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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.
In this exercise, we are going to be using a technique that I'm calling snip and spin in order to take this one central path that descends all the way from the eyeball down the body, down the left side of the body and becomes this foot. We are going to snip it and make three paths from it. One that represents the left foot and the other for the right foot and then the central sort of body neck shape right there. If you've checked out of the previous exercise at any point, I have gone ahead and performed the last few steps and saved off the file as PrimitiveZ or if you prefer PrimitiveZ.ai found inside the 10_select_enhance folder.
What I'd like you to do, go over to the Layers palette here and I want you to lock down a few layers. Notice this. I believe I've showed you this before but if not, you can Alt-click or Option- click on an eyeball in order to show all layers and then if you Alt-click or Option-click on an eyeball again, you will hide all but that one layer. Then I could just sort of drag up the list like so. So you can drag along eyeballs in order to show them as well. All that works inside the Lock column as well, and we're going to be doing a lot of locking as we work through future exercises because that way, we can isolate the contents of a single layer, and not mess up the other ones.
So in this case what I want you to do is I want you to Alt-click inside of this region right here. That would be an Option-click on the Mac to lock everybody but the Primitives layer right there. Now, it's not really necessary that we lock Articulates and Circle Eye because they are not visible. We can't edit them anyway. So I'm going to go ahead and drag across the Lock icons in order to unlock those two, and then I'm going to press the Ctrl Key or the Command key on the Mac which allows me to switch various layers to the Outline Mode, and I'm going to drag over these two eyeballs to switch them into Orphan Annie mode right there. So that they are appearing in the Outline Mode. That was a Ctrl+Drag across those two eyeballs, a Command+Drag on the Mac.
All right. Let's zoom-in on our Primitive elements right here, and I'm going to select that big path outline right there that descends from what will be the eyeball up there at the top of the illustration. I want to sever this path right at this location, so it aligns to the top of his zany outfit there. So I'm going to make sure that I have the Scissors tool, which you can get from the Eraser tool flyout menu, or you can press the C key. And I'm going to click right at that point in order to divide the line at exactly this intersection.
Then I'm going to go back to my Black Arrow tool and I'm going to click on this top portion of the path like so. Now, I need to rotate it, so that it is centered on his little suit. So I'm going to grab my Rotate tool. Obviously, I could get it by pressing the R key if I want to. I am going to click to set the center of the rotation, rotation origin, right there at the top of the path, and then I'm going to drag in order to rotate the path. Notice now that I'm rotating with respect to that top point. Now, I want to center the path on his outfit, and I think the best way to do that is to put my cursor over the center point inside of this first dapper button right there and that will ensure that I'm centered on the path as well, and that looks good to me.
All right. Now, let's do the foot. Why don't we? Let's go ahead and zoom out a little bit. Grab that foot by pressing the V key, or obviously if I still have the Rotate tool active, what I could do, as I do, I went ahead and switched back to it by pressing the R key. I could press the Ctrl key or the Command Key on the Mac to get my last used Arrow tool and then I would click on this shoe right here in order to select it. All right. I want to rotate it into alignment here. I want to rotate it to the other side, that is to say. So we are going to get that Rotate tool, we still got it. Don't need to get it. I got it.
I am going to click up here. I have to reset my origin point because every time you switch paths, every time you select a different path, it resets to the center of set path. So I'm going to click up here in order to set my rotation point right there. That is the origin of my rotation. Then I'm going to scroll down here a little bit and I'm going to drag like so in order to rotate the leg over to this position. Can you see the top of the path there, right next to where the hands would be? So very much toward the top of the screen there. You can see that green path.
I want to make sure that it's aligned to the top of his suit as it is, and then once I have done it, once I have gotten the leg in the position as I have it here, I'll press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac. Press and hold that key, Alt or Option and then release and then you can go ahead and release the key, and that goes ahead and creates a duplicate. Now, something you can't help, but notice I would think is how off this path is. The leg doesn't align with the suit at all and you might think, you are just really super sloppy Deke. No, of course not, even though I had that straight point in the previous exercise, this is what we are doing.
We are switching to the Scale tool, because I want this forward foot to be sort of in the pseudo perspective. I want the forward foot to be larger than the rear foot, or at least the forward leg to be longer than the rear leg is what we are really accomplishing here. So I'm going to grab my Scale tool as I have done. I'm going to click here on this top point to set the origin right there, and then notice I'm moving my cursor straight down from the origin point, because I want to perform an exclusively vertical scaling here. I am going to drag down and I'm pressing the Shift key as I do it, and I'm just dragging a little bit. See how that green outline is interrupting the black outline and that shows me that I have got things more less aligned as I want them, and then I'll release my mouse button and then I'll release the Shift key, and I now have things aligned properly.
Let's go ahead and switch back to the Preview Mode here by pressing the Ctrl key or the Command Key on the Mac and dragging over those two eyeballs like so. And got a little bit of a problem right here. Notice that we have these little humps. So I'll go ahead and zoom even further in. We are also interrupting the hands. We will take care of that in a moment. But I have got this little hump over on this side and on this side. That's because these rounded caps are sticking up above his suit. We need to join these two points together. I am going to do that using the Pen tool. I could select the two points and choose the Join Command, but I want to use the Pen tool for this. This is a smooth point I should tell you. So we need to sever it off to make a cusp point.
So I'm going to press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and click on this point like so. Then I'm going to move my cursor over, I still have the Alt or Option key down. I'm going to move my cursor over until I see that little segment icon right there. That little anchor point through a segment icon that's showing me, this is where the point is. It's an end point, and I can join these two end points together now. With the Alt or Option key down, click right there in order to join those two together. Now, you might say hey Deke, doesn't that go against the rules you taught us back in the previous chapter when we were talking about the Pen tool? Where a cusp point is concerned, aren't we supposed to have two control handles going out in independent directions of each other? Isn't it a bad idea to have one control handle only going in one direction and none in the other direction? No, that's not it.
Just to be clear here. It's all about the segments; it's not about the points. I'll go ahead and get my White Arrow tool, so I can show you this. Either the segment should have two control handles as it does. This one does, notice that, and so does this one over here. It also has two control handles or the segment should have no control handles as this one does. So it's perfectly okay having a cusp point that just has a single control handle. That is a completely acceptable way to work. All right, anyway, and in fact anyway it's acceptable, but I'm just telling you where the rules are concerned. These silly old rules.
Anyway, notice that the Primitives layer is sitting on top of this little bit of these legs right there, sitting on top of the hands. That's no good. So I need to grab the Primitives layer and move it under other stuff like so. If I click off the shapes, we now have this nice combination. Notice that also moves the neck below the lips, which is a good thing. We have a nice combination of legs, and neck, and lips, and arms, akimbo, and everything else going on this ZORBLE character in progress. So that's snip and spin, people. That's how you perform those tricks right there.
In the next exercise, I'm going to show you how and why you'd want to add a center point from the Attributes palette.
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