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Covering a wide range of topics, from advanced masking to chart creation, Illustrator CS4 Beyond the Basics reveals a whole new level of power, creativity, and efficiency with Illustrator. Instructor Mordy Golding explores how to work with Live Paint groups, get the most out of the Live Trace feature, and take advantage of Illustrator’s wide range of effects. He also discusses advanced transformation techniques, powerful 3D functionality, and important color concepts. Exercise files accompany the course.
So we have explored a command inside of Illustrator called Transform Again. It basically allows us to take the transform that we have already applied and simply repeat it again and again. Now this particular effect is also available as a live effect inside of Illustrator. Let's see how that can actually come into play. I have basically a group of objects right here. Instead of having to step up several copies of this, what I can do is, rather than have to manually Option+Drag and then hit Command+D to go ahead and make copies of those, I'm going to press Command+Z or Ctrl+Z to undo and I'm simply going to go ahead and now and through the Effect menu, choose Distort and Transform and then choose Transform.
Now this brings up the Transform Effect dialog box, which actually looks very similar to the Transform Each dialog box that we have seen before with one main difference. It has the setting here for Number of Copies. I am going to first click on the Preview button so that I could see what I'm doing as I'm working. My goal is to basically create several copies of this particular piece of art. Now what I'm going to do is move this over to the side just a little bit here. I want to create one copy, just so that I see what I'm doing here. Now what I would like to do is I would like to a copy of this basically and move it over here to the right. So I'm going to specify a horizontal move about 2.5 inches. In doing so I now sort of have created a copy of this piece of artwork.
But again this is an appearance. It's an effect. I haven't actually physically created new vectors inside of Illustrator. I have simply told Illustrator to apply that particular effect as a live effect. Now that I know exactly where it's going to go, I'll add some more copies, for example, let's do about 3 copies which basically gives me my original plus three others which give me a total of four. So now I'm going to click OK and now I have applied that. If you look at my Appearance panel I see that I now have a transform effect that is applied to that group. Now of course, these are all copies of this one here. So if I were to make any changes for example, I'm going to double click on this to isolate this group.
Maybe click on the letters here Groundswell, which is currently colored white. Maybe I want to change the color of that to something different like maybe black for example. Notice that when I do so, all the other ones, which are simply copies of this as an effect, have been updated as well. I'm now going to click over here to select the original piece of art here. Remember these if I go into Outline mode, Command+Y or Ctrl+Y, I don't even see anything right here. These are all applied as an effect. So now I'm simply going to go ahead and take this particular object, which already has a transform on it. I'm going to go to the Effect menu. I'm going to choose Distort and Transform and Transform.
Now Illustrator is going to tell me, hey you want to apply actually a transform effect. Well there is already a transform effect applied to this object. So do I want to edit the existing one? To do so I would need to basically come over here and click on the word transform in the Appearance panel. But what I would really like to do is I want to actually apply a new effect. So I'm going to click on this button here to apply a new effect. What I'm going to do is rather than specify now horizontal move, again let's specify just one copy here. We'll click on the Preview button. Now I'm going to specify a vertical setting. So maybe I want to go ahead and I want to add a vertical setting. But instead of going in a positive direction, I want to go in a negative direction. Maybe let's do -2 inches for example.
Now I see that that's step downwards in this direction. Now I'll go ahead and I'll specify maybe have three copies there as well. By clicking OK what I have done is I have now applied two transform effects. The first transform effect takes this group and makes copies of it this way. Then I have taken another transform effect and made copies of this entire piece of artwork right here and its effect here and duplicate it here. That gives me a whole page of stepped up artwork. It can be incredibly powerful because again all I need to do is just edit one piece of artwork right here and that updates all of these as well. So that's one way to use this Transform Live Effect.
But let me show you one another example that you can, kind of, create things in a more creative fashion. I'm going to delete this particular object right here and let's work with this surfboard here. But I want to create some other kind of interesting shapes. So what I'll do is I'll apply another transform effect to this. I am going to go to the Effect menu. I'll choose Distort and transform and then I'll choose Transform. Here again with the Preview button on, let's focus on using the Rotate setting. Now in the past what we have done is we have actually taken the surfboard and we have, kind of, made them all, kind of fan out in a circle. Now we were able to do that because when you are working inside of Illustrator, you do have the ability to set an origin point somewhere away from the actual object itself. But in the transformed effect though I can only work with this reference point indicator to basically decide where I want my transforms to happen from.
I am going to choose basically from the bottom center right over here. I'm going to choose to actually rotate this about 30degrees and I'll specify a number of copies. Maybe I'll do, let's say, 20 copies for example. I'll hit the tab key to accept that. Now notice what I have done here is I have actually created some kind of a flower. I could add more copies or I could specify the angle for example, if I make it 12 degrees and I'll get something that looks like that. I just need to add more copies to fill out that circle. But you can basically see that I could use this particular transform effect to really do lots of cool things inside of Illustrator. I might be able to now take that same object and apply a different transform effect with a different value. I can move them or scale them, adjust the number of copies in them as well.
So definitely take a look at the Transform effect. It's more than just moving an object from one place to another. It's actually taking advantage of that Copies command to get some really, really cool transformations.
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