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Is it possible to connect two un-open anchors / end points in Illustrator?


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#1 17

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 12:14 AM

To make things easier to explain, I'll start with an image:

Posted Image

I need to connect or otherwise link / draw a line between the two anchors circled in green. From what I've found online, you can only connect anchors if they are end points. Is it possible to create a path between the two anchors already on a path?

I get the feeling that the point of paths is that such a thing doesn't happen, so alternatively, is there a way to seperate a shape created by a path into two shapes? Here is the big picture:


Posted Image

If I could 'decapitate' these people and seperate the heads from the bodies, it would make controlling the gradients a lot easier. At the moment, I have to make sure the gradient doesn't reach the head. It would be much better to control the gradient for the body/arms/legs independently.

Thanks in advance for any help you can give.

Edit: Illustrator .ai file

Edited by 17, 08 August 2011 - 10:14 AM.

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#2 orcone

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 02:53 AM

I need to connect or otherwise link / draw a line between the two anchors circled in green. From what I've found online, you can only connect anchors if they are end points. Is it possible to create a path between the two anchors already on a path?

I get the feeling that the point of paths is that such a thing doesn't happen, so alternatively, is there a way to seperate a shape created by a path into two shapes?


I definitely don't know everything about Illustrator, it's my weakest area of the Adobe line so there are probably quicker ways to do this. But I've formed a simple guide for you to try and explain how to achieve what you're describing the way I'd do it.

Your logo is made up of anchor points to get this shape:
Posted Image

What we want to do is delete the unwanted anchor points causing the curve of one of the heads. In this case, it'll be the top 3 points of the head:
Posted Image

Select the Delete Anchor Points Tool from the Pen Tool submenu by clicking and holding on the Pen icon:
Posted Image

Using this tool, click on the anchor points to delete them. You'll see your image start morphing into weird shapes as the angle data is messed up, but keep clicking on the points (anchor points only, not angle handles):
Posted Image

You'll be left with a sharp edge across the body. This may mess up your gradient and cause it to look un-natural. To smooth it out, select the Convert Anchor Point tool from the Pen submenu and click, hold and drag on an anchor point. It'll let you control the curves leading up to that point. You can make the curve more refined by simply adding more anchor points (with the aptly named tool) and then adjusting them with the converter:
Posted Image

Edited by orcone, 08 August 2011 - 02:57 AM.


#3 17

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 10:12 AM

Holy wow cow! That is above and beyond, creating the shape yourself to show me! At 4AM too! And with a gradient! I should have just uploaded the .ai file to begin with, but I thought using only images would actually make it more simple. I'll add it to the original post now.

What you're explaining is obviously going to work, since any gradient I apply isn't going to affect the heads. If Illustrator is your weakest Adobe skillset, it doesn't show :)

I guess I used the wrong term when I said 'decapitate' though. I should have said 'slit the throat all the way through and across the neck' haha. I'd like to keep the heads as I spent a lot of time getting their shape and position right. Is there a way to just seperate the heads without removing them? When I was talking about connecting anchors, I meant something like this:

(note, this is edited in Paint, those aren't real lines from Illustrator)
Posted Image

My problem and goal is ultimately to solve this:

Posted Image

When I apply the gradient, it flows throughout the whole shape. The blue line shows where the gradient goes till. I would like the head to be fully white, so I thought I'd 'cordone off' the head area so the gradient wouldn't reach it. The green circle shows how the gradient reaches the head where I don't want it. I would then just fill the head with solid white. So ultimately I'm trying to either create a path / line between the two anchors, or seperate the body and head into two shapes.

I've tried the "Cut path at selected anchor points" button but that didn't work. I could be just using it wrongly, but the Slice Tool didn't work either.

If you need me to explain the problem more, or want me to try something myself just let me know. You can stamp your feet and tell me to provide more if I want you to help :P Otherwise I feel like I'm taking more than I already am, than giving. Thanks again orcone for putting that together. If I can't figure out something I'll do what you explained!

P.S. - Sorry for all the images, though I'm sure this is common in the design thread right?

Edited by 17, 08 August 2011 - 10:18 AM.

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#4 orcone

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 12:25 AM

There's a few different ways to slice shapes in half in Illustrator, this is a quick way I picked up.

Select the Knife Tool:
Posted Image

Click and drag a line across the area you want to cut using the Knife Tool:
Posted Image

Your shapes will get cut down the middle, so simply select the section you want gone:
Posted Image

And press delete:
Posted Image

#5 17

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 12:32 PM

Oh wow, it was that easy? I just tried to do it and it did exactly what I needed it to. I can now control the gradient of the body and the heads seperately. Shame on me for not knowing about the knife tool. For some reason I had the slice tool mixed up with it in my mind. Thank you orcone, thank you thank you thankyou!
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#6 orcone

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 05:31 PM

No problem mate. Happy to help.

#7 graphicnewbie

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 07:23 PM

registered just to say thanks for those posts, orconn i've been a reader for a while but never participated in the threads much, and this was EXACTLY the help I needed at the moment! i'm chopping up logos for use in teaching primary school kids how to identify shapes, and i was stuck! thanks again, i'll be posting some more if the quality keeps up :)

#8 orcone

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 11:24 PM

No worries, I like making guides.

#9 chilli

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 11:00 PM

I hope this isn't considered too necro, but just wanted to point out that if you want it exactly from where the anchor points are you can also use the Scissors tool and click on each anchor, which will split the path at that point. Doing it this way also means the resulting paths are not closed, so you don't end up with the stroke running across the neck.
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#10 17

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Posted 10 September 2011 - 10:44 PM

I hope this isn't considered too necro, but just wanted to point out that if you want it exactly from where the anchor points are you can also use the Scissors tool and click on each anchor, which will split the path at that point. Doing it this way also means the resulting paths are not closed, so you don't end up with the stroke running across the neck.


Man, no that's fine- I am really appreciating any help I can get on this. The knife tool didn't end up working as well as I thought, as it left a visible 'cut'.

I tried the scissors tool and this is what happens:

Posted Image

I think I'm a terrible explainer. Basically what I've been trying to do is go from this:

Posted Image

To this:

Posted Image

What's going on is that a single closed shape is being segmented into two shapes. I'm not trying to delete a sliver of a line through the middle, nor am I trying to pull two halves apart. I'm not sure if it's possible, but I'm trying to separate/segment the shape's 'territory' through anchors. The overall shape is intact, but if I fill one segment with colour, it won't seep into the other segment.

Hmm I wonder if I should give up hope :(

Edited by 17, 10 September 2011 - 10:46 PM.

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#11 chilli

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Posted 11 September 2011 - 01:39 AM

I hope this isn't considered too necro, but just wanted to point out that if you want it exactly from where the anchor points are you can also use the Scissors tool and click on each anchor, which will split the path at that point. Doing it this way also means the resulting paths are not closed, so you don't end up with the stroke running across the neck.


Man, no that's fine- I am really appreciating any help I can get on this. The knife tool didn't end up working as well as I thought, as it left a visible 'cut'.

I tried the scissors tool and this is what happens:

Posted Image

I think I'm a terrible explainer. Basically what I've been trying to do is go from this:

Posted Image

To this:

Posted Image

What's going on is that a single closed shape is being segmented into two shapes. I'm not trying to delete a sliver of a line through the middle, nor am I trying to pull two halves apart. I'm not sure if it's possible, but I'm trying to separate/segment the shape's 'territory' through anchors. The overall shape is intact, but if I fill one segment with colour, it won't seep into the other segment.

Hmm I wonder if I should give up hope :(


The scissors tool works by splitting a path at an anchor, so in this case make sure you have selected scissors and then click once on each anchor on either side of the neck, this will separate the shape into one filled path of the head and another filled path of the body.

When I do the same thing on that shape, it works perfectly, segmenting the head from the body, without a stroke between them.

The image you have ended up with has me scratching my head, it makes me think your shape must have originally consisted of more than one part, or you clicked on other anchor points with the scissors tool.. for some reason the fill has dropped down to that anchor at the top of the left arm. Can you post another image of the same result, but with the lower part selected so I can see where the paths an achors on it are?

You can also use the knife tool as above, and then use the direct selection tool (white arrow) to select and then delete each path across the neck in turn. You'll probably need to bring whichecer part ends up behind forward in the arrangement to get the tool to click on the second path.

*edit* As it is hard to explain these things in writing, I made a short video to explain what I am rambling on about in this post:


Edited by chilli, 11 September 2011 - 03:18 AM.

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