Learn how to turn an oval into a flower and then some cool tricks for doing things with it in Illustrator. Covers using the Rotate tool.

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The transcript from the video:

Hello, I’m Helen Bradley. Welcome to this video tutorial. Today I’m going to show you how to make cool shapes In Illustrator the easy way. Before we get started on this video making shapes let’s have a look at the sort of things that we’re going to do. The first thing I’m going to show you how to do is to create this shape really, really easy. And then having created this shape all I did was duplicate it to make these shapes. And all of this is done with just an ellipse and a circle. And you’re going to see how all of these can be done really, really easily. Let’s get started with a brand new document. Now I’m just using a letter size document, RGB color space. So I’ll click Ok. Let’s just size the document and create an oval. Now I’m going to fill this oval with a purple color, and I’m just going to extend the stroke to about 4 points. Now I’m going to click the move tool to just position it where I want it to be and then select the rotate tool. Now this tool allows me to rotate the shape. And what I’m going to do is set the center point, which at the moment is here in the middle of the shape, and I want it down here. So I’m going to position my cursor there and Alt Click. And this allows me to now rotate around this location here. I want 13 petals on my flower. So I’m going to type 360 divided by 13 and Illustrator will make the calculation for me as to how many degrees I need to rotate this to fit 13 in exactly around the circle. I’m going to click Preview, make sure that it rolls forward, which is exactly what it’s supposed to do, and then click Copy. And now I’m just going to press Ctrl or Command D another series of times and each time I press one of things shapes is created and rotated. And I do that until I have my 13 petals. Now I’m going to add a center to the flower. So I’m going back to the ellipse shape. I’m going to drag in here to create a flower center. Now I want my circle over the middle of my flower so I’m just holding down the Spacebar as I draw it to make sure it goes in correct position. If I hold Shift it’ll be constrained to a circle shape. I’m going to let go now and I’m going to fill this with orange. Ok, I now have my flower shape so I’m going to select it all with Ctrl or Command A, and I’m going to choose Object and then Group. And this will group this object together so now I can operate on it as a single shape. And this is my starter shape. This is the flower that we were going to create. I’m going to select it again and this time Alt or Option drag on it because I want a few more copies of this shape because I want to show you what the possibilities are for working with a shape like this. And the first one we’re going to focus on is this one here, so let’s just zoom into it. I going to select the shape and now I’m going to transform it. I’m going to use Effect Distort and Transform Pucker and Bloat. And what this allows me to do is to create interesting effects. You can see that all I started with was an ellipse and a circle and already I’ve got a shape like this because I have my Preview turned on and I have Pucker and Bloat selected. And I can drag across here and create all sorts of different effects with my shape. If I didn’t have a really thick stroke then I wouldn’t have quite such strong black lines, but you can just determine exactly what you want. And this Pucker and Bloat will give you all sorts of shapes. Just a few extra percent and you’ll get a different shape entirely. So I’m just going to look for a good shape there and when I’ve got it I’m just going to call that done. So there’s one of the sorts of shapes that we can create just using a starting point of an oval and a circle, create a flower and then use Pucker and Bloat to create a shape like this. Let’s have a look at this flower. And this time I’m going to choose Effect Distort and Transform and I’m going to select Twist because twist allows me to twist this shape. You can see that I’m getting those curly ends to my flower. And I can go more or less. So let’s try say 30 degrees and see what that gives us. And it gives us a less of a twist. And if we go to 90 let’s see what we get there. We get a much greater twist. So you can do all sorts of things with your basic flower shape with that twist tool. And finally let’s have a look at another one of these effects. I’m going to choose Effect Distort and Transform again, and this time I’m going to select Tweak because what tweak does is actually fracture this image. You can see that we’ve got a horizontal and vertical setting of 10 percent here. And look what happens when I preview this and then go and really, really tweak it. If I choose between relative and absolute you could see I’m getting a sort of almost graffiti style effect. And it’s all done without having any skills at all in creating shapes beyond an oval and a circle. And you can experiment here with these sorts of options that allow you to get different effects from this tweak tool. So there we have a different effect from our flower. It’s obviously something very, very different but we could use this for example as a background for something later on. If we want to use this you’ll see that whenever we select it we’ve actually got our basic flower shape. Here’s a basic flower shape. Here’s our basic shape. If we want to use it elsewhere in Illustrator we may want to convert this. So we would choose Object and then Expand Appearance. And now we’ve actually got the shapes selected not the original flower, Object, Expand Appearance. And now we’ve got something the vector paths are actually around the physical shape not what it had been before we worked with at, again Object, Expand Appearance. And that would allow us then to come in and do things with the shape itself. Let’s just go and grab an object here and you can see that we can then start rescaling this portion or we can work with it in some way. But we can do things with it because it is no longer a flower shape. And we can do things such as dragging on points and making it all sorts of things. So I’ve totally messed that up there, but you get the idea as to what Expand Appearance will give you in terms of turning this flower shape into a something that then could be taken further in Illustrator, for example a repeat pattern. I’m Helen Bradley. Thank you for joining me for this video. Look out for more of my Lightroom, Photoshop and Illustrator tutorials on my YouTube channel.

Helen Bradley