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- Drawing effortless arcs, paths, and lines with the Pen tool
- Selectively and dynamically rounding corners
- Drawing complex shapes with round corners
- Bending segments with the Pen tool
- Beveling and enhancing artwork
- Drawing multiple lines at the same time
Skill Level Appropriate for all
In this movie, we're going to create this light beveling that traces around the ampersand. We're going to do so using a pair of dynamic effects. And we're also going to cut out these little stubs. I'm not sure what they're called, up here at the top and bottom of the ampersand. I'll go ahead and switch over to my document in progress, and I'll click on the letter form with the black arrow tool, in order to select it. And then I'll go up to the Window menu and choose the Appearance command, to switch over the appearance panel. Which I've located right next to my layers panel, in order to save room on screen.
Now, I'll drop down to this tiny add new fill icon. In the bottom left corner, of the appearance panel and click on it. And that'll give me a new fill at the top of the stack. And it doesn't really matter that we've got the strokes sandwiched between the two fills. Because we're not going to be taking advantage of a stroke, where this particular path outline is concerned. I'll go and click on this black swatch right there in order to bring out my swatch's panel and I'll select the white swatch in order to add a white fill as you can see.
Now that white fill ends up entirely covering up the black fill. We need to reduce its size and you can do that by going up to the effect menu. Choosing the path command and then choosing offset path, which allows you to collapse the size of the white fill equal distance from the black one. Anyway, I'll go ahead and select path and then select offset path and you'll see that I'm going to change this value to negative nine points and then I'll turn on the preview check box and we end up with this effect here. So we're moving the white field nine points in all the way around, inside of the black fill.
Now go ahead and click OK in order to accept that effect. The next thing you want to do is select that fill, the one that you just created, here inside the appearance panel. And then click on the little page icon at the bottom of the panel to create a duplicate of that fill. Let's change this one back to black, like so. And because it's offset the same amount, you can see that Illustrator has duplicated not only the fill, but its dynamic effect as well. We're covering, or looks like very nearly covering, the white fill with the black one.
We want this new black fill to be smaller still so, click on the words offset path, they are inside the appearance panel, to bring up the offset path dialog box and change this value to negative nine points times two. So you can just enter asterisks two after the negative nine point value. And then press tab and Illustrator will go ahead and do the math, so we now have a negative 18 point offset. To see what that looks like, turn on the Preview check box, and we end up with this effect here. Then go ahead and click OK in order to apply that change.
Alright, now I also want to nudge this black fill around a little bit and reduce its size slightly. So with the black fill selected, go ahead and click on it to re-select it, if you will. And then go up to the Effect menu. Choose Distort and Transform and choose the Transform command. That keyboard shortcut right there Ctrl+E or Cmd+E on a Mac. That's one that I added using the keyboard shortcuts command that's available to you here under the Edit menu. And Ctrl or Cmd+E is a great keyboard shortcut for transform because transform is your main dynamic effect.
It's super useful and Ctrl or Cmd+E otherwise goes unused inside the software. So I'll go ahead and choose the command. And I'm going to change the horizontal value here to 98%. That's the horizontal scale value. I'll leave the vertical value set to 100% and I'll turn on the preview check box so I can see how that reduces the width of that black fill ever so slightly. And now I'm going to click inside of the horizontal move value and I'm going to press the up arrow key in order to nudge that black ill to the right.
And in the end I came up with a horizontal value of seven points. And then I clicked inside the vertical value and I pressed the up arrow key. Which, ironically, or at least not intuitively, moves the fill downward and I came up with a vertical value of three points. So, if you want to move this fill upward, you would have to enter a negative value, such as, negative three points. Like so. But, as I say, I want to move downwards. So, I'll change the vertical value to three points. So all I've done is change the horizontal scale value to 98%, the vertical scale value is still 100%.
I changed the horizontal move value to seven points and the vertical move value to three points, and then you want to click OK, in order to apply that change. Alright, now we want to create those tiny nubs or stubs or tails or whatever they're called at the top and the bottom of what will be ampersand, and I'm going to do that with the help of some guidelines. So, just so I can see what I'm doing, I'll switch back to layers panel, by clicking on the layers tab and I'll turn back on my template layer and that'll just help me make sure I'm getting things right.
And also press control R or command R on a Mac, to bring up my rulers. And with my ampersand shape, that is my backward three, selected with the black arrow tool, so that I can see its anchor point up here at the top. I'm going to drag out a vertical guide until I snap into alignment with that anchor point right there. Now I want to go ahead and move this guideline over to the right a little bit, which means I need to unlock it. And I'll do that by going up to the view menu, choosing guides, and choosing lock guides to turn it off. If you don't see a check mark in front of the command, then the guides are already unlocked.
And then, you want to go ahead and click on the guide to select it. And now, I'm going to move this guide, and this is just a function of trial and error by the way to the right, 28 points. And the easiest way to do that is, to press Ctrl k or Command k on a Mac to bring up the preferences dialog box just so you can confirm that your keyboard increment is one point. Assuming it is just go ahead and cancel out there. And then press Shift right arrow three times in a row like so and then press the left arrow key twice and that way, we've moved it 30 points to the right and then we subtracted two points and so that's 28 points.
Anyway as I say I was just goofing around trying to figure this out. And now I'm going to click on the backward three again so I can see its anchor point. I'll drag out another vertical guideline until I snap into alignment right there. It is automatically selected because the guides are unlocked. So I'll press shift left arrow one, two, three times and then I'll press the right arrow key one, two, three times. This time around, so that this guideline is 27 points to the left, not 28 points, but 27 points. Alright, so, you can go your own way, of course, you don't have to do exactly what I'm doing.
Anyway, I'm going to press control R or command R on the Mac, in order to hide those rulers and then I'll go up to the View menu. Choose guides, and choose lock guides, to lock the guidelines back down. Then I'll select the big three with the black arrow tool in order to make it active. And I'm going to go ahead and zoom in a little bit here by control space bar or command space bar clicking. And I'm going to select the scissors tool from the eraser tool fly out menu. You can also get this wonderful old school tool, been here since Illustrator one by pressing the C key.
And I'm going to click right there, and that's going to completely mess things up, right there at the intersection of that guideline, by the way. And then I'll click at the intersection of the other guide. Don't worry about the fact that we've entered a world of utter and complete chaos. Then I'll go ahead and scroll down and I'm just doing this by clicking inside the scroll bar because that way I can move more quickly. And I'll go ahead and press the Ctrl key or the Cmd key on the Mac in order to temporarily access that black arrow tool and I'll click on this massive thing right here in order to select it.
And then if I release the Ctrl or Cmd key and return to the Scissors tool at which point I can click right there. And then I'll click. Well, I've lost the shape, so I have to Ctrl or Cmd click again, and then I'll click right there in order to cut the path outline at those locations. All right, now I'm going to press Ctrl+0 or Cmd+0 on a Mac in order to zoom out. As I say, everything appears to be a mess, but we're going to fix that right now by pressing control Y or command Y on a Mac in order to switch to the outline mode. I'm going to turn off the template layer just for a moment because I don't want to see it, and I'm going to press the V key to select my black arrow tool.
And I'll click on this bottom little pathlet right there, or maybe I'll just go ahead and drag in order to make sure I've selected the entire thing. And I'll press Shift Down arrow once, twice and then I'll press the down arrow key three times more. One, two, three. Like so. So I move that guy down 23 points again you can go your own way. And now click on this top half line right there. Select it and press shift up arrow one, two and then press the F arrow key by itself one, two, three to scoot it up 23 points. Alright, now press the A key to switch to the wide arrow tool.
Marquis these two points right there, like so, and press control J, or command J on a Mac in order to join them. Then go ahead and marquis these two points and press control J, or command J on a Mac to joint them. Let's go ahead and grab these guys down here and pressure control J or command J on a Mac. And then finally I'll pressure control Y, or command Y on a Mac, to switch back to the preview mode. So you can see that things are still a big mess, but if I press the V key, the switch to by black arrow tool, and I click anywhere on the path to select it, it's now an open path because this area right here has not been joined.
But if I press Ctrl+J, or Cmd+G on the Mac, in order to join those last two end points together, everything looks great, as you can see right here. And now, just to get them out of the way, I'll go up to the View menu, choose Guides and choose Hide Guides in order to hide those guidelines, they are still there of course, and that way is a saved attribute of the file. And there you have it friends, a few old school ways to manipulate path outlines that still work as great as ever, including dynamic effects which dates from Illustrator nine, and the scissors tool which dates from illustrator 1.0.