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Chapter 14. Working with Illustrator Tools > Understanding the Reshaping Tools

Understanding the Reshaping Tools

The Reshaping tools alter the appearance of page elements while still maintaining the element's basic characteristics (see Figure 14.12):

  • Rotate tool: Click, hold, and drag to rotate a selected object. This is a manual rotation, but use the Control palette or the Transform palette to see your angle of rotation. After you click with the Rotate tool, you see crosshairs. This indicates the point from which the item will be transformed. The crosshairs can be freely moved by clicking and dragging them. Double-click on the tool to enter a specific rotation angle.

  • Reflect tool: Click, hold, and drag to flip a selected object over the crosshairs. You can flip by dragging horizontally or vertically. Double-click on the tool to select how to reflect the item, or enter a specific reflection angle.

  • Scale tool: Select an object, and then click and drag on any anchor point or the side of the object to resize (see Figure 14.13). The item is resized from the crosshairs, which can be moved at any time by dragging. Hold down the Shift key to resize proportionally. Double-click the tool to enter a specific scale percentage, either proportional or nonproportional.

    Figure 14.13. The Scale, Shear, and Reshape tools size, skew, and change the shape of objects, respectively.

  • Shear tool: Select an object and then click and drag with the Shear tool to skew the object around the crosshairs. Move the crosshairs to skew from another point. Double-click the tool to specify the direction and angle of shear.

  • Reshape tool: Click and drag on an anchor point of a selected object to reshape the object from that anchor point only.

  • Warp tool: This tool bends and shapes the selected object (see Figure 14.14). Think of it as though the object you are reshaping is made out of Silly Putty, and the Warp tool is your finger or hand reshaping the object. Double-click to open the Warp Tool Options dialog, which enables you to set the brush dimensions and warp options.

    Figure 14.14. These reshape tools create special detailed effects for elements.

  • Twirl tool: Click and drag on a selected object to create a swirled effect. Double-click to open the Twirl Tool Options dialog, which enables you to see the brush dimensions and twirl options.

  • Pucker tool: Click and drag on an object to deflate it. Double-click to open the Pucker Tool Options dialog, which enables you to set the brush dimensions and pucker options.

  • Bloat tool: Click and drag on an object to puff it up. Double-click to open the Bloat Tool Options dialog, which enables you to set the brush dimensions and bloat options.

  • Scallop tool: Click and drag to add points to the outside of an object and add curves to the path. Double-click to open the Scallop Tool Options dialog, which enables you to set the brush dimensions and scallop options.

  • Crystallize tool: Click and drag to add points to the outside of an object and add spikes to the path. Double-click to open the Crystallize Tool Options dialog, which enables you to set the brush dimensions and crystallize options.

  • Wrinkle tool: Click and drag along the path of an object to add random wrinkles to it. Double-click to open the Wrinkle Tool Options dialog, which enables you to set the brush dimensions and wrinkle options.

  • Free Transform tool: This tool can be used to rotate, scale, and shear an object (see Figure 14.15). With the item selected, when you position the tool at the corner of the frame you see a double-ended curved arrow. Click, hold, and drag to rotate. Scale by clicking and holding an anchor point. Hold down the Option or Alt key to scale from the center of the object. To shear an element, click, hold, and drag a side anchor point while you hold down the Ctrl+Alt keys (Windows users) or +Option keys (Mac users).

    Figure 14.15. The Free Transform tool can be used to rotate, scale, or shear an object, and the Blend tool creates a continuous gradient between multiple selected shapes.

  • Blend tool: Use with a series of selected objects. Click on the first object and then click on the last object you want to blend. This creates a gradient of the objects' colors, as well as of the objects themselves. Double-click to open the Blend Options dialog, which enables you to set either automatic or manual spacing of objects and the orientation that is aligned to the page or path.


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