Category Archives: Distort&Transform

Olive Branch Tutorial

Today I will show you how to make a simple Olive Branch Symbol. As I mentioned before, there are different ways to recreate a symbol but I’ll teach my own method first.

What You’ll Be Making:


  • Illustrator CS5
  • Transform Tool
  • Anchor Points
  • Strokes Profile


1. A. Make a new document and make a circle using the Ellipse Tool with a black stroke or with any color you want.

B. Make the stroke thicker if needed and choose Width Profile 1 (looks like a doulbe-covnex lens shape) from the default profiles.

NOTE: If you’re using different versions of Illustrator, use a long, thin triangle artbrush on a semi-circle.

2. A. Use the pen-tool to add two anchor-points on two sides (near the topmost anchor-point) of the circle (see picture for help).

B. Use the white arrow tool to select the topmost anchor-point and delete it. Your object should look like what you see below.

3. A. Draw somewhere else and away from the “stalk”.  Use the Ellipse Tool to draw a circle with some color fill and no stroke.

B. Use the white arrow to select the topmost anchor-point and move it up some significant distance.

4. A. When your selection is perfected, move up the texture layer above your working photograph layer. You will still see the dashed outline on top of all the layers.

B. With the anchor-point selected, click the button (that looks like a square with straight lines sticking out from its right and bottom side). This will convert the selected anchor-point to a “corner.”

5. With the leaf perfected, move it on the bottom of our “stalk.” Make sure to rotate it so it looks like it sticking out of the stalk. Copy this leaf onto the opposite side so it’s equidistant from the center of the stalk.

6. A. With one leaf selected, go to Effect>Distort and Transform>Transform… .

B. A window should show up. Input values and click preview to see what you’re doing. Adjust the scale (vertical and horizontal) so it’s less than 100%. Adjust the movement with a negative vertical value and a positive horizontal value. Adjust the rotation (positive value) as well. I recommend having 9 copies. Fine-tune the value to get an effect like you see below.

C. Transform the leaf on the other side as well. Switch the positive to negatives or vice versa if needed.

7. A. Go to Object>Expand appearance to expand all the leaves into individual objects.

B. You should see all the leaves having a blue outlining which indicates an editable object.

8. A. Add the same leaf shape above the original bottom leaf and rotate it so it looks like it sticks out of the stalk as well. Copy the leaf on the other side so it’s equidistant from the center of the stalk like last time.

B. Add a transformation effect to it as well. Adjust the values as needed.

C. Add a transformation effect to the other side as well. Adjust the values as needed.

D. Expand the appearance for these two transformations as well.

9. Finally add the same leaf shape to tips of the stalk shape. Add some color to it if you want.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and learned something new.

Poster Update

The math poster has been fix and finished. All I want though, for these past days, is to get them printed. But Skocko has failed me in this request but I am partly to blame too. I gave him the file on Tuesday yet he forgot to print it. The next day, he opened the  file to find non-outlined text (and a missing embedded image) and so he didn’t print it Wednesday. He didn’t print the poster on Thursday since he couldn’t find the file even though it was on his laptop. I doubt it will get printed today either and I want to have it up before this upcoming Tuesday since that is the day the Math Club will meet again.

Hopefully, the poster will turn out alright.

Also, I’ll put up my vectored pencil if anyone wants it. Download via

Shapes Tip

Sometimes your on Illustrator and you go to the Shape Tools and you want to use a shape other than rectangles, ellipses, hexagons, etc.

Program: Adobe Illustrator

Polygon Tool: Chances are, you’ve probably ignored this one till now. Click the Polygon Tool then click anywhere in your workspace to get an option box. Now you can choose any number for sides to make any shape you want. 3 for a triangle perhaps? Don’t fool around and choose 1 or 2 for sides cause that won’t work. The more sides, the more circular. 1000 is the max sides and it almost looks like a perfect circle.

Free Distort: (Located in Effect>Distort & Transform>Free Distort) Want to make an irregular shape or something like a trapezoid. Use Free Distort by moving the object’s anchor points around.

Pucker & Bloat: (Located under Free Distort) This can help make star or clover shapes. This distortion depends on the shape of the object your using. Square, circles, and triangles all have slight variances on their distortions.

Twist: (Effect>Distort&Transform>Twist) This is a cool distortion effect where the object is warped into a whirlpool-like shape.

Zig-Zag: (Effect>Distort&Transform>Twist) This will give you curvy or pointy zig-zag distortion. It can be tricky to get it to work right.

Examples: (Left to Right: Polygon, Free Distort, Pucker…, Twist, Zig-Zag)

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