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Computer ArtsTutorial

Instant op art

Use Illustrator's transform functions to create a stunning op art piece with a real sense of movement. Mark Mayers shows you how...

Optical art, or op art, is a genre of visual art that makes use of optical illusions. Op art is also known as geometric abstraction and hardedge abstraction, although the preferred term for it is perceptual abstraction. The best-known method is the creation of illusions through the use of pattern or line where the viewer is given the impression of movement such as hidden images, vibration or warping. All these techniques trick the eye into seeing three dimensions even though the image hitting the retina is only two dimensional. This tutorial pays homage to the English painter Bridget Riley, who is one of the foremost proponents of op art and evolved a style in which she explored the dynamic effects of optical art

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Follow this tutorial and discover how to create an op-art style illustration by using Illustrator's Transform functions on a simple circle. Also, by making the Reference Point locator your friend, you can create precision artwork every time. Finally, you'll use a Gradient fill to further the illusion of a third dimension.

You may wonder why we didn't use any of Illustrator's Envelope distort capabilities or even the Blend tool. The answer is simple: all of Illustrator's effects just couldn't achieve the look we were after, so it was back to using some of the program's more basic techniques.

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