Vector Studio 2.0 : Direction Handler Tools

(1) Direction Handler (2) Horizontal Symmetry (3) Vertical Symmetry (4) Quad Symmetry (5) Cross Insertion Tools

Did you ever want to move more than one tangent handle at the same time? If so, Direction Handler is a solution for you and much more! The Direction Handler Tools are useful for performing path editing operations on multiple direction points and anchor points simultaneously. This animation shows how Direction Handler can be used to edit multiple tangent handles in an Illustrator envelope. Direction handler also works with paths, compound objects, and gradient meshes. To edit multiple tangent points you first mark the points you wish to move (in the animation marked points show up as dark blue circles). When you are done marking simply grab a marked point and move it around; the rest of the marked points will follow along.

Not only can you work with multiple points, but Direction Handler also provides a mechanism for establishing relationships among direction and anchor points across an axis of symmetry. In this example, a vertical symmetry constraint is placed along the spine of the book illustration. With this constraint in place, points on opposite sides of the axis mirror their movement; in this case moving towards the axis. The axis, by default, is centered about the selection. However, you can manually move the axis to your desired location simply by dragging the axis (the small square on the axis), or by typing in the new location through the tool's options dialog. Direction Handler includes a Vertical Symmetry Tool, a Horizontal Symmetry Tool and a Quad Symmetry tool. All of these tools can operate on multiple objects at the same time.

To further streamline the editing of symmetric artwork, Direction Handler includes facilities for cross marking and cross insertion of control points. Simply mark a point on one side of the axis and the corresponding point across the axis is marked simultaneously. Similarly, with the Cross Selection tool you can insert a control point and have a control point in the mirror position across an axis inserted automatically. The Direction Handler tools also support a marquee marking method, which allows you to mark multiple points all at once.

Direction Handler is tightly integrated into Illustrator's working environment, residing in the same toolset as Illustrator's Direct Selection tool, as seen in the Quickstart Guide, The plug-in also comes with a hot key (Shift-A) so that you can quickly toggle among Illustrator's built-in tools and Direction Handler 's tools. As with all of the Vector Studio 2.0 tools, Direction Handler integrates Smart Guides and Snap to Grid features, giving you better control and precision in editing your designs. To make the tools even more useful, all of our tools come with shortcut keys so you can spend more time with your design and less time changing controls.

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