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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.
All right, I have gone ahead and saved my progress so far to a document called Trio of squares.ai found inside the O7_ edit_transform folder. So called because we have a trio of squares located at the leftmost point in this 8-pointed star configuration that we are seeing here. Now, notice that three of the eight points already have clusters of squares associated with them, but five don't and those five need this group of squares right here. So we need to duplicate them into these new positions and we are going that using a combination of the Rotate tool in this exercise and the Reflect tool in the next exercise.
So I want you to start off by grouping the squares together. Assuming you have your Black Arrow tool active as I do, then click on one of the squares and Shift-click on the other two, then go up to the Object menu and choose the Group command or press Ctrl+G, Command+G on the Mac. The objects wouldn't look any different, but they are now grouped together. So if I were to click off the objects and then click on any one of them, I would select all three, assuming of course that I'm using once again the Black Arrow tool, which selects large objects inside of Illustrator.
Now, I want you to switch over to the Rotate tool right here and if you don't see the tool on the slide, Click and hold and choose the Rotate tool from the flyout menu. You can also get to the Rotate tool by pressing the R key. Now if you were to just start dragging with this tool, you would rotate the squares around the center of the group and that doesn't do you any good whatsoever. So go ahead and press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac to undo that rotation. Instead, we want to rotate these objects around the center of the calendar so we need to move the transformation origin to exactly the center of the God's face right there. Then I've gone ahead and setup some guides in advance to help us out.
Go to the Layers palette right here and then click in front of the Guides layer in order to turn on the eyeball so that we can see these guides like so. Now I want you to click at the intersection of the two guidelines in order to set the transformation origin and you can barely see that little target there. That cyan target right there in the middle of the God's nose. Now we are ready to rotate these objects. Now you can start to drag anywhere you want when using the Rotate tool. It's not nearly so sensitive as the Scale tool to the position of the beginning of your drag, but it is typically the most intuitive thing to do is just to go ahead and drag all of the objects themselves, but you don't have to. You can drag at any other point inside of the illustration.
Anyway, I'm going to drag up in the clockwise fashion like so and I want to exactly align these squares to that point on the lavender colored star, but if they were to snap into alignment with that point, that wouldn't necessarily give me the desired results because I didn't necessarily start my drag at an aligned location down here. So, instead, what you want to do is you want to press and hold the Shift key, the key that constraints your actions inside of Illustrator. If you press Shift when you are dragging with the Rotate tool, then you rotate the selection in multiples of 45 degrees as you see me doing right here.
Anyway, I'm going to take it back over to this location so I have the Shift key down. I also want you to press and hold the Alt key, being the Option key on the Mac. So you have both Shift and Alt down or Shift and Option down. That way, we are going to create a clone of the shapes. Release the mouse button and then release the keys in order to create that new group of squares. Then you can just begin dragging once again. You don't have to reset the origin point; it's already exactly where it needs to be because we haven't changed shapes. We didn't select the different shapes this time around.
So, drag once again and press and hold the Shift and Alt keys or the Shift and Option keys after you begin your drag and then drag counterclockwise this time around to this lower left point in the star, then release your mouse button and release the keys and you've now created all three of the square clusters on the left hand side of the calendar. In the next exercise I'll show you how to duplicate all three of these of these groups on to the right side of the calendar using the Reflect tool.
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