Drawing Precise Bézier Curve Time and Tangent Lines in Illustrator

In this week’s free Deke’s Techniques episode, Deke reveals some of the secrets to making an accurate technical drawing in Adobe Illustrator, using the example of the Bezier curves depiction from last week.

What? You’re not some ubernerd who needs to explain the results of a week spent deep inside the behavior of Bézier curves in Illustrator?

While you may not be explaining pen tool behavior to others, following along with this video will help you show off your own precision technical drawing skills. It’s also a great insight into the mind of Deke, and how he interprets reality through the lens of what Illustrator tools can do.

Here’s what Deke demonstrates in exquisite detail this week:

  • Using the Blend tool to draw things in precise increments. (Unlike Photoshop, where “blend” actually means blend, in Illustrator the Blend tool is really the “even distribution tool” in my opinion, whether you’re talking about color, placement, or distance increments.)
    The Blend Options dialog box in Adobe Illustrator
  • Employing the Scissor tool to snip paths in two precise points.
  • When it’s to your advantage to have the bounding box turned off.
  • When Isolation mode is your friend, and not some scary workspace that looks like you’ve made a mistake.
  • How to use the Move tool to precisely position points without having to strain your eyes or make repetitive mouse movements.
  • Double-checking said precision in the Outline mode.
The Outline mode in Adobe Illustrator helps precisely align drawing elements.

For those of you who are members of Lynda.com, Deke’s got an exclusive movie this week in which he shows you how to create the complex network of lattice lines he uses. A technique that works even in something like this:

A complex set of lattice lines inside Adobe Illustrator

If you’re not a member, you can get a free 10-day trial at lynda.com/deke.

Deke’s Techniques, explaining how Illustrator works from inside Illustrator!

Next entry:Drawing the Ninio Extinction Illusion

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