Hi there, and thanks for reading this!
Basically, I need to figure out how to rotate an ellipse about a line, instead of its central point. What I'm trying to do is create illustrations like this:
I've attempted it by duplicating the initial ellipse (such as the grey one above), and then using a combination of rotate and skew, but that turns out to be a frustrating excercise in futility. Anyone have any suggestions? Is there a way to do this without a billion workaround steps? Also, if a solution exists and is easier in Photoshop, that would work as well.
(Example image grabbed randomly from Google images.)
That diagram can be done in InDesign, but really really... this is a job for Illustrator, with much more powerful vector art tools. Photoshop is not the right tool, either way.
To be honest, though, those two ellipses look identical to me, simply pivoted on a central point. Have you tried that instead of assuming a more complex tranformation is needed?
That's the same ellipse, rotated on its center.
I DID just assume a more complex transform was involved, the result of overthinking the situation. But you are correct... that's actually all that's required, if the orbital ellipse is the same as the equatorial ellipse. Some of the required orbits have longer major axes or different eccentricities, and not all intercept the equatorial plane along their minor axes, but that I may be able to do in the same way.
Thank you for the insight!
In InDesign, the center of rotation is controlled by the proxy. You set the reference point, and then initiate the rotation.
You said Photoshop was an option, but what about Illustrator? You have a lot more controls in Illustrator, including setting the center of rotation wherever you like by clicking with the Rotate tool.
I do have Illustrator, and will try your ideas out there. I have the least experience with illustrator, so my mind didn't go there right away.
Rotate an object with the Rotate tool in Illustrator
You can click and hold on the Type tool to reveal the type on path tool
Copy your 'satelite'
And type on the path of the orbit
And paste your satelite
You'll now have an anchored object
Object>Type On path
Type On path options
Click back into your Path and Select All (to select satelite)
Use the Text Alignment to Center the text
Top right of screenshot
Now you can grab that little blue handle and drag it around the orbit - as free as you like
That's pretty cool.