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Illustrator CS5 New Features
Illustration by John Hersey

Applying resolution-independent raster effects


From:

Illustrator CS5 New Features

with Mordy Golding

Video: Applying resolution-independent raster effects

Illustrator offers a wealth of special effects that you can apply to artwork and many of those are Raster-based. You can find these in the Effect menu, and in addition to the Illustrator effects, you will find a whole range of Photoshop effects. Some of these are commonly used. For example, the Gaussian Blur effect. However, it's important to realize that these Raster-based effects are tied to a specific resolution. That resolution is found here in the Document Raster Effects Settings. When you create new documents using the Print Profile in Illustrator, your Document Raster Effects Settings are set to a default of 300 pixels per inch, as you see here.
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  1. 9m 0s
    1. Welcome
      1m 21s
    2. Comparing Illustrator CS4 and Illustrator CS5
      7m 39s
  2. 27m 2s
    1. Defining perspective grids
      7m 48s
    2. Drawing artwork in perspective
      8m 46s
    3. Mapping flat artwork to perspective grids
      10m 28s
  3. 15m 36s
    1. Creating variable-width strokes
      4m 26s
    2. Using variable-width profiles
      4m 26s
    3. Creating perfect dashed lines
      3m 30s
    4. Easily adding arrowheads to strokes
      3m 14s
  4. 16m 8s
    1. Simulating real brush strokes with the Bristle brush
      11m 46s
    2. Using enhanced art and pattern brushes
      2m 55s
    3. Applying variable-width settings to brushstrokes
      1m 27s
  5. 12m 10s
    1. Drawing Behind and Draw Inside Drawing modes
      4m 17s
    2. Creating complex art easily with the Shape Builder tool
      6m 5s
    3. Easily joining multiple paths
      1m 48s
  6. 11m 25s
    1. Working with symbols more easily
      6m 56s
    2. Using 9-slice scaling options with symbols
      4m 29s
  7. 7m 55s
    1. Using the new Artboards panel
      4m 13s
    2. Setting individual artboard rulers
      2m 35s
    3. Printing artboards more easily
      1m 7s
  8. 11m 47s
    1. Creating pixel-perfect web graphics
      3m 43s
    2. Creating crisp readable text for the web
      1m 58s
    3. Quickly exporting individual slices
      1m 50s
    4. Integrating with Adobe Flash Catalyst
      4m 16s
  9. 10m 11s
    1. Select artwork through other objects
      2m 36s
    2. Using new paste commands
      1m 57s
    3. Applying resolution-independent raster effects
      2m 55s
    4. Specifying transparency within gradient mesh
      1m 8s
    5. Creating editable trim marks
      1m 35s
  10. 17s
    1. Goodbye
      17s

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Illustrator CS5 New Features
2h 1m Intermediate Apr 12, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In Illustrator CS5 New Features, author Mordy Golding discusses noteworthy features and improvements in the latest upgrade of Adobe's vector graphics editor and drawing program. This course includes overviews of perspective drawing, expressive bristle brushes, and variable-width strokes, as well as anti-aliasing features for web design, a new Artboards panel, improvements to symbols and drawing modes, and integration with Adobe Flash Catalyst. Exercise files are included with the course.

Topics include:
  • Creating complex art from basic shapes with the Shape Builder tool
  • Transforming flat artwork using perspective grids and vanishing points
  • Creating variable-width strokes
  • Controlling dashed line length, corners, and gaps
  • Creating original brushes using the Brushes panel
  • Adding arrowheads to strokes
  • Creating web-ready graphics, text, and slices
  • Integrating with Flash Catalyst
Subject:
Design
Software:
Illustrator
Author:
Mordy Golding

Applying resolution-independent raster effects

Illustrator offers a wealth of special effects that you can apply to artwork and many of those are Raster-based. You can find these in the Effect menu, and in addition to the Illustrator effects, you will find a whole range of Photoshop effects. Some of these are commonly used. For example, the Gaussian Blur effect. However, it's important to realize that these Raster-based effects are tied to a specific resolution. That resolution is found here in the Document Raster Effects Settings. When you create new documents using the Print Profile in Illustrator, your Document Raster Effects Settings are set to a default of 300 pixels per inch, as you see here.

When you create new document using the Web Profile, for example, those documents are set to use the Document Raster Effects Settings of 72 pixels per inch. However, in previous versions of Illustrator, you can run into a problem if you change your resolution after you have already applied effects. For example, you may have some art that was created in a Print document that has a Gaussian Blur Effect applied to it and when you Copy and Paste that artwork into a Web document, the Gaussian Blur suddenly changes in appearance. That happens because these Raster Effects Settings are different in each of those documents.

Well, now in Illustrator CS5, Adobe has enhanced most of these Raster Effects to be more intelligent about the resolution, meaning that the general appearance of the effect will remain the same even if you change its resolution. Let me give you an example. Right now, I am going to leave this set to 300 pixels per inch as a default setting inside of of a Print document. So, I'll click OK. I am going to focus in on this part of the artwork of the here, and maybe I want to create some kind of nice, little soft design element behind this flower right here. So, I'll use my regular Ellipse tool here, and I am going to draw a simple circle behind this shape.

I'll give it a nice, lets say, a blue fill, and I'll get rid of the stroke on it. Now I am ready to apply an effect to it. So, I'm going to go ahead now, in the Effect menu. I am going to choose Blur > Gaussian Blur, and I'll choose a Radius of about 40 pixels and click OK. I'll send it to the back, so now I have a nice, interesting effect there behind the flower. However, what happens now if I change the resolution of my document. I'm going to go now to the Effect menu, I am going to choose Document Raster Effect Settings, and I will change the Resolution to 72 pixel per inch. This would be the same thing as if I were Copying and Pasting this element into a document that has a Resolution set to 72 ppi as well.

But notice what happens here. When I click OK, there is virtually no change at all in the appearance of this effect. It's now set to a low resolution, but Illustrator figured out the math behind the scenes and basically made it so that the effect appears unchanged. One of the real benefits of this, though, is that even if you are working in a print-based workflow, when using these Raster-based effects, for example, like Gaussian Blur, this allows you to modify your Resolution Settings to a low resolution when you start designing your work and then dial up, or increase the resolution right before you are ready to send the file out for print. Because higher resolution files take longer to process, this means that while you are designing and printing proofs, you'll get really fast performance, but you can switch to a higher resolution at the end of your workflow without any consequences.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Illustrator CS5 New Features.


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Q: In the “Mapping flat artwork to perspective grids” video, directions for moving a box in a perpendicular direction say to use the Tilde key. However, upon attempting to move the box using this method, the box continues to move in the same plane, not in a perpendicular fashion. Is the technique in the video incorrect?
A: Adobe changed this keyboard shortcut just before the final release. The shortcut is the "5" key. The video tutorial has been updated to reflect this.
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