25 Replies Latest reply: Jul 9, 2013 1:50 PM by Kurt Gold RSS

    Copper Wire

    E.Donnelly Community Member

      Hello,

      Below is an image I am trying to create using illustrator cs3, the wires are all a shiny copper gradient. I have tried so many different ways to do the transition from the circle to the straight wire and I cannot find any that really work. Any suggestions? Remember I am on cs3 : )

      Logo Idea.jpg

        • 1. Re: Copper Wire
          Jacob Bugge CommunityMVP

          E,

           

          Presuming a simple colour transition as it appears, you may use a blend, if you:

           

          1) Select the Compound Path with the ring to the right and the straight part to the left and Object>Path>Offset Path with a negative value that gives you just a narrow band in the ring part, colour it very pale, the outer path darker;

          2) Maybe adjust the straight part of the inner path to get a slightly broader band with the inner path reaching into the transition between ring and straight part;

          3) Object>Blend>Options>Smooth or a suitable number of steps, then Object>Blend>Make.

           

          You may try without 2), then Undo and apply it if needed.

           

          Always work on a copy of the original artwork.

          • 2. Re: Copper Wire
            dougofakkad CommunityMVP

            do you mean the curve between them or the lighting? for the curve, i drew the circles and the straight separately and used smart guides to get the curves between them in a vaguely right place. for the lighting, this uses a blend between the initial shape and a minus-value offset path:

             

            blend.png

             

            edit: so like Jacob said.

            • 3. Re: Copper Wire
              Jacob Bugge CommunityMVP

              Hi Doug.

               

              Sometimes, the order of posts is really a matter of chance (and rifts in the time space continuum). I had just been away for almost an hour before seeing the thread.

               

              And judging by the time of the OP, E is probably over there and will only see this thread again in quite a few hours.

              • 4. Re: Copper Wire
                dougofakkad CommunityMVP

                i had this topic open, but was momentarily distracted by some real work. jobs really get in the way of being properly productive sometimes.

                • 5. Re: Copper Wire
                  E.Donnelly Community Member

                  Thanks, this is basically what I was looking for. I am however still confused as to how you went about this. Could you give a bit more detail?

                  • 6. Re: Copper Wire
                    Jacob Bugge CommunityMVP

                    E,

                     

                    You should be able to reproduce what Doug and I have suggested.

                     

                    The outer shape of the fused wire part in the O(riginal) P(ost), as is the corresponding outer shape in post #2, is the Compound Path mentioned in Step 1) in the first post. This should have a solid dark copper colour.

                     

                    If you follow the instructions, step 1) will lead you to have an inner path, which you can adjust as described in Step 2). This should have a solid and very pale copperlike colour (or be white).

                     

                    Step 3) tells how you can combine the outer and inner path to get the colour transistion in the form of a blend between the two path and their colours.

                     

                    The width of the inner path determines whether the wire will have a fully rounded o r a more flattened appearance, as you can see in both the OP and in post #2; obviously, there will be a flattening of the fuse area, but either or both of the parts (rings shape and straight) of the wire may be fully rounded.

                    • 7. Re: Copper Wire
                      JETalmage Community Member

                      Ever since Adobe decided to force its customers to rent software, I'm much less inclined to effectively add perceived value to its products by posting demos. So be aware, the operative word here is "perceived." The same general methodology demonstrated below works in most any mainstream vector drawing program.

                       

                      Setup:

                       

                      Swatches palette: Define four GLOBAL Swatches:

                      • Black: 100%K plus significant components of CMY
                      • White: 0C, 0M, 0Y, 0K
                      • Midtone: ~70%K. Think of this as your base color.
                      • Highlight: ~30%K

                       

                       

                       

                       

                       

                       

                       

                      Notes:

                       

                      • In step 4, MAKE SURE your blended paths have the same number of anchorPoints and corresponding directions.
                      • In step 7, NEVER go nuts with Blend steps. It’s just a waste of data. You never need 256 steps. Note that in this exercise, I’m only using 5 steps.
                      • In step 9, add interest by killing some of the symmetry. The shinier the metal, the more reflection detail. One of the most powerful ways to add reflection detail is to simply alter the directions of blended Grad Fills. It can do in seconds what many beginners waste hours on, thinking the only way to get such effects is to resort to Mesh Grads.
                      • In step 13, the first of the other bars was made by duplicating the whole Blend object, directSelecting each of the four paths, and using the minus pen tool to remove all but the four outermost anchors of each path. That quickly gives me a bar with the same grads and Blend. Then duplicated that bar, scaled horizontally; flipped a copy for the top bar.
                        For the inner bulge, drew a vertical ellipse, applied the same Grad Swatch, changed it from Linar to Radial, then downscaled the ellipse vertically to make it circular, thereby at the same time giving the Radial Grad an elliptical, rather than circular shape.

                       

                      JET

                      • 8. Re: Copper Wire
                        dougofakkad CommunityMVP

                        that is such a good little lesson. several things there that would never have occured to me.

                        • 9. Re: Copper Wire
                          E.Donnelly Community Member

                          Thanks for the detail! I presume it would all be very helpfull if I could get my paths to compound (step 4). Any idea why Illustrator is telling me it can't compund the paths? It might have something to do with how I made the shape to begin with. I made a circle, cut it, added some new points and bent it to meet with the straight wire, then using path finder joined the shapes. This way I got nice, circular, symmetrical curves. How did you make your shapes to begin with?

                          • 10. Re: Copper Wire
                            rcraighead CommunityMVP

                            What error does it give you? One path may be set to a clipping mask. Look in layer panel and make sure they are both simple paths.

                            • 11. Re: Copper Wire
                              E.Donnelly Community Member

                              It says that all items must be paths and cannot be part of an object.

                              • 12. Re: Copper Wire
                                rcraighead CommunityMVP

                                Looking in the layers panel is the easiest way to see exactly what is going on. With the paths selected, view the layer panel and see where the selected objects are. You can then drag them out of their current group or release a compound path using the object menu.

                                 

                                You can also cut and past above (cmd/control F), to ensure they are not part of another object.

                                • 13. Re: Copper Wire
                                  E.Donnelly Community Member

                                  It is showing the outside shape as a "compound shape," and the circles in the middle as "compound paths." All of these as of now are on one layer. When I try to release the objects is simply says "cannot ungroup."

                                  • 14. Re: Copper Wire
                                    E.Donnelly Community Member

                                    Ok, I think I just need to create to out side shape without using the pathfinder tool. How did you get your original shapes?

                                    • 15. Re: Copper Wire
                                      rcraighead CommunityMVP

                                      With the compound path selected, choose "Object>Compound Path>Release".

                                       

                                      With the compound shape selected, click "Expand" in the Pathfinder panel".

                                      • 16. Re: Copper Wire
                                        Mike in British Columbia Community Member

                                        This was a fun exercise, in other software. Mainly done with bitmap plugins.

                                        EMBLEM.jpg

                                        • 17. Re: Copper Wire
                                          rcraighead CommunityMVP

                                          Nicely done. Are you saying you did NOT use Illustrator? What "other" software?

                                          • 18. Re: Copper Wire
                                            Mike in British Columbia Community Member

                                            I used Corel draw and photo paint, plus alien skin plugins, nothing else.

                                            • 19. Re: Copper Wire
                                              rcraighead CommunityMVP

                                              Well, that's quite a bit. What does each package cost and are they available on Mac?

                                              • 20. Re: Copper Wire
                                                Mike in British Columbia Community Member

                                                Photo paint comes bundled with Corel draw. The plugin is probably a hundred bucks. So total about 600 dollars.

                                                • 21. Re: Copper Wire
                                                  rcraighead CommunityMVP

                                                  And "no" they are not available on Mac. If they were, I would be seriously looking at them.

                                                  • 22. Re: Copper Wire
                                                    Mike in British Columbia Community Member

                                                    Actually, they are currently talking about doing another Mac version, but not now, that is correct.

                                                    • 23. Re: Copper Wire
                                                      Kurt Gold Community Member

                                                      I did that.

                                                       

                                                      Ei.jpg

                                                       

                                                      It was a fun exercise, in other software. Mainly done with some plugins.

                                                      • 24. Re: Copper Wire
                                                        rcraighead CommunityMVP

                                                        Nicely done. Are you saying you did NOT use Illustrator? What "other" software?

                                                        • 25. Re: Copper Wire
                                                          Kurt Gold Community Member

                                                          I used FreeHand and Excel, plus some crafty plugins, nothing else.