11 Replies Latest reply on Oct 7, 2009 11:32 AM by Jacob Bugge

    please help re auto-curve line altering feature

    007cool

      to all Illustrator artists and experts: Can you please tell me the name of the Illustrator auto-curve line altering feature and how to adjust it or turn it off?  When I draw a line, and want that line not to be a perfect curve, when I complete the line Illustrator automatically alters it to make it a perfect curve.  This is changing my original line from what I intended to a homogenized curve I didn't intend.  Thank you for any help you can provide!

        • 1. Re: please help re auto-curve line altering feature
          Larry G. Schneider Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Are you using the Pen Tool? If so, then click and release at each point you want the straight line to inflect. If you are dragging after clicking, then the program assumes you want to make a curved line and translates the length of drag and the angle to form the curve.

          • 2. Re: please help re auto-curve line altering feature
            Jacob Bugge MVP & Adobe Community Professional

            007,

             

            Presuming you are using the Pencil or Paintbrush, you may DoubleClick the tool and reduce the Smoothness, maybe to 0 if it is not already.

            • 3. Re: please help re auto-curve line altering feature
              007cool Level 1

              Thank you for your suggestions.

               

              I would like to not have to click the switch embedded in the pen tool.  Can I adjust the smoothness to a permanent setting works best for me?  Where do I go (not by clicking on the pen, but in an on-screen interface) to make that adjustment please?

               

              Also, if I am drawing a line in a sketch-type approach, where the pen tip stays on the graphics tablet as I move it to draw lines, can't Illustrator simply save each part of my various movements as I draw the line - without "snapping" them all away into one curve after I lift the pen away from the tablet?

               

              This is frustrating, since I've spent thousands on this equipment and software, and I can't get it to take my drawing exactly as I intend it.  Appreciate it if you can specify exactly where I go to adjust these settings, thanks.

              • 4. Re: please help re auto-curve line altering feature
                Larry G. Schneider Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                You must use the Pencil tool or the Brush to achieve the results you desire. The Pen tool is specifically made to produce Bezier curves.

                • 5. Re: please help re auto-curve line altering feature
                  Jacob Bugge MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                  007,

                   

                  Are you sure you are using the Pen Tool and not the Pencil or Paintbrush Tool?

                   

                  With the former, you Click or ClickDrag to create each Anchor Point, but you never get a path segment until you Click or ClickDrag again to create the next one.

                   

                  With either of the  latter, you just draw and the path appears; then, when you stop it may get smoothed depending on the settings. That is the background of post #2. DoubleClicking the tool gives you access to its settings, and my guess is that you have an unwanted Smoothness.

                  • 6. Re: please help re auto-curve line altering feature
                    007cool Level 1

                    Thank you for your ideas.  I will double-check which exact tool is in use, and then try to adjust the smoothness accordingly.  Will post again here after I try to achieve the results I'm looking for.

                     

                    Grateful for all of your willingness to help!

                    • 7. Re: please help re auto-curve line altering feature
                      PrepressPro1 Adobe Community Professional

                      Don't take this the wrong way, but it sounds like you spent a lot of $ on hardware/software and you are now experiencing the frustration of the learning curve involved in understanding and utilizing this new set of tools. You might consider getting some books on this program and take some time to learn more about all the tools involved.

                      I have always found Illustrator Classroom in a Book to be a good source of information. I'm sure others on this forum have there favorite sources of information which can help reduce the frustration of learning how better to take your style to the next level in illustrator. I don't want to insult you if you're a seasoned Illustrator user, but we are all here to feed back to one another and hopefully help each other.

                      • 9. Re: please help re auto-curve line altering feature
                        JETalmage Level 6

                        can't Illustrator simply save each part of my various movements as I draw the line - without "snapping" them all away


                        DoubleClick the Pencil or Brush tool (the tool icons in the program, not your hardware stylus) and turn off the Edit Selected Paths option. (This is a one-time setting. You don't have to revisit it each time you draw a path.)

                         

                        You must use the Pencil tool or the Brush to achieve the results you desire. The Pen tool is specifically made to produce Bezier curves.

                        For clarity: All of the path drawing tools in Illustrator (including the Pencil and Brush) draw Bezier curves. They just employ different user interfaces for doing it.

                         

                        The Pen Tool (the software tool in the program, not your stylus) employs an interface intended to allow you to explicitly place each anchorPoint and curve handle exactly where you want it. That's its purpose. So there is no "smoothness" setting for the Pen tool. The Pencil and Brush tools try to programmatically and automatically construct Bezier curves by interpreting the bitmap "path" you scribe by stroking with the pointing device. Therefore, they have Smootness settings to alter the interpreting algorithm.

                         

                        That's pretty much standard practice across drawing programs like Illustrator.

                         

                        There are a few commands (Roughen, Zig Zag, etc.) in the Filters (CS3) and/or Effects (CS4) menus to alter the jaggedness of selected path(s) after you've drawn them.

                         

                        Generally, though, I agree with the comments of others: You need to sit down with the documentation and work through learning the program. Franky, I would add that you'd be better off doing that without using a stylus, just to minimize confusion. If you work with a mouse, you'll know what the program is capable of and how results are supposed to be achieved. Then, when you use the stylus, you'll be better able to discern whether a problem is due to a limitation of the program, or if it is something about your stylus settings, or just the small handful of stylus-supportive features in the program.

                         

                        JET

                        • 10. Re: please help re auto-curve line altering feature
                          007cool Level 1

                          Thank you to each of you who answered my questions on this topic.  Your ideas transcend what is in the books.  Artists sharing technique and experience are golden, and describe some details in ways the books do not.

                           

                          I have turned the smoothness down to zero in the tools I use, and that has helped reduce the program's influence on my drawing.  Your tip re the Edit Selected Paths option also helps keep my lines closer to what I intend.

                           

                          When I transitioned from analog studio recording to using Pro Tools in digital music production, the same learning curve (pun intended) applied.

                           

                          Now that I am transitioning from analog drawing on paper to digital art production, the familiarization process turns out to be similar. It's like seeing the matrix, right?

                           

                          In both instances, I have taken live courses in the software involved.  The Illustrator class I took covered so many facets of the program that I never use that its main effect was to awaken me to the literally thousands of features Illustrator offers.  My specific artistic needs touch a tiny portion of those features.

                           

                          All of which is to say THANK YOU VERY MUCH to each of you who gave information, even with a gentle nudge to consult the traditional learning resources.  I will respect the nature of this forum by trying to find the info on my own first, and sharing tips if I see a question where my expertise applies.  The camaraderie of all of us moving our art forward by sharing knowledge rocks!  Wishing everyone fulfillment according to your needs.

                           

                          007

                          • 11. Re: please help re auto-curve line altering feature
                            Jacob Bugge MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                            For my part you are welcome, 007, in more than one sense.