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Paths-Drawing a curve on a curve - Adobe Illustrator Macintosh

Probably a simple task, but if I start out drawing a curved path and I want to make my next section a curve also, how do I do it? For example, if I want to draw something similar to the Nike "swoosh"... I start out with my first point being pulled out, my second point is in the distance and is being pulled inward to match the curve I am trying to trace. I want to place my next point on my second point because I want it to be a complete and filled design, and the next section is ...

  1. #1

    Default Paths-Drawing a curve on a curve

    Probably a simple task, but if I start out drawing a curved path and I want to make my next section a curve also, how do I do it? For example, if I want to draw something similar to the Nike "swoosh"... I start out with my first point being pulled out, my second point is in the distance and is being pulled inward to match the curve I am trying to trace. I want to place my next point on my second point because I want it to be a complete and filled design, and the next section is going to be curved also. However, this is where my problem comes, because no matter what I try- when I initiate my second curve (third point), it grabs my first curve and everything is ed up. I know this is probably a simple task, but it always takes me an hour to finally complete my item.
    Thanks
    michael_affeld@adobeforums.com Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: Paths-Drawing a curve on a curve

    Sorry, but I'm not following this description. It sounds like you're deselecting and reselecting points when you can do this with 3 simple click-and-drags. The option key will help you. Are you maybe used to working in another application?

    I'd recommend spending some time with the manual to learn how AI's pen tool works. It is confusing at first but you'll get the hang of it.
    jonf@adobeforums.com Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: Paths-Drawing a curve on a curve

    My description is does sound confusing so lets say all I am trying to do is create the Nike "swoosh". The first curved path (point 1 connected to point 2) comes easy, however when I intiate my second curve (starting from point 2) how can I drag without affecting the first curve? Maybe this description is clearer.
    thanks for your response.
    michael_affeld@adobeforums.com Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: Paths-Drawing a curve on a curve

    It is a question of learning to control the handles But what you can do is to create the
    the curves separately by locking the first path you draw and continuing to draw the second then unlock the first and join them.

    The way t get the two points on top of one another is to select the first path draw copy and paste in front then in the layers palette lock the one underneath then with the direct select select the top one and select the end point you don't want and delete. the select the endpoint you want to start the second curve from then the pen tool and make the second curve.

    There is probably a simpler way but that won't be as challenging.

    8)
    Wade_Zimmerman@adobeforums.com Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: Paths-Drawing a curve on a curve

    Sorry, Wade, this time I have no clue what you are talking about.

    Michael, it is indeed hard to explain this without showing you visually.

    Say I have an arc. Start your pen tool with 1 click on the end corner, then position your mouse to the middle of your curve. Hit that same point again (that will cut off your curve) and place your curser to the end of the other corner. Click and drag to get that curve the way you want it. (Jon and Wade are right, also. It just depends on how you look at it.)

    You might find this way better to understand...or not. All in all it takes alot of practice.
    Dee Holmes Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: Paths-Drawing a curve on a curve

    I think you are correct Dee draw the arc cut the path adjust and join.

    Much simpler.
    Wade_Zimmerman@adobeforums.com Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: Paths-Drawing a curve on a curve

    I don't think you can really teach this. You just have to practice it.

    I think I learned on 5 or 6? I don't even remember! But it came with this puzzle thing. You had to unwrap what looked like a bunch of tangled thread. That was the best tutorial for me.
    Dee Holmes Guest

  8. #8

    Default Re: Paths-Drawing a curve on a curve

    Actually, the answer came to me from the first reply. Simply, the option key was mentioned, and I tried it. I do play with paths often, however like I mentioned, whenever I have to create 2 arcs on each other it takes me an hour, so I glance in the manual, and don't find this specific task. I always turn to the forums and am rarely left without an answer. In my quick test, I started my 2nd arc by creating my 3rd point on my second point. However this time I held down my option key, and it worked- I was able to drag without effecting my first arc. Sounds confusing, but the answer came from my option key.
    Thanks again for your help
    michael_affeld@adobeforums.com Guest

  9. #9

    Default Re: Paths-Drawing a curve on a curve

    Hi Michael... make the option key your best friend. Go from point A to point B as you have been. While the forward handle that attaches to point B is still visible, hold dowm the option key to get the short cut to the convert direction tool. With the option key depressed click and drag the handle to the new direction you would like the section between point B and point C to go. sounds harder than it is.
    william_yermal@adobeforums.com Guest

  10. #10

    Default Re: Paths-Drawing a curve on a curve

    The Alt/Option key shortcut is important when closing the path, too:

    "Probably a simple task, but if I start out drawing a curved path and I want to make my next section a curve also, how do I do it?...I start out with my first point being pulled out...

    So far, so good. YOu have started the path with a curve point, extending the point's outgoing handle (the one under your cursor) in anticipation of the curved segment to come.

    "..my second point is in the distance and is being pulled inward to match the curve I am trying to trace."

    YOu have ClickDragged again to set another curve point. As you drag, you are dragging out ITS outgoing handle (which will affect the NEXT segment). The incoming handle simultaneiously extends in the opposite direction of your drag, affecting the first segment. Again, so far, so good.

    "I want to place my next point on my second point because I want it to be a complete and filled design, and the next section is going to be curved also...."

    This is the part you are misunderstanding, but is easily cleared up. You do not really want another point right on top of the second point. Adjacent segments "share" their connecting points. You do not need four points in this path just because you have two segments. The second point will serves as a point of both the first and second segment. Its incoming handle affects the preceding segment. The outgoing handle (the one under your cursor while you ClickDrag to create a curve point) affects the next segment. What you really want is for that second point to be a CornerPoint instead of a CurvePoint. A CornerPoint does not HAVE to have its handles retracted. It can have either or both of its incoming and outgoing handles extended, but they are allowed to move independently of each other. SO...

    When you ClickDrag to place the second point (initially creating a CurvePoint), before mouseup, press Alt (Option on Mac) to momentarily invoke the Convert Point tool and continue to drag. This converts the CurvePoint to a CornerPoint and lets you move the outgoing handle (the one under your cursor) independently of the incoming one. (You have now created what other programs call a "cusp"--a corner point with one or both of its handles extended).

    When you have the outgoing handle in a position anticipating the curve of the second segment, continue holding the Alt/Option key and...

    "When I initiate my second curve (third point), it grabs my first curve and everything is ed up."

    Now. Suppose you were not holding the Alt/Option key, so were still looking at the Pen cursor. If you then simply Clicked on the first point, you would close the path. This would avoid messing up the original curve handle you so carefully created at the beginning, but the incoming handle of the (now modified) first point would be retracted, so you wouldn't be able to use it to adjust that end of the second segment. If you instead ClickDraged when closing the path, you would be extending both handles, enabling you to "finish" the shape of the second segment. But now, the handle under your cursor IS the initial handle of the first segment, so you've goofed up what you had already drawn.

    But we avoid this dilemma by having the Alt/Option key pressed while clickDragging to close the path. The incoming handle will automatically extend in the opposite direction of your drag, allowing you to complete the shape of the second segment. But the other handle will be unaffected. On MouseUp, the resulting point will be another cusp. You'll have a 2-segment closed path with 2 points.

    It's very good that you are trying to examine this behavior with some detail. Many users develop habits which stick for years, continually switching tools, messing up what they've already drawn, going back to modify--accepting this as just necessary facts of life. Some users may chide me for trying to explain more "advanced" technique in answer to a question like this, thinking it is better to let newcomers do things in a more time-consuming, but one-thing-at-a-time way.

    But the earlier you start developing efficient habits, the sooner you'll get more productivity out of Bezier drawing programs like AI--and the fewer "beginner" habits you'll have to break later.

    JET
    James_E._Talmage@adobeforums.com Guest

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