• Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint
Share this Page URL

Chapter 4. Changing Object Properties > Changing the Anchor Point

Changing the Anchor Point

Every object has an anchor point, which is located at the center of the object by default (the center as defined by the rectangular bounding box that surrounds the object).

At first, it may not seem very interesting—you drag the anchor point to a new location, and nothing seems to happen. But the anchor point is a powerful animation tool. If you think of the object as a two-dimensional picture and the Canvas as a corkboard, the anchor point is the pushpin that holds the picture to the corkboard. If you rotate the object, it rotates around the anchor point. If you change the size of the object, it scales around the anchor point.

You can make changes to the anchor point using another mode in the Toolbar called the Anchor Point mode.

To change an object’s anchor point:

Choose the Anchor Point mode by selecting it from the pop-up menu in the Toolbar, pressing the Tab key until it appears, or Control-clicking in an empty area of the Canvas to bring up a shortcut menu.

Click directly on the anchor point (the circle in the center of the object) and drag it to a new location (Figure 4.18).

Figure 4.18. To change the anchor point for an object, simply drag it to a new location.

As you drag, a line appears connecting the previous and new locations. Additionally, an Info box appears, showing you the old and new coordinates as well as the change, or delta, between the two.

✓ Tips

  • You can drag an object’s anchor point completely outside of its bounding box. If you place the anchor point on the center of a second object that is stationary, the first object appears to rotate around the second object when animated (Figure 4.19).

    Figure 4.19. You can move an object’s anchor point to the center of another object in order to make it rotate around the second object.

  • When you drag the anchor point, it snaps to the center or bounding box edges of objects.

  • By placing the anchor point at the bottom edge of an object and increasing the object’s vertical Scale parameter, you can make the object grow up out of its base rather than expanding from the center. Remember to hold down the Option key to scale around the anchor point.

Switching Transform Modes

When you are deep into compositing objects in the Canvas, adjusting their positions, rotating, scaling, cropping, and perhaps shearing them, you may not want to make a lot of trips up to the Toolbar to change transform modes.

I find the best way to stay focused on the Canvas is to Control-click the object to select the appropriate mode, make the transformation, and then immediately press Shift-S to get back to the default Select/Transform tool.

Pressing the Tab key rotates you through the different tools, but I prefer Control-clicking. Or even better, get a two-button mouse and right click!

  • Creative Edge
  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint