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May 17

Transform Again in Illustrator

2007 at 06.55 pm posted by Veerle Pieters

You can achieve surprisingly cool results using the Transform Again feature in Illustrator starting from a simple shape. As you all know simplicity is my motto. Today I try turn this into practice again. So sit tight for another step-by-step tutorial using this simple but oh so powerful feature.

Step 1 - Start with a simple shape

Start with a simple shape like a circle. Select the Direct Selection tool (white arrow) and delete 1 segment of the circle.

Step 1 - Start with a simple shape

Now, select the object using the Selection Tool (black arrow) and select the Transform Tool. Option/Alt click in the center of the 3/4 circle. Check the Uniform option and enter a value of 110% in the Scale field. You could uncheck the Scale Strokes and Effects options, but it doesn't really matter what you choose here. I've chosen to check it off. Click Copy.

Step 2 - Transform Again

After clicking Copy, the 3/4 circle is duplicated at a scale of 110%, nicely scaled from the center out.

Step 2 - Transform Again

Now hit command/control + D for another 8 times so you have 10 circles in total. Cool :)

Step 3 - Rotating

Now select the smallest circle again using the Selection Tool and select the Rotate Tool from the Toolbox.

Step 3 - Rotating

Alt/option click again in the center. In the Rotate window enter a value of 15 degrees and click the OK button. Now click the 2nd smallest circle and hit command/control + D twice.

Step 4 - Transform Again and again and again

Select the next circle and hit command/control + D 3 times. Select the 4th one hit command/control + D 4 times.

Step 4 - Transform Again and again and again

And so on and on... Till you get the special effect as shown here above on the right.

Step 5 - Changing Stroke width

Change the width of each 3/4 circles, going from 1 pt to 10 pt for the biggest circle using the Selection Tool

Step 5 - Changing Stroke width

You should get the nice effect as shown here above on the right.

Step 6 - Convert to Outlines and add a Gradient Fill

Now select all 10 3/4 circles and convert the Strokes into Fills. Go to the Object menu and choose Path and then Outline Stroke from the submenu. All 3/4 circles are now converted into Fills.

Step 6 - Convert to Outlines and add a Gradient Fill

Now we can apply a nice subtle radial gradient which gives this nice final result.

Conclusion

Now, I'm not sure about you, but if you think about this simple Transform Again feature, it opens a lot of possibilities to create some cool effects starting from one simple shape. Another way to achieve cool simple effects is by using the Action palette and record some simple scaling and rotation. Then you can click the play button a few times just like we hit command/control + D. It's pretty easy to do and you can achieve really amazing effects.

Here is my final result :

Transform again in Illustrator- final result

I've used a lot of techniques here that are perfect food for other tutorials. So stay tuned for the next one ;) As for now, I hope you enjoyed the ride :)

Want to learn more?

VECTORTUTS+ Vector Tutorials and More A good and not expensive source to learn more about Illustrator, Photoshop, or web design is by joining the Tuts+ sites. You get access to the source files for just $9 a month. So your ONE membership gives you access to members-only content for ALL the Plus sites. I've written a tutorial for the Vector Tuts section.


73served

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permalink this comment Marko Mihelcic Thu May 17, 2007 at 07.53 pm

That’s a awesome final result , thanks for sharing


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permalink this comment Judson Thu May 17, 2007 at 07.54 pm

Wow thanks! I had no idea about the outline strokes feature.

I’d love to see how you did the line “wave” on the right too.


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permalink this comment kumi Thu May 17, 2007 at 08.01 pm

Very informative, thanks!


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permalink this comment J. Bradford Thu May 17, 2007 at 08.22 pm

I had no idea where you were going with that at first… VERY cool results.


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permalink this comment Crystal Thu May 17, 2007 at 08.44 pm

Thanks…I cant wait to try…Your tutorials are awesome


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permalink this comment *|~Eva~|* Thu May 17, 2007 at 08.47 pm

WOW looks cool! Amazing as always Veerle! Thanks!


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permalink this comment Dusty Lee Thu May 17, 2007 at 08.51 pm

Great tutorial. Thanks.


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permalink this comment soho Thu May 17, 2007 at 08.52 pm

Thank you for this nice tutorial - you make it look so easy :)


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permalink this comment Alex Buga Thu May 17, 2007 at 09.00 pm

The wave on the right it’s done using Blend.

It kind of looks like the Seagate logo :P A little.


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permalink this comment Jared Thu May 17, 2007 at 09.04 pm

Oh I cannot wait to use this!


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permalink this comment Simeon Thu May 17, 2007 at 09.26 pm

I use transform again to make heaps of repetitive shapes, but had never thought of that one, looks great!

However, you could do it even quicker using transform each… you could’ve rotated it and scaled it up in the same motion, then using transform again over and over, ta-da!


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permalink this comment Frederico Padilha Thu May 17, 2007 at 09.41 pm

Amazing! Very nice use of actions as “patterns” for building great design elements!


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permalink this comment Scott Mackenzie Fri May 18, 2007 at 12.55 am

Awesome article. The transform tool is one of my favorites for this reason. The whole ‘transform again’ (command/control + D) idea opens up so many possibilities.

Thanks again!


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permalink this comment weedbead Fri May 18, 2007 at 05.03 am

Veerle,
You are awesome!  Thanks for all you share! :-)


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permalink this comment Simeon Fri May 18, 2007 at 05.29 am

Oh, and also, you could’ve had the strokes change automatically by making sure that “Transform Strokes and Effects” was on ;o)


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permalink this comment kaffass Fri May 18, 2007 at 06.10 am

Veerle that is awesome. one question how do you get that wave like lines ?


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permalink this comment MaRmAR Fri May 18, 2007 at 08.05 am

This “CTRL+D technique” is very powerful Illustrator’s feature but many people doesn’t even know about it. I learned it few months ago too. ;-)


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permalink this comment Wu Han Fri May 18, 2007 at 08.36 am

I’ve always wondered how other designers create the repeated-semi-circle-graphic was done. Thanks so much for sharing this tutorial with us!


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permalink this comment John Fri May 18, 2007 at 08.50 am

I love your tutorials - so simple yet the results are great.


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permalink this comment Veerle Fri May 18, 2007 at 09.41 am

Hi all, glad you appreciate my hard work :)

Simeon said:

I use transform again to make heaps of repetitive shapes, but had never thought of that one, looks great! However, you could do it even quicker using transform each… you could’ve rotated it and scaled it up in the same motion, then using transform again over and over, ta-da!

I was wondering if there was a way of doing that…. and I was kind of hoping a reader would give me the answer to that :) I’ll definitely check that out. Thanks for the great tip ;)

Simeon said:

Oh, and also, you could’ve had the strokes change automatically by making sure that “Transform Strokes and Effects” was on ;o)

Yes you could, but if you want the same stroke widths applied as in my example then you have to click them one by one again, since the proportion of making them 110% bigger isn’t the same :) You don’t end up with 1pt, then 2pt, 3pt, 4pt… 10pt. That’s why I mentioned that it didn’t matter to check or uncheck. At least not in my example, but of course depending on the result you want, you could leave it on.

kaffass said:

one question how do you get that wave like lines ?

I was going to save that for another article, but I guess this question was bound to pop up here in the comments ;) Alex Buga is right, it’s the Blend tool… I’ll explain this more in detail in a later article.

Alex Buga said:

It kind of looks like the Seagate logo :P A little.

Oh I see, I guess you are right in a way. I honestly wasn’t aware of that. Simple shapes are never original these days. What hasn’t been invented or used yet, right? It’s a matter of applying it in a personal and original way.


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permalink this comment Hanabi Fri May 18, 2007 at 10.44 am

Brilliant article Veerle. Your tutorials are always easy to follow and grasp.

Hopefully my test will show in my gravatar to the left.


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permalink this comment Graft Fri May 18, 2007 at 11.36 am

Once again a great tip, i cant wait to try it asap.


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permalink this comment Kurt Cruse Fri May 18, 2007 at 12.08 pm

I’m always amazed how you take small features I’m usually already aware of and apply them in ways I’d never thought of. Great stuff.


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permalink this comment Jakub Steiner Fri May 18, 2007 at 02.34 pm

For people using Inkscape (http://inkscape.org), a nice tool to create shapes like the above is the Clone Tiler.

A bonus is that you can edit the original shape and the clones will follow.


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permalink this comment Blue Buffalo Fri May 18, 2007 at 03.34 pm

Awesome as always.  I really like how you put the gradient on it, to fade it out.


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permalink this comment Tom Fri May 18, 2007 at 03.52 pm

Great tip, I love these tutorials in few steps. Well done!


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permalink this comment Joel Laumans Fri May 18, 2007 at 04.06 pm

Whoa great tip!
Definitely will be using that frequently!

++recommend


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permalink this comment Chris Hester Fri May 18, 2007 at 04.43 pm

Veerle, two of the images are not shown correctly in Opera’s browser. I reported the problem with the comment form showing the wrong buttons on their support forum, and this seems to have been fixed! You might want to check this thread I started for an explanation, and a screenshot of what I’m seeing for this tutorial! I am not sure what can be done about this!

http://my.opera.com/community/forums/topic.dml?id=186944


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permalink this comment Ani Fri May 18, 2007 at 05.34 pm

I would love to have this as a desktop background! When is it coming? :)


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permalink this comment Tasos Fri May 18, 2007 at 06.33 pm

Thanks for another fantastic tutorial! Your work and articles are very inspiring.


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permalink this comment Chip Fri May 18, 2007 at 08.31 pm

I have been coming to your site for some time now. I decided it was time for a little de-lurking. You are a great resource. Keep it up. It is inspiring.


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permalink this comment jenguyen Fri May 18, 2007 at 08.42 pm

Very cool and skill, i love it! Thanks!


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permalink this comment Unexpected Sat May 19, 2007 at 09.59 am

again so simple and yet so a sweet result. thanks veerle, you keep on teaching me new stuff every time I visite your site.


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permalink this comment Seba 909 Sat May 19, 2007 at 12.19 pm

pfffiiieeeeuuuuwwww,this is brilliant. the result is impressive. thanks for posting this tutorial.


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permalink this comment Dossy Shiobara Sat May 19, 2007 at 08.45 pm

Veerle, your tutorial is fantastic—even someone as graphically inept as I am can reproduce the effect!  Wow.

What amazes me is how you come up with these effects in the first place.  After seeing them, they’re obvious and natural ... but how do you decide to create such things?  What inspires you?


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permalink this comment Bangin Langan Sun May 20, 2007 at 01.44 pm

I’m coming to design from a pretty strict Photoshop/Dreamweaver background (still working my way into Web2.0 styles).  Seeing your articles about design in AI really inspires me to start learning the program, especially because you promote the simplicity of the application. Thanks so much.

(By the way, your article on de-lurking prompted me to respond to this article, and to others on the web.  Thanks.)


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permalink this comment Sahil Sun May 20, 2007 at 02.37 pm

The cool wavy lines technique is tutorialized over at ndesign-studio.


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permalink this comment Jimmy B Sun May 20, 2007 at 06.05 pm

OMG! Veerle, your posts are significant for lames like me


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permalink this comment Court K Sun May 20, 2007 at 06.07 pm

In Illustrator CS3 drawing a circle, and then trying to cut away 1/4 of it with the direct select tool always results in half the circle going away. I’ve tried everything. Any suggestions?


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permalink this comment Stephanie Sun May 20, 2007 at 06.20 pm

This was an excellent topic for a tutorial!


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permalink this comment Josh Rice Sun May 20, 2007 at 07.16 pm

@Court K

Select just a little bit of the circle with the direct select tool. Put the corner of the select box just into the circle at the 135 degrees (with zero degrees being the top). If you select too much you’ll end up with the half circle.


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permalink this comment Veerle Sun May 20, 2007 at 07.34 pm

Court K said:

In Illustrator CS3 drawing a circle, and then trying to cut away 1/4 of it with the direct select tool always results in half the circle going away. I’ve tried everything. Any suggestions?

Did you click on a segment of the circle? My guess is that you clicked on a point. It this case 1/2 of the circle will be deleted. You need to click on a segment (in between 2 points). Make sure you use the Direct Selection tool or the white arrow. Hope this helps ;)


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permalink this comment David G. Paul Sun May 20, 2007 at 10.53 pm

very cool


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permalink this comment Dave Bowker Mon May 21, 2007 at 05.53 am

Very nice tutorial. Just wondering how long that took you in total? Not writing the tutorial but creating the artwork.


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permalink this comment René Kleizen Mon May 21, 2007 at 07.54 am

Looking very good as always Veerle


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permalink this comment Jessica Mon May 21, 2007 at 01.58 pm

Simply genius! I love your tutorials!


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permalink this comment Tomasz Gorski Mon May 21, 2007 at 03.54 pm

Thanks for very interesting tutorial Veerle. btw. I really enjoyed reading all of your posts. The final result it’s fantastic! So please keep up the great work. Greetings


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permalink this comment Aaron Bobrink Mon May 21, 2007 at 07.09 pm

Hi Veerle,
Great tutorial! I just started using illustrator and it’s an awesome tool. I will be going through the rest of your site looking for more tid bits like this ;)


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permalink this comment Blagoj Mon May 21, 2007 at 08.59 pm

nice and easy. thanks.


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permalink this comment Mike Cherim Mon May 21, 2007 at 10.01 pm

Way cool. I like it.


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permalink this comment Michael Short Tue May 22, 2007 at 02.53 am

Fantastic tutorial as usual veerle.  I can’t wait for the next one :-)


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permalink this comment Zeeshan Tue May 22, 2007 at 10.01 am

Loved your tutorial, please think about writing a book on illustrator someday..


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permalink this comment Veerle Tue May 22, 2007 at 03.48 pm

Thanks again for taking the time to comment and for all the appreciation :)

Dave Bowker said:

Just wondering how long that took you in total? Not writing the tutorial but creating the artwork.

It took me a couple of hours, because I tried several things out. I created more then 1 illustration. The writing took me far less in time, maybe 45 minutes or something.


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permalink this comment matt Tue May 22, 2007 at 08.51 pm

Looks a lot like this tutorial.


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permalink this comment Veerle Wed May 23, 2007 at 08.27 am

matt said:

Looks a lot like this tutorial.

I’m not agreeing on the look and execution, looks cheap. Idea maybe, so what? Mine is about ‘the transform again’ and that one is about transform each. What’s the problem and what are you trying to imply here? I’m not at all pretending to be original. I don’t like your tone to be honest, maybe learn to express yourself in a more friendly way? Manners it make such a difference ;)


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permalink this comment Squarehippies Wed May 23, 2007 at 10.05 am

Thanks a lot for this tutorial! I am certainly having fun experimenting with the Transform Again tool!


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permalink this comment Eric Wed May 23, 2007 at 12.26 pm

Veerle,
Stunning website and great article/nice looking artwork.
One thing though… Matt made a one line comment and unless you edited some of his text, I can’t read any implications… Couldn’t find any unfriendliness. Folks, peace please… don’t read between the lines… it was (one) only.
The setting of the tone/comment back and forth does only harm to the artwork.
Humble me ;)


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permalink this comment Veerle Wed May 23, 2007 at 01.58 pm

Eric said:

One thing though… Matt made a one line comment and unless you edited some of his text, I can’t read any implications… Couldn’t find any unfriendliness. Folks, peace please… don’t read between the lines… it was (one) only.
The setting of the tone/comment back and forth does only harm to the artwork.
Humble me ;)

I don’t edit any comments. If he doesn’t imply that I copied this article, then he should have formulated this in his comment. This one line is exactly the problem and is typical “troll” style. He could have written it in another way if that’s not his intention. The fact that he uses no link, no real name or last name etc. says enough (just speaking out of experience). Maybe Matt and you should read this article about critiquing. He could have well said : “There is a similar article on this website a while ago. For those who are interested…” Big difference, isn’t it? He makes me feel I’m a thief and copied the article. These are the kind of comments that would convince me to stop writing and sharing stuff, like why bother.


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permalink this comment *|~Eva~|* Wed May 23, 2007 at 03.13 pm

Well you certainly are not a thief! Thats ridiculous - I can’t imagine to find a more original person than you :D you are the best! :D and keep up the AMAZING work!


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permalink this comment Alan Wed May 23, 2007 at 03.17 pm

Please keep them coming. I’m new to Illustrator and need all the help I can get. :)


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permalink this comment *|~Eva~|* Wed May 23, 2007 at 04.14 pm

These are the kind of comments that would convince me to stop writing and sharing stuff, like why bother.


Please consider the fact that Matt is just one in a million, on the other hand there are plenty of regular visitors - like me :D so please keep them coming :D


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permalink this comment Chris Hester Wed May 23, 2007 at 04.20 pm

This is genius! I finally tried it out today. I have no idea how you come up with such simple and great ideas!

One tiny thing - forgive me - you say select the “Transform Tool” early on, but on my copy of Illustrator (CS2, Windows XP) I have only the “Scale Tool”.

Amazing is the “Copy” button - I never knew about that!

BTW, the graphics are loading fine today in Opera 9.21 (new release). Hurrah!


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permalink this comment BooTCaT Thu May 24, 2007 at 03.39 am

Cool creation .
Nice .


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permalink this comment abduzeedo Thu May 24, 2007 at 07.03 pm

Awesome… The final result is really cool… Thanks..


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permalink this comment Dan Wilt Sun May 27, 2007 at 09.41 pm

Loved it.


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permalink this comment Zak Wed May 30, 2007 at 11.56 am

Thanks for this and all your tutorials, although i have used illy for several years ive never been able to move beyond ultra simple effects so many thanks.


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permalink this comment didit Wed May 30, 2007 at 03.33 pm

nice tutorial,simple step gorgeous result,....


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permalink this comment Bryan Taylor Thu May 31, 2007 at 06.01 am

I stumbled across your blog this morning. I have throughly enjoyed all of the tutorials and have already gotten some great ideas for my own designs


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permalink this comment meenal Thu May 31, 2007 at 09.59 am

hey there,

You have one amazing source of tutorials and after seeing and trying them out, I get a feeling of shifting from Corel Draw to Illustrator…...:)


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permalink this comment Jem Fri Jun 1, 2007 at 02.53 pm

Hey, this is a really helpful tutorial. Does anybody know how to produce the cool circle shapes around the “Design Touches Lives” copy? I know Veerle said she would have more tutorials coming, but it looks really good and I can’t work out how to do it!


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permalink this comment meenal Tue Jun 5, 2007 at 11.38 am

hey there,

I am new to Illustrator. and i was trying out this tutorial. But am stuck in the Transform 1st step itself.

When i press Copy, the same circle grows 110% ... i wonder what step i have missed….. :(


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permalink this comment meenal Tue Jun 5, 2007 at 12.03 pm

me again and i found out my silly mistake!!!!

I have been using Corel Draw so the interface of Illustrator confuses me!

Oops! Veerle for the double post…...


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permalink this comment Hallaserke Thu Jun 7, 2007 at 11.33 am

Wow! Nice tutorial… very interesting… I am going to use it now.



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