You can’t have a live reflection as you are drawing or editing the object’s path. You can apply Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform and have a near-live reflection to any object. As you edit, you don’t see the reflection, but when you release the mouse button, say after a rotation or after changing a curve, the reflection will update.
Also you may draw one half of the objects and use Reflect tool (O) and reflect the other symmetrical half.
I made a video tutorial that describes exactly how to do this and put up on Youtube for some friends, then someone pointed me here! I think it's basically the same approach as the Chopping Block tutorial, the main difference is that I like to make my bounding box bigger than the page. If you draw outside of the bounding box the system breaks, so making it larger than the page gives you a little room on the edges. I made the video before I saw the chopping block page, but this is a technique that I think people should know about.
Make sure you watch in HD.
And then there is the version independent old fashioned solution to prove that Illy could do it even in her youth:
1) Create a larger symmetric no fil no stroke path object such as a circle placed with its centre at the desired centre;
2) Cut it at top and bottom and keep the part that is on the same side as the actual drawing, this is the enclosing half path;
3) Group the half drawing and the enclosing half path;
4) With the Group selected, Effect>Distort & Transform>Transform, with a move equalling the width of the enclosing half path, set Copies to 1, and tick Reflect X.
After that, the drawing should be mirrored live as you continue. You may Object>Expand Appearance when you are done and get rid of the enclosing half path, but always keep a copy of the live artwork.
Chopping block template worked great for me. Taking the object out of the layer still requires doing a grouped object tranform, or using the reflection tool.
Illustrator, this needs to be a feature. It's 2013 for chrissakes. Don't make me do grunt work.
There is an amazing plug-in from Astute Graphics called MirrorMe that just came out that does exactly what you are trying to do. You might want to look into it. It works great.
Mind = blown.
I had a similar issue to "cus-copy-paste;" I want to create a complex design, and would rather apply a mirroring effect. I ended up following the instructions in the video posted. It seemed to be working fine at first. But my only problem now is that whatever I draw in one side doesn't show once I unselect them, while the other side is being reflected completely fine. I'm not sure what it is that I'm doing wrong, but I want both sides to show, just like it does on the video. Can anyone help?
I had a quick go , it has a mind of it's own sometimes..
just a guess but looks like yours has reset copies to zero somehow in the transform effects panel
If it happens again :
Click on the layers target , so the transform link shows in the appearance panel and there
open the link Tansform and in the window that opens
make sure these are selected :
maybe best to Select > Deselect
and try drawing again
In this day and age, is this feature active in Illustrator or do you still have to fork over for a plugin?
This feature has been available in AI for years. What, exactly, are unable to figure out?