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Illustrator: how to reproduce font line art


Question

I am interested to find a proper way of reproducing the below font line art example. enter image description here

What I've tried: Using the Type tool, I've created the letter "S", right click >create outlines (I guess that creating a middle letter path will be better but not so sure how). After that, I've used Stroke >Dashed Line option, choosing the following values:

enter image description here

At this point I'm not so sure if I am going into the right direction because the result it's not looking close enough to the model. There are some angles applied on the dashed lines and more than one layer(?);

Any thoughts?

2016/03/19
1
10
3/19/2016 7:20:00 PM

Accepted Answer

Using blend is the way to go. Blends over complex curves aren't easy to control though—you end up with something like this:

enter image description here

An easier way is to create your blend on a straight path and create an art brush form your blend. Controlling blends with varying strokes also isn't easy so I would suggest using 2 separate blends.

Create your first blend:

enter image description here

Duplicate the blend, decrease the stroke width and rotate 180°:

enter image description here

You can edit the paths to create the angled joins. Just select the overlapping end point (if they aren't already in the same position—move them so that they are) and move them to get your desired result:

enter image description here

enter image description here

The S shape is significantly longer than the blend we've just created so simply move the paths on one end across—make sure your blends were created with a specified distance (not steps) otherwise you will have to increase the number of steps:

enter image description here

Create an art brush from your blends. You can do this by selecting the blends and dragging them to the brushes palette and selecting Art Brush from the New Brush dialog.

enter image description here

Get the center line of your S shape. I did this by quickly drawing a path over an S character, but you may be able to use a negative Offset Path to get a more accurate path.

enter image description here

If your shape has a consistent width or stroke weight using a negative Offset Path will get you the center line easily enough.

(Object → Path → Offset Path...)

enter image description here

In the case of an uneven stroke weight you can repeat the offset path command a number of times to build a guide to draw your center line.

enter image description here

An easier way is to again use a Blend. Remove the closing segments of the path at both ends and ungroup or release compound path so that you have to distinct paths and create a blend with 1 step. This should give you the center line (You may need to create the blend in segments for more complicated shapes if the blend fails).

You can find more techniques for finding the center line in this post: Technique for finding the centerline of a curved object?

enter image description here

Apply your art brush to the path:

enter image description here

This isn't perfect but you can easily go back and adjust your blends or the S shape to get a better result.

2017/04/13
11
4/13/2017 12:46:00 PM