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Reshaping a curved path created with the pen tool in Illustrator

Posted on 2008-06-18
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Last Modified: 2013-12-02
Please take a look at this file and tell me how and where  to add, subtract and/or modify anchor points in order to make the blue shape match the red shape. I know it's kind of difficult without watching you do it in the same room live, but please do the best you can to illuminate the steps for me.

http://www.discretedata.com/Ex-Ex/DuplicatingAPath.ai

Thanks!

John
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Question by:gabrielPennyback
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sajay_j earned 400 total points
ID: 21819543
Please check the attached png. I have set anchor point in it, if you could edit and see where I have set achors to rotate on oval edges. Try it...
overline.png
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by:BongSoo
ID: 21822515
You shouldn't need to add an anchor point at all. you should be able to select the curve, and using the bezier 'handles', adjust the curve to match.
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by:gabrielPennyback
ID: 21827210
Thanks for the png, sajay.  It enabled me to see exactly where the handles needed to be.

Out of curiosity, is there a way to turn a one-handled point into a two handles point?  And would that make BongSoo's suggestion work?

John
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Assisted Solution

by:David Brugge
David Brugge earned 100 total points
ID: 21828629
Hi John.

> is there a way to turn a one-handled point into a two handles point?

Select the Convert Anchor Point Tool (Shift+C). When you click on any anchor point, it turns it into a Straight Anchor Point, however if you click and drag with the Convert Anchor Point Tool, it will turn any point into a Smooth Anchor Point. The downside is that you loose any previous curve that you had and have to drag to restore it.

To my knowledge, there is no way to convert an anchor point into a compound anchor point. They have to be created on the fly.

BTW, no points for this because I'm throwing in something that was not brought up, but you seem to be making your objects by dragging an anchor point, then clicking a straight point, then dragging on that point to continue your shape. The act of clicking an ending point then clicking and dragging to continue the shape is creating a number of compound points.

Sometimes you want this, but most times you don't. A better practice is to drag your starting point, drag the next point and drag the next point in a continuing motion. Most of the time the lines will not end up exactly the way that you want them because as you drag an anchor point in one direction, it extends out in the other direction the same amount.

It is better to go back with the direct select tool and adjust the points rather than have compound points because of the better overall control that you have over the shape.

The best way to learn how to plan anchor points is to take a professional font like Times Roman and turning it into outlines. These are as absolutely efficient as possible with every single anchor point planned out. You can learn a lot about how they tackle complex shapes and what special consideration they make to sharp corners.

Okay...that's my soapbox!
anchor-points.jpg
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Expert Comment

by:sajay_j
ID: 21828731
Yes, atleast with 2 anchor point it could be created...
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Expert Comment

by:David Brugge
ID: 21828808
Hi sajay!

I tried to get it with two points, but the top curve was too complex (owing to the compound anchor point in the middle of the line) to be render with just two points.

It's just a guess, but I suspect that this shape is related to Johns ongoing mushroom project,

(http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/Photos_Graphics/Illustration/Adobe_Illustrator/Q_23484510.html)

in which case, he may want a slight dip in the top curve. But even so, my point is that you still have better control over the outcome if you use "smooth" anchor points instead of a compound of one side smooth and the other side straight.


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Expert Comment

by:jouhaan
ID: 21829448
Hi guys
I train 'Illustrator' and 'Design Best Practice'.

I second D Brugge's comments on anchor point usage.



It is best to force yourself to learn to do things the right way young grasshopper.
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Author Comment

by:gabrielPennyback
ID: 21842422
I've been trying to do it the correct way (avoiding compound anchor points)  with mixed results. Please take a look at a new question I've just posted for my further education!

sajay, I hope you don't mind that I'm giving David 100 points
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