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Hour 2. Drawing and Painting Original Ar... > Task: Transform Drawn Objects

Task: Transform Drawn Objects

In this task you'll explore the four basic options for the Transform tool. Follow these steps:

Use the Rectangle tool to draw a square. Select the Transform tool and double-click the center of the square to select it entirely. (Interestingly, the Transform tool can act like a selection tool.)

At this point none of the four options should be selected (see Figure 2.26). This means you're in free-transform mode, and if you have a steady hand it's possible to rotate, scale, or distort the shape.

Figure 2.26. When an object is selected, you can choose the Transform tool's Scale option.

Explore the possibilities by rolling your cursor over the square handles at the corners and sides of the shape—but don't click yet. Depending on where you move your mouse, the cursor changes to two versions of the Scale option as well as Rotation and Skew (as in Figure 2.27). Actually, if you hold down Ctrl, the corners make the cursor change to the Distort option.

Figure 2.27. Depending on which handle you grab and which option is selected, both Scale and Rotate modify the shape in multiple ways.

Free-transform mode can be really touchy, so let's go through the options individually. The selected object shows square handles in the corners and on the sides. Notice that the cursor changes when you roll over these handles. The corner handles let you scale both width and height equally and at the same time. The side handles let you change just width or just height. Click and drag a corner handle to change the scale. Notice that this version of scale (compared to scale in free- transform mode) maintains your shape's proportions (horizontally and vertically). Now drag a side handle, and you'll change just the width.

Make sure the square is still selected and choose the Rotate and Skew option. Now the corner handles rotate; side handles skew. Just roll your cursor over the handles to see the cursor change.

Click and drag a corner handle and notice that you can rotate the square. Actually, if the default Snap to Objects option is selected (that is, if the magnet button was pressed in last time the Arrow tool was selected, as shown in Figure 2.28), you'll find that the object will snap into place at 45-degree rotations (more about this later in the hour).

Figure 2.28. Provided Snap to Objects is turned on, when you rotate a object, it will snap to logical positions (such as 45 degrees).

Now select the Distort option. Drag the shape by the handles on the corners to distort. It turns out that the Arrow tool can create the same effect, but only when the shape itself has a corner to grab. Without this distort option you would find making a distorted ellipse nearly impossible. Finally, try holding down the Shift key when you distort (by dragging a corner handle). This way you can distort two sides evenly.

Finally, the wildest of Transformations—envelop. To best understand this option, draw a new square, select the Transform tool, and click the Envelop option. When your shape is selected you'll see many handles. Move the square handles to “influence” the shape. It's as though the shape tries to touch all the squares even if they're pulled out to one side. The circle handles are like the tangents created when you draw with the Pen tool. They control the rate at which a shape bends to reach the square handles.



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