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How to distribute equal spacing with anchor points?

Mar 15, 2012 11:28 PM

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I am working in Lesson 5 of Adobe Illustrator CS5 Classroom in a Book, and am having a problem selecting the 2 anchor points to distribute equal space based on the bottom center anchor point of the violin.  The note said to reference chapter 2, which I have already been through, but even after reading the Illustrator Help dialog on pg 75, I am still at a loss.  Can anyone explain how to distribute this equal spacing of 2 anchors relative to one anchor point?

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Mar 16, 2012 2:37 AM   in reply to learningcsnpreggers

csnpreggers,

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Mar 16, 2012 10:03 AM   in reply to learningcsnpreggers

csnpreggers,

Maybe the exact wording of the task as presented in the lesson is called for.

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Mar 16, 2012 10:08 AM   in reply to learningcsnpreggers

If it's a symmetrical object you are drawing (you mentioned a violin), remember that you only need to draw one half of it.

Then you reflect the whole thing about its axis of symmetry and all points will be mirrored on each side of the axis and therefore equally spaced.

Without further details it's difficult to give you a better answer.

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Mar 16, 2012 4:47 PM   in reply to learningcsnpreggers

It's not possible to automatically align anchor points the way you expect it to work.

I've got the book and I think I found the paragraph you're referring to. It simply states that it is difficult to create the points in a symmetrical fashion. It actually doesn't show a way to do it. What you might do is create "helper objects", e.g. a rectangle that you use to measure the distance between anchors to recreate it on  the other side.

You might also first create only one side of that violin completely and then mirror it when you're finished. Doing it that way would be the most efficient way to do it.

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Mar 16, 2012 9:57 PM   in reply to learningcsnpreggers

This video might be helpful though it might behave differently than you expect this is how it works…

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That link is not working this should work

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Mar 17, 2012 3:54 AM   in reply to learningcsnpreggers

It looks to me as if the example you posted (#6) shows precisely how not to do things. The botch-and-fudge method.

Mirror reflect copy is really the only way to go if you need to ensure that your shape is truly symmetrical.

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Mar 17, 2012 4:38 AM   in reply to learningcsnpreggers

csnpreggers,

If anyone has any further advice or comment, I'd still love to hear from all parties.

Especially when working with a finished symmetrical shape, such as a violin, which may have been created using mirroring, in other words elaborating on a shape, possibly with something unforeseen in the first round, and especially when it is inconvenient to cut paths to work with one half, you may use the instructions in small print using invisible ink at the bottom of item 3 in lesson 5:

2 tips, using the Line Tool and Smart Guides:

To make sure the left Anchor Point has the same same distance from the bottom Anchor Point, first ShiftDrag horizontally with the Line Segment Tool from the right Anchor Point to cross the path, then select the violin path and click it with the Add Anchor Point Tool where Smart Guides say intersect.

Or to place both Anchor Points at the same time instead, first create a sufficiently long horizontal path with the Line Segment Tool below the violin path, then ShiftDrag it upwards to cross the violin path at the desired distances, then select the violin path and click it with the Add Anchor Point Tool where Smart Guides say intersect, both right and left.

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Mar 17, 2012 5:13 AM   in reply to learningcsnpreggers

...am having a problem selecting the 2 anchor points to distribute equal space based on the bottom center anchor point...Can anyone explain how to distribute this equal spacing of 2 anchors relative to one anchor point?

To horizontally center the bottom anchorPoint between the two adjacent anchorPoints:

1. White pointer: Select all three anchorPoints involved.

2. Align palette flyout menu: Show Options (to display the Distribute options at the bottom of the palette).

3. Make sure Align to Artboard is not on.

4. Make sure Distribute Spacing is set to Auto, not to a value.

5. Click the Horizontal Distribute Space button.

JET

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Mar 17, 2012 7:09 AM   in reply to learningcsnpreggers

I didn't read the whole thread so it might have been mentioned already but the distribution works precisely only on straight lines. For curved lines, I usually select the segment  where I want a point in the middle, cut the segment, paste in front, add  anchor point using the Object>Path menu, and then join the segment to the rest.

I use a 3D program which works with curves and can insert any number of points distributed equally between selected points, among other things it also allows dragging a point along the path and displaying the length of the curve from its start to the point. I'm missing this when using Illustrator and whish it had these features too.

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Mar 17, 2012 11:50 PM   in reply to JETalmage

JETalmage wrote:

4. Make sure Distribute Spacing is set to Auto, not to a value.

Mac 10.6.8, Illy CS5.1: The Auto setting does not exist in my Align Panel. It's there in CS3, but not 5.1. I've restarted, rebooted, deleted preferences, repaired permissions, checked for corrupt fonts. Suggestions?

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Mar 18, 2012 5:42 AM   in reply to learningcsnpreggers

Distributing anchorPoints:

JET

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Mar 18, 2012 6:11 AM   in reply to JETalmage

James,

I can see that Distribute Spacing has changed after 10, to also work on Anchor Points in addition to Objects (at least until Kurt can make me see otherwise).

Two questions:

1) Can you click the centre Anchor Point as key to keep it in place and have the other two (re)Distribute on either side, and if so, which spacing is applied relative to the original spacings (in 10, with Objects, Auto > 0 and the two are pulled to touch the centre one)?

2) Can you (re)Distribute the Anchor Points horizontally without changing the shape of the violin path, implying a rather intricate underlying calculation (the shape of the rather simple path in post #16 is obviously changed)?

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Mar 18, 2012 7:37 AM   in reply to Jacob Bugge

1) Can you click the centre Anchor Point as key

If you select the anchorPoints all at once, the Auto setting can be used to distribute the spacing between the outermost anchorPoints. If you select the anchorPoints sequentially, the last anchor you select becomes the key. If the spacing value is set to Auto when you do this, the setting of course auto-resets to zero (effectively aligning, not distributing). But if you enter a spacing value, the other anchors will be spaced from the key anchor.

2) Can you (re)Distribute the Anchor Points horizontally without changing the shape of the violin path.

C'mon...are you kidding?!

Aligning anchorPoints arrived in CS3, by the way. Visible highlighting of key objects was added either CS4 or CS5; don't recall for sure.

JET

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Mar 18, 2012 8:32 AM   in reply to tromboniator

The same here, Peter.

Beyond that, the input field is terribly small.

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Mar 18, 2012 8:35 AM   in reply to JETalmage

C'mon...are you kidding?!

Now this is rather difficult to deny convincingly.

But the question merely reflects what seems to be the assumption/claim in Lesson 5, shown in post #6 and forming the actual basis of the OP.

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Mar 18, 2012 8:49 AM   in reply to tromboniator

tromboniator wrote:

Mac 10.6.8, Illy CS5.1: The Auto setting does not exist in my Align Panel.

If you don't enter anything (and don't select a key object), it's Auto. In CS3 "0mm" (or whatever unit) was default. This always triggered an error n case you didn't select a key object or didn't remember to select "Auto". Guess that's why it was changed.

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Mar 18, 2012 1:10 PM   in reply to Kurt Gold

Never mind. I see that it behaves "Auto" if there is no key object/anchor point selected, even though it doesn't say so.

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Jun 18, 2012 11:59 PM   in reply to learningcsnpreggers

Here's how I did it.

I pasted a path in from Illustrator.

The motion keyframes are evenly distributed (and roving) so (a) the motion is even; and (b) I can stretch it to the length that I want without messing with the evenness of the motion.

Since I had six keyframes I wanted evenly spaced at two second intervals, I stretched the path out to twelveseconds.

Then I scrubbed to intervals 2, 4, 8, and 10.

At each one of those intervals I inserted a motion keyframe (which screwed up the path).  I then used the convert vertex tool to unscrew it up.

I didn't put a motion keyframe at 6 seconds because there was already a roving keyframe there.

I then used the layer marker tool to mark the two second intervals for my easy reference.

If you've discovered an easier (or more scalable) way to do it, I'd love to hear.

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