After an engaging exchange on Twitter with illustrators: Garth Bruner and Von “Vonster” Glitschka, who are constantly Twittering about their frustrations with being forced to switch from Freehand to Illustrator after Adobe’s acquisition of Macromedia, things reached the point where all involved thought that we need a way to band together and get some feature requests implemented in the next version of Adobe Illustrator.
Adobe Illustrator pluginÂ Phantasm CSÂ offers in-line embedded image editing, color checking and separations, duotones and vector halftones, filters and live effects color adjustment. Looks like a pretty great plugin for Illustrator users who do a lot of bitmap image placing.
Personally I do any layout work in InDesign, and not much of my work requires having bitmap images in the Illustrator file outside of placing a template for tracing. However, the halftone and separation features look like they might be really handy.Â
If you are like me and you are wondering why in the world Adobe decided to eliminate the previous functionality of the Paint Bucket tool in Illustrator CS3 with the introduction of the new ‘Live Paint Bucket’ tool, fear not — a solution is at hand.
A plugin that I always forget to tout, since the functionality it provides seems so intrinsic to Illustrator once it’s installed, I forget it’s a third-party enhancement.
Select Menu for Adobe Illustrator (Mac and Windows, free) from Graffix Software is available for every version of Illustrator from 8 on up to CS3. It adds additional selectable items under the Select -> Objects menu.
This plugin really comes in handy at the production stage of prepping your art, allowing you to find all sorts of items that you need to preflight. It especially comes in handy after flattening transparency, such as when you export art to an older version of Illustrator. I find lots of klunky and open paths all over the place after flattening transparency, and I couldn’t imagine how much of a pain in the neck it would be to clean up art without Select Menu.
Just saw this over at design blog BittBox: when drawing with the Shape tools in Illustrator (rectangle, circle etc.), holding the tilde key (the squiggle key to the left of the 1 key on U.S. keyboards) and then dragging the mouse will result in lots of duplicates of the shape following the trail of your mouse pointer.
I recently updated my cartoon illustration portfolio site with some recent illustration work. The sexy cartoon businesswoman mom was one of my more favorite recent projects. The client needed a hip & hot mom for a project involving helping moms use the internet to make some extra cash.
A recent project, “Major Change” was developed for a Canadian client looking for a cartoon character mascot for a promotional campaign. Interestingly enough although it was a Canadian client, they preferred to go with a United States military officer for the iconic quality. Kind of a bummer to think that when people think “military”, they think “United States”. I guess for some people that’s a positive thing. And before this post gets too political…
For some reason I had it in my mind from the initial discussions that somehow the character was to be a gruff bulldog chomping on a cigar, General Patton-style. The cigar remained, but I was set straight on the proper direction early on. Another reason to make sure you have plenty of dialog with your client before starting projects.
A great quick tip, from the excellent design blog BittBox, to create a color group of all the colors in an Illustrator document: Select all the art in your document, go to the Swatches fly-out menu and choose “New color group” – you now have a color group folder of all the colors in the artwork. Very cool!
Since color groups are a CS3 feature, this tip is Illustrator CS3 only.
A cartoon illustration & design project for a friend’s party required the resulting art to be suitable for reproduction on a photocopy machine. After some trial, error, Google search, trial, error, Google search, trial, error I discovered the magic combo that allows you to create a halftone in Photoshop for an image and print it out on your inkjet printer so the art will be perfect for photocopying.
This technique is perfect for flyers, newsletters or any other short-run printing needs you have where the cheapness of a photocopy is desired, but so are grayscale images.