How to Use: Advanced Transforms


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A powerful new feature of Concepts 4.2 is the ability to transform an object. Beyond changing tool, color, size, rotation or opacity, in the spirit of villainy you can now Warp, Scale, Skew and Distort. With these Advanced Transforms, you can turn a human into a beast, or a landscape into a work of art. Here’s how they work, and how you can use them to tweak and transform your work.

Advanced Transforms work within Concepts’ Adjust Mode. Select an item with a tap-and-hold, several items via lassoing, or drop an object into your drawing from the object library, and the object(s) are ready to adjust.

The first thing to notice is the new menu hovering above your selection. It includes a paperclip to copy items to your clipboard, a duplication button, a waste bin for deleting, and two new buttons, Rotate and Stretch/Scale. Previously, these last two options were part of the HUD menu, but since they directly impact your workflow, they are now at object level.

Rotate works how you think it would. Touch the Rotate button and use two fingers to twist.

Stretch has an additional component. Tap it once and you can stretch your object in the traditional ways — bigger, longer, smaller etc…

Tap it again, and the two opposing arrows on the button will change to have a dot in the middle. This is Scale. Not only will your object change size, but the weight of your object will change size — line weights will thicken or thin, scaling accordingly.

This is handy for resizing sketches that use multiple tool types, like pencil and eraser. They’ll now retain the same dimensions as your original drawing.

Tap the Stretch button once more and it deactivates.

The second difference to notice are the new corners. They now have little circular handles on them. These handles are the hub of your evil villainy — they allow you to Distort, Skew and Warp.

If you tap one corner, you can pull the corner up and around, and your object will pull with it. This is Distort. It’s really fun, it makes you feel like cackling… like you’re putting them on a rack or levitating them. Your poor, innocent sketch.

Try it with each corner. Tap a handle again to deselect.

To Skew, tap two corners at once and use one finger to pull the entire side along.

Tap the diagonals and those corners will interact with each other, leaving the unselected corners where they were.

With the two corners still activated, use two fingers to either pinch or expand your selection for Perspective Warp. This makes your drawing act like the Star Wars credits.

You can use it to do all sorts of great things, like turn this basic aerial landscape plan…

… into an elevation. Add some trees and show off a working view. With the same approach, try making an architectural blueprint into a home decor design, or building up a vehicle sketch, roadmap or anatomy illustration.

Once your transformations are complete, tap the object and the corners will deactivate. Tap again to exit Adjust Mode.

Advanced Transforms can change your drawing in fundamental ways. If you have warped, skewed or distorted your sketch beyond your recognition or liking, remember that Unlimited Undo (and Redo) can be your friend. Or, you can double-tap the selection to reset the transforms. Another handy trick is to duplicate your original drawing from the Gallery and experiment to find the look you want, before applying it permanently to your design.

For evil or good, enjoy your new superpowers! Any questions, watch the video or ask in the comments, and please share your work! We can’t wait to see what masterpieces you create.

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Written by Erica Christensen — writer, illustrator and Creative Director at TopHatch.

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