Monday, March 17, 2008

Tips for smooth and controlled paths in Illustrator

Here is a short list of tips for drawing smooth and controlled lines with the pen tool in Adobe Illustrator.
- Drag your handles around one third of the length of the curved line.
- Drag handles while you're creating the first anchor point for a curved line. Drag away from from the previous line and towards the direction you want to the cirve to be directed.
- Use as few anchor points as possible.
- Position anchor points where lines change their direction.

pim said...

The problem with Illustrator paths is that they are cubic curves and don't inherently have "curvature continuity" like higher degree NURBS curves have.

So, in fact it's harder to make curves really smooth in Illustrator, than it is in for example Maya. On the other hand, Illustrator's cubic curves are easier to control and learn.

link to Wikipedia article on B-splines

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