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Chapter 8. Transforming Objects > Real-World Project

Real-World Project

Using the Transform Again command is a great way to create “randomized” groups of objects because you can use it to make each object in a group a slightly different size, orientation, and proportion. This example shows how to create a leafy background image for a Web page:

Create a leaf. It can be fairly simple; this leaf and the copies of it that you're about to create are just intended to give the impression of a leafy screen. When you're coloring the leaf, make sure that Web Safe RGB is checked in the Color palette menu so that the colors are guaranteed not to dither on Windows or Macintosh systems.

Duplicate the leaf several times to create a grid that covers the basic area you want the group to take up (see Figure 8.21).

Figure 8.21. Use Web-safe colors to make your leaves and overlap them slightly.

Select all the leaves. Then choose Transform, Object, Transform Each or press Cmd+Option+D [Ctrl+Alt+D].

Before making any other settings, make sure Random is checked; that's the key to giving each leaf a slightly different look.

Adjust the Vertical and Horizontal scale settings, the angle of rotation, and the Vertical and Horizontal Move settings in the Transform Each dialog box until you get a grouping you like (see Figure 8.22). Making even a slight change forces Illustrator to recalculate the random variations it's applying to the leaves, thus producing a completely different configuration.

Figure 8.22. When you use the Transform Each command, each leaf is transformed differently from its fellow leaves.

When you have the leaves the way you like them, click OK in the Transform Each dialog box. Then group the leaves by choosing Object, Group or pressing Cmd+G [Ctrl+G].

Choose Window, Show Transparency to bring up the Transparency palette and enter a reduced value in the Opacity percentage field. Because this image will be used as a background, using 20% produces a light enough image for text to show over it.

Choose File, Save for Web. Then choose GIF Web Palette from the Settings pop-up menu (see Figure 8.23), click OK, and save the file with the name you want to give it.

Figure 8.23. The Save for Web dialog box is explored in Chapter 23, “Saving Images for the Web.”



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