Mirror In Illustrator | Live Mirror – Symmetrical Drawing – Adobe Illustrator

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Live Mirror - Symmetrical Drawing - Adobe Illustrator


Hello, today I’m going to show you how to set up your “Artboard” to create symmetrical designs using the “Live Mirror” technique. Let’s open a new document. Set the fill to none and leave the stroke black. Next go to “View” and make sure the “Smart Guides” are turned on. Now select the “Pen Tool” and draw a straight vertical line in the center. Deselect and draw a straight horizontal line. It is very important that those two lines are exactly in the center of our Artboard. We can check this by selecting both lines then open the “Align” window If your window is not showing go to “Window” and choose “Align” Make sure “Align to Artboard is checked” and choose “Horizontal” and “Vertical Align Center” I’m going to change the color of my guides to grey and reduce the stroke’s weight. Now draw anything in the upper right corner. The next step is very important. In order to set up our Artboard correctly we need to target the whole layer. When we open Layer 1 you will notice a double circle next to each sublayer but not the main layer. We need to change this. Click on the top circle next to Layer 1 to change it into a double circle. This will target the whole layer. If we miss this step “Live Mirror” won’t work. Now go to “Effect” > “Distort and Transform” and choose “Transform” Make sure the “Reference Point Locator” is set to the center and change the “Copies” to 1 If we would like to reflect our drawing along the X axis then we need to select “Reflect X” option If we would like to reflect it along the Y axis then we need to select “Reflect Y” And if we would like to reflect it diagonally then we need to select both options. Let’s choose “Reflect X” and click OK Next let’s lock all sublayers and turn of the visibility of the top two sublayers. Now we are ready to draw. Let’s change the color We can use shapes or the “Paintbrush Tool” Let’s open the “Brushes” window We can add more brushes by clicking on the “Brush Libraries Menu” icon and select anything from here or we can use our own custom brushes Now anything we draw on the right side will reflect to the left side. Now let’s select the “Ellipse Tool” and draw a circle in the middle of this guide Let’s zoom in and reposition the circle so it is centered on the guide It is important to keep your drawing within the Artboard boundary If we extend our line beyond the Artboard everything will shift Let’s undo it. We can draw on either side of the guide. The stroke will automatically reflect to the other side. When we switch to the “Outline Mode” You will notice that the only visible paths are the one we drew and everything else is just a reflection It is not a good idea to cross the center guide unless we intend to do this. To keep our drawing clean we will create a “clipping mask” First switch to the “Pen Tool” and then draw a clipping path that will perfectly cover the entire right side of our Artboard. Now switch to the “Direct Selection Tool” and align this point to the top of the center guide Next make sure that the “clipping path” we drew is on top of all sublayers and then click on the “Make/Release Clipping Mask” icon from the bottom. Then click away to deselect and choose the “Paintbrush Tool” Now everything we draw within the clipping mask, which is the right side of our Artboard will be visible and everything else will be hidden. Finally let’s go to Layers and turn off the visibility of the center guide layer. If we would like to make any changes to individual strokes or shapes first we need to select everything then go to “Object” and choose “Expand Appearance” Next make sure to switch to the “Direct Selection Tool” and select any shape to modify it Next we will set our Artboard to create a more complex design like this one. First we will make these guides to create 12 equal partitions. Using the “Pen Tool” draw a vertical line in the center of the Artboard. then select the line go to “Effect” > “Distort & Transform” and choose “Transform” Let’s change the “Copies” to 5 and the “Angle” to 30 to make the partitions symetrical Let’s create a new layer. Lock Layer 1 and turn off its visiblity. Now draw two lines and be sure they are aligned to the center of the Artboard And like before click on this circle, next to Layer 2 to target the whole layer then go to “Effect” > “Distort & Transform” choose “Transform” set the “Copies” to 1 and make sure the “Reflect X” is checked click OK Make Layer 1 visible. With Layer 2 still selected draw something in this area Next we will add another effect Target Layer 2 by clicking on this circle and then go to “Effect” > “Distort & Transform” and choose “Transform” click on “Apply New Effect” Change the “Copies” to 5, which is the same number that we used for the guides in Layer 1 and then using the “Up Arrow Key” on your keyboard adjust the angle to align all lines. And we are done. Now select the “Paintbrush Tool” and create your design. We can also make a “clipping mask” to keep our design clean. So like we did before select the “Pen Tool” and create a “clipping path” that will cover this whole area Switch to the “Direct Selection Tool” and move these anchor points so everything is aligne. We can apply a different color. Open the sublayers of Layer 2 and make sure the “clipping path” is on top of all the layers Now select the “Make /Release Clipping Mask icon from the bottom click away to deselect change the stroke to black switch to the “Paintbrush Tool” and continue to draw Let’s turn off the guides and if we need to make any adjustment first select everything and then go to “Object” and choose “Expand Appearance” Thanks for watching! Bye bye 🙂