I’m attempting in Illustrator to generate a series of images with 6 elements and to maintain their proportions along straight and curved paths.

I have a path that represents a segment of an ellipse, and I’ve retrieved the length of the curved path from Document Info and calculated the length of each element in proportion to the length of the curved path.

I’ve entered the scale in % and the shifts in points in the Effect Transform for each stroke and entered a custom profile for each stroke.

Where can I control the slope of the strokes?

Or how can I constrain the slope of each stroke to equal the slope of the path?

I’m using CS6.

Thanks for your help.

enter image description here

  • 1
    I don't really understand the purpose of construction via transform effects. Is there some reason you can't merely create paths? Or expand appearance after you've transformed? With the transformation I don't think you are maintaining any direct relation to the original path length or curve. Is it simply you are trying to create something using only the Appearance Panel? If so, you may be expecting too much precision.
    – Scott
    Oct 23, 2020 at 21:11
  • It is possible to merely use the Appearance Panel as a constructor. However, maintaining uniformity can be very challenging. In addition, altering the stroke weight is going to alter the profile assigned to the stroke.
    – Scott
    Oct 23, 2020 at 21:14

2 Answers 2


I guess your shape disintegrates as soon as your path is curved.

As a workaround make a horizontal shape and define it to be an art brush; drag it to the brushes panel to get the dialog opened:

enter image description here

Here it's applied to a vertical arc:

enter image description here

  • Thanks! This was helpful. I was able to use the Art Brush solution to get a result much closer to what I intended. I applied the brush stroke to the ellipse path segment, and proportions and arc were maintained. See attached. Thanks again.
    – Rip
    Oct 30, 2020 at 21:29

It seems you are using the transform effect to re-size and move each added stroke (It would be nice to see a screenshot of your transform effect panel).

It looks like you have decreased the vertical scale far more than the horizontal scale on your added strokes.

The only way to keep the slope (or angle) of your strokes the same as the original path is to make the horizontal and the vertical scale number the same percentage. Otherwise you are mis-shaping your original path (squashing it) and therefore changing the slope.

Then you can use the "move" section of the panel to move your new strokes and also "rotate" them for your desired placement and separation.

I agree with @Scott's comment that it is an unusual way to construct something. Perhaps you want to create a "base" setup and then be able to copy this appearance to many different paths ?

  • Thanks! This was helpul. The scale in Transform Effect was changing the arc of the strokes. I expected Illustrator to calculate the scale relative to the path, but it appears to be scaling relative to the bounding box. When I applied the same horiziontal and vertical scale, the arcs were much closer to that of the path, but the widths of the strokes were decreased in addition to their lengths.
    – Rip
    Oct 30, 2020 at 21:22
  • In the Transform Effects dialog un-tick the Scale Strokes and Effects box- that should do it.
    – Kyle
    Oct 30, 2020 at 22:54

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