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Non-round (square) calligraphic brush?

Aug 28, 2013 8:08 AM

Hi,

 

Is there any way of creating a rectangular caligraphic brush in Illustrator?

 

Most calligraphic pens I know have square-tipped nibs, not round.

 

Thanks,

 

Ariel

 

PS Using Illy CS5 on Windows 7 64-bit. Have a CC subscription so could

download CS7 if that's the answer.

 

 
Replies 1 2 Previous Next
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 28, 2013 10:16 AM   in reply to [Ariel]

    Can you show a simulation that explains the desired appearance?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 28, 2013 10:42 AM   in reply to Kurt Gold

    Kurt,

     

    ... the desired appearance?

     

    The same smallest thickness in orthogonal directions and capable of making sharp corners.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 28, 2013 11:08 AM   in reply to [Ariel]

    If I understand what you are asking;

     

    Make an oblong the size of the nib you want. Then, from the brushes pallette, select new Brush > New Calligraphic Brush, and set the roundness to 0 (also set the angle, etc.). See below.

     

    Brush.jpg

    --OB

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 28, 2013 12:05 PM   in reply to [Ariel]

    You can't have it rectangular.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 28, 2013 12:19 PM   in reply to [Ariel]

    I'd still prefer if you could provide a sample screenshot that shows what you want.

     

    This way thinking about a reasonable workaround may be possible.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 29, 2013 3:51 AM   in reply to Kurt Gold

    Correct me if I am wrong, but I belive the OP is trying to achieve a result something like the nibs in the top row.

     

    Nibs 01.jpg

    --OB

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 29, 2013 4:02 AM   in reply to OldBob1957

    OldBob,

     

    If you are wrong, I am wrong.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 29, 2013 5:19 AM   in reply to [Ariel]

    Have you tried the calligraphic brushes or Spiro in inkscape? Spiro smoothes drawn curves and tapers them from the start or the end of the curve. The image below is done in Spiro --it took about twenty minutes and that includes the learning curve since this was the first drawing where I used the extension.

     

    Spiro is open source (like inkscape) and it's a feature that seems like a natural for Illustrator. All the new features in CS6 (with the exception of the long overdue background darkening) don't add nearly the utility for me that this feature would.

    flourish 1.png

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 29, 2013 5:29 AM   in reply to [Ariel]

    Please show what you actually want to create with the brush as Kurt already asked in #7.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 29, 2013 5:48 AM   in reply to [Ariel]

    Hi Ariel,

     

    It actually does more than the stroke width. Spiro smoothes, tapers, and creates an editable curve from a path when you hit return. You can edit the original path and Spiro will adjust and smooth those changes. The same process in Illustrator takes considerably longer and I feel that the results aren't as fluid. If you search youtube for "spiro inkscape" there are some tutorials that show how it works.

     

    if you do try inkscape, you might also check out their calligraphic brushes and see if they offer the control you're looking for.

     

    Ace

     

    PS--if you're on a Mac, inkscape uses x10 emulation which is kind of annoying. Windows in Boot Camp is less quirky if you've got the option.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 29, 2013 6:23 AM   in reply to [Ariel]

    Ariel,

     

    There is a, possibly too silly, way you can fake it accurately, at least in some cases.

     

    You may create a pair of orthogonal Calligraphic Brushes with 0% roundness, such as 10pt/135°/fixed along with 10pt/45°/fixed.

     

    Used cunningly, you may obtain the desired appearance by using two such brushes together.

     

    The width should be √2 (1.414) times the side length of the square tip (a 10pt brush roughly corresponds to a 7pt square tip). With this, at up 45° (either way) from the direction of the brush you will have the right thickness, and at more than 45° you can switch to the other brush.

     

    To switch brushes in the right way, you need to cut the path somewhere at 45° from the brush direction in question (for 135°/45° brushes that would be at 0°/90°), and you need to create an overlap to cover the missing widths where one brush takes over fron the other.

     

    In some cases there is no need to switch brushes (if you keep within the 45° from the brush direction), in other cases it may be tricky to get the overlap in the right way.

     

    The following steps could be used for a rounded rectangle:

     

    0) Create the Calligraphic Brushes;

    1) Create the rounded rectangle and apply one of the brushes;

    2) Object>Path>Add Anchor Points;

    3) Cut the path at the horizontal and vertical midpoints;

    4) Change the brush for the relevant quarters;

    5) For each set of horizontal segments, Direct Select one segment and with the relevant Reference Point ticked in the Transform palette add a suitable amount to the W or H value (you can do it from both sides or just from one side) to get the right overlap.

     

    You can see the steps here for a pair of 10pt brushes applied to a 200 x 100 pt rounded rectangle with a corner raidus of 20pt:

     

     

     

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 29, 2013 6:29 AM   in reply to [Ariel]

    Silly question, but, why not define a square Art Brush?

     

    Brush.jpg

    --OB

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 29, 2013 6:30 AM   in reply to [Ariel]

    Bildschirmfoto 2013-08-29 um 15.28.38.png

    Then connect the gaps, correct the paths as needed.

     

    For connecting I would recommend the plug-in SubScribe. It's free.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 29, 2013 7:34 AM   in reply to [Ariel]

    Among other things this is an editable calligraphic brush. Perhaps not what you want.

     

    cb_obl_1.png

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 29, 2013 9:27 AM   in reply to [Ariel]

    Ariel,

     

    Post #19 was about a faking square brush (identical side lengths of the tip), which is a simpler case than a rectangular one, and at 0°/90°. Faking a rectangle/square one turned 30° requires other brush directions.

     

    If you can tell us the two tip side lengths, a set can be set up for it, with widths and angles.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 29, 2013 9:56 AM   in reply to [Ariel]

    Yes, it's a regular calligraphic brush nested with another brush. Roundness does not matter.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 29, 2013 11:58 AM   in reply to [Ariel]

    Ariel,

     

    Now I have realized a far easier solution than described in post #19, at least for certain closed paths: a pair of strokes, each with a 0% roundness Calligraphic Brush set at the right angle and width depending on the direction and side lengths of the rectangular tip, both having the same width, possibly supplemented by a third stroke with an Art Brush having the (smallest) side length of the tip.

     

    If you can give me the two side lengths, I can work on a more specific solution, with angles and width(s).

     

    The general description is as follows:

     

    0) Create the Calligraphic Brushes;

    1) Create the path and in the Appearance palette flyout tick Add New Stroke (twice);

    2) Still in the Appearance palette, select each of the strokes and apply one of the brushes to it.

     

    I believe the ultimate challenge is to have both:

     

    A) The right thickness variation along the path, and

    B) The right ends, normally rectangular, unless the very end is at an angle identical to the specific angle of the tip.

     

    Here are a few paths with the two 10pt Calligraphic Brushes and a 7pt Art Brush, corresponding to a square tip set at 0°/90°:

     

     

     

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 29, 2013 12:15 PM   in reply to [Ariel]

    Ariel,

     

    The addition in post #29 of an Art Brush with the smallest side length is an important improvement inconnexion with changing curvature.

     

    The two Calligraphic Brushes should have identical widths, and their angles and width depend on both the two side lengths of the tip and the direction of the long sides relative to horizontal/vertical.

     

    That is why I ask for the side lengths.

     

    Also, I presume 30° means that the long sides of the tip are 30° counterclockwise from vertical (11 of the clock). Or which direction?

     

    In your image in post #31, the ribbed effect is caused by the differences in widths which should be identical. The angles correspond to a square tip at 30°/-60°.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 29, 2013 12:19 PM   in reply to [Ariel]

    The other brush is a scatter brush.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 30, 2013 3:52 AM   in reply to [Ariel]

    Ariel,

     

    You are far from losing it.

     

    I believe I have the full and improved solution now, (specific angles and widths for the size and direction you have given):

     

    1 normal Stroke Weight equalling the smallest nib width (2pt),

    1 Calligraphic Brush set at the direction angle+arctan(smaller/greater width) (60°+ arctan(2/5) = 60°+21.8° = 81.8°), and with 0%roundness, and with √(smaller width^2+greater width^2) = √(2^2+5^2) = √29^2 = 5.385pt diameter,

    1 Calligraphic Brush set at the direction angle+arctan(smaller/greater width) (60°- arctan(2/5) = 60°-21.8° = 38.2°), and with 0%roundness, and with √(smaller width^2+greater width^2) = √(2^2+5^2) = √29^2 = 5.385pt diameter,

     

    With these, for closed paths without corner Anchor Points (Smart Guides are your friends, and checking with the Direct Selection Tool may be convenient/necessary):

     

    1) Create the normal Stroke path (2pt Stroke Weight) with Round Cap/Join;

    2) Add New Stroke and set the Stroke weight to 1pt, then Add new Stroke again;

    3) Apply the two Calligraphic brushes to the two strokes.

     

    See the first paths in the image below.

     

    And with these, for open paths/paths with corner Anchor Pojnts, a bit more work (and a change from stroked to filled paths):

     

    1) Create the normal Stroke path (2pt Stroke Weight);

    2) Copy in front and change the Stroke Weight to 1pt, then create a new copy;

    3) Apply the two Calligraphic brushes to the two copy paths;

     

    Now you have the shape of the path with a point from one of the Calligraphic Brushes sticking out at the ends and forming a funny shape to be filled out, see the first set of open paths below:

     

    4) Lock the original normal Stroke path (2pt path);

    5) Select the two copy paths and Object>Expand Appearance;

    6) Pathfinder>Divide, then Pathfinder>Merge;

    7) At each end/corner, straighten out the concave parts by applying the Convert Anchor Point Tool to the outermost convex corner Anchor Point (if applicable/needed) and the Delete Anchor Point Tool to the concave corner Anchor Points on either side and use the Direct selection Tool to drag in the relevant Handles of the remaining convex corner Anchor Points (if applicable/needed);

    8) Delete any redundant Anchor Points created by the Pathfinder operations in other parts of the object, if applicable/needed.

     

    See the bottommost sets of paths below for the final appearance. As you can see, they have the right  angular ends/corners with straight segments. If you wish a more lively apearance at ends/corners, you may leave (or create) a certain concave curvature of (some of) these segments.

     

    The brushes are shown at double size for enhanced visibility of details, and then a few close(r)ups.

     

     

     

     

     

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 30, 2013 5:51 AM   in reply to [Ariel]

    At the risk of making an utter fool of myself and proving I have no clue what you really want, I will make one more suggestion. See below:

     

     

    Nib 2.jpg

    --OB

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 30, 2013 6:38 AM   in reply to OldBob1957

    You could also get that "live" by targeting the layer and applying a stroke to it. I guess that's what Kurt meant in #28

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 30, 2013 8:56 AM   in reply to Monika Gause

    It's a knockout group.

     

    cb_obl_2.png

     
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