This video shows a way to make what I want:


It starts from a big outline of capital letter T and a bunch of parallel lines:

enter image description here

The T is used only as a reference where to insert new nodes to the parallel lines. Every new node is inserted manually with the "Add Anchor Point"-tool. A part of the new nodes are dragged manually upwards and this shape is formed:

enter image description here

Adding points manually is not a big deal if the wanted result is this simple- only about 60 clicks. But it's a heck of work if the wanted pattern is something more complex than a simple letter.

I want to insert automatically new nodes to the parallel lines to every point where the reference curves (=T) and the lines cross. I need just the insertion of the nodes, not moving them. I move the nodes manually as the artwork needs.

NOTHING should be splitted to pieces, only new nodes should be inserted. Reference curves would be used as a guides when the generated nodes are moved manually. If the reference curves vanish, it's OK because I can paste them back to place or have a locked spare copy. But no splinters are wanted.

How to do it?

My own efforts:

I have tried to use Pathfinder operations to divide the parallel lines at the crossings, but it's not useful. Both the parallel lines and the reference curves are splitted to pieces or combined in an 100% useless way. I have not found any practical method to rejoin the pieces. Doing it manually and removing the pieces of the reference curves one by one is at least 200% more difficult than inserting the new nodes manually.

  • Make a zebrapattern in photoshop, displace trace remove ends turn fills into strokes. Or you could script the displacement. But also doing it manually does not take all that long either really depends on how many you need to do. Begger cant be chosers.
    – joojaa
    Commented Jan 6, 2022 at 8:26
  • thats scripts does the wawes and i need geometrical effect. I'm looking for solution for managing multiply points to join them after spitting (outline) possibly. I'm enclosing reference picture of Victor Vaserlly artwork.
    – Katar Zina
    Commented Jan 6, 2022 at 16:38

2 Answers 2


You can use Live Paint groups to add the wanted anchor points.

You need the wanted shape and the offset version as separate paths with a stroke, but no fill. The lines should just be plain lines with a stroke.

  • Select the lines and make them a Compound Path. (Ctrl / Cmd + 8)

  • Position the shapes as wanted on top of the lines.

  • Select the shapes and the lines and make them a Live Paint group. (Alt + Ctrl /Cmd + X)

  • Perform Object > Expand. Only tick Object. Press OK.

  • Ungroup twice. (Shift + Ctrl /Cmd + G × 2)

  • Select the shapes and delete them.

  • Select the lines with Direct Selection Tool to be able to see the anchor points and drag a selection through the lines you want to move. (Avoid selecting lines which lie inside the offset path since they only have two anchor points added and won't give the wanted effect.)

  • Move the lines with the mouse or keyboard.

If you use a very complex shape, this method will obviously require some manual work when selecting the lines to move.

  • Nice trick, i had noticed this but never used it for any benefit. Brilliant. To be honest pathfinder should just have a option of not expanding strokes.
    – joojaa
    Commented Jan 7, 2022 at 5:57
  • @joojaa, I must admit I pondered this question for hours before it suddenly hit me that live paint often leaves unwanted extra anchor points. 😄
    – Wolff
    Commented Jan 7, 2022 at 14:33
  • The Shape Builder also leaves those extra anchors when one cleans with it a gap between 2 lines. But in handiness it's quite far behind the Live Paint -trick. I guess that Inkscape user's would be glad if they also got something useful. They do not have Live Paint nor Shape Builder. And Affinity Designer users - they have even less.
    – user82991
    Commented Jan 7, 2022 at 23:48

I certainly understand a desire to have things like this more automated.. but then again, if everything can be done with a few menu choices and button clicks.. where's the craftsmanship? Some procedures merely require dedicated focus, that's what makes artists as opposed to merely mouse operators.

I suppose one could use Object > Path > Add Anchor Points repeatedly and then merely remove the unnecessary anchors afterwards ...

enter image description here

It's a tad faster and requires much less precision. Fairly straightforward for a single glyph. I can imagine this method may get unwieldy with a full word or phrase. And I'd probably split things to single glyphs then join the horizontals afterwards.

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