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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.
In this exercise I'm going to show you how you use a couple of the other transform tools inside Photoshop, namely I'm going to show you the Rotate Tool and the Reflect Tool. Now I introduced you to the Reflect Tool ever so briefly in a previous chapter. I showed you how can use it to bring up a dialog box and then reflect an item around a horizontal or vertical axis. Inside this exercise I'm going to show you how to use the tool manually. I'm going to go ahead and release on the tearoff item here in order to create a tiny little palette of just the Rotate Tool and the Reflect Tool, my little buddies up here, and of course by the way in case you don't know what they do, the Rotate Tool allows you to spin selected objects, the Reflect Tool allows you to flip them. Here I am inside of the Built square.ai file that's available to you inside the 06_Edit_transform folder and this document contains this is built square ornament that is a combination of three squares.
We created it in the previous exercise, if you were with me then. And what I'd like you to do is go ahead and select these squares by pressing the Control key if you've got you're Rotate Tool selected as I do. Press the Control key or the Command key on the Mac, and click on any one of the squares in order to select all three of them because they are grouped together. Now what I want to do is I want to take this square grouping here and I want to duplicate it onto each of the exposed points in this purple star in this 8-sided purple star.
If you were to just start dragging with the Rotate Tool, you will rotate the object around its own center and that does you approximately 0 good in our case, because we don't want that at all. We want to rotate this box item right here, these squares, around the entire calendar. So how we go about doing that? Well I'm going to undo that modification, and I'm going to go down here to the Layers palette. Notice this guides layer? I want you to turn it on, and that way you can see the intersection of these two guidelines that mark the center of the calendar.
Then I want you to click at the intersection of those two guidelines like so, in order to set your transformation origin in the center of the gods face right there. Right there, smack dab in the center of his nose. And I'm going to go ahead and start dragging on the squares themselves. It's not really that important where I start dragging with the Rotate Tool. The Rotate Tool is not nearly as sensitive to the beginning of your drag as the Scale Tool is. What's important is that you drag the squares where you want them to be. Now I want them to be dead on aligned to this point of the star right here and in order to ensure that they are properly aligned I'm going to press and hold the Shift key. The Shift key makes sure that I rotate in increments of 45 degrees, and this is a 45-degree rotation right here.
So keep that Shift key down. Also press and hold who? The Alt key or the Option key on a Mac in order to clone the shapes and then release. So I had Shift and Alt down. Now I'm going to release the Shift and Alt keys. That's the Shift and Option on the Mac of course. Hey, let's go ahead and rotate those items once again. Our transformation origin is still in place here because I never did switch away from the Rotate Tool, good for me. So I'm going to start dragging once again like so, down to this area, then I'm going to press and hold my Shift and Alt keys.
You Macintosh users, press and hold your Shift and Option keys. Release your mouse buttons please and then release the keys, please. What's next? Why I want to go ahead and take these three items here and flip them around the center of the calendar so that we have counterparts over on this side. And I'm going to do that by grabbing, might as well grab my black arrow tool for this, and I'll Shift-click on the two deselected, oops I accidentally moved them. Okay if that happens, you just go ahead and press Control+Z or Command+Z on the Mac, to undo the movement. I do have all three of them selected now, because I've clicked on one and Shift-clicked the other two.
Great. Now I'm going to get my Reflect Tool, which I'm going to do by pressing the O key if I want to or clicking on the tool of course. And then I'm going to click, what I want to do basically is set up this vertical axis line, this vertical guideline. Set it up as a mirror and then the objects will be reflected across that mirror. So I'm going to start by clicking up at the top and then I will press and hold the Shift and Alt keys or the Shift and Option keys on the Mac and click. That's all it takes.
So Shift+Alt-click or Shift+Option-click and bang you go ahead and create these three guys, mirror images across the mirror here. So you go ahead and flip clones to the other side of the calendar. I'll go ahead and press Shift+Control+A or Shift+Command+A to deselect the items and I'll go ahead and turn off the guides for a moment so that we can witness the wonders we have accomplished. Nice work. Wasn't that easy? It's so easy. This the fun stuff about it. It's so easy to do this kind of work and symmetry is just so gorgeous sometimes. It definitely has a certain je ne sais quoi to it, does it not? All right, in the next exercise we are going to see how to do a little bit of power duplication using the Rotate Tool here inside Illustrator.
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