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mikef928
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Drop shadow rotation

Nov 23, 2012 9:57 AM

Tags: #drop #illustrator #shadow #cs6 #rotate

I have an object with a drop shadow. I want to rotate the object and the drop shadow 90 degrees. But when I rotate the object, the drop shadow does not rotate along with the object. wtf

Can you tell me how to lock the drop shadow so that it will rotate with the object. p.s. I already know how to change the angle of the drop shadow.

 
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 23, 2012 10:05 AM   in reply to mikef928

    If you use the the "Rotate" option (Effect>3D>Rotate) after applying the drop shadow, the shadow will rotate with the object.

     
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    Nov 23, 2012 10:29 AM   in reply to mikef928

    Can you please describe the exact steps that will reproduce your problem. When I try to rotate an object with drop shadow here the shadow rotates with the object as expected. So either, you are doing something differently than I or there is something broken in your Illustrator.

     
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    Nov 23, 2012 10:51 AM   in reply to mikef928

    Oh, you mean the direction of the shadow stays the same, for example if  the X and Y offset of the shadow are different they will always produce a shadow in the same X and Y directions of the arbroard and not the object. This is how it is supposed to work and I believe most users will expect. To do what you want use Effects > Distort and Transform > Transform.

     
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    Nov 23, 2012 10:55 AM   in reply to mikef928

    Funny you should ask just had to do this. 

     

    I get around this problem by making a symbol of my initial object with drop shadow, then I just drag out symbol instances and rotating the symbol rotates the drop shadow also. Other items like gaussian blurs also scale so works good for holding outer glows consistent on logos.

     
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    Nov 23, 2012 11:09 AM   in reply to mikef928

    Don't blame me, I did not create the software, and have been reporting this since CS.

     

    Just create yourself a dummy bounding box fill & stroke of none within your symbol that is slighlty larger than your object. That way if you get for example a type revision, your symbols will not scale, cause the size of your symbol is defined by that bounding box and it did not change.

     
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    Nov 23, 2012 11:19 AM   in reply to mikef928

    mikef928 wrote:

     

    Yes. Thanks for the tip... although that is not ideal. It seems like there should be a "rotate effects with object" feature, when you option/click with the rotate tool. Kinda' like when you are scaling and you want the effects to scale along with an object. Does that make sense?

    The feature is the one I already suggested - the Transform Effect.

    If they make what you want possible without an additional effect it will cause a confusion when you edit the drop shadow effect after rotating the object. You know that you can double click the Drop Shadow item in the Appearance panel to change the parameters later. The parameters there are always X and Y using the directions of the artboard. If your object is rotated 90 degrees, the parameters in the Drop Shadow effect are not going to swap X with Y or to be renamed to degrees if for example your object is rotated 15 degrees. With adding a Transform effect however the user knows that this is the combined result of two separate transformations and there will be no confusion.

     
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    Nov 23, 2012 11:43 AM   in reply to mikef928

    Just kidding I know you don't blame me. Aggravating that this was brought up on the CS1 beta and they are still fixing this on the next version. Oh well atleast I get me weekly laugh when some National brand or someone's portfolio has a drop shadow in the wrong direction.

     
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    Nov 23, 2012 12:01 PM   in reply to mikef928

    mikef928 wrote:

     

    Yes, I see what you are saying. I guess that I just don't like the effects tool because when you view in outline mode you can't see the object correctly, unless you "expand" the object first.

    I don't like that either but that's a separate (program design) problem because Illustrator doesn't have intelligent objects with transformation history and the effects are external influences. If they address that we will not suffer from this. Even adding a static rotation attribute in addition to x, y, width and height to the object's description will be able to solve this kind of problems. Sigh

     

    edit: be careful with expanding - it creates a raster image of the shadow which is with a certain fixed resolution that may give you problem if you scale up the object.

     
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    Nov 23, 2012 1:05 PM   in reply to mikef928

    If you run into a file like that again where you can rotate the drop shadow effect with the transform tools, please share what you found. Though I have never seen different, am open to the possibility that an even better workaround exists.

     

    Your printer may get confused when they first encounter the symbols, or your fonts may not get collected with an older version of Art files is all else I found as the negatives of this method. I did not like the symbol method at first, but then other benefits arose like file size, quicker screen rerdraw, global changes, easy flavor line extensions, and confidence in your consistency against tight deadlines.

     
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    Nov 23, 2012 2:05 PM   in reply to mikef928

    Did you try Object>Transform>Rotate?

     

    I think it will work in amny instances.

     
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    Nov 23, 2012 4:00 PM   in reply to mikef928

    I'd tried it and it seems to work here?

     
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    Nov 23, 2012 7:17 PM   in reply to Wade_Zimmerman

    Funny I can't get this not to work?

     
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    Nov 23, 2012 7:51 PM   in reply to Wade_Zimmerman

    Wade,

    create a box with 100 pt per side. Apply a drop shadow effect with its X offset set to 0 and its Y offset set to 100 pt. Rotate the box 90 degrees, does the shadow extends from the right side of the box or remains at the bottom side?

    Now rotate with the Transform Effect instead and check the difference.

     
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    Nov 23, 2012 9:02 PM   in reply to emil emil

    That's a bit ridiculous whenyou can hust as easily adjust the position of the drop shadow X100 and Y 0 not only that you can simply copy the shadow efect in the apperance panel and then turn of the visibility of either adjustment.

     

    I think in this case rotating the object and the effect is the wrong way about it in the first place. Firsst of all you can see by the use of the transform effect it now has a different position as well which would also have to be corrected.

     

    But something like you describe it is certainly better to control the drop shadow from the point of inception.

     
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    Nov 23, 2012 11:05 PM   in reply to Wade_Zimmerman

    Yes, with this simple example it is just as easy to swap the X and Y, but it was a simple example to show the problem. Try to imagine more complex example like the image below. Then the Transform effect on the bottom right side will make more sense than redoing each shadow of the different objects on the group at the bottom left side. Notice that the different objects have different size shadows because the same size shadow doesn't fit well different size objects and different size shadows can be also used to suggest different distance between the stacking objects. So, on practice that's a lot of work to redo the shadows again after each rotation and simple swap between X and Y won't work.

     

    Capture.JPG

     

    The center of rotation of the transform effect takes into account the combined space of object and its shadow and the choice for its position  is limited to the 9 reference points in the transform dialog box but on practice I don't see this as a big problem because drop shadows unlike the simple example I gave, are usually not that far from the object producing them and all objects can be rotated at once and reposition at once if needed.

     
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    Nov 24, 2012 9:55 AM   in reply to emil emil

    A lot of work to adjust two or three drop shadow effects you should come on one of my photoshoots if ou want to see what a lot of work really is all about!

     

    Amusing!

     
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    Nov 24, 2012 11:16 AM   in reply to Wade_Zimmerman

    Wade_Zimmerman wrote:

     

    A lot of work to adjust two or three drop shadow effects you should come on one of my photoshoots if ou want to see what a lot of work really is all about!

     

    Amusing!

    I sure know what a lot of work is and I can also imagine it and I'm sure you can imagine it too. That's why I gave you an example with two or three different shadows and not twenty, thirty, or more

     

    @mikef928,

    Wade is not suggesting change in the preferences, but to redo the shadows after you rotate instead of using Transform Effect. I agree with this and it is the obvious thing to do if you really have only one or a few different shadows rotated at angles like 90 degrees where you can simply swap the X with Y values, otherwise for something more involving I would use the Transform Effect.

     
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    Apr 4, 2013 4:22 AM   in reply to mikef928

    I usually will use expand, as for the logic behind this X, Y positioning, I understand it, but I find it rather draconic to offer just a "global" relative position option on shadows. For example, if you are designing a company logo, which Illustrator is used for as well, surely you would want

    the shadows to stay relative to the logo if indeed they are part of that? Why a drop down option to render the shadow as either relative to the object or relative to a global light source / co-ordinate system cannot be included is beyond me. Or at least allow use of the

    transform tool as an object relative transform tool for rotation and the normal pick tool transforms can be global (or co-ordinate) relative for rotation and scaling.

     
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