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How to programmatically create this vector shape?

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kalle ounapuu
How to programmatically create this vector shape?
on Jul 2, 2010 at 9:07:48 pm

I have a cardboard cut-out of something I want to create.

http://38.99.165.179/kalle/vector.png

I've taken a picture and made a vector outline that I'm satisfied with.

http://38.99.165.179/kalle/vector2.png

Now to get those holes, there's a variety of ways to do it... but I want accuracy, so does anyone have a suggestion how to pull it off?

Methods to achieve the evenly spaced holes inside the piece?
1 - SLOPPY - Draw each segment by hand, using photo as a background reference.
2 - SLOPPY - Draw a rounded corner rectangle then duplicate/scale/edit it for each segment.
3 - SLOPPY - Bring prepared photo in and use Illustrator's LiveTrace feature to convert the shapes into vector. I tried, with variations. Have to tweak each individual segment after.
4 - PREFERRED - Somehow tell the computer to generate X number of objects along Y path, making them smaller and smaller.

Using Illustrator, Method 4 can ALMOST be done in a number of ways...
4a-Make a rounded corner rectangle, duplicate it off in a straight row, group them together, then use something like Warp.
4b-Make a rounded corner rectangle, duplicate it off in a straight row, group the together, then use 3d extrude & rotate and extract the results.
4c-Make a rounded corner rectangle, use Transform and replicate it X times and adjust horizontal/vertical positioning and scale.

I like 4c but still not close. How can I restrict it to be along a pre-determined path (an arc)? Like text-on-path tool, but with shapes, and scaling down progressively like a warp.

Anyone have any advice?

I need/want precision because this is a part that will be cut out of a CNC machine for something that'll be at a tradeshow.


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Vincent Rosati
Re: How to programmatically create this vector shape?
on Jul 2, 2010 at 9:54:46 pm

Maybe not the answer you're looking for, but to "tell the computer to generate X number of objects along Y path, making them smaller and smaller"

Create just the small and big objects and...
Object/Blend with Specified Steps, then Object/Blend/Replace Spine.
Use a 2-point path as the spine, with Bezier curves on both points.

Vince

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