Why is it when using the width tool and after you expand the stroke, there's tons of anchor points? I understand that the anchors follow the path but it's got a ton of anchors which make it impossible to clean up. What's the ideal way to clean up all these anchors? ( sorry not the smooth tool or the simplify tool, something more precise perhaps?)
My second question is how can you make strokes that have the same width using the width tool? I understand there is the width tool dialog box where you can input values but if the stroke is slightly more twisted than the first stroke and yet I want to keep it uniform how would I go about using the width tool?
from what I understand the simplify tool doesn't really remove anchors points evenly. Whatever setting I put in there, with each anchor removed, I lose the original shape and thats why I mentioned the simplify tool just doesnt cut it out. If I use the width too and once expanded I want those anchors removed but in a manner the original shape isn't distorted. Hope that makes sense.
You do understand whaat I'm trying to do right? If you draw a simple stroke and add variable width to it and then expand it, it usually ends up with a ton of anchors. If yo use the simplify tool, it simplifies it to a point where the object loses shape gradually as you keep simplifying. This I believe is common behaviour but the thing is is there a way to not have so many anchor points and if so to remove them precisely such that the shape isn't distorted?
I did know but im afraid you were slow to catch up My issue was with the width tool. If you see my example screenshot, I added only 4 width points and that resulted in a ton of anchor points for such a simple shape. THat shape should take no more than 6 anchor points maybe but using the width tool it produces so many anchor pooints it's hard to manage them and the simplify/smooth tool changes the shape of the object as you keep removing anchors and that defeats the pupose.
You are right, of course. I'm slow.
You might want to talk to Adobe and complain about how they implemented the Width tool mechanisms.
Please report if they get it as slow as I did. Or even slower.
What's the ideal way to clean up all these anchors?
The ideal way is to actually draw the shapes you actually want, rather than rely upon automated features. Assuming at least an intermediate-level proficiency, you'll always end up with more elegant and efficient paths. And yes, it will take longer.
1. simple stroke
2. width points added ther's only 5 there
3. stroke expanded, see the tons of anchor points there?
You are familiar with the ability to turn on/off the display of anchor points with the Show/Hide Edges command, aren't you? Just because the program doesn't display all the actual anchor points involved as you instead manipulate the displayed controls for all these instant-gratification effects (auto-tracing, envelopes, stroke width) doesn't mean they're not there. Like it or not, they're being automatically created as you do those other-interface manipulations.
Why is it…?
Because an automated routine cannot read your mind. It doesn't know anything about how many anchorPoints are "ideal" for you to manipulate afterwards, as opposed to how accurately you want it to maintain the same shape it originally automatically generated.
Do a little research. Read up on how cubic Bezier curves work. Four Cartesian coordinate pairs (a startPoint, two handles, an endPoint) form a "hull" in which a curve is plotted, live, on any given grid resolution. Each set of four coordinate pairs are one Bezier curve; one segment of your squiggly path.
Now imagine trying to reverse-engineer that. Start with the particular plotted results on a particular grid (your monitor). Then try to determine from that four coordinate pairs which would yield a curve that would result in that plot. But wait…that's not really what your new demand (for fewer segments) requires: You have to figure out where to break the overall path into fewer segments (fewer sets of just four coordinate pairs). You have to figure out the coordinate pairs for a hull that would plot a curve not for each existing plotted result, but now one set for two segments; or one and a half segments; or three segments….
Some portions of the reverse-engineering may be relatively easy. Others may actually be impossible.
In other words, if it were possible to plot any shape you want with just four coordinate pairs, you'd never need multiple-segment paths, would you?
So after you've studied the math, then make that phone call to the software engineer and explain what he's missing.