Creating a Bell Curve in Illustrator?

3d Design and graphics

Creating a Bell Curve in Illustrator?

Postby gungrave4ever on 10/4/2012, 11:01 pm

I'm wanting to make a sunlight map (something like this: http://www.homepagedaily.com/uploads/20 ... %20map.jpg) for a video project. Would someone please either A) Tell me how to make or B) Make a vector for me of a bell curve that's reasonably similar to the sunlight map? I'm not wanting a narrow missile-shaped bell curve; I want something fat, and will have the south pole in perpetual darkness while the north pole is in perpetual sunlight (so I guess it'd be the summer solstice or something).

Thanks.
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Re: Creating a Bell Curve in Illustrator?

Postby Rob Neal on 10/5/2012, 5:44 am

It looks more like a sine wave to me as the ends are starting to rise up again.
Maybe this might help:
http://mograph.net/board/index.php?showtopic=13629
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Re: Creating a Bell Curve in Illustrator?

Postby gungrave4ever on 10/7/2012, 10:50 pm

Okay, I found the sinea.ps file near the bottom of that thread's first page and opened it up with AI. I ungrouped everything, but I can't get the mask points into AE. I tried highlighting all the ones I need in AI, Ctrl+C, and then trying Ctrl+V on the AE layer's mask path... nothing. I imported the .ai file I saved into AE, but it comes in as an image with no mask points.

I've attached the .ai file I saved.

Also, I don't know how to stretch or squeeze the sine wave to be the size of my comp.
Attachments
sineaCS3B.ai
(43.83 KiB) Downloaded 434 times
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Re: Creating a Bell Curve in Illustrator?

Postby Rob Neal on 10/8/2012, 8:51 am

Select the Illustrator object/curve, copy (ctrl-c) and paste onto an AE solid (ctrl-v).
That should create a mask. You can then apply the stroke effect to make it visible if you wish.
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Re: Creating a Bell Curve in Illustrator?

Postby gungrave4ever on 10/8/2012, 9:13 am

Okay, write to me as if I am a complete Illustrator moron (because I am). I've attached an image of what I'm getting so far.

If I try to delete that anchor point at the far right end of the curve, it deletes the whole path, and copying whatever is left just makes some dashed lines on my AE comp. Also, I need to close up the mask so only either the part above or below the wave (preferably below) is visible, and I also need to adjust it somehow so the wave peaks and valleys are longer.
Attachments
IllustratorSineWave.png
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Re: Creating a Bell Curve in Illustrator?

Postby Rob Neal on 10/9/2012, 4:33 am

Just use the pen tool and click on the anchor, one down, one across and join up at the other end.
That way it will become a filled solid instead of a curve.
Use the point select tool (The white arrow, not the black one) and you can move points about as you wish.
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Re: Creating a Bell Curve in Illustrator?

Postby chrisfig on 10/9/2012, 7:28 am

You could also draw that with a total of four points and control the shape much easier, one at each end and one at the apex of each curve.

Image
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Re: Creating a Bell Curve in Illustrator?

Postby gungrave4ever on 10/9/2012, 8:28 am

Okay, I still need to get rid of that outlying anchor point that's making this curve longer than I need it.
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Re: Creating a Bell Curve in Illustrator?

Postby chrisfig on 10/9/2012, 12:59 pm

gungrave4ever wrote:Okay, I still need to get rid of that outlying anchor point that's making this curve longer than I need it.


Hit + and then click to add a point right at the edge of your white box so the line will end there, then hit - and remove the end point that's outside that area.
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Re: Creating a Bell Curve in Illustrator?

Postby gungrave4ever on 10/9/2012, 4:09 pm

I had actually figured it out (and discovered I didn't need to add that extra point Chris suggested, since there was already an anchor point at the place I needed it), but my main computer suddenly crashed while I was in the middle of editing my post.

Actually, the new problem I had just before the crash was when I added the points to enclose the bottom of the curve, Illustrator was drawing a fill layer instead of a mask shape (so when I had three points down, it was a solid black triangle; adding a fourth point made it a solid black box). Not that any of that matters at the moment since I can't do any VFX work while that computer is down, but maybe someone could tell me what I was doing wrong (so whenever that computer is back up, I can fix the Illustrator problem).

Or, y'know, if someone would please just make the .ai file for me?
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Re: Creating a Bell Curve in Illustrator?

Postby Rob Neal on 10/15/2012, 4:51 pm

gungrave4ever wrote:Or, y'know, if someone would please just make the .ai file for me?

Post the AI file you have and I'll fix it.
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Re: Creating a Bell Curve in Illustrator?

Postby gungrave4ever on 10/16/2012, 2:52 pm

It's the third post in this thread.
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Re: Creating a Bell Curve in Illustrator?

Postby chrisfig on 10/16/2012, 3:26 pm

No offense, but what are you trying to figure out?

You've got the shape and you've figured out how to enclose the shape to get what you want, you can either use that shape copy/pasted into Photoshop and blurred to create a mask or you can set it to no fill to get an outline of the shape.
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Re: Creating a Bell Curve in Illustrator?

Postby Rob Neal on 10/16/2012, 4:49 pm

If you are trying to resize the shape, use Ctrl-T to transform and adjust. (Hold the shift key to keep the shape proportional, and/or ALT to stretch both sides, or scale from the corners)
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Re: Creating a Bell Curve in Illustrator?

Postby gungrave4ever on 10/16/2012, 9:00 pm

It's difficult to put into words, and my editing computer is still in the shop so I can't post pictures.

I just want the same thing I've always wanted. Here, I drew the following image in MSPaint using the Curved Line tool. Also, I'm going to use this in AE, not Photoshop, so that's why I need it to be an .ai vector.
Attachments
PaintSine.PNG
PaintSine.PNG (7.46 KiB) Viewed 18998 times
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Re: Creating a Bell Curve in Illustrator?

Postby chrisfig on 10/18/2012, 7:24 am

I'm still not entirely clear on what you're trying to do that you can't do as your earlier drawing looked like exactly what you needed minus the enclosed shape, but hopefully this works:
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/18232712/curve.ai

I did this in honestly about three minutes, spend some time playing with the pen tool and it will be a massive help to you later on down the line.
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Re: Creating a Bell Curve in Illustrator?

Postby chrisfig on 10/24/2012, 7:10 am

Glad I could help.
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Re: Creating a Bell Curve in Illustrator?

Postby gungrave4ever on 10/24/2012, 9:50 pm

Well here's what I get when I "play around with the pen tool."

http://i.imgur.com/pxuiz.png

Also, I told you guys right here that my video editing computer had crashed; the first time I ever saw that .ai file you uploaded to dropbox was three minutes ago because—up until yesterday evening—I didn't have a computer capable of viewing .ai files (did you bother to click on my name and check when my last visit date was?). So feel free to be glad you could help, but my problem still isn't solved.

This is all I have ever wanted, this is all I have ever asked for.
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Re: Creating a Bell Curve in Illustrator?

Postby chrisfig on 10/25/2012, 7:27 am

You could really just say "thanks, sorry I haven't signed in over the past week" and not act like you're pissed off about it that I expected you would respond to a file someone created for you. I assumed since you'd been visiting fairly regularly that you were continuing to do so.

Your pen tool primer...

Main pen tool: draws connected points and will connect a selected point to the next one you draw or the next one you click. To connect two paths, make sure nothing is selected then use that tool to pick the end point of one path and the point you want to connect it to on the other.

Pen+ tool: will add a point at any point on a line or shape. Can be used to keep the shape you want when points go outside your desired area (as in your example), if you position it about the place where you want to add your point you should see a vertical line highlight pop up showing you that you're aligned over the point underneath it that you want to connect to. You then use the...

Pen- tool: will remove any points you don't want. After adding a point with the + tool you can use this to remove the points that fall outside your desired edge, then use the main pen tool to connect your top and bottom lines.

^ tool: Changes a point back to the angular intersection between two points if it's curved, if clicked while holding shift will allow you to modify the curve of the two lines that intersect at that point.

The open arrow tool (as opposed to the solid arrow) can be used to select individual points and move them around. Holding shift will constrain a point's movement to the 45 degree axis.

I'll now leave you to your pen tool exploits, hope you get it figured out.
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Re: Creating a Bell Curve in Illustrator?

Postby gungrave4ever on 10/25/2012, 7:37 pm

Well, somehow I brute forced my way through that. However, now I discovered a new problem (see picture).

And I've made a new .ai file, but once again, I'm getting the error about not being able to combine shapes in groups or whatever. And because I just brute forced my way through the first one until I got something, I still don't know how to get them together. So if someone will just connect them, that should be the end of this.
Attachments
sineaD.ai
(44.69 KiB) Downloaded 454 times
SineMaskProblem.png
New Problem
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Re: Creating a Bell Curve in Illustrator?

Postby gungrave4ever on 10/27/2012, 9:10 pm

Well I finally got my .ai file fixed up all nice like, but now when I try to put it in AE as a layer mask, AE treats it like it doesn't exist. I don't even get the drop-down menu to Add/Subtract/etc.
Attachments
Thing5.png
sineaF.ai
(41.99 KiB) Downloaded 420 times
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Re: Creating a Bell Curve in Illustrator?

Postby Michael_Szalapski on 10/29/2012, 11:18 am

If you twirl up your mask options and then twirl them down, what happens?
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Re: Creating a Bell Curve in Illustrator?

Postby gungrave4ever on 11/2/2012, 1:04 pm

I just get a display of all the standard options like "Mask Expansion," "Feather," etc. I just don't get an option for add/subtract/etc.
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Re: Creating a Bell Curve in Illustrator?

Postby Michael_Szalapski on 11/3/2012, 9:00 pm

Can we see a screencap of it with the options twirled down?
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