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