Rotate versus Transform Each in Adobe Illustrator (as Applied to Billiard Balls)

In this week’s free Deke’s Techniques episode, Deke continues to work on his wholly imaginary, but none-the-less excellent exercise in adobe Illustrator knowhow, pool hall clock project. This week’s objective is to create all the balls that will signal the hours by copying the two we were left with last week, first by using the Rotate tool plus its Copy button to move them around the dial, then using Transform Each command to rotate them in place so they’re upright.

Here’s where we left things off after last week’s exclusive episode, with a 6 and a 12 ball at their respective positions:

A green gradient with a 12, cue, and 6 ball on it.


Using the regular Rotate tool, and taking advantage of the Copy button in the Rotate dialog box, Deke positions a copy of each of the colored balls to act as placeholders at 30° increments around the dial.

A copy of each of both the 12 and 6 balls rotate 30 degrees counter-clockwise.


After the first copies are done, Deke easily creates the the next four by using the convenient Object > Transform > Transform again (or the Command/Ctrl-D keyboard shortcut).

The 12 and 6 balls duplicated 3 times each around the clock face.


He finishes the placeholder-making activity by making copies of just the 6 ball and adjusting the rotation of each copy as needed.

All the placeholder balls at each position on the clock


Then, in order to make all the numbers upright, Deke uses the Transform Each command to adjust each ball in place:

The Transform Each dialog box set to -30 degrees uprights balls at the 11 and 5 position


Until all his placeholder copies are upright:

All the balls on the green background are in the upright position


If you’re a member of LinkedIn Learning, Deke’s got an exclusive movie in which he shows you how to recolor each of the hours of the day to their traditional billiard ball colors.

The ball at each clock position set to its proper color


Deke’s Techniques, spinning you around until you’re upright.

Previous entry:Turning a Sphere into a Colorful Pool Ball in Adobe Illustrator

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