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Using the transform command in Illustrator

From: Creative Quick Tips

Video: Using the transform command in Illustrator

Hello, and welcome back to Creative Quick Tips.

Using the transform command in Illustrator

Hello, and welcome back to Creative Quick Tips. My name is Justin Seely, and in this week's installment, I'm going to be showing you how to use the Transform command inside of Adobe Illustrator to create some really cool and interesting shapes. So the first thing we need to do is draw a shape out on our art board. And what I'm going to do is just come over here, and grab the Polygon tool. You can create any document you want in order to do this and then just come out here and create your polygon. Now I'm going to, as I'm drawing this, tap the down arrow key on my keyboard, and that's going to allow me to tap that down to three sides to draw a triangle.

I'm going to hold down my Shift key to constrain all the proportions, and then release. And then what I'm going to do is just move this until it syncs right there in the center, and I've got Smart Guides turned on. If you go to View, make sure there's a check mark next to Smart Guides, that way everything will snap. And then what we're going to do is we are going to shrink this thing up by holding down the Option or Alt key and clicking and dragging in the side like this and then clicking and dragging down like that. Just kind of transforming it into this really skinny almost toothpick-looking shape. And so what I want to do is just revolve this thing around 360 degrees to create a burst effect and I can do this one of two ways.

I can do it through the traditional Transform command by going to Object and selecting Transform, or I can go to the Effect menu which is actually better because I have full control over this effect and I can come in and edit it anytime. So what I'm going to do is down to Effect > Distort and Transform, and I'm going to choose Transform. Then I'll move this out of the way so we can see it and get a good preview. Make sure Preview's turned on and, then what we're going to do is we are going to make sure that the reference point, which is down here, is right there in the middle of the point.

So in order to do that, I need to set it just like so. So you want that little white square to be just like that. And then what we're going to do is we're going to create some copies. And by creating copies, I'll just create five to start off with, I then have a way of changing the angle to make these sort of flow around it. So what I'm going to do right here is just start tapping. You notice how they start fanning out. And let's go to about 10 degrees, something like that and then now I'll just increase the copies by holding down the up arrow key until I get all the way around.

And I need 35 copies if they're spaced out 10 degrees apart, 360 degrees, 36 copies total. So once I do that, I'll hit OK. And now the best part is all I have to do is change this one object right here. So let's say that I want to change the color. Let's make that green, for instance, and we can remove the stroke and then click away and you can kind of see exactly what we've done there. And so any time i want to make a change to this I can just resize this one element. So let's increase the size a little bit, see how they all change or we can make it a little skinnier, and they all get skinnier.

I can make it longer, and they all get longer. And so anytime you make a change to this one, they all change accordingly, and the effect gets updated. You can also select this object and go into the Appearance panel over here. So let's just expand this out and let's find the Appearance panel. There it is, drag it out. And in the Appearance panel you'll notice the transform. I can click that any time I want, and so I could come in here, and I could actually reduce the angle of these if I wanted to. Let's preview that, see what they look like.

I could also increase the angle, if I wanted to. And I could decrease the number of copies. Let's decrease this back to like 30. And then let's increase the angle, something like that. And you can kind of see, you just kind of play around with this, get it exactly like you want and you can create some really interesting stuff. And it's not just starbursts. I mean, you could do a lot of different things using the Transform command. I'm just hoping to give you a little inspiration of what's possible by using these live effects. And the best part is, it is completely vector. You can scale it, rotate it, manipulate it, any way you want, and it maintained that nice, crisp look.

So there's other applications that do things like this but I think Illustrator's probably the best because of the fact that everything's non-destructive, it's all vector and that means you can scale it infinitely without penalty. The next time you have to create some sort of complex shape, try starting out with something basic and then exploring what the Transform command can really do.

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This video is part of

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Creative Quick Tips

57 video lessons · 37772 viewers

Justin Seeley
Author

 
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  1. 1m 45s
    1. Welcome to the series
      48s
    2. How to send feedback
      57s
  2. 9m 1s
    1. How to create line shadows in Illustrator
      5m 30s
    2. Using custom keyboard shortcuts in Photoshop
      3m 31s
  3. 11m 50s
    1. How to create layers from Photoshop Layer Styles
      3m 14s
    2. How to turn Illustrator artwork into Shape Layers
      3m 15s
    3. How to combine vector shapes in Photoshop
      2m 49s
    4. How to use text wrapping in Illustrator
      2m 32s
  4. 15m 41s
    1. How to effectively rotate objects in Illustrator
      2m 39s
    2. How to create interlocking shapes in Illustrator
      3m 29s
    3. How to speed up Photoshop's performance
      3m 25s
    4. How to use tool shortcuts in Photoshop
      2m 52s
    5. How to use springloaded shortcuts in Photoshop
      3m 16s
  5. 9m 27s
    1. How to create a better Twitter avatar
      3m 59s
    2. How to embed videos in WordPress without a plugin
      1m 45s
    3. How to embed real tweets into any WordPress post
      2m 15s
    4. Create your own Photoshop shortcut cheat sheet
      1m 28s
  6. 17m 53s
    1. How to create better Facebook cover photos
      4m 31s
    2. How to use keyboard shortcuts in WordPress
      2m 47s
    3. How to add Apple touch icons to your website
      5m 27s
    4. How to use Font Awesome in design applications
      5m 8s
  7. 8m 50s
    1. How to create your own pixel grids
      4m 25s
    2. How to sample colors from anywhere
      2m 5s
    3. How to create diagonal guides in Illustrator
      2m 20s
  8. 13m 48s
    1. How to round individual corners on Illustrator shapes
      3m 21s
    2. How to use Camera Raw as a Smart Filter
      4m 8s
    3. How to use the Shape Builder Tool to recolor artwork
      3m 34s
    4. How to use "Align to Key Object" in Illustrator
      2m 45s
  9. 8m 26s
    1. Exploring the Kuler Panel in Illustrator CC
      1m 50s
    2. How to draw awesome shapes with the tilde key
      2m 12s
    3. How to reset your bounding box in Illustrator
      2m 6s
    4. How to change your artboard color in Illustrator
      2m 18s
  10. 23m 19s
    1. How to use Photoshop and Illustrator to write CSS
      4m 1s
    2. How to create scalable rounded rectangles in Illustrator
      4m 16s
    3. How to use the fill commands in Photoshop
      3m 52s
    4. How to accurately space objects in Illustrator
      2m 5s
    5. Ten WordPress plugins that you should know
      9m 5s
  11. 9m 41s
    1. Unlocking background layers in Photoshop
      1m 8s
    2. Using opacity shortcuts in Photoshop
      1m 50s
    3. Using Illustrator's Glyphs Panel for icon fonts
      3m 15s
    4. Creating flexible buttons in Illustrator
      3m 28s
  12. 6m 31s
    1. Locking artwork in Illustrator
      2m 5s
    2. Five free fonts for your next project
      2m 0s
    3. Improving the SEO of your Muse website
      2m 26s
  13. 17m 7s
    1. Fitting content into your InDesign frames
      2m 37s
    2. Setting up your own Autocorrect in InDesign
      2m 33s
    3. Drawing complex shapes in Illustrator
      3m 14s
    4. Using the snapshots feature in Photoshop
      4m 40s
    5. Creating awesome product shots with Placeit
      4m 3s
  14. 18m 10s
    1. How to find free stock photos online
      1m 55s
    2. Using the transform command in Illustrator
      4m 14s
    3. Five tools for wireframing & mockups
      7m 36s
    4. How to convert videos into GIFs using Photoshop
      4m 25s
  15. 16m 10s
    1. Using PNG Hat to export Photoshop assets
      4m 56s
    2. How to setup two-step authentication in WordPress
      3m 50s
    3. Analyzing the speed of your website
      2m 19s
    4. How to create beveled text in Illustrator
      5m 5s

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