Join Deke McClelland for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating a smooth point, part of Adobe Pen Tool: Mastery.
- [Instructor] All right, back in the Adobe Pen Tool Fundamentals course, I showed you how to create corner points just by clicking with the Pen tool. And as you may recall, corner points are corners between straight segments. In this movie, I'm going to show you how to create a smooth point, again, using the Pen tool. And, just so that we're clear on our terms here, a smooth point is an anchor point that produces a smooth, seamless transition between two curving segments. And it looks like this. So, basically what you have is an anchor point with two symmetrical control handles whose levers are locked into alignment with each other and that produces a smooth, seamless arc, as we're seeing right here.
To make a smooth point, the first step is to select the pen tool, which you can do in any of the core three design applications just by pressing the P key, P being for pen. And then, with the Create cursor– and you may recall, that is the cursor with the sparkle next to it– you want to go ahead and click and then drag, like so. The click is going to determine the position of the anchor point, and the drag is going to make, not just one control handle, but two, like so.
And as you drag with your cursor, you're going to move both of those control handles about the anchor point, and you're going to do so in equal and opposite directions. Throughout the drag, you're going to end up with symmetrical control handles. After you release, you're going to return to the familiar Pen tool cursor, and because the sparkle's now disappeared, this means we have an active path outline in progress. And so, that's how you create a smooth point. Just by demonstration, I'll show you how that works. I'll go ahead and select the Pen tool, which, again, I can get by pressing the P key.
I'm working in a pre-release version of Illustrator CC 2017, and it's got this tiny black pen cursor that looks less like a pen, and more like a kind of cloved hoof. Whether this is a permanent change or not, we do have the sparkle, which indicates that we've got the Create cursor. I'll just go ahead and click to set that anchor point, and I'll drag, in order to create those symmetrical control handles with those perfectly aligned levers. And then, once I like what I see, I'll just go ahead and release.
The sparkle disappears, which shows me that I have an active cursor. Because I have the Rubber Band feature turned on here inside Illustrator CC, I'm seeing a preview of my segment. All right, I'm just going to press the Escape key, in order to deactivate that path outline, and, as you can see, bring back the Create cursor. In any event, that is how you create a smooth point, which ensures a smooth, seamless transition between two curving segments. Of course, a single stray anchor point has no value by itself. which is why there's much more to come in future movies.
- Creating and editing Bezier curves
- Drawing in Illustrator
- Working with a vector-based shape layer
- Tracing a complex image with the Pen tool
- Using a vector mask in a composition
- Drawing a custom symbol in InDesign
- Creating inline graphics
- Wrapping text around an offset path
- Customizing text converted to outlines