Deke's Techniques 328: Draw a Möbius Strip in Illustrator

In this week's free Deke's Techniques video tutorial, Deke shows you how to make a double-looped intertwined Möbius strip in Adobe Illustrator. You don't need any special files, this starts as a hexagon, gets rounded, is blended into a double-ribbon, is next rotated and duplicated, and finally the thing gets painted with the Live Paint feature. Only the basic Illustrator skills are required, as I can attest to because I actually managed to do it myself (note the green color to prove that I didn't just copy Deke's version):

Here are some observations I made along the way: 

1. The initial outlines of the ribbon are extracted from a standard hexagon, to which the round corners feature has been applied. You can draw a hexagon, can't you. (Yes, I apparently can.) 

2. The aforementioned outlines are created by setting up copies of the segment and then using the Blend feature in Illustrator. What I discovered here is that Blend doesn't actually blend as I would define the word, but rather, it makes incremental duplicates between designated thing one and designated thing two. I'll give it to you that Blend is a much pithier name for a command though: 

3. Once a one third of the ribbon pattern is outlined, the other two thirds can be created using the Rotate command to make rotated copies at 120 degree increments. 

4. The fun (although mind-twisting) part comes when you use Live Paint to fill in the parts that are actually the ribbon and delete specific strokes to imply interweaving. 

5. For members of lynda.com, Deke's got an exclusive movie this week in which he shows you how to apply these gradients and twisted edges: 

Not a member of lynda.com? You can get a free week's trial for watching this and over 300 other Deke's Techniques videos by going to lynda.com/deke and signing up.

 

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