Adobe Illustrator allows functions like rotating, flipping, moving, scaling, reflecting or shearing of an object. These can be done by selecting the Object options in the Transform panel, followed by the Transform commands and Specialized Tools options. Different types of transformations can be performed by dragging the bounding box to select an object.
You can repeat the same transformation with the help of the Transform Again command. This command allows the repetition of the move, scale, reflect, shear or rotate operations as many times as possible.This command can help to repeat the same transformation multiple number of times, especially while copying objects.
6.1 UNIT OBJECTIVES
After going through this unit, you will be able to:
• Understand the functions of scaling, skewing and rotating objects
• Define a bounding box and its capabilities
• Understand the resize and reshape procedure of the objects using the bounding box
• Understand the procedures for rotating, flipping, stoning, scaling and shearing of objects
6.2 SCALE, SKEW, ROTATE
(i) Scaling Objects
Scaling means to increase or decrease the size of the object. You can modify or change the size of the object in any form i.e horizontal, vertical, or in both the directions at the same time. Depends on the method used, objects can be scaled relative to a reference point.
This reference point is variable. Proportions of an object can be fixed or locked and the default reference point can be changed for most scaling methods (see Figure 6.1). In Figure 6.1, the Scale Strokes and Effects option scales: the object, the drop shadow effect and the stroke (left). However, only the object is scaled when this option is off (right).
Effects and strokes does not automatically scales with the objects. To scale them, Go to Edit menu > Preferences > General and Scale Strokes and Effects. The Scale command or the Transform panel can be used to scale the effects and strokes for different objects.
a. Steps to scale the object with a scale tool
Select the object and the Scale tool. You can scale an object in various ways, follow any one of the steps listed below:
i. Position a point on the object window where you need the reference point to be and move the pointer away from the reference point. Drag the point until you get the desired size. This method is used to scale an object relative to a different reference point.
ii. Select and drag the object anywhere within the document window till you get the desired size. This method is used to scale an object relative to its center point.
If you want to maintain the proportion of the object, while resizing press and hold the Shift key and drag diagonally. The same can be applied for dragging the object vertically or horizontally. However, the object cannot be dragged in two different axes together.
b. Scale objects with the help of the bounding box
Select the object and click on the Free Transform tool. Drag a handle of the bounding box, until you get the desired size of the object. In this way, the objects scale relative to the opposite handle of the bounding box. If you want to maintain the proportion of the object, press and hold the Shift key while dragging. Press and hold the Alt key in Windows or Option in Mac OS, while dragging an object relative to its center point.
c. Scale objects to a specific height and width
Select the object and specify the value in the Width (W) or Height (H) box of the Transform panel. To control the scaling process, follow one of the below steps before defining any value:
i. Press the white square on the reference point locator to change the reference point for scaling.
ii. Press the Lock Proportions button to maintain the proportions of the object. From the panel menu select Strokes and Effects to scale effects, along with the object and stroked paths. Proportions can also be maintained by adjusting values in the height or width box. Remember to press Ctrl key in Windows or Command key in Mac OS, while pressing Enter key.
d. Scale objects by a specific percentage
To scale objects by a specific percentage, follow one of the below steps:
i. Select the object
ii. Then go to Object menu > Transform > Scale to scale the object from the center. You can also use the Scale tool and Alt-click in Windows or Option-click in Mac OS, where the reference point is required in the object window, to scale relative to a different reference point.
iii.If you need to maintain the proportion of the object, select the Uniform option in the Scale dialog box. Enter a value for the percentage scale in the Scale text box. You can also choose the option Non-Uniform and enter a value for the percentage scale in the Horizontal and Vertical text boxes. With the help of this feature, you can separately scale the height and width. The scale factors are negative or positive, as they are relative to a reference point. The option Scale Strokes and Effects can be selected to scale stroked paths and effects related to size, along with the object. You can set the option to scale the Patterns by selecting the ‘Patterns’ option. If only the pattern need to be scaled and not the objects, then disable the Deselect Objects option. Click OK or select the option Copy to scale a copy of the objects.
e. Scaling multiple objects
Select the object and go to Object menu > Transform > Transform Each. Select values to set percentages for horizontal and vertical scaling, in the Scale option of the dialog box. Click a white square on the reference point locator to change the reference point. Click OK or select the Copy option to scale a copy of the objects.
If an object is sheared, then it slants or skews along the vertical or the horizontal axis, or to a specified angle that is relative to some specified axis. Depending on the method, Objects shear relative to a reference point, which varies. As you shear, one dimension can be locked. Multiple objects can be sheared. You can cast shadows with the help of Shearing. (see Figure 6.2). In Figure 6.2, we compare shearing relative to the center (left), with that relative to a user-defined reference point (right).
a. Shear objects with the Shear tool
Select one or more objects with the Shear tool. Follow any of the below steps:
i. Drag anywhere in the document window to shear relative to the object’s center.
ii. Click anywhere in the document window to shear relative to a different reference point. To move the reference point, move the pointer away from the reference point. Drag until the object gets the desired slant.
iii. To shear along the object’s vertical axis, drag anywhere in the document window, in an up or down direction. Hold down the Shift key to constrain the object to its original width.
iv. To shear along the object’s horizontal axis, drag anywhere in the document window, in a left or right direction. Hold down the Shift key to constrain the object to its original height.
b. Shear objects with the Shear command
Select one or more objects and perform one of the following steps:
i. Go to Object menu> Transform> Shear, or double-click the Shear tool to shear from the center.
ii. If you need to shear from a different reference point, then select the Shear tool, then Alt-click (Windows) or Option-click (Mac OS).
iii. Enter a shear angle in the Shear dialog box, the values could be from from —359 to 359 . The shear angle is relative to a line that is perpendicular to the shear axis and is the amount of slant applied to the object, in a clockwise direction. Select the axis along which you want to shear the object. If you choose an angled axis, then enter a value between —359 and 359. Select Patterns to move the pattern, if needed. Deselect Objects, If you want to move the pattern and skip the object. To shear a copy of the objects click OK or click Copy.
c. Shear objects with the Free Transform tool Select one or more objects and the Free Transform tool.
Perform one of the following functions:
i. Start dragging the middle-left or the middle-right handle of the bounding box to shear along the object, vertical axis. As you drag up or down, hold down Ctrl+Alt (Windows) or Option+Command (Mac OS). To constrain the object to its original width, you can also hold down the Shift key.
(ii) Start dragging the top-middle or the bottom-middle handle of the bounding-box to shear along the object’s horizontal axis. As you drag right or left, hold down Ctrl+Alt (Windows) or Option+Command (Mac OS). Pressing the Shift key will constrain the object to its original height.
d. Shear objects with the transform panel
After selecting the desired objects, enter a value in the Shear text box, within the Transform panel. Click a white square on the reference point locator, before you enter the value to change the reference point.
6.3 VIEW BOUNDING BOX
A bounding box appears when one or more objects are selected with the Selection tool. By dragging an object or a handle (which appear as hollow squares along the bounding box) one can easily move, rotate, duplicate and scale objects.
• Select View > Show Bounding Box to show the bounding box.
• Select View > Hide Bounding Box to hide the bounding box.
• Select Object > Transform Reset Bounding Box to reorient the bounding box after rotation.
6.3.1 Resize and Reshape with a Bounding Box
By using the bounding box in the Free Transform or the Liquify tool, you can distort or reshape objects. You can freely use the distortion function with the help of Free Transform tool. For using specific preset distortions such as twirls, puckers, or wrinkles, use a liquify tool.
(i) Distort objects with the Free Transform tool
Select the objects then select the Free Transform tool. On the bounding box (not a side handle), start dragging a corner handle and perform one of the following:
a. Hold down Ctrl (Windows) or Command (Mac OS), until you get the desired selection level of distortion.
b. To distort in perspective, hold down Shift+Alt+Ctrl (Windows) or Shift+Option+Command (Mac OS).
(ii) Distort objects using the liquify tool
You cannot use Liquify tools on objects that contain text, graphs or symbols, or linked files. Click or drag over the objects to be distorted with the Liquify tool. Double-click the Liquify tool and you can specify any of the following option:
Orientation of the tool cursor can be Controlled.
b. Width and Height
The size of the tool cursor can be defined.
c. Pressure Pen
This option is dimmed if you do not have a pressure-sensitive tablet attached. This option uses the input from a tablet or pen instead of the Intensity value.
This specifies the rate of change for the distortion. Higher values account for faster changes.
Specifies the spacing between the points introduced into the object’s outline. Higher values result in bringing the points closer.
f. Complexity: Scallop, Crystallise and Wrinkle tools
It is depends on the detail value. It specifies the manner in which the results of any particular brush are spaced, on the object’s outline.
g. Simplify: Warp, Twirl, Pucker and Bloat tools
This option reduces superfluous points that do not make a marked difference in the overall appearance of the shape.
h. Twirl Rate: Twirl tool only
This option demonstrates the rate at which the twirl is applied. Value between -180 to 180 can be defined.Positive values twirl the object anticlockwise, whereas negative values twirl it in the clockwise direction. With values that are closer to either —180 or 180 degrees, the object twirls fasten. Specify a rate close to 0 degrees to twirl it slowly.
i. Horizontal and Vertical: Wrinkle tool only
This option demonstrates the distance, the control Nuns are placed apart from each other.
(iii) Brush Affects Anchor Points, Brush Effects In Tangent Handles or Brush Affects Out Tangent Handles: Scallop, Crystallise, Wrinkle tools
This option enables the tool brush to make changes to all the above properties.
6.3.2 Rotate and Flip with a Bounding Box
Rotating, flipping, moving, scaling, reflecting or shearing functions of an object are performed with the help of the Bounding Box. Use the Object options in the Transform panel. Select Transform commands > Specialized tools. The bounding box can be dragged to select an object and different types of transformations can be applied.
You can repeat the same transformation by using The Transform Again command. This options is very useful to make multiple copies. This command allows the repetition of the move, scale, reflect, shear, or rotate operations.
6.4 USE MORE TRANSFORM TOOLS
Going further, we will get a more detailed overview of the Transform tools:
(i) Transform panel overview
To find details about the location, size and orientation of the selected objects, use the Transform panel’s Display option. You can modify the selected objects, as well , the fill of the pattern, or both can be done together by assigning values to this option. This tool can also lock the object’s proportions and change the transformation’s reference point. Except for the values of X and Y, which indicate the selected reference point.
(ii) Transform patterns of an object
The Transformation features like moving, shearing, reflecting (flipping), scaling, or rotation an object can affect the pattern fill of the object as well as you can apply the transformation separately i.e. with pattern or without pattern. It is important to note that once an object’s fill pattern has been transformed, all patterns that are subsequently applied to that object get transformed and get the same effect.
With the help of Transform panel, you can transform an object by using three different methods. The methods are as follows:
a. In the panel menu there are three options available: Transform Object Only, Transform Pattern Only, or Transform.
b. To transform patterns, adjust the Objects and Patterns tool in the corresponding dialog box, while using a transform command. If only the pattern is to be transformed and not the object, then select the Patterns option and deselect Objects option. You can use the tilde key (~) to transform the pattern only by pressing the key while dragging the bounding box. It will appear that the borders of the object have been transformed. But as soon as you release the mouse button, the borders will take their original shape but the pattern will be transformed.
c. Sometimes, you may found that the patterns are also changed while transforming the object. To avoid this, select the Edit option, then go to Preferences menu > select Windows (Windows) or Illustrator. Again there will be to preference option to be selected from where the General option can be clicked. At this point, the Transform Pattern Tiles option can be deselected. If an object’s fill pattern has changed and it is to be brought back to its original state, fill the object with a solid colour and then reselect the desired pattern.