Infuse your work with a high-tech, yet organic look by learning how
to make this relatively easy shape. By learning how to create the shape
in this tutorial, you can go on to create illustrations like this; with
the help of some Photoshop filters.
1. Create four circles with the ellipse tool
Create four circles, spaced evenly apart both vercially and horizontally.
Try not to space them too far apart; a 1/4 inch would be the maximum.
Take advantage of the ALIGN palette (WINDOW > SHOW ALIGN), if necessary,
to help you get the spacing just right. It's best to work with stroked
circles rather than filled shapes.
Before going further, and to save yourself some trouble, copy one of
the circles and put it on a different layer for later use with your completed
2. Delete path sections
For the top-left and lower-right circles, I used the Direct Selection
tool to delete the greyed-out portions of the circles. The remaining arcs
will serve as the join paths for the two circles.
3. Shape & position the arcs
With the selection tool, select the arcs and add anchor points (OBJECT
> PATH > ADD ANCHOR POINTS). This will add one anchor point to the
middle of each arc path. With the middle anchor point selected on one
of the arcs (example shows the lower-right arc), use your arrow keys and
press UP then LEFT three times. Repeat the process for the other arc (using
DOWN then RIGHT). The result is a tighter arc to work with.
4. Position arcs
Now that we've shaped the arcs, we need to move them into position so
that we can join them with the two circles. To do this, I relied on the
arrow keys again. Using the Selection Tool, I selected the lower-right
arc, and pressed UP then LEFT three times and repeated the process for
the other arc (using DOWN then RIGHT). Note in the example below that
the lines I've moved are not directly on top of the circles. Fear not,
we'll get to that shortly.
5. Delete paths on circles
For the two remaining circles, we need to delete part of the path on
each. With the Direct Selection tool, I selected the part of each circle
that comes between our two arc paths. In the image below, I've deleted
one path already and show the other path in black that I'm about to delete.
6. Average and join points
We now need to overlap our anchor/endpoints from the arcs and circles.
Using the trusty Direct Selection tool, select an endpoint on an arc and
the closest endpoint on the circle and use the AVERAGE command (OBJECT
> PATH > AVERAGE). Select BOTH when asked for the AXIS from the
AVERAGE command. Since the averaged anchorpoints are still selected, let's
join them using the JOIN command (OBJECT > PATH > JOIN) and choose
SMOOTH when asked to join the points. Repeat these steps for the remaining
7. Remove outline; fill your blob
Your last step is voluntary. You can either remove the stroke and fill
your shape or leave the stroke on and do what you wish. You can also bring
back your circle from Step 1 and reverse your shape for all sorts of wackiness.