scale diagrams in Adobe Illustrator
Thursday, May 1 2014
It was a beautiful, mostly-sunny day, with temperatures peaking in the upper 70s. It shouldn't be a surprise to learn that this is my favorite kind of weather, particularly at this time of year when buds are bursting with fresh green leaves that have yet to be chewed full of holes or covered with dust. Normally those buds would be more advanced and greenery would already have appeared, but the cold winter has set back Spring by a week or two this year, and buds are only just beginning to burst.
It seemed like a good time to do some garden activities, so I used a garden fork to till the main garden plot, and then I broadcast seeds from a variety of Brassicas into the exposed soil. I also planted a line of sunflowers along that plot's northern edge (as I do every year). Over in the garden area between the tomato patches, I planted two different varieties of lettuce. I'll have to see how well they do in section whose soil is comprised of only two materials: wood ashes and humanure.
This afternoon I began work on creating a scale illustration of the west elevation of the laboratory and solar decks so as to provide the structural engineer with data to work with. Ideally, I would have used a program like Autocad to place the rafters, beams, posts, and other structural items in the diagram. But the I couldn't get the copy of Auotocad I'd downloaded from Bittorrent to work (and it seemed much more complicated than what I needed). All I wanted was a way to reliably-draw rectangles of a given size. But then I discovered that Adobe Illustrator (I'm using CS6) has a little popup window that appears when one is drawing a rectangle that shows its size in "points" (whatever that is). If I got to a certain zoom level, I could have those points correspond to inches and create perfectly-sized rectangles in my scale diagram. The resulting diagram was a bit small, but I could always scale it up to a bigger size later. Though Adobe Illustrator was a great help, the going was still slow; I kept having to climb out on the decks to take measurements I'd somehow neglected to take.
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