What you're looking at here is a zoom-in of a custom drop shadow I've created in Illustrator CC for some text. The foreground text is hidden.
Since I'm ultimately going for a hand-painted effect on the 'shadow' I can't have obvious sharp corners, I want to soften the corners, but only certain corners so that the foreground shape still touches the shadow correctly on the necessary vertices.
I've tried a number of things, including using some combination of offsets and strokes which did give me nice corners but the overall size of my shape would change (and I didn't have control of which corners to affect, though I could conceivably work around that by layering in pieces of the original shape to restore certain corners).
I've also tried the following techniques that haven't worked out:
Convert anchor to smooth:
Well that's not what I'm after.
Round corners effect:
That's too goofy, even if I split up the shape.
A total non-starter there. It will let me push the whole side out to a point, or severely round off an entire side, but not the subtle softening of the corner that I want.
Finally I came up with a semi-tedious technique of creating a circle (the green shape) and pushing it up against the corners I want to soften, and then hitting pathfinder -> divide. This would give me the paths I need to work with to solve this.
In theory this should work... the shape of the bottom-left of that circle follows the sort of path I would like to have, but I can't seem to align the circle correctly to the edges of the shape to create those new anchor points. As you can see in that screenshot; I don't receive any registration marks to hint at where to drop the circle. I've tried to carefully place the circle at a high level of zoom and totally miss that intersection each time or overshoot it and I'm not happy with the result.
So my question is either: - How can I make that last technique work reliably? or - Is there another way to easily soften those select few corners in a nice consistent manner?