 90 are multiples of 30 degrees. So sometimes you have to use a little bit of math, I don't think it's that hard, but you do have to think it through. I'll go ahead switch over to this starterguides.ai file which contains a few horizontal guidelines as well this big guide structure in the center here. But it'll just help us to better keep track of what's going on. Then you want to press Ctrl+K or Cmd+K on the Mac to bring up the preferences dialog box.

And click on Smart Guides here inside the left hand list. And now notice this option right there, Construction Guides. By default, it's set to 90 and 45 degree angles. I'm going to go ahead and switch it to 30 degree angles. Now, the thing about 30 degrees, if you decide to switch to it, is you're ruling out 45 degrees, because straight diagonal lines are 45 degrees, which is to say, not multiple of 30 degrees. So you're going to skip from zero to 30 to 60 to 90 and so forth. If you also want to incorporate 45 degrees, then you want this guy right here, 90 degrees and 15 degrees because after all, 45 and 30 are both multiples of 15.

Anyway, I'm going to switch over to this guy 30 degree angles. And then you've got to turn on this checkbox. It doesn't turn on automatically. So, go ahead and turn on construction guides. Notice that now that the only checkbox that's off is Transform tools. You can turn it on if you want to, but it's not going to make any difference for our purposes. And then, I recommend you change the color from green, which is a little bit hard to see, especially in video, I'm going to switch it over to light red, which is going to be a lot more obvious. Also, it'll stand in stark contrast to our artwork, which we'll be coloring with shades of yellow, green and blue. All right, so now I'll go ahead click OK.

And then what you want to do is go up to the View menu, and either confirm that the smart guides command is turned on, or if it's not, go ahead and chose the command. Or of course you can press that keyboard shortcut Ctrl+U or Cmd+U on a Mac. Now, the best way to draw these lines at 60 and 90 degree angles, is to use the pen tool, because it's going to give you the best feedback. Then you want to click right about there, on this guide, really anywhere along this horizontal guide right here. And then, bring your cursor up until you see that you've got this slightly diagonal line.

And you can also see down in the lower left region of the screen a line 60 degrees which is telling me that I'm creating a line that is 60 degrees rotated upward from the horizontal. I can also see that I'm intersecting with the top guideline which is what I want. So I'll go ahead and click right there. And then I'll move my cursor straight down like so. You don't have to press the shift keys when you're working with smart guides like this. You can create 90 degree angles just like so, just by dropping down. Clicking at the point where you see intersect. Then move your cursor back up so you see intersect at the top guideline.

You also should see a line 60 degrees at the bottom guideline. Then go ahead and click there, drop down to this point. You should see a line 90 degrees at the top guideline, an intersect at the bottom guideline, in which case click. And then move your cursor up until you see intersect at the top, aligned 60 degrees at the bottom, click at that point, and then drop down to the bottom guideline again until you see aligned 90 degrees at the top and intersect at the bottom. And it's very important that you see both words. If I move my cursor slightly over I can see the word guide, so that tells me I'm intersecting with the guide but it does not tell me that I have an exactly vertical line. I only have a vertical line if I see a line 90 degrees up there at the top, then you want to go ahead and click to set that final point. All right, we want to make a few additional modifications here, go ahead and switch to the black arrow tool, which you can get by pressing the V key. And drag this anchor point right there, the bottom right one until it snaps into alignment with the intersection of these vertical and horizontal guides. Then go into the control panel, change the first swatch, the fill swatch, to none and go ahead and click on the word stroke and we'll change the weight to 20 points in this case.

And I do want mitered corners nice sharp mitered corners like you see here and I also want to extend the cap. So we want projecting caps for this particular art work, and that we can clip off the caps without having any gaps in our art work. Now we want to go ahead and scoot the letters over half of their current line weight. So line weight is 20 points, obviously. So we want to move the artwork over 10 points. And I'm doing so, just actually, accidentally by pressing the enter key, or the return key on a Mac in order to bring up the move dialog box.

And I'll change that horizontal value to negative 10 points like so which will scoot the selected path over to the left. And then I'll click the OK button in order to make that change. And that friends, is how you create exactly angled lines using construction guides here inside Illustrator.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Mastery
Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Mastery

73 video lessons · 11643 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 45m 41s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      2m 6s
    2. Setting up angular construction guides
      4m 59s
    3. Shaving off miter joins and projecting caps
      4m 53s
    4. Precisely aligning angled logo artwork
      5m 52s
    5. Covering up gaps and seams in your logo
      7m 9s
    6. Creating ornaments based on miter joins
      5m 9s
    7. Hand-drawing letters as stroked paths
      9m 34s
    8. Kerning and clipping hand-drawn type
      5m 59s
  2. 49m 32s
    1. The benefits of using symbols
      1m 3s
    2. How symbols and instances work
      4m 54s
    3. Creating and naming symbols
      6m 42s
    4. Introducing 9-slice scaling
      4m 31s
    5. Customizing the effects of 9-slice scaling
      7m 5s
    6. Acquiring, trading, and previewing symbols
      6m 5s
    7. Duplicating and replacing symbol instances
      5m 45s
    8. Using symbols to simulate master pages
      6m 53s
    9. Advanced symbol modifications
      6m 34s
  3. 1h 12m
    1. Shading objects with Gradient Mesh
      51s
    2. Creating a gradient mesh
      4m 23s
    3. Adding and deleting lines with the Mesh tool
      4m 27s
    4. Assigning colors to mesh points
      6m 35s
    5. Finessing colors to add depth and shading
      6m 10s
    6. Creating a gradient with the Mesh tool
      8m 27s
    7. Wrapping gradients around circles
      4m 15s
    8. Working with slender, bending shapes
      8m 48s
    9. Creating soft and sharp transitions
      6m 17s
    10. Converting a linear gradient to a mesh
      7m 44s
    11. Converting a radial gradient to a mesh
      9m 16s
    12. Using gradients to cast shadows
      5m 10s
  4. 24m 19s
    1. Black conceals, white reveals
      1m 4s
    2. Introducing opacity masks
      6m 24s
    3. Assigning an empty opacity mask to a layer
      4m 45s
    4. Drawing inside an opacity mask
      4m 57s
    5. Fading artwork with a gradient opacity mask
      3m 3s
    6. Nesting one opacity mask inside another
      4m 6s
  5. 1h 6m
    1. Two ways to apply free-form distortions
      59s
    2. Introducing the Warp tool
      7m 50s
    3. Brush size, Detail, and Simplify
      8m 20s
    4. Liquifying an isolated portion of a path
      9m 48s
    5. The Twirl, Pucker, and Bloat tools
      8m 37s
    6. The Scallop, Crystallize, and Wrinkle tools
      7m 5s
    7. Simplifying a path; creating a custom starburst
      6m 26s
    8. Applying an envelope-style distortion
      4m 34s
    9. Editing the contents of an envelope
      7m 40s
    10. Masking the contents of an entire layer
      5m 0s
  6. 58m 45s
    1. Up to five tiles per pattern brush
      1m 8s
    2. Creating a basic pattern brush
      6m 31s
    3. Correcting and adjusting a pattern brush
      4m 54s
    4. Designing a matching corner tile
      8m 21s
    5. Adding an angled loop to a corner design
      4m 16s
    6. Creating end tiles and tile perimeters
      6m 27s
    7. Cropping your designs inside your tiles
      4m 22s
    8. Assembling a seamless pattern brush
      5m 24s
    9. Adding a white buffer zone to a pattern brush
      8m 24s
    10. Reconciling very acute corners in a path
      8m 58s
  7. 42m 33s
    1. The pleasures and pitfalls of graphs
      1m 27s
    2. Importing and graphing numerical data
      7m 2s
    3. Modifying data to create a category axis
      4m 6s
    4. Reformatting text and values in a graph
      5m 40s
    5. Changing the Graph Type settings
      5m 27s
    6. Creating and applying a graph design
      8m 14s
    7. Repairing a broken pictograph
      2m 53s
    8. Recreating a graph at the proper size
      7m 44s
  8. 37m 47s
    1. The five advantages to 3D in Illustrator
      1m 41s
    2. Introducing the three kinds of 3D in Illustrator
      5m 6s
    3. Working in 3D space: Pitch, yaw, and roll
      5m 13s
    4. Lighting and shading a 3D object
      4m 13s
    5. Beveling the edges of a 3D extrusion
      4m 23s
    6. Creating live, editable 3D type
      4m 30s
    7. Adding cast shadows to 3D type
      3m 59s
    8. Assigning and editing a 3D Revolve effect
      4m 58s
    9. Mapping artwork onto a 3D object
      3m 44s
  9. 52s
    1. See ya
      52s

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