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How can I simply draw this shape?

Is it possible to draw such shapes alternatively behind and front?


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up vote 12 down vote accepted

If you want to make that with just two woven lines throughout, then no it's not possible. However, this object is very symmetrical, so we can take full advantage of that.

To start, you should identify the simplest repeating object:

Illustrator screenshot: base object

In order to make the stroke overlap itself, we can use the Scissors tool to make a cut on the loop so that it now consists of two strokes:

Illustrator screenshot: base object with overlap

Now to take advantage of the symmetry. To make this shape repeat, we can apply a rotational transform effect using Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform... on Layer 2. Since the center of our two paths is not the center of the finished product that we want, we must add an empty shape to Layer 2 to offset the center for the transform.

Illustrator screenshot: Transform Effect dialog

You can see the empty shape used to offset the center in the screenshot below:

Illustrator screenshot: rotation transform applied

This almost gives us our finished product, but one of the strokes in the original artwork does not overlap properly

error in artwork

To compensate for this, I'd add another stroke to the original artwork. There might be a better way of correcting this, but I'm not aware of it.

Illustrator screenshot: minor addition

And that should do it for you:

finished product enter image description here

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Actually, I think I would simply use Illustrators trace options. Fiddle with the options, and you should get a decent result.

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