Monday, June 29, 2009

How to Edit the Symbols You've Sprayed

See "How to Create and Spray Symbols" before you do this tutorial.

At this point, you may be wondering why


  1. These snowflakes are all opaque and the same size, and none of them seemed to be rotated differently, unlike the snowflakes in my Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer with Lights illustration, which are of different sizes, rotations, and transparencies.

  2. This illustration seems to have other snowflakes than the one just created and sprayed.



For now, we will deal with B later, and answer A:

Because we have not yet used the symbol-modifying tools - or the Symbolism Tools. We are about to do so right now.

Accesing the symbol-modifying tools can be done in two ways:


  1. Clicking and dragging the Symbol Sprayer so that the pulldown menu that contains the symbol-modifying tools appears:
    Symbol options pulldown

  2. Double-clicking the Symbol Sprayer tool so that the symbol-modifying options box - aka the Symbolism Tools Options - appears:
    Symbolism Tools Options
    The Symbolism Tools Options box also has other ways of controlling the Symbol Sprayer brush, which I will cover later on in this tutorial


What the symbol-modifying tools do:

The Symbol Shifter tool moves symbol instances around and, if they're overlapping, puts them in back or front of each other.

This tool would be good for moving the snowflakes around, but if you put any overlapping snowflake in front or back of another, you wouldn't about be able to tell if you did, since the snowflake is all one solid color. So the Symbol Shifting tool is best used for overlapping symbol instances of more than one color, or least least one fill color and a stroke of a different color.

How to use the Symbol Shifter:


  1. Click the symbol set to select it.

  2. Select the Symbol Shifter on either the pulldown menu or the Symbolism Tools Options box. If you selected this tool in the Symbolism Tools Options box, click OK.

  3. Click a symbol instance

  4. Drag the symbol instance in whatever direction you wish.



How to put one symbol instance in front:


  1. Do Steps 1 and 2 under "How to Use the Symbol Shifter."

  2. Place your symbol sprayer cursor over the symbol instance you want to put in front:

  3. Press the Shift key and click on it:



How to put one symbol instance in back:


  1. Do Steps 1 and 2 under "How to Use the Symbol Shifter."

  2. Place your symbol sprayer cursor over the symbol instance you want to put in back:

  3. Press the Shift and Option/Alt key and click on it:



The Symbol Scruncher moves symbol instances together or away from each other.

How to use the Symbol Scruncher:


  1. Click the symbol set to select it.

  2. Select the Symbol Scruncher on either the pulldown menu or the Symbolism Tools Options box. If you selected this tool in the Symbolism Tools Options box, click OK.



To push symbol instances closer together:


  1. Select the Symbol Scruncher.

  2. Place your symbol sprayer cursor over any cluster of symbol instances.

  3. With your symbol sprayer cursor, click hese symbol instances. The longer your mouse button is down, the closer they will move together.



To push symbol instances away from each other:


  1. Select the Symbol Scruncher.

  2. Place your symbol sprayer cursor over any cluster of symbol instances.

  3. With your symbol sprayer cursor, Option/Alt-click these symbol instances. The longer your mouse button is down, the farther they will move away from each other.



The Symbol Sizer grows or shrinks symbol instances.

How to use the Symbol Sizer:


  1. Click the symbol set to select it.

  2. Select the Symbol Sizer on either the pulldown menu or the Symbolism Tools Options box. If you selected this tool in the Symbolism Tools Options box, click OK:



To grow a symbol instance:


  1. Select the Symbol Sizer.

  2. Place your symbol sprayer cursor over any symbol instance.

  3. With your symbol sprayer cursor, click or drag this symbol instance. The longer your mouse button is down, the bigger it will get.



To shrink a symbol instance:


  1. Select the Symbol Sizer.

  2. Place your symbol sprayer cursor over any symbol instance.

  3. With your symbol sprayer cursor, click or drag this symbol instance. The longer your mouse button is down, the smaller it will get.



If there is no checkmark in the Proportional Resizing box, you can click and drag on any symbol instance to resize either its X or Y axis, depending on which director you drag your cursor. If you just click on the instance, it won't do anything.

If there is no checkmark in the Resizing Affects Density box, you can resize any symbol instances without "moving" the symbol instances around it.

The Symbol Spinner rotates symbol instances.

How to use the Symbol Spinner:


  1. Click the symbol set to select it.

  2. Select the Symbol Spinner on either the pulldown menu or the Symbolism Tools Options box. If you selected this tool in the Symbolism Tools Options box, click OK:

  3. Place your symbol sprayer cursor over any symbol instance.

  4. With your symbol sprayer cursor, click this symbol instance, and drag it the direction you want to rotate the instance.



The Symbol Stainer tints symbol instances. In other words, it fades their hues, white preserving their lights and darks.

How to use the Symbol Stainer:


  1. Click the symbol set to select it.

  2. Select the Symbol Stainer on either the pulldown menu or the Symbolism Tools Options box. If you selected this tool in the Symbolism Tools Options box, click OK:

  3. Place your symbol sprayer cursor over any symbol instance.

  4. With your symbol sprayer cursor, click this symbol instance to fade its hues. The longer your mouse button is down, the whiter the hues will get. The lights and darks will still be preserved.



I tried holding down the Option/Alt and Shift keys, but they did not seem to work very well.

The Symbol Screener makes symbol instances transparent.

How to use the Symbol Screener:


  1. Click the symbol set to select it.

  2. Select the Symbol Screener on either the pulldown menu or the Symbolism Tools Options box. If you selected this tool in the Symbolism Tools Options box, click OK:



To make symbol instances transparent:


  1. Select the Symbol Screener.

  2. Place your symbol sprayer cursor over any symbol instance.

  3. With your symbol sprayer cursor, click this symbol instance to make it transparent. The longer you hold your mouse button down, the less visible the symbol instance will be.



To make symbol instances opaque:


  1. Select the Symbol Screener.

  2. Place your symbol sprayer cursor over any symbol instance.

  3. With your symbol sprayer cursor, Option/Alt-click this symbol instance to make it opaque. The longer you hold your mouse button down, the more visible the symbol instance will be.



The Symbol Styler assigns graphic styles to symbol instances; such as converting them to outlines, assigning shaodws to them, etc.

How to use the Symbol Styler:


  1. Click the symbol set to select it.

  2. Select the Symbol Styler on either the pulldown menu or the Symbolism Tools Options box. If you selected this tool in the Symbolism Tools Options box, click OK:

  3. Make the Graphic Styles window visible by select Window, then Graphic Styles.

  4. Select a graphic style in the Graphic Styles window.

  5. With your symbol sprayer cursor, click this symbol instance to assign this graphic style to it.