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Part: Two Working with Shapes > The Magic of Transformations and Distortions

Chapter 9. The Magic of Transformations and Distortions

The enchantment of Illustrator's transformation and distortion tools is also found in many children's stories. It must have been the scale tool that caused the beanstalk to grow so tall. Only the rotate tool could have swirled the tornado that sent Dorothy to Oz. Obviously, the evil witch looked in the mirror with the reflect tool, and melted into oblivion thanks to the liquify tools. Add a free transform tool and a Transform Each command, and you can practically see Cinderella's fairy godmother waving her magic wand as you work in Illustrator.

All four of the basic transformation tools work pretty much the same as when I started using Illustrator back in the days of version 1. The only major change happened in version 7, when Adobe finally let you see the point around which the transformation occurs. In Illustrator 8, Adobe transformed the lame free distort filter into the more powerful free transform tool. With this single tool you can make combinations of the ordinary transformations as well as totally bizarre distortions. Even the modest bounding box can perform two transformations: scale and rotate.

Instead of having to jump to the Preferences to show and hide the bounding box for an object, you can just choose Show/Hide Bounding Box. It's even got its own keystroke—Ctrl+Shift+B (Cmd-Shift-B on the Mac)—which I recommend you memorize immediately.


So, in essence, if you're familiar with previous versions of Illustrator, you are probably well versed in the world of transformation. But you world-weary old-timers (and faithful readers of previous editions) should not blithely skip past this chapter. Why? Because I've stuffed it full of new information about Illustrator 10's amazing new distortion capabilities, which go far beyond what you've seen before.


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