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Illustrator CS4 Beyond the Basics
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Using the Transform panel


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Illustrator CS4 Beyond the Basics

with Mordy Golding

Video: Using the Transform panel

When it comes to being precise inside of Illustrator nothing is more important than the Transform panel. I'm to go here to the Window menu. I'm going to choose Transform to open up the Transform panel. And let's take a few moments exploring the settings that exist within it. It's important to realize that the Transform panel at first glance may seem very simple. It simply maps out the X and Y values or the coordinates of where object sits on an Artboard and then likewise it also gives you the width and height values of your selection. But in reality, there is a lot of depth to the Transform panel. There are also many settings that may be buried in the flyout menu over here that we'll get to in a moment. So to get started here, let's start working with a regular plain rectangle.
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  1. 2m 4s
    1. Welcome
      1m 41s
    2. Using the exercise files
      23s
  2. 33m 20s
    1. Introducing Live Paint
      38s
    2. Drawing in Illustrator
      4m 21s
    3. Creating a Live Paint group
      2m 54s
    4. Using the Live Paint Bucket tool
      3m 17s
    5. Using Live Paint with open paths
      2m 29s
    6. Detecting gaps in Live Paint groups
      4m 17s
    7. Adding paths to a Live Paint group
      3m 41s
    8. Using the Live Paint Selection tool
      5m 44s
    9. Releasing and expanding Live Paint groups
      2m 55s
    10. Understanding how Live Paint groups work
      3m 4s
  3. 49m 36s
    1. Introducing the trace options
      39s
    2. Setting expectations: Live Trace
      2m 26s
    3. Using the Live Trace feature
      1m 51s
    4. Understanding how Live Trace works
      5m 41s
    5. Making raster-based adjustments
      5m 52s
    6. Tracing with fills, strokes, or both
      2m 55s
    7. Making vector-based adjustments
      6m 12s
    8. Adjusting colors in Live Trace
      4m 39s
    9. Using Photoshop with Live Trace
      5m 22s
    10. Releasing and expanding Live Trace artwork
      2m 58s
    11. Saving and exporting Live Trace presets
      2m 36s
    12. Tracing in Batch mode with Adobe Bridge
      1m 35s
    13. Turning an image into mosaic tiles
      2m 28s
    14. Tracing an image manually
      4m 22s
  4. 1h 24m
    1. Introducing 3D
      33s
    2. Setting expectations: 3D in Illustrator
      2m 53s
    3. How fills and strokes affect 3D artwork
      4m 43s
    4. Applying the 3D Extrude & Bevel effect
      6m 25s
    5. Applying a bevel
      5m 40s
    6. Showing the hidden faces of a 3D object
      4m 49s
    7. Applying the 3D Revolve effect
      5m 22s
    8. Visualizing the revolve axis
      3m 5s
    9. Applying the 3D Rotate effect
      1m 35s
    10. Adjusting surface settings
      9m 33s
    11. Understanding the importance of 3D and groups
      3m 24s
    12. Preparing art for mapping
      10m 19s
    13. Mapping artwork to a 3D surface
      14m 21s
    14. Hiding geometry with 3D artwork mapping
      4m 0s
    15. Extending the use of 3D in Illustrator
      8m 7s
  5. 44m 37s
    1. Introducing transformations and effects
      32s
    2. Using the Transform panel
      12m 37s
    3. Repeating transformations
      5m 23s
    4. Using the Transform Each function
      3m 48s
    5. Using the Convert to Shape effects
      5m 49s
    6. Using the Distort & Transform effects
      5m 12s
    7. Using the Path effects
      6m 58s
    8. Using the Pathfinder effects
      4m 18s
  6. 28m 23s
    1. Introducing graphic styles
      33s
    2. Applying graphic styles
      10m 8s
    3. Defining graphic styles
      8m 46s
    4. Previewing graphic styles
      2m 10s
    5. Modifying graphic styles
      3m 30s
    6. Understanding graphic styles for text
      3m 16s
  7. 22m 49s
    1. Introducing advanced masking techniques
      32s
    2. Understanding clipping masks
      7m 15s
    3. Using layer clipping masks
      6m 30s
    4. Creating opacity masks
      8m 32s
  8. 1h 6m
    1. Introducing color
      40s
    2. Considering three types of color swatches
      7m 7s
    3. Managing color groups
      2m 58s
    4. Understanding the HSB color wheel
      3m 57s
    5. Understanding color harmonies
      2m 57s
    6. Using the color guide
      3m 54s
    7. Limiting the color guide
      3m 17s
    8. Modifying color with the Recolor Artwork feature
      6m 25s
    9. Using the Edit tab to adjust color
      5m 44s
    10. Using the Assign tab to replace colors
      8m 37s
    11. Making global color adjustments
      2m 17s
    12. Using Recolor options
      7m 3s
    13. Converting artwork to grayscale
      3m 23s
    14. Simulating artwork on different devices
      3m 18s
    15. Accessing Kuler directly from Illustrator
      2m 7s
    16. Ensuring high contrast for color-blind people
      2m 42s
  9. 53m 19s
    1. Introducing transparency
      40s
    2. Understanding transparency flattening
      2m 31s
    3. Exercising the two rules of transparency flattening
      10m 53s
    4. Understanding complex regions in transparency flattening
      4m 50s
    5. Exploring the transparency flattener settings
      8m 37s
    6. Using transparency flattening and object stacking order
      6m 39s
    7. Using the Flattener Preview panel
      6m 31s
    8. Creating and sharing Transparency Flattener presets
      2m 25s
    9. Working within an EPS workflow
      5m 3s
    10. Understanding the Illustrator and InDesign workflow
      5m 10s
  10. 50m 1s
    1. Introducing prepress and output
      23s
    2. Understanding resolutions
      8m 27s
    3. Discovering RGB and CMYK "gotchas"
      5m 42s
    4. Using Overprints and Overprint Preview
      7m 43s
    5. Understanding "book color" and proofing spot colors
      8m 1s
    6. Collecting vital information with Document Info
      2m 28s
    7. Previewing color separations onscreen
      1m 12s
    8. Making 3D artwork look good
      2m 16s
    9. Seeing white lines and knowing what to do about them
      2m 41s
    10. Creating "bulletproof" press-ready PDF files
      3m 45s
    11. Protecting content with secure PDFs
      2m 48s
    12. Using PDF presets
      2m 47s
    13. Moving forward: The Adobe PDF Print Engine
      1m 48s
  11. 35m 43s
    1. Introducing distortions
      27s
    2. Using the Warp effect
      4m 20s
    3. The Warp effect vs. envelope distortion
      3m 48s
    4. Applying the Make with Warp envelope distortion
      2m 45s
    5. Applying the Make with Mesh envelope distortion
      2m 41s
    6. Applying the Make with Top Object envelope distortion
      3m 45s
    7. Editing envelopes
      5m 0s
    8. Adjusting envelope settings
      4m 2s
    9. Releasing and expanding envelope distortions
      1m 44s
    10. Applying envelope distortions to text
      1m 27s
    11. Using the liquify distortion tools
      3m 5s
    12. Customizing the liquify tools
      2m 39s
  12. 28m 56s
    1. Introducing blends
      32s
    2. Blending two objects
      6m 18s
    3. Adjusting blend options
      5m 47s
    4. Blending anchor points
      5m 36s
    5. Blending three or more objects
      2m 9s
    6. Replacing the spine of a blend
      4m 32s
    7. Reversing the direction of a blend
      2m 15s
    8. Releasing and expanding a blend
      1m 47s
  13. 46m 54s
    1. Introducing charts and graphs
      35s
    2. Setting expectations: Graphs in Illustrator
      3m 19s
    3. Creating a chart
      8m 2s
    4. Importing data
      3m 34s
    5. Formatting data
      5m 1s
    6. Customizing a chart
      10m 21s
    7. Combining chart types
      2m 40s
    8. Creating graph designs
      6m 0s
    9. Styling and updating graphs
      5m 33s
    10. Ungrouping graphs
      1m 49s
  14. 26m 36s
    1. Introducing Gradient Mesh
      23s
    2. Understanding the Gradient Mesh feature
      9m 34s
    3. Using Gradient Mesh to add contoured shading
      6m 14s
    4. Using Gradient Mesh to create photorealistic effects
      10m 25s
  15. 8m 18s
    1. Introducing flare effects
      25s
    2. Drawing a lens flare
      3m 28s
    3. Modifying a lens flare
      1m 27s
    4. Using a mask with lens flares
      2m 58s
  16. 29s
    1. Goodbye
      29s

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Illustrator CS4 Beyond the Basics
9h 42m Intermediate Apr 03, 2009

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Tracing artwork both automatically and manually
  • Mapping artwork to complex 3D surfaces
  • Using pressure-sensitive distortion tools
  • Recoloring artwork across a document
  • Using Excel data to create charts and graphs
  • Understanding how transparency really works
  • Creating high-quality, press-ready PDFs
  • Building efficient files with graphic styles
Subject:
Design
Software:
Illustrator
Author:
Mordy Golding

Using the Transform panel

When it comes to being precise inside of Illustrator nothing is more important than the Transform panel. I'm to go here to the Window menu. I'm going to choose Transform to open up the Transform panel. And let's take a few moments exploring the settings that exist within it. It's important to realize that the Transform panel at first glance may seem very simple. It simply maps out the X and Y values or the coordinates of where object sits on an Artboard and then likewise it also gives you the width and height values of your selection. But in reality, there is a lot of depth to the Transform panel. There are also many settings that may be buried in the flyout menu over here that we'll get to in a moment. So to get started here, let's start working with a regular plain rectangle.

I'm going to simply use my Rectangle tool to draw out a rectangle. It can be any size. And I have it filled right now with a yellow fill and have it set to a 10 point black stroke. Now I'm going to go ahead here, use my regular Selection tool to click on this object and you will notice that because in the View menu here I have my Bounding Box option turned on. Notice over here it says Hide Bounding Box. That means that currently my bounding box is being shown. And I can see that I have the bounding box so the handles that appears on the corners here. So let's first take a look over here at the Transform panel. You notice in the far left there is an icon here, which is referred to as the Reference Point.

The Reference Point shows me 9 handles and right now one of them is currently selected which is the centre one. These 9 handles refer to the 9 handles that appear on the Bounding Box of my current selection. If I were to go ahead now and select this object, this object has lots of anchor points on it, but you will notice that again I have the handles that appear around the parameter of my selection. These handles here represent the same that these icons do here, in this Reference Point icon. Now I'll go back and I'll select this rectangle, the reason why it's important to know this is because when I see the values in here, for example the X and Y coordinates, those X and Y coordinates obviously refer to one single aspect or point of my selection. So which part of my selection did I represent? Well, right now because the centre button shows in my Reference Point, that means that the X and Y values that I'm seeing right here, X being along this way, Y being along this way, so the values that I'm seeing right here are now showing me this exact center point of my object. Whereas if I were to go ahead now and click on the upper left-hand corner over here, the values that I'm seeing here which have just changed, now represents this point on my Bounding Box, not the center anymore.

Now this is important because when I'm using the Transform panel to work with objects precisely I need to control exactly one part of my object. So, let me give you an example. I'm going to go ahead and click on the centre point right here, if I wanted to manually align this object to the centre of my page, I know that right now my Artboard here is set to eight and a half inches wide, so the centre of that would be four and a quarter. So what I can do is I can now go to my X value and because the centre point is now highlighted which is the centre point of my object I can now change that X value, type in 4.25 and tap the Tab key to accept that value. And then my object moves exactly to the centre of the page.

Yes, of course there are aligning tools to be able to do that, what I'm doing is I'm trying to give you some examples of where, when you work in the Transform panel, you can position objects exactly where that you need them using this particular icon right here to make sure that you do it the way that you want. For example, if I wanted now to align this all the way to the upper left-hand corner, if I don't pay attention to the Reference Point here, I might say, okay, I want the X value to be 0 simply by typing in 0 and typing in the Tab key will not do what I want to, align the centre of my object to that particular X value.

So I'm going to go ahead here and click on the upper left-hand corner, I'm now going to go ahead and type in 0 and now my object snaps where I want it to be. Now I also want it to be able to snap to the top and normally when you are working with regular page layout applications. The (0,0) point is usually the upper left-hand corner, but with Illustrator its not. With Illustrator the 0 point for the X value appears over here in the upper left-hand corner, but the 0 point for the Y value appears down on the lower left-hand corner, right over here. Now why did this happen? I don't have a good answer; I know that Illustrator has always been this way. As we know Adobe Illustrator is one of the first graphic applications that were out there, it was heavily mired in the way that PostScript was created. So all this means that you have to pay a little bit more attention to the values that you are working with. So, for example, I know that right now my page is 11 inches tall. So at this point over here it would actually be 11. I can specify for my Y value 11, hit the Tab key to accept in my object when I'll snap to that point that's right there. And if you are working with web designing, working with pixels, it would be the exact same thing. You just have to always know that the 0 point for the Y axis starts here on the bottom and then moves upwards.

So now take a look at the Width and the Height values. So again, the Reference Points still comes in the play here, when I go ahead and I choose to adjust a value, the value basically gets adjusted from that anchor point. Let me explain, right now, the upper left- hand corner is currently chosen. If I go ahead now and I want this to expand the entire page, which would be eight and half inches, I could type in that value, 8.5, hit the Tab key to accept it. And notice that this point will basically stay and the shape will simply grow in this direction. I'll hit Tab key and we'll see that happen. Now I'm going to press Undo for a second. If I have the centre point selected right here and I type in that same value, 8.5 and hit the Tab key to accept it.

Notice that the object was enlarged but from the center point, not from the upper left-hand corner, which was maybe what I was expecting. We press Undo for a moment here; again the same concept applies to rotating and skewing my object. Wherever I have my Reference Point chosen, that will be the origin point for where the rotation or the skew or in this case here Illustrator refers it as the shear, basically takes place from. So there's one other icon in the Transform panel that's important to know and that's this little lock icon right here. Now if I wanted it to change the Width of my object right now, notice that when I go ahead and I enter that value, let's say eight and a half inches, the Height basically stays the same. But if I want the Height to change proportionately to the amount that I'm actually changing the Width, I would click on the lock icon and that would basically constrain the Width and Height settings together.

So let me go ahead here and click on the upper left-hand corner Reference Point. Let me go ahead and click on this lock icon right now. So now if I choose eight and a half inches here, notice that the Height will also adjust likewise. So now I basically have locked the Height and Width together which also means that if I change the Height setting, the Width will also change in proportion as well. So you would use little lock icon here to make those changes. I'm going to turn that off for now. But I want to point out one extremely important thing with the Transform panel. You will notice when I went ahead and I aligned my object to the upper left-hand corner over here, what actually got aligned to the page was the path itself and not the stroke. So I'm actually going to zoom in a little bit close to here on this corner here and we'll take a look at what's happening here. Let me move my object down just a little bit, you can see that the path itself was aligned perfectly to the edge of the page. However, the stroke value, which we know is always applied to the centre line of a path, and that's the default setting inside of Illustrator. So I have here a 10 point stroke, I now have five points of that stroke extending to the left and five points of that stroke to the right or in this case here the better term would be the outside and inside of the path. So I have a 10 point stroke total, but five points on this side and five points on that side.

Now here's something that's very interesting. The value that I'm seeing right here in the Width of my object, the Illustrator again is very precise, it's a computer application. It's giving me the exact value of the path that's used to define this object, but not the appearance of the path. That's the default setting inside of Illustrator. But there is a setting that we could use to change that. So right now my artwork is eight and a half inches wide, but then again that's the path that I see here not including the actual amount that the stroke is adding to the outside of this path. Now if I were a person who were designing a piece of artwork and I needed to create something that was a precise size, this size would now be a little bit bigger and it wouldn't fit with the size that I might be asked to provide. This is again an important setting here. I'm to go into my Preferences inside of Illustrator. If you are on a Mac, you would go over to the Illustrator menu and choose Preferences and I'm going to choose just the general setting here. If you are on a Windows machine, you can simply go to the Edit menu and then from the bottom you would choose Preferences as well. The keyboard shortcuts to open up Preferences are Command+K or Ctrl+K.

There is an option here called Use Preview Bounds. That's a very important setting. By default when you open up Illustrator that setting is turned off. What this setting does is it tells Illustrator to honor the appearance of a path and not the actual path itself. So again right now the Width of the path that I'm working with this is exactly eight and a half inches. If I turn on the Use Preview Bounds setting inside the Preferences panel and I click OK. Watch what happens to the Width down in the Transform panel. It now shows us 8.639 and that's because now the Width of the path is also compensating or giving me the value for the stroke itself.

In fact you can even see where the Bounding Box now lies, Illustrator before had the Bounding Box on this particular anchor point. But now the Bounding Box moved out to over here and that's because Illustrator is now taking into account the width of the stroke or more precisely the appearance of the path, not just the path itself. So now if I go ahead and I change the Width to be exactly 8.5 and I hit the Tab key and I also adjust the X coordinate over here to be assigned to 0. Now you can see that this particular anchor point now does measure up exactly with the edge of the page. So I want to actually show you, I'm going to zoom out of here, leave that object for a moment, how important this is when you are dealing with other types of artwork inside of Illustrator.

I have this badge that I have created and this badge now has a Drop Shadow on it. Now because I went ahead and I actually turned on the Use Preview Bounds setting, when I go ahead here and I ask Illustrator to show me the width particular object, notice that the Bounding Box doesn't kind of match up exactly to the anchor points of the path here. The Bounding Box is actually extended out just a little bit here and that's because this object has a Drop Shadow applied to it, take a look at my Appearance panel here. I have a Drop Shadow. So the Drop Shadow always adds a couple of extra pixels to my object that I don't see, like a clipped edge from my Drop Shadow so that this way I know that the Drop Shadow kind of blends smoothly to that background.

So notice that the Width here is 4. 093, if I were to go ahead back to the Preferences panel and I were to turn off Use Preview Bounds, I would see that object now is 3.792 because now the Drop Shadow was not included in the value that's being shown in the Transform panel. So when I'm working inside of Illustrator, I always want to make sure that when I'm working with the Transform panel that I can choose to see the exact value of the path or the value of the appearance of the path by turning that setting, Use Preview Bounds, on and off. If I go to the flyout menu here, I can see there is an option here called Scale strokes & Effects. And all this simply means that when I'm working and I'm scaling an object, does the stroke width itself also scale along with the object. And likewise if I have different effects, for example, right now this object has a Drop Shadow applied and that Drop Shadow has a certain blur setting and a certain offset setting. Now when I go ahead and I scale this object to be larger or smaller, do I want that effect to also scale along with the object? Usually I do, so I sometimes want to make sure that the Scale strokes & Effects is turned on. Again, when you first launch Illustrator for the first time, by default this setting is turned off.

Now likewise there is also the ability of using the Transform panel to transform both any patterns and the object inside of a regular shape that you have. And if you do have a shape that does have a fill of a pattern inside of it, you could choose this Transform Pattern Only option. And doing so, basically if I now have an object that has a pattern inside of it, any adjustment that I make here to the Width and the Height, for example, I could change the size of just the pattern or the repeat inside the shape without changing the shape. So if I have a shirt outline with a print of some kind of pattern on the inside of the shirt. If I want to see, let's say, smaller prints inside of it, I could just simply scale only the pattern and not the object itself, again using this particular setting here.

So these are the some of the settings that you have in the Transform panel, it's incredibly useful to work with. You will also notice that many of the elements in the Transform panel appear in the control panel. So notice that right over here on the top of your X, Y and then I have Width and Height values, I do had the Reference Point indicator, I also have the lock icon. And by clicking on any of these underlined blue areas, I can simply go ahead and access the entire Transform panel even its flyout menu from this side with all of its settings. So you don't necessarily need to have the Transform panel open at all times, although that's up to you, depending on how you want to manage your screen space.

So one final thing that I'll point out. If you go to Preferences for a moment, again, I'll press Command+K or Ctrl+K on the Windows machine; I'll simply go here and see that the Scale strokes & Effects option does appear here in Preferences as well along with Use Preview Bounds. Whatever I choose here simply is reflected in the Transform panel as well. So notice if I choose Scale strokes & Effects and I turn that option on, I click OK. I'll see that now that option is turned on here in the Transform panel as well. So you can turn it on from either of these locations, from here or the Preferences setting as well.

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