Join Deke McClelland for an in-depth discussion in this video Dragging a constrained path, part of Adobe Pen Tool: Mastery.
- [Narrator] In this movie we'll talk about Reshaping with Constraints and this is what's know as Constrained path dragging. It's available to you in all three of the core Adobe applications subject to a preference setting at least where Illustrator and Photoshop are concerned. And that preference setting goes by the name Constrained path dragging. To get to a (mumbles) in Illustrator you go up to the Edit Menu, that would be the Illustrator Menu on the Mac. Drop down to the Preferences Command which is not nearly so low in the menu on the Mac and then to Selection and Anchor Display.
And then locate this option right there Constrained path dragging on Segment Reshape is what is currently called and then turn it on and click OK. And by the way as I record this Constrained path dragging is the default behavior inside InDesign. And so this is the idea. Let's say you have a curve that's already the desired and you want to apply a relative transformation, so in other words you want to stretch it or shrink it along an existing axis and that axis by the way is defined by the angle of the Control Handles.
And so they're going to move in strict alignment with their original handles permitting you to squish a segment in this case or stretch it like so. And I just want to see what this looks like. I'll go ahead and click segment with my wide arrow tool and then I'll drag it and I'm not pressing the shift key or anything this time around and you can see that the Control Handles are moving up and down in absolute alignment with their original angles. And if you like you can even drag the segment to the other side as I've done here. In order to flip things around you can flip the entire segment if you wish as well, but again these Control Handles are going to be locked into alignment with their original angles.
All right so as I say that's the default behavior inside InDesign. Let's see how it works inside Photoshop. I'll go ahead and marquee a segment let's say with my white arrow tool. And notice this time around our check box is much more convenient. It's located up here in the Options Bar. I'll go ahead and turn it on, so once again Constrained path dragging, and now notice that if I drag I will keep those Control Handles at their original angles. Now what that means is if you drag too far you're going to end up creating a kind of curlicue segment, so that's something that you should watch out for, but once again this is great when your Control Handles are already at the proper angles and you just want to be able to move them around to different locations.
Compare that to what happens if I turn the check box off at which point I can just go ahead and drag this path segment as much as I like. And I'm going to have no constraints whatsoever. And that's how you take advantage of Constrained path dragging which is the default setting inside InDesign and an optional setting inside both Photoshop and Illustrator.
- 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