24 Replies Latest reply on Jan 29, 2010 8:14 PM by tromboniator

    Mobius Strip Design in Illustrator?

    PlantmixAsphalt

      Does anyone know how to design a mobius strip in illustrator?  Here is a link to see what the shape looks like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C3%B6bius_strip.  I am trying to design a logo for our company but, I am not sure how to get started with this design.  I would like to design something resembling a figure 8 or close to it if possible.  I would like to use Black as the main color with a Yellow line in the center resembling a road. I would even like to fade the black to green to give the shape some sort of environmentally appearance.  If anyone has suggestions as to what tools to use to make this 3d look, I would greatly appreciate the help.

        • 1. Re: Mobius Strip Design in Illustrator?
          Larry G. Schneider Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Maybe something like this?Picture 1.png

          • 2. Re: Mobius Strip Design in Illustrator?
            JETalmage Level 6

            The step-by-step images, although created to answer a question in an earlier thread about constructing an ordinary figure-eight graphic, show how you can manipulate pairs of Mesh Envelope meshPoints to advantage. The bottom graphic (the Mobius) just flops (Reflect Tool) a direct-selected pair of meshPoints 180 degrees to basically build a Mobius strip much as you would with a strip of paper.

             

             

             

             

             

             

            JET

            • 3. Re: Mobius Strip Design in Illustrator?
              JETalmage Level 6

              Note that the text in such a construct is still editable:

               

               

               

              JET

              • 4. Re: Mobius Strip Design in Illustrator?
                PlantmixAsphalt Level 1

                Yes, but without the small red line around the edges.

                 

                Nick Rodgers

                 

                 

                 

                Date: Fri, 23 Oct 2009 15:12:38 -0600

                From: forums@adobe.com

                To: nicholas_diecast@hotmail.com

                Subject: Mobius Strip Design in Illustrator?

                 

                Maybe something like this?http://forums.adobe.com/servlet/JiveServlet/showImage/13979/Picture+1.png

                >

                • 5. Re: Mobius Strip Design in Illustrator?
                  PlantmixAsphalt Level 1

                  Could you lead me in the right direction with the creation process of this image?

                   

                  Nick Rodgers

                   

                   

                   

                  Date: Fri, 23 Oct 2009 15:12:38 -0600

                  From: forums@adobe.com

                  To: nicholas_diecast@hotmail.com

                  Subject: Mobius Strip Design in Illustrator?

                   

                  Maybe something like this?http://forums.adobe.com/servlet/JiveServlet/showImage/13979/Picture+1.png

                  >

                  • 6. Re: Mobius Strip Design in Illustrator?
                    shunithD Level 3

                    JETalmage wrote:

                     

                    The step-by-step images, although created to answer a question in an earlier thread about constructing an ordinary figure-eight graphic, show how you can manipulate pairs of Mesh Envelope meshPoints to advantage. The bottom graphic (the Mobius) just flops (Reflect Tool) a direct-selected pair of meshPoints 180 degrees to basically build a Mobius strip much as you would with a strip of paper.


                     

                    JET...

                     

                    Was trying out this tutorial... as luck would have it, had been working on a concept using film strips

                     

                    Ok..., here are my problems...

                     

                    1/ Film strip original is six frames... transform to 18 (6 x3). Expand and group... Cannot now justchoose the outline / background. (attaching the original film strip using the solid one).

                     

                    2/ Text: Has to be entered character by character and then aligned to each frame

                     

                    3/ How do you enter the text and line it up?

                     

                    4/ Change the frame background colour etc...

                     

                    Basically it works fine up to the time you want to make changes... to text or background colours of frames... Wonder if you are getting my scenario?

                    • 7. Re: Mobius Strip Design in Illustrator?
                      JETalmage Level 6

                      You are being very cryptic, so I don't really understand your questions. You seem to be asking basic questions about using Illusrrator that really have nothing to do with the subject of this thread or my post. I'll give it my best shot:

                      1/ Film strip original is six frames...

                      Your file contains nothing but a single Symbol Instance, which in turn contains a single Symbol Instance. The Symbol contains just some white filled rectangles and a black filled rectangle, arranged to look like six frames of a film strip.

                      transform to 18 (6 x3). Expand and group...

                       

                      You use Transform Effect to create two copies? You then expand the Effect and Group the results? (The results would already be grouped.)

                      (Please speak in complete sentences, so I don't have to guess what you are talking about.)

                       

                      Cannot now justchoose the outline / background. (attaching the original film strip using the solid one).


                      The problem is that you now want to select the black rectangles and merge them into one? If so, you can't select the black rectangles because they are still elements contained inside a Symbol Instance. You either have to Break Link To Symbol, or Edit Symbol. See online Help for Symbols.

                       

                      2/ Text: Has to be entered character by character and then aligned to each frame

                      Now you want to add some text so that its characters appear to be in the frames, as in my earlier example? Just create a text object, type, and position it as desired. You can either include it in your Symbol, or you can create it as a separate object and include it when you apply the Envelope. See online Help for editing Symbols and applying Envelopes.

                       

                      3/ How do you enter the text and line it up?


                      How do you line up the text object with the filmstrip artwork? Just position it as desired. You can either create individual text objects for each frame, or, if there's a monospaced font that suits you, use that and increase the Tracking. See online Help for text range Tracking.

                       

                      4/ Change the frame background colour etc...

                      Again, your artwork is contained in a Symbol. You can colorize the Symbol Instance with the Symbol Stainer; or you can edit the Symbol. See online help for editing Symbols and Symbolism Tools.

                       

                      Basically it works fine up to the time you want to make changes... to text or background colours of frames...

                      What works fine? The Envelope Distortion? To edit the content of an Envelope without releasing the Envelope, use Object>EnvelopeDistort>EditContents. See online Help for Envelopes.

                       

                      Wonder if you are getting my scenario?

                       

                      Not really, no.

                       

                      I will folow this post with more explicit instructions for the Möbius strip distortion.

                       

                      JET

                      • 8. Re: Mobius Strip Design in Illustrator?
                        JETalmage Level 6

                        More explicit instructions for the Möbius distortion:

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         

                        JET

                        • 9. Re: Mobius Strip Design in Illustrator?
                          shunithD Level 3

                          JET...

                           

                          Hi...

                           

                          In effect it wasn't working quite like your tutorial... I am not asking you to do it for me,but could you please experiment with what i have sent you... using a name that exceeds the six frames - like "Mobios Tutorial" - and then give me the steps.

                           

                          Unfair in terms of your timeframe i know... but everlastingly grateful! Buy you a beer one day in the never never? BTW, am not an AI expert...

                          • 10. Re: Mobius Strip Design in Illustrator?
                            JETalmage Level 6
                            I am not asking you to do it for me,but...
                            ...but then you ask me to do it for you.

                             

                            Sorry. No can do. I'm working on my boat today. And besides, I...um...I have a bone in my leg.

                            Buy you a beer one day in the never never?

                            I hope that's not your shop rate. (It sure isn't mine.)

                             

                            BTW, am not an AI expert...


                            Never will be if you don't get your hands dirty. I think the instructions are pretty thorough.

                             

                            JET

                            • 12. Re: Mobius Strip Design in Illustrator?
                              shunithD Level 3

                              All your points well taken!!!

                               

                              Okay, two beers then?

                              • 13. Re: Mobius Strip Design in Illustrator?
                                Isolder Level 2

                                If I do one thing today it's going to be figuring out how to make that sweet animation. Also, does anyone else fail to see the first three or four images JET posted?

                                 

                                The first image I see in this post is the MobiusSequence_02.png..

                                • 14. Re: Mobius Strip Design in Illustrator?
                                  JETalmage Level 6

                                  Try hitting the refresh button.

                                   

                                  I don't know why that happens in this cumbersome forum. It didn't happen in the previous forum.

                                   

                                  JET

                                  • 15. Re: Mobius Strip Design in Illustrator?
                                    Isolder Level 2

                                    Ahh I did it:

                                    http://www.swfcabin.com/swf-files/1256575129.swf

                                     

                                    No idea if there's an easier method to accomplish this, but I think it pretty much matches JET's. For some reason though my drop shadow is terribly pixelated.

                                    • 16. Re: Mobius Strip Design in Illustrator?
                                      jay fresno Level 1

                                      How did you accomplish the animation? It is very cool!

                                      • 17. Re: Mobius Strip Design in Illustrator?
                                        JETalmage Level 6
                                        Ahh I did it:

                                         

                                        Well, not quite...

                                         

                                        When something travels around a Mobius strip, it becomes inverted as it passes to the "other side of the single surface". So if your Mobius envelope is built right, you should see that occur; every other trip around, the characters should be upside-down.

                                         

                                        We could assume that your film strip is opaque. But in that case, every-other orbit of the text would not show.

                                         

                                        Build a Mobius strip from a strip of paper. Write text on it and you'll see what I mean.

                                         

                                        JET

                                        • 18. Re: Mobius Strip Design in Illustrator?
                                          Isolder Level 2

                                          Yeah I realized there were some mistakes in the creation. I didn't

                                          even notice it wasn't doing the upside down backwards stuff. It took

                                          me long enough just figuring out a way to do the animation around the

                                          strip at all and that was only thanks to being in CS4.

                                           

                                          The gaping mistake I did notice was that my animation isn't fluid

                                          like yours. You can easily tell where the beginning and end frames are

                                          -- mine doesn't look even close to truly going around.

                                           

                                          I'm going to make a new thread to say what I did.

                                           

                                          So as to not hijack this thread any further I've made my thread discussing the animation here:

                                           

                                          http://forums.adobe.com/thread/513528?tstart=0

                                          • 19. Re: Mobius Strip Design in Illustrator?
                                            JETalmage Level 6

                                            Isolder,

                                             

                                            (Is that "Is Older", or "I Solder"?)

                                             

                                            You should have just stayed in this thread. It wasn't "hijacked." The discussion is still very much in line with the subject. Plus, the thread originator seems to have lost interested a while ago.

                                             

                                            There are no clipping masks or other unnecessary complications.

                                             

                                            See step 1 in post 8? That's a single PointType object, set in a monospace font with increased Range Tracking to space characters one per "frame" of the filmstrip (which is a Symbol). The frames which have no characters in them have space characters. Those two objects (the Symbol and the text object) are both included in the Envelope. The Envelope is on a Layer by itself.

                                             

                                            After the work with the Envelope was completed, I:

                                             

                                            1. Duplicate the layer.
                                            2. Object>EnvelopeDistort>Edit Contents.
                                            3. Text Tool: Edit the text to delete a space before the word, add a space after the word.

                                             

                                            Repeat steps 1-3 until the text arrives at the left end of the text object. After that, step 3 becomes:

                                            Cut the leftmost character. Paste it at the right end of the text string (after the rightmost space).

                                             

                                            Repeat that process, watching the progress of the characters as I go. If you built the Mobius Envelope correctly, you'll see that when a character reaches the "seam" of the Mobius strip, it inverts. But the strip, of course, is supposed to be seamless. So by the time the first character jumps the seam, it becomes obvious that a few preceeding characters should also be inverted. When the character becomes visible in a frame in which it should invert but doesn't, I select the character and rotate it 180° in the Character Palette. (Yes, I cheated. Watch closely and you'll see that the character is merely rotated, not mirrored vertically. But at the 1/12 second frame rate, no one notices.)

                                             

                                            Add a Drop shadow. Save that as a Symbol. Put it on the bottom-most layer. In the SWF export dialog, export Layers to SWF frames, selecting the shadow layer as a static background.

                                             

                                            JET

                                            • 20. Re: Mobius Strip Design in Illustrator?
                                              PlantmixAsphalt Level 1

                                              I have been reading some of these replies and although they are very helpful, I am not that savy with illustrator when designing a mobius strip.  I have a hard time with the reflect tool and mesh tool working properly.  I am having a hard time getting the shape to bend to form an oval.  I am wanting this shape to wrap around a logo but, at this point it is not working.  From an earlier post, I really like the wrap around the globe.  This will really look good for what I am trying to do too.

                                               

                                              Where I am having trouble is getting the corners to bend around without loosing the color.  Any suggestions would be great.  This may be an easy fix or addition but, please bare with me as I am not the expert in this particular program.

                                              • 21. Re: Mobius Strip Design in Illustrator?
                                                Isolder Level 2

                                                Ahh I deleted the other thread thinking I'd be able to add my stuff to my old post.. guess you can only edit a post for so long.

                                                 

                                                Well, all that's gone now.. It's more like "I sold 'er" or "Ice older", no relation to Lord of the Rings.

                                                 

                                                Thanks for the procedure. I never would have pulled it off if I had just stuck to blends to create my sequence.

                                                 

                                                I can't imagine ever needing to make an animation in Illustrator, but at least I know more about it now.

                                                 

                                                Animation aside, is there any trick to make editing contents of envelopes easier to deal with? Having to find the invisible pieces gets old real fast.

                                                 

                                                http://imgur.com/MEt66.jpg

                                                • 22. Re: Mobius Strip Design in Illustrator?
                                                  JETalmage Level 6

                                                  Ms. Asphalt,

                                                   

                                                  please bare with me

                                                   

                                                  Thanks for the invitation, but never on the first date.

                                                   

                                                  I am wanting this shape to wrap around a logo

                                                   

                                                  You can't actually have one object wrap around another. That will require two objects situated to look like one. That can either be done by building what looks like a continuous band as two pieces, as explicitly demonstrated in Post 2; or by making whatever the band "wraps around" in two pieces.

                                                   

                                                  Where I am having trouble is getting the corners to bend around without loosing the color.


                                                  Since you have now added to your original criteria that you want the band to "wrap around" something, that's really not an issue. Build your band as two halves. One is twisted, the other isn't. (Your choice as to which one is in front of whatever is being wrapped around.)

                                                   

                                                  To do that, refer to the instructions in Post 2 for Method 2:

                                                   

                                                  Make two copies of the original artwork.

                                                   

                                                  On one of the copies, perform the exact steps shown, down through Step 6.

                                                   

                                                  On the other, do the same thing, except insert these additional steps after Step 3:

                                                   

                                                  3A. White Pointer: Drag a rectanular marquee selection around the left pair of Mesh Points.

                                                   

                                                  3B. DoubleClick the Reflect Tool. Axis: Horizontal. Click Okay. (Now you have two half bands; one twisted, one not.)

                                                   

                                                  Then proceed with Steps 4-6. (Now you have two half-bands, both bent. One twisted, one not.)

                                                  Then deselect. Then...

                                                   

                                                  7. Black Pointer: Select the whole twisted half. DoubleClick the Reflect Tool. Axis: Vertical. Click OK. (Now you have two half-bands, one twisted, one not, one reflected, so the two together can form the appearance of a figure-eight with a twist.

                                                   

                                                  8. Align the two halves of the band. Use Send To Front or Send To Back to stack the object being wrapped between the "rear" and "front" halves of the band.

                                                   

                                                  JET

                                                  • 23. Re: Mobius Strip Design in Illustrator?
                                                    tromboniator Level 4

                                                    James,

                                                     

                                                    I've attempted to replicate your Möbius strip results, and get stalled at step 3 when the reflected end points over(or under)lap the adjacent portion of the path and make it invisible. I have spent many hours searching the help files, combing the forum, Googling blogs and tutorials, and digging through menus, palettes, and flyouts, but cannot manage to find how to make that portion visible. I thought it must be related to non-zero winding/even-odd fill rules, but applying envelope distort locks it to default (non-zero?), and reverse path direction is denied, whether I select one or more anchor points or the whole object.  This problem seems familiar, as if I'd dealt with it back in the Paleolithic, but I can't get a handle on it nor, seemingly, to frame the question properly to get an answer. So: how can I make the invisible overlap visible?

                                                     

                                                    Thanks,
                                                    Peter

                                                     

                                                    Edit: Sorry, got interrupted.CS3, Mac 10.6.2

                                                     

                                                    Message was edited by: tromboniator

                                                    • 24. Re: Mobius Strip Design in Illustrator?
                                                      tromboniator Level 4

                                                      Now that I look again, I see several posts above my previous one that I didn't see before. Either there was a technical glitch, or...Nah, the alternative is just too embarrassing to contemplate.

                                                       

                                                      Peter