Illustrator improved upon one of the greatest assests in Illustrator with the new CS3, the Dashed Line Tool.
I use the dash line tool so much it appears on almost every one of my pages, especially those with tech, or set in a sci-fi setting. Whenever I need to make interesting computer displays or GUI (Graphic User Interface) I make a bunch of random lines in the horizontal and the vertical way, and then I apply the dash line tool to some of these, randoming the settings in the Dash Line box. I make lines with small gaps and long lines, and long gaps and small lines, and all sorts of random goodness.
When I have something extremely cool looking with dashes and gaps, I go in on a Layer above that and create a few more random dashed lines in white to break up the randomness even more.
Once I have all that foolishness in hand, I ground it and then draw a box around it like a computer screen and place it on whatever open computer wall I have drawn on my page, and i use the Free Transform tool to stretch that yummy goodness into perspective to line-up with the “monitor” I have drawn.
NOW-this problem has come up before, ( I talked to Adobe about fixing this, and they finally did in CS3), the dash lines will not look right in perspective because they keep the horizontal and vertical line around the dashes that were right when I made them. AND THERE IS NO WAY AROUND THIS IN ANY VERSION PRIOR TO ILLUSTRATOR CS3! You can’t fix it by expanding or making outlines or nothin’!
But IN CS3 you select your dash line and presto, hit OBJECT>EXPAND and through the magic of little pixels Illustrator makes each dash you have created their very own individual item. You can now UNGROUP them if you wish, and delete one or two, or make some bigger, or smaller, OR THE BEST THING OF ALL, you can now use the FREE TRANSFORM tool to distort these items into perspective and it will look correct!!!
I’ll post another entry tomorrow with a bunch of examples of where I did this in Iron Man and it was wrong, and how I got around it in Illustrator 10. I’ll put up some version done in CS3 so you can see how cool this tool really is.
Try it on your own right now, and I’ll see you tomorrow!