A Good Example
It's good to have a critical eye when scrutinizing your vector work as you build to ensure you're avoiding the telltale signs of problematic anchor points and the Bézier curves they control.
But one could argue that it's more important to recognize good anchor point characteristics. As your eye develops, you'll be able to look at any vector graphic and pinpoint either the good or bad characteristics of its anchor points and curves.
I should point out that the design shown in Figures 4.9 and 4.10 took me about eight hours to build. I had to rebuild several shapes a few times before I dialed in the vector art precisely. I mention this because it would be easy for me to say that if you follow my process, everything will be easy and work the first time. That isn't true.
Figure 4.9 This complex vector ornament design doesn't contain any straight lines. It completely depends on precisely built Bézier curves created from smooth and corner anchor points. You won't find any of this design's content on the "no-fly list."
Figure 4.10 Final vector artwork I created for a die-hard Mac fanboy who loves his Apple iPad so much that he hired me to design this custom ornament, which he'll have etched onto the back of it.
What is true about my process is that it is a process. Part of that process is recognizing the good and bad characteristics in your own art and in the art of others. While creating this design I had to remind myself of The Clockwork Method (or TCM, a very handy method we'll introduce in Chapter 5). I wasn't following it, and my shapes were looking wonky.
Thank God for Command\Control-Z
Even using this systematic approach for building vector graphics, not every piece of vector artwork you create will be perfect. I still make mistakes every day. Placing anchor points and manipulating handles takes some trial and error.
The ultimate goal of this book is to dramatically reduce your potential for making vector mistakes, help you to recognize when something isn't right, and show you how to fix problems quickly so you can continue building your designs. So when in doubt, Command-Z (or Control-Z) can be your best form of creative accountability.