10 Replies Latest reply: Mar 11, 2010 12:50 PM by Wade_Zimmerman RSS

    Question about paths and nodes

    Rick Salcedo

      Apologies in advance for what will likely be noob stuff...

       

      I've been using CorelDraw and am trying out Illustrator (in CS4).  CorelDraw has a shape tool that allows me to select a path node and move it very easily to smooth curves or just reshape an object.  I've spend all day watching tutorials on Illustrator and reading through the posts here and for the life of me cannot get a simple path node selected, less moved.  I also cannot find the ellipse tool which is directly under the rectangle tool in CorelDraw.

       

      I appreciate any help or pointers to an appropriate noob site that will help me through this.  Thanks!

       

      -Rick

        • 1. Re: Question about paths and nodes
          Larry G. Schneider MVP

          In AI, the reshaping is done with the Direct Select tool (Open or White arrow). The Key Board Short Cut is the a key. Click and hold on the anchor point you want to move and drag to reshape. There is also the Convert Anchor tool (Shift-c) which can be used to convert a corner anchor into a smooth one. There's also a Smooth tool under the Pencil tool. The Ellipse tool is indeed under the Rectangle tool, just click and hold on the rectangle tool to see other related form tools. Any tool in the Tool Box with a small triangle in the lower right corner has other tools hidden under it, accessed in the same way as the Ellipse tool (KBSC the l key).

          • 2. Re: Question about paths and nodes
            Jacob Bugge MVP

            And then there is the Reshape Tool (flyout from the Scale Tool) which creates its own Anchor Points.

            • 3. Re: Question about paths and nodes
              Doug Katz Community Member

              Rick, these responses to your question should help you see that Illustrator's treatment of primitives (rectangle, ellipse, polygon) is far less robust or convenient than in CorelDraw or FreeHand (and probably in other vector programs with which I'm not familiar). What can be done with a drag in these programs requires multiple, tedious, "manual" steps... at least if you demand the precision that these other programs enable.

              • 4. Re: Question about paths and nodes
                Rick Salcedo Community Member

                Thank you all for the responses.  I have to say that after 1 day it doesn't seem all that intuitive.  I've had to hunt and peck to find which anchor point(?) I need to click and hold in order to finally "activate" the path and begin to move the nodes.  Even then, I stumbled on it a couple of times but can't really figure out which of <shift>, <control>, <option>, or <command> I was also holding down on my mac to activate the path.

                 

                I'll keep playing with it for a few days but I suspect I'll keep using CorelDraw for a good while longer and keep moving files from my pc to my mac (Corel does not have a mac version)...

                • 5. Re: Question about paths and nodes
                  Jacob Bugge MVP

                  Rick,

                   

                   

                  I've had to hunt and peck to find which anchor point(?) I need to click and hold in order to finally "activate" the path and begin to move the nodes.
                  Generally, you may click elsewhere and then have any of the Tools working on the path (The DirectSelection Tool being particularly particular, you may click a single Anchor Point or drag across a part of the path containing one at most, when selected the Anchor Point appearance should change from hollow to solid).

                  Even then, I stumbled on it a couple of times but can't really figure out which of <shift>, <control>, <option>, or <command> I was also holding down on my mac to activate the path.
                  In this connexion, Shift is mostly used to constrain moving to certain angles, none of them should be necessary to select a path.
                  • 6. Re: Question about paths and nodes
                    Rick Salcedo Community Member

                    Jacob, first off, I appreciate your comments very much.  I think I just need to keep playing with this for awhile.  I've only been able to move a couple of nodes.

                     

                    It seems most of the time I select a node and try to move it the entire object gets moved instead.  I suppose I just don't know how to tell when it's going to move a node and when it's going to move the object but I'm beginning to suspect it has to do with how long I hold down the mouse button before I move the mouse.  Sometimes the node is solid blue and other times it's a white circle.

                     

                    Noob stuff, I'm sure.  Again, I appreciate your comments (and the others as well).  Besides, there are other settings that I'm still trying to figure out.  Rulers, for example.  Everything is in points but I'm a web guy so I prefer working in pixels.  AI doesn't seem too pixel friendly.  And snap to grid doesn't really seem to work.  It misses the grid by a little bit in in some places but not in others.  I have tried changing the tolerance level to 0, or 1 wherever it requires a value greater than 0.

                     

                    Good thing the trial period is 30 days.  I might have some of this figured out by then...

                    • 8. Re: Question about paths and nodes
                      Jacob Bugge MVP

                      Rick,

                       

                      It seems most of the time I select a node and try to move it the entire object gets moved instead.  I suppose I just don't know how to tell when it's going to move a node and when it's going to move the object but I'm beginning to suspect it has to do with how long I hold down the mouse button before I move the mouse.  Sometimes the node is solid blue and other times it's a white circle.
                      It is crucial to deselect and to use the Direct Selection Tool for individual Anchor Points = Nodes.

                      Everything is in points but I'm a web guy so I prefer working in pixels.  AI doesn't seem too pixel friendly.

                      For any purpose, point = pixel in Illy. You may set it to pixel in File>Document Setup.

                       

                      And snap to grid doesn't really seem to work.  It misses the grid by a little bit in in some places but not in others.  I have tried changing the tolerance level to 0, or 1 wherever it requires a value greater than 0.

                      That is one of the hopeless issues in Illy, I am afraid.

                      • 9. Re: Question about paths and nodes
                        Rick Salcedo Community Member

                        Wade, the video was very helpful.  I appeciate it very much.  Thanks!

                        • 10. Re: Question about paths and nodes
                          Wade_Zimmerman Community Member

                          You're welcome.

                           

                          Keep in mind after you have worked with this a while you might want reread Jacobs postings and i think you will then have a more complete foundation with which you can work.

                           

                          Put it together with Larry's post and then you will be cooking with gas!