22 Replies Latest reply: Jul 22, 2013 2:50 PM by Jacob Bugge RSS

    How can I create a map in Illustrator that has proportional curves

    gdp2015 Community Member

      I need to create a map, connecting different parts of the world, with curved lines that have a specific thickness when compared to each other, similar to this print screen: http://i41.tinypic.com/2ry29ac.png

      How should I go about doing it? I am completely new to Adobe Illustrator, and I am using the mac Version

        • 1. Re: How can I create a map in Illustrator that has proportional curves
          Monika Gause MVP

          Ther's no automatic way to create this in Illustrator.

           

          Most probably this graphic has been created with software like processing or other dedicated graphing software/packages.

          • 2. Re: How can I create a map in Illustrator that has proportional curves
            Steve Fairbairn Community Member

            You would need to know the amount of traffic per route and calculate the line weights accordingly.

            • 3. Re: How can I create a map in Illustrator that has proportional curves
              gdp2015 Community Member

              I do know the amounts. So then, is it possible to create these kind of curves?

              Also, how would you recommend to install adobe illustrator on mac, as I am having issues trying to install it

              • 4. Re: How can I create a map in Illustrator that has proportional curves
                Mylenium ACP/MVPs

                Sure it's possible. Ther line widths/ stroke weights would simply be percentages of the real maximum value and its associated stroke width or relate to an idealized value that equals 100%. Simply school grade math. As for your install issues - nobody can help you without hard technical info like system specs and the exact errors. Just saying that it doesn't work is not useful in any way.

                 

                Mylenium

                • 5. Re: How can I create a map in Illustrator that has proportional curves
                  gdp2015 Community Member

                  I was able to install the trial version.

                  Now, how can I create the arrow shapes? I assume I can just add a picture of the world continents in the background - correct? And then I would need to make the curves between the different continents. How do I insert these curves and how do I set the specific widths that I need?

                  • 6. Re: How can I create a map in Illustrator that has proportional curves
                    Jacob Bugge MVP

                    gdp,

                     

                    You can create simple stroke/nofill paths by ClickDragging with the Pen Tool, clicking at the start (and then end) position and dragging in the start (and then end) direction; you may adjust underway (you may hold the Spacebar to move the current Anchor Point about with the Handles locked), and afterwards. Then you can set the Stroke Weight to the desired width for each path. Splits may be made as independent paths, branching out either gently (as in UK to Canada/US or abruptly as in US to Other Europe and France).

                     

                    One comment on the image shown: some of the widths are incompatible: if you look at the red UK to Canada/US, the sum of the split widths (roughly) match the common width, so they literally add up. In contrast, the blue US to Europe has the same width until it splits into UK and Germany, but it should be much wider to start with, before the splits to Other Europe and France.

                    • 7. Re: How can I create a map in Illustrator that has proportional curves
                      gdp2015 Community Member

                      What I need to do is a little bit easier than in the image I posted.

                      I need to put four circles (of specific area as well, how can I set their areas once I choose them from shapes?) on five continents. Then I need to create these curve lines, from let's say Europe to the US to be twice as thick as from Europe to Africa. I don't care what the actual size is, it just needs to look 2x as big. Then, let's say from Europe to Africa it needs to be 1.45x the size of Europe to the US.

                      I am still a bit confused on how to create these curved lines, as using the Pen Tool does not create a curved line like in the image. These curved lines need to be between specific circles on the map, and need to link these circles, while they also need to have a specific width in comparison to each other

                      • 8. Re: How can I create a map in Illustrator that has proportional curves
                        Jacob Bugge MVP

                        gdp,

                         

                        For the circles, the difference in W(idth) x H(eight) determines the relative area, so the difference in W = H should be the square root of the difference in area (1.4142 for 2, 1.2041 for 1.45, etc), you can use a small calculator.

                         

                        As mentioned before, the thcikness of the curved lines should just be the proportions themselves.

                         

                        A curve like the one from UK to USA can be made with the Pen Tool, 2 or 3 Anchor Points by ClikDragging at either end poin and possibly one in between, drag out the Handle along the intended direction for each.

                         

                        A curve like the one from UK to Canada requires 3 Anchor Point, just place one where the curvature shifts, basically drag in the same way.

                         

                        To adjust the position of the currecnt Anchor Point, you may press the Spacebar (this locks the Handles while you move the Anchor Point round, and you can repeat adjusting Handles and position before you mouseup and go to make the next Anchor Point); you may also adjust afterwards, using the Direct Selection Tool on each Anchor Point itself to move it and on one of the Handles to adjust the curvature.

                         

                        If you cannot get it to work, you may post a screenshot of a curved path with an Anchor Point (and its Handles) Direct Selected (or post an image) to get the issue clarified.

                        • 9. Re: How can I create a map in Illustrator that has proportional curves
                          Mike Gondek2 MVP

                          I am a little jealous you get to use a tool,  I never get to use: the arc tool.

                           

                          1. Click and hold on the line tool
                          2. Select the arc tool
                          3. Click and drag with mouse down (use up and down arrow curos keys to adjust arc curvature).

                           

                          Screen Shot 2013-07-10 at 9.18.12 AM.png

                          • 10. Re: How can I create a map in Illustrator that has proportional curves
                            Kurt Gold Community Member

                            gdp2015,

                             

                            probably I'm wrong, but I think at least one small part of your question is basically a matter of tangency. The steps below will show you one way how to automatically create guides tangent to curved paths at specific anchor points as well as how to create and use Art brushes to draw smooth dendritic arrows.

                             

                            There may be / there are more straightforward methods. Here is one of the old school:

                             

                            The first step is to prepare the Tangent Maker. Draw a straight horizontal line, black 1 Pt stroke, 180 mm wide. Drag that line onto the Brushes Palette, choose Pattern Brush and take the default settings in the Brush Options dialog. Call the Pattern Brush 'Tangent Maker'.

                             

                            Now, draw a stroked path, stroke weight: 30 Pt, and apply the Add Arrowhead effect. Duplicate this path and apply a 1 Pt stroke to the duplicate, remove the Add Arrowhead effect, then lock the orange arrow an select the black stroke.

                             

                            http://illustrator.hilfdirselbst.ch/Sonstiges/Dendritic_Arrows/Dendritic_Arrow_001.gif

                             

                            With the Pen Tool add five anchor points. Copy the black stroke, lock it and paste in front.

                             

                            http://illustrator.hilfdirselbst.ch/Sonstiges/Dendritic_Arrows/Dendritic_Arrow_002.gif

                             

                            Select > Object > Direction Handles, then Edit > Cut. Leave everything selected and apply the 'Tangent Maker' Pattern Brush. Go to Effect > Distort and Transform > Transform and take the default settings in the Transform Effect dialog (this step is not necessary at all, but it is good for getting cleaner results after expanding the Pattern Brush strokes).

                             

                            http://illustrator.hilfdirselbst.ch/Sonstiges/Dendritic_Arrows/Dendritic_Arrow_003.gif

                             

                            Remove the Brush strokes at the end points of the orange arrow, select all and go to Object > Expand Appearance. If required, execute the Object > Path > Simplify command to reduce the number of anchor points on the tangents you've created now. Convert the tangent lines to guides.

                             

                            http://illustrator.hilfdirselbst.ch/Sonstiges/Dendritic_Arrows/Dendritic_Arrow_004.gif

                             

                            The next step is to prepare an Art Brush that will smoothly align to the edges of the 30 Pt wide arrow. Draw a horizontal line, black stroke, stroke width: 10 Pt. Then draw a vertical non-stroked line, height 25 Pt, and align both paths like in the following image. Group them.

                             

                            http://illustrator.hilfdirselbst.ch/Sonstiges/Dendritic_Arrows/Dendritic_Arrow_005.gif

                            Drag the group onto the Brushes Palette, choose Art Brush, then, in the Art Brush Options dialog, set the direction from left to right and choose Tints as the colourization method.

                             

                            Draw an orange stroked path, stroke weight 1 Pt, and apply the Art Brush you've just created. Apply the Add Arrowhead effect (Pfeilspitzen) and make sure that the effect is listed below the Art Brush stroke in the Appearance Palette (Aussehen). Define these appearance attributes as a graphic style and call it 'Branches to the Left' for example.

                             

                            http://illustrator.hilfdirselbst.ch/Sonstiges/Dendritic_Arrows/Dendritic_Arrow_006.gif

                             

                            Now, back to the 30 Pt orange arrow. While Smart Guides are turned on, take the Pen Tool, click on one of the anchor points of the black stroke, drag along the guide (the tangent), then click where you want the other end of the path. Apply the graphic style 'Branches to the Left' to that path.

                             

                            http://illustrator.hilfdirselbst.ch/Sonstiges/Dendritic_Arrows/Dendritic_Arrow_007.gif

                             

                            Do the same to create more branches (always take the anchor points of the black stroke as the reference points).

                             

                            http://illustrator.hilfdirselbst.ch/Sonstiges/Dendritic_Arrows/Dendritic_Arrow_008.gif

                             

                            Now, direct select the end points of three of the branches and Alt drag them to the other side of the fat arrow.

                             

                            http://illustrator.hilfdirselbst.ch/Sonstiges/Dendritic_Arrows/Dendritic_Arrow_009.gif

                             

                            Leave them selected, go to the Appearance Palette, double click the Art Brush stroke to open the Stroke Options dialog and turn on the Flip Across option.

                             

                            http://illustrator.hilfdirselbst.ch/Sonstiges/Dendritic_Arrows/Dendritic_Arrow_010.gif

                             

                            Delete or hide the guides and remove the black stroke.

                             

                            http://illustrator.hilfdirselbst.ch/Sonstiges/Dendritic_Arrows/Dendritic_Arrow_011.gif

                             

                            It would be nice if Illustrator's Smart Guides had a tangency option. Also, it would be nice to be able to align strokes on open paths to the left and to the right according to their path directions.

                            • 11. Re: How can I create a map in Illustrator that has proportional curves
                              Jacob Bugge MVP

                              gdp,

                               

                              I will follow suit and post another solution from the (six years and a half) old Branched arrow thread.

                               

                              This one has decreasing thickness as the branches branch off.

                               

                              1. Draw path to final goal and add arrowhead fitting the thickness at the final goal;

                              2. Add Anchor Points corresponding to branches;

                              3. Copy original path to front;

                              4. Change to thickness at final goal;

                               

                              Last branch on one side:

                              5. Repeat 3 and change to thickness of original path + half the thickness of branch;

                              6. Outline Path, cut at starting point and at first point after desired branch, and remove surplus;

                              7. Direct Select end point, move to desired position, and adjust Handle;

                              8. Change to thickness of branch and Add Arrowhead;

                               

                              Earlier braches on the same side, in reverse order down to the first one:

                              9. Repeat 5. to 8. (in 5. add twice the sum of later branches on the same side);

                               

                              Branches on the other side, if any:

                              10. Repeat 5. to 9.

                               

                               

                              • 12. Re: How can I create a map in Illustrator that has proportional curves
                                Kurt Gold Community Member

                                Gosh, Jacob. Now we are uncovered and supposed to be the copy and paste cheaters – although it was genuine stuff.

                                • 13. Re: How can I create a map in Illustrator that has proportional curves
                                  Jacob Bugge MVP

                                  You are right, Kurt. I should have thought about that.

                                   

                                  But it was a nice experience: I remembered the branched-arrows image, but I could neither find the AI file it was created in nor remember the explanation of how I made it; and then I thought of looking into the archive, and there it was, along with yours.

                                   

                                  Apart from that, there is an error in step 5: obviously, it should be (and was in the image):

                                   

                                  5. Repeat 3 and change to thickness of original path + the thickness of branch;

                                   

                                  But as bad as it may be, it may have the advantage of diverting attention from other things.

                                  • 14. Re: How can I create a map in Illustrator that has proportional curves
                                    Kurt Gold Community Member

                                    Psst, Jacob.

                                     

                                    Otherwise I may copy and paste the almost 10 years old Default font in Illustrator 10? thread that was posted by you …

                                    • 15. Re: How can I create a map in Illustrator that has proportional curves
                                      Jacob Bugge MVP

                                      Now that would be serious, Kurt.

                                      • 16. Re: How can I create a map in Illustrator that has proportional curves
                                        gdp2015 Community Member

                                        Hi,

                                         

                                        I've watched some beginners tutorials on AI but I have some questions on your post.

                                        First, related to this:

                                        "

                                        Now, draw a stroked path, stroke weight: 30 Pt, and apply the Add Arrowhead effect. Duplicate this path and apply a 1 Pt stroke to the duplicate, remove the Add Arrowhead effect, then lock the orange arrow an select the black stroke.

                                         

                                        "

                                        I drew the stroked path by using an arc tool, and changing the stroke to 30. However, I can't figure out how to apply the arrowhead effect and then how can I duplicate this path. Any help on that?

                                         

                                        Here is what I tried doing and it didn't work: I tried to edit the cap, to make it round, but nothing happened when I clicked that command.

                                         

                                        And this is the stroke I created: http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=555hxi&s=5

                                        • 17. Re: How can I create a map in Illustrator that has proportional curves
                                          Jacob Bugge MVP

                                          gdp,

                                           

                                          I can't figure out how to apply the arrowhead effect

                                           

                                          Effect>Stylize>Add Arrowheads.

                                           

                                          and then how can I duplicate this path

                                           

                                          Ctrl/Cmd+C+F (or B instead of F), or drag while holding Alt/Option, or a few other ways.

                                          • 18. Re: How can I create a map in Illustrator that has proportional curves
                                            gdp2015 Community Member

                                            Unfortunately that doesn't work for me. I have two stylize options:

                                            http://tinypic.com/r/2agg77/5

                                            and

                                            http://tinypic.com/r/5me0ds/5

                                            But not the option for the arrowheads..

                                             

                                            This is where it takes me once I go effect - stylize - glowing edges:

                                             

                                            http://tinypic.com/r/2h6vc6s/5

                                             

                                            After some more research I added an arrowhead myself, by creating a 3sided polygon and adding it to the curve.

                                            However, I am unable to do the following steps.

                                            I grouped the curve and the arrowhead together and duplicated it. However, once I change the stroke of the new curve to 1, I get this: http://tinypic.com/r/11tonxi/5 which is not what I need. I need the arrowhead to change its size proportionally as well.

                                            Then the instructions ask me to "remove the add arrowhead effect, then lock the orange arrow and select the black stroke"

                                            I can't really remove the add arrowhead effect as my arrowhead was created without the effect and is now grouped to the stroke. Also, how can I 'lock' the orange arrow?

                                            • 19. Re: How can I create a map in Illustrator that has proportional curves
                                              Jacob Bugge MVP

                                              gdp,

                                               

                                              Add Arrowheads should be there in the first Stylize group.

                                               

                                              It may be time to reset the preferences. You can do it easily and irreversibly if you press Ctrl+Alt+Shift/Cmd+Option+Shift during startup, or more thoroughly and reversible if you Move the folder with Illy closed.

                                               

                                              To lock an object/path, click the box beside the eye showing that it is visible.

                                              • 20. Re: How can I create a map in Illustrator that has proportional curves
                                                Monika Gause MVP

                                                THis is Illustrator CS6? See the stroke panel. If there are no arrowheads, "Show opions" in panel menu.

                                                 

                                                Read the manual.

                                                • 21. Re: How can I create a map in Illustrator that has proportional curves
                                                  gdp2015 Community Member

                                                  Yes, I am using CS6. Thank you.

                                                   

                                                  I figured out everything, now I just need to be able to add text on top of a circle shape. How can I do this? I have a colored circle and need to add two letters on top of it - and later modify their size and color.

                                                   

                                                  Also, is there a way to make a curve look smoother, once I create a curve using the pen tool?

                                                  Thanks a lot to everyone for helping me out!

                                                  • 22. Re: How can I create a map in Illustrator that has proportional curves
                                                    Jacob Bugge MVP

                                                    gdp,

                                                     

                                                    add text on top of a circle shape

                                                     

                                                    If you mean follow the (outer) path, you may copy the circle, select the Path Type Tool, and click where you want to start (or in the middle if you use Align Center in the Character palette).

                                                     

                                                    is there a way to make a curve look smoother,

                                                     

                                                    It is better/cleaner to make it right with the Pen Tool., but you may use the Smooth Tool (bundled with the Pencil Tool, ClickHold to get it to show). Or you may use Object>Path>Simplify, trying out the options.