6 Replies Latest reply on Aug 13, 2012 6:58 PM by Eric Tan Sitecraft

    Attaching images to a path

    BeeHiver Level 1

      I know this sounds rather silly, but I am trying to attach a group of images to a path and cannot figure out how to do it.


      I have a bunch of rectangluar images set up in a straight line, some are at diagonal angles and what not.


      I have tried using the join command, but it always gives me an error when I try it.

      I am trying to get them into a circular path, any help would be awesome.

        • 1. Re: Attaching images to a path
          Wade_Zimmerman Level 6

          Ido not know of a way of doing this it would be a nice feature

          • 2. Re: Attaching images to a path
            Lutz Pietschker Level 1

            Ahh, again one of the features Freehand had and AI has not... I'm also missing this one.

            • 3. Re: Attaching images to a path
              Wade_Zimmerman Level 6

              That's what it sounded like.

              • 4. Re: Attaching images to a path
                JETalmage Level 6

                It does not sound silly.


                It is common for vector drawing programs to provide commands to distribute objects in a Group along a given path. It is also common for vector drawing programs to provide for inclusion of graphic objects within a text flow.


                Illustrator provides neither.


                Cumbersome Workaround:

                1. Drag each of your images to the Symbols Palette to create Symbols.

                2. Drag two instances of the first Symbol onto the page.

                3. Create a Blend between the two Instances.

                4. Draw a path.

                5. Select the Blend and the Path. Object>Blend>ReplaceSpine. The Blend now distributes its steps along the path. Depending upon the shape of the path, you will now be frustrated by yet another omission in Illustrator: its inability to uniformly space Blend steps along a path. (More about this below.)

                6. Object>Blend>Blend Options. Select Specified Steps and enter the number of Symbols minus 2.

                7. Object>Blend>Expand. You now have an ordinary Group of objects, but each object is still a Symbol Instance.

                8. Select the second Instance. Symbols Palette: Select the second Symbol in your Palette, and then choose the Replace Symbol command from the palette's flyout menu.

                9. Similarly replace the other Instances with different Symbols.


                Regarding step 5:

                One would expect Scatter Brushes to solve this problem, because Scatter Brushes are suppose to be useful for uniformly (and otherwise) distributing objects along a path. But no; Illogically, you cannot use Raster Images in a Scatter Brush. So you think, "AH! But you can use Symbols in a Scatter Brush, just as you can in a Blend!" But, no; illogically, while you can use a Symbol Instance to define a Scatter Brush, the feature will still refuse to use Symbol Instances that contain raster content. "Okay," you think, "Let's use a vector-only Symbol, expand the Brush Appearance, and then use Replace Symbol. Foiled again: Yes, the stupid interface allows you to drag a Symbol Instance into the Brushes palette and define a Scatter Brush. But if you then use the Scatter Brush on a path and Expand Appearance, you'll find that the Symbol Instances have already been released; they are just ordinary Groups.


                Now, before anyone trots out some kneejerk defensive reaction to this complete garbage, perhaps based on the notion that some Scatter Brush options would not make sense for raster content, consider:


                You can use Symbols containing raster images in a Blend. If you use two different raster Symbols, it will accept the command, and simply refuse to draw the intermediate steps. But as long as you use two or more Instances of the same Symbol, it will draw the blend. It will even scale and rotate the intemediate instances. When you Release the Blend, the key objects and intermediate steps will still be Symbol Instances, so Replace Symbol can then be used to advantage.


                So by what logic does Scatter Brush not similarly leave Symbol Instances as Symbol Instances, instead of expanding them? The entire interface gives you no indication whatsoever that it is going to do that. And why shouldn't one expect to be able to use the Scatter Brush feature to distribute Symbol Instances? The two features certainly should work hand-in-hand for a multitude of common practical situations, especially given Illustrator's lame inability to uniformly distribute Groups or Blends along a non-uniform path.


                This is exactly the kind of thing I'm talking about when I point out that Illustrator's interface is so very poorly designed; that its features are very poorly integrated; and that the result is a dizzying plethora of scattered features that can't even do in combination what carefully-designed features commonly do in other programs in mere seconds.


                Consider the comedy of errors represented above:


                Blend makes no provision for uniform spacing along a path.


                Illusrtrator provides no support for inline graphics.


                Illustrator provides nothing to simply distribute a group of different objects along a path.


                Blend does not give any warning that intermediate steps between different raster-containing Symbol Instances will not be interpolated. So what is a newcomer supposed to think when the results are a Blend with no intermedate steps, regardless of his settings?


                By what logic does Scatter Brush not accommodate raster-containing Symbols? This is understandable for Pattern Brush, which envelope distorts it tiles, and Art Brush which stretches its content along the whole length of the spine path. But the options for Scatter Brush are nothing more than scaling, rotating and moving copies--which you can do with any Symbol anyway, even those containing raster elements.


                Such comedies are so common in Illustrator that, well, it's not even funny.



                1 person found this helpful
                • 5. Re: Attaching images to a path
                  BeeHiver Level 1

                  Thanks for the quick reply guys.

                  Thats too bad, it seems like something that could be done very simply thats why I thought it was a silly question.


                  I think it will be easiest to just eyeball the whole thing, thanks anyways.


                  JET, awesome facts about the blend and scatter brush, I am saving your reply for any time I get stuck with something I might need that info for.

                  • 6. Re: Attaching images to a path
                    Eric Tan Sitecraft


                    This helped me alot.  This post was 3 years ago now so im not sure if CS6 has made this an automatic thing but I used this technique and yeha the uniform distrubution was a problem.  I fixed this by adding more points to the path.  Thanks again.