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Blend with specified distance is not acurrate

Explorer ,
Jun 18, 2020

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Hello fellas!!! Well my problem is very simple, I've attached an image about the problem but basically the blend feature does not allign to specified number I set it to. This is no problem for straight lines but I need to apply the same distance to lines that start straight and then take curves.

 

I understand the blend option needs 2 points to fill in between but is there a way to use it with only 1 point of reference so the distance is respected perfectly and I just adjust the line behind the circles? The second image shows the result I need, I understand is mathematically impossible to set the same distance when there are 2 extremes set, but I don't mind moving the end of one point to get the same distance.

 

Hope somebody knows.

 

Thanks in advance!

Dear fellas, thanks a lot for your assistance!


I've just figured that a 30 px distance on rounded paths makes it look so close to each other, so the best way is to use your tips with the dashed line stroke optically and then when the line gets straight I use the align feature with the required 30 px. Finally with your help I got the result I was aiming to.


Thanks again for taking to time to respond and help 🙂

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Blend with specified distance is not acurrate

Explorer ,
Jun 18, 2020

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Hello fellas!!! Well my problem is very simple, I've attached an image about the problem but basically the blend feature does not allign to specified number I set it to. This is no problem for straight lines but I need to apply the same distance to lines that start straight and then take curves.

 

I understand the blend option needs 2 points to fill in between but is there a way to use it with only 1 point of reference so the distance is respected perfectly and I just adjust the line behind the circles? The second image shows the result I need, I understand is mathematically impossible to set the same distance when there are 2 extremes set, but I don't mind moving the end of one point to get the same distance.

 

Hope somebody knows.

 

Thanks in advance!

Dear fellas, thanks a lot for your assistance!


I've just figured that a 30 px distance on rounded paths makes it look so close to each other, so the best way is to use your tips with the dashed line stroke optically and then when the line gets straight I use the align feature with the required 30 px. Finally with your help I got the result I was aiming to.


Thanks again for taking to time to respond and help 🙂

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Jun 18, 2020

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Piter,

 

It is difficult to see how you get such a great difference in your first screenshot, but based on the second (needed) appearance, you may use another approach, namely multiple strokes, more or less as folloews:

 

1) Create the path with a black Stroke and a Stroke Weight corresponding to the outer bounds;

2) In the Appearance palette flyout Add New Stroke and set the Stroke Weight to the width of the round white dots and set Round Cap, then apply Dashed Line with 1st Dash = 0 and 1st Gap = the desired distance (20 px); this ought to give you the white dots correctly;

3) In the Appearance palette flyout Add New Stroke and set the Stroke Weight to the width of the white lines and set Butt Cap, then apply Dashed Line with 1st Dash = 0 and 1st Gap = the distance between the dot centre and the line start/end and 2nd Dash = the length of the visible line and 2nd Gap = 1st Gap; 1st Gap + 2nd Dash + 2nd Gap = the desired distance (20 px); you can adjust to best fit, remember to keep 2nd Gap = 1st Gap.

 

With this you ought to get the desired appearance regardless of the length of the path, the error occurring at the end.

 

If you need a larger starting end as shown in the line.png, you can simply add a white dot on top of a black dot centred on the first dot/start of path.

 

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Explorer ,
Jun 18, 2020

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Hello Jacob,

 

Thanks a lot for your prompt response. I've tried your suggestion and it seemed a perfect solution at first, but I've verified and realized that again, the distance is not the correct one, please see the image below where red dots were alligned using the "align to key object" option and the distancing set to 20 px whereas the same distance was set in the gap section for the stroke, however there is a diference there:

 

Strokevsaligned.png

It appears that existing a beginning and end the strokes fill in between those extremes not matching the desired gap between them.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 18, 2020

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in addition to Jacob's answer: 
Lines with such hard turns are njt very good as the uniform-stepped blends, the distance more or less depends on curvqture/

So, you can use 2 ways.

1. By Appearance panel, the way described by Jacob

2. Create a pattern with a dash and a dot on a gray bg, something like this:

Anna_Lander_3-1592512522615.png

and a point for starting/ending:

Anna_Lander_4-1592512539995.png

Anna_Lander_5-1592512550241.png

Add them to Swatches and create a Pattern brush by Brushes panel:

Anna_Lander_6-1592512762069.png

make sure your details are consistent by their sizes.

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Explorer ,
Jun 18, 2020

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Hi Anna!

 

I will try your approach now cause I was playing with different gap numbers and if I set the spacing gap to 35 px I finally get my circles to be alligned by 30 px however, this changes for the circles over lines in 45º which reduce a bit not only the spacing but also the circle:

 

circles.png

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Jun 18, 2020

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Piter,

 

What happens if you select the path and then click the icon right above the 3rd Dash (Preserved exact dash and gap lengths) instead of the currently clicked icon right above the 3rd Gap (Align Dashes to Corners and Path Ends, Adjusting Length to Fit), see the following link for explanation)?

https://helpx.adobe.com/illustrator/using/stroke-object.html#create_dotted_or_dashed_lines

 

The latter currently clicked option corresponds closely to using a Blend, in this case trying to be too helpful, regulating what you need unregulated, thereby undoing your trying to get away from the overly adapted dashing.

 

In any case, Anna suggests a good way.

 

 

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Explorer ,
Jun 18, 2020

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Well, forgot to mention that I got the correct gap in straight lines by changing the option you mention Jacob, (also making the gap 25 px not 20) but the result is the one I showed before, the spacing and also the circle get a bit reduced for no particular reason on 45º lines. See this image, pink circles get to both extremes and try to get the closest to 20 px while white do respect 20 px distancing but only on straight lines.

 

I suppose this is the closest I will get but I will continue playing and see if there's other way around.

 

dots.png

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Explorer ,
Jun 19, 2020

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Anna,

 

How did you create the pattern? I've tried but having 3 parts I can only add 1 each time but the starting and ending created are not available to select on the drop down menus of the pop-up:

 

pattern.png

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 19, 2020

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each one must be a separate pattern. One for a path (gtrayed line with 2 dashes and 1 dot), one for the start, one for the end.

 

Wait a little, I'll create a short video

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 19, 2020

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Oops, sorry, the screen grabber did not take panels. So, here are the needed screenshots.

 

adding pattern to Swatch paneladding pattern to Swatch panelCreating a brushCreating a brush

Some moments:

1. Add the invisible rectangle under the gray BG to unify all the items heights.

2. When create the brush, select Add Space to Fit option to keep the path items length as 20 px. After drawing the line you will need to correct it a bit (slightly move the Start/End points) to close the gaps.

3. All sizes will be kept accurately if your line have a standard width 1 pt.

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Explorer ,
Jun 20, 2020

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Wow Anna, you are just a sweetheart! Thanks a lot for taking the time to record and upload a videos for this matter. I deeply appreciate your time and effort. Big clap for you 🙂

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 19, 2020

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With Pattern Brushes and various multiple Stroke options, I think you have some excellent solutions to your spacing problem. But I'd like to get back to the question as to why Align Spacing is so drastically different than Blend Spacing.

I believe the Blends are measuring the distance between the centers of the circles, while the Align to Key Object with Distribute Spacing is adding the space between the objects (the gap).

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Explorer ,
Jun 20, 2020

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Hi Jeff!

 

Well, they all seem perfect solutions on paper but they all have their downside. To respond your question about the spacing I've made a comparison between different solutions.

 

All circles are 15 x 15 px and should have a 50 px distance, this is only achieved by align to key object feature.

 

1) Align to key object is the best when it comes to straight lines, but I need to fill lines that go 45º and then go back to 90º.

2) Blend to specified distance is a complete mistery as the line is already set to fit all the circles with a 50 px distance however the space numbers are just nonsense.

3) Multiple strokes with exact dashes does measure from the circle centers but here the problem is that I need to be able to set the position of the first circle and here the circle is aligned to the bottom.

4) Multiple strokes aligned to corners is another nonsense as again, the line lenght is set for a 50 px distance.

 

Examples.png

 

Another VERY important thing to bear in mind here, is that I need to then separate the circles from the path as I need to align text to them (this is a tranportation map) and when I do that, circles just get unequal by thousandth of pixels and also get very distorted when transformed into a path. Just take a look at how many anchor points that circle has:

 

Circles.png

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Explorer ,
Jun 20, 2020

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Hi Jeff!

 

Well, they all seem perfect solutions on paper but they all have their downside. To respond your question about the spacing I've made a comparison between different solutions.

 

All circles are 15 x 15 px and should have a 50 px distance, this is only achieved by align to key object feature.

 

1) Align to key object is the best when it comes to straight lines, but I need to fill lines that go 45º and then go back to 90º.

2) Blend to specified distance is a complete mistery as the line is already set to fit all the circles with a 50 px distance however the space numbers are just nonsense.

3) Multiple strokes with exact dashes does measure from the circle centers but here the problem is that I need to be able to set the position of the first circle and here the circle is aligned to the bottom.

4) Multiple strokes aligned to corners is another nonsense as again, the line lenght is set for a 50 px distance.

 

Examples.png

 

Another VERY important thing to bear in mind here, is that I need to then separate the circles from the path as I need to align text to them (this is a tranportation map) and when I do that, circles just get unequal by thousandth of pixels and also get very distorted when transformed into a path. Just take a look at how many anchor points that circle has:

 

Circles.png

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Jun 20, 2020

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Piter,

 

3) Multiple strokes with exact dashes does measure from the circle centers but here the problem is that I need to be able to set the position of the first circle and here the circle is aligned to the bottom.

 

As I (mis)understand it, your path starts at the bottom so the first circle is at the the bottom start Achor Point.

 

If you wish to have it at the top, after deselecting you can just Click that bottom start Achor Point (with the first circle) with the Pen Tool: that will turn it into the end Anchor Point, reversing the path.

 

 

Obviously, when switching between different ways you need to adapt the distance; with the 1) Align to key object you measure Spacing, with the dashes you measure Distance (centre to centre/same side to same side), to use Align palette speak.

 

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 20, 2020

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Not sure I'm totally inderestanding exactly what you're trying to do (with beginning points), but I'll give this a shot anyway.

 

I think your best bet is multiple stokes on the same path.

 

If you check out my screenshot below, the red rectangles are 20 px wide to show the distance between the circles.

 

Circles.png

The circles are 5 px as in your examples.

 

The distance betwween the circles, I made 25 px to account for the width of the circles. Because the circles are really a Dash of 0 px with Round Caps, you have to add the width of the circle to make the Gap 20.

 

Make sure to Preserve Exact Gap and Dashes in the Stroke. Aligning to Corners screws everything up.

 

There's nothing unusual about the two other Strokes in the Appearance panel, except I added a Projecting Cap to the thick black bottom Stroke to make sure the line does not start with half a circle.

 

After you have this set up, save the Appearance as a Graphic Style and apply it wherever you need it.

 

Hope this helps!

 

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