Deke's Techniques 89: Creating a Spirograph-Like Pattern in Illustrator
This week, I show you how to do something I already showed many of you how to do a long time ago. Only, now, I do so more judiciously and accompanied by a concrete example. (But, you know, gosh, that ancient 4-year-old episode of the now-dead dekePod with the Spirographs and junk holds up pretty well. I watched it before making this movie and---although I'm ashamed to admit it---I learned a thing or two.)
Today, I show you how to make a Spirograph-like pattern in Illustrator. No, not one. Three Spirograph-like patterns in all. Here's the official blow-by-blow description from lynda.com:
In this week's free episode of Deke's Techniques, Deke uses Adobe Illustrator to recreate the classic effect from an old-school, decidedly analog toy, the Spirograph. But rather than watch this work take shape with a pen stuck into a plastic gear, you'll see it grow with the simple application of dynamic transformations accessible from Illustrator's Appearance panel. In fact, all you have to be able to draw is one lone circle in Illustrator. Then you'll duplicate and transform its stroke to create a hypotrochoidic shape. (Yes, that's right. Deke's Techniques brings you not only a great graphic technique, but also a free vocabulary-expander word in one episode.)
As you'll see in the video, Deke begins by selecting the circle in this simple logo design:
By selecting that circle and then applying the Transform command on its stroke attribute over and over with a few variations, you can achieve a familiar filigree. As you can see from the accompanying Appearance panel, this is the result of multiple transformations:
In the end, the once-skeletal logo becomes this refined figure, with the outer circle, the thin edge around the inner circle, and all the intertwining ellipses in the center created by transforming that original plain circle:
Even if you're new to Illustrator and not particularly gifted at drawing, you can achieve this technique with some concentration and Deke's advice. (And if you're new to Illustrator, this is a good lesson for understanding the Transform effect.) For members of lynda.com, Deke has an exclusive movie in our Online Training Library this week, in which he dynamically adds these gear-like teeth to the outer circle, using a similar type of dynamic approach.
FWYKWTFIW, here's a preview of what's in store for next week:
Normally, you have to buy another font style to pull off carved edges and separate shadow effects. But if know Illustrator, you can turn any font into this kind of thing. Even the humblist of best fonts ever as (if you hadn't already guessed) pictured above, Hobo.