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Want to be more precise, more efficient, and more creative with Illustrator? Learn how the Astute Graphics plugins can revolutionize the way you draw and edit artwork in Adobe Illustrator. Mike Rankin covers drawing and editing with VectorScribe and InkScribe, aligning and arranging objects with ColliderScribe, creating beautiful symmetry with MirrorMe, adjusting color with Phantasm, and the tools in DynamicSketch and WidthScribe that make drawing with a tablet even more natural and intuitive.
In this movie we'll take a look at how to use the transform effect controls in Astute Graphics stylism. I'll begin by selecting my star and I'll add a transform live effect by clicking the first button on the left in the bottom row in the stylism panel. Now I have four sets of controls arranged around the center point of my star plus a bounding box around it. And I'll start by moving my cursor anywhere inside that bounding box. And when I do, I can see a display telling me the current offset is zero. If I double-click, I get a dialog box where I can enter offset values in terms of X and Y coordinates, or distance and angle.
And this great if I know the values that I want, or if I want to create a very precise effect, or I can do something more intuitive by canceling out of the dialog box, and simply dragging from anywhere inside the bounding box. And as I drag, I can see the guidelines from the corners and center of the bounding box. So I can reposition however I want at any distance or angle from the original. If I hold the Shift key, I can constrain the movement to the current angle. Or if I undo, I can hold Shift and constrain horizontally, or vertically, or at 45 degree angles.
If instead of X and Y values I'd rather see the offset in terms of distance and angle, I can just hold Option or Alt and click inside the bounding box. If I move my cursor over an edge or corner of the bounding box, the display tells me that the horizontal and vertical scale is currently 100%. And I can freely drag from the side or a corner if I want to distort the shape of the object. I can start dragging and hold Cmd or Ctrl to use the slow drag feature. And I can also hold Shift and drag to maintain the shape's proportions.
Or I can double-click anywhere along the bounding box to bring up a dialog box where I can set exact values for horizontal and vertical scale. I'll make them both 80%. Note that the position of the scaled effect is dependent on the reference point which you can see over here. By default it's set to the center, but you can make it any of these nine points, and you can see the position of the effect changes. If I set the reference point to the top-left, or northwest, and I check out the distance, what this means now is there's 138 pixels from the top-left corner of the original object to the transformed effect.
If I switch the reference point to the center, now theres 138 pixels between the centers of the two objects. I can also apply a rotation as part of my transform live effect. To do this, I just move my cursor over a corner of the controls, so that I see a curved double arrow, and then click and drag. Again, I can drag freely. I can hold Shift to constrain. Or I can hold Cmd or Ctrl to slow drag. The plus minus buttons are for setting a number of transformed copies. By default it's set to zero, so the original object disappears, and all I see is the transformed object.
But if I click the plus, I get one copy, so now I see the original plus one transformed copy. And if I continue clicking, I can continue to create extra-transformed copies. Also notice this line going through the center of the transformed copies. At one end there's a dot. And if I move my cursor over that dot, I can see how many copies I have. Not only that, but I can drag that dot to create more or fewer copies. I also have a control for scaling strokes and effects. And if I enable it, I can see the strokes get thinner as objects get scaled down.
And finally, I have a choice for random transformations or non-random ones by clicking on the button with the letter N or R on it. Now the really cool thing at this point is that all these transformations are all still live effects. So I can change any or all of them and all these copies will respond. So I can change the angle, I can change the scaling, the reference point, and so on. Now I want to show you one more thing that you can do with the stylism controls for transform effects.
And that is to quickly and easily create a grid of objects. I'll start by removing this effect, and I'll actually scale the star down for real, just a little bit by holding the Shift key and dragging to make it a little smaller. And I'll position it up in the corner here. Then I'll click in the panel to apply a transform effect, and then I'll hold the Shift key and drag to the right. Just so the new copy is beyond the original bounding box. Then I'll click the plus sign to create a copy, then I'll click and drag the dot and the transformed copy to make a bunch of copies in a straight line.
Now I can make a grid by Shift+clicking on the transform button in the panel to add a second transform effect. I'll Shift+drag straight down. And again, click the plus sign to add a copy. And again drag the dot. Pretty nifty. So in this movie, we saw how to use Astute Graphics stylism to work with transform live effects. Stylism gives you controls for moving, scaling and rotating objects and you can make copies and change any or all of the transformations on the fly.
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