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I'm trying to find a better way of working with parallel lines and monolines. I had to create recently an infinity symbol (see attached). Working with Symbols wasn't going to help. If I could wrap my head around it, I probably could have "gridded" it with circles. In the end what I did was to create a custom vector brush of three lines (see graphic), and try to work with that. But it wasn't easy or optimal. Corners were tough (see graphic) and I couldn't really get the shape I wanted because of that. But the main issue is that a custom vector brush is basically made from a raster image, then repeated or stretched. First, it cannot be expanded. Second, the output is not pure vector. So in effect, it's pretty useless to me. What I'm left with is basically a decent graphic within AD that I can export at high resolution and then vectorise using Ai or VectorMagic. As these traces are always problematic, I'd then have to place the vectorised content over my original, lower the opacity, and manually go node by node. Human/eye error would surely be noticeable in the end.

 

So is there a better way of doing this? "Basic" vector brushes output vector only content, but there is no Basic brush that has three lines (or more, or less), which is a shame, because that would be great.

 

Anyone have any better ideas?

 

I like intricate parallel lines a lot, and I'd like to do more with them, but I need to find a better method.

post-17378-0-94218500-1480175010_thumb.jpg

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Umm, yeah, I still don't quite have a grasp on building vector brushes, and have had similar results.

 

However, there is a pretty easy way to get something close to what you want.

 

I used the tear shape tool, default setting. Fill, none, stroke 10 pt. Copied, pasted and flipped. Moved to make an upright 8. Duplicated the original and scaled it up till it looked about right. Duplicated & flipped as above. Repeated making a set of smaller tears.

 

post-34886-0-44104300-1480183245_thumb.jpg

 

Then I started boolean adds for the pairs.

 

post-34886-0-59611800-1480183287_thumb.jpg

 

Continued till I had 3 curves.

 

post-34886-0-20005200-1480183344_thumb.jpg

 

Drew a black rectangle. Changed the stroke to white, and placed it over the rectangle. Rotated the "8s". Realized the strokes were not quite a smooth as they should be, and so tweaked some node positions.

 

Next, the fussy part, hand drew in the shadow shapes. 

 

post-34886-0-70908100-1480183541_thumb.jpg

 

The results not quite what you showed. I suppose the tear shape needed to be altered a little at the start.  But the method seems workable.

 

Total time, with fumbling, about 45 min. I'm supposing I might be able to get that down to 1/2 hr. or less.


iMac 27" Retina, c. 2015: OS X 10.11.5: 3.3 GHz I c-5: 32 Gb,  AMD Radeon R9 M290 2048 Mb

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Thank you @gdenby. I appreciate your effort, and indeed this would be a path for that particular symbol. But my infinity symbol was only intended as an example. What I want to able to do are all kinds of shapes and forms using three or four parallel lines, ideally using the pen tool, so I'm not restricted in terms of geometry.

 

The image I used to create the custom vector brush was created in AD. It's kinda odd that the path is to export to .png and import as the "vector" brush. In reality, it's not a vector brush, just as the textured brushes that AD comes with are not vector. Try to export, you get rasterised content. This is of no use to me.

 

Anything perfect, like a perfect circle or perfect square can be resized to keep equal proportions, but not irregular shapes.

 

It would still seem the only way is to use a custom vector brush. But not being able to expand it makes it difficult to then get a single line correspond to each of the three times (for example) without doing it by hand/eye, which is never perfect.

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