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Gaussian Blur improvements

From: Illustrator CS6 New Features Overview

Video: Gaussian Blur improvements

The Gaussian Blur feature in Illustrator CS6 in and of itself is not a new feature to Illustrator. What is new is how it works. Thanks to the fact that Illustrator is now a 64 bit application, the new Gaussian Blur feature can take advantage of that power and is able to render effects such as Gaussian blur, drop shadow, and outer glow considerably faster than in previous versions of Illustrator. In addition, you no longer need to preview Gaussian blur within a dialog box. Gaussian blur now renders directly on your art board.

Gaussian Blur improvements

The Gaussian Blur feature in Illustrator CS6 in and of itself is not a new feature to Illustrator. What is new is how it works. Thanks to the fact that Illustrator is now a 64 bit application, the new Gaussian Blur feature can take advantage of that power and is able to render effects such as Gaussian blur, drop shadow, and outer glow considerably faster than in previous versions of Illustrator. In addition, you no longer need to preview Gaussian blur within a dialog box. Gaussian blur now renders directly on your art board.

Let's take a look. I'm beginning this video with the gaussian_blurred.AI file already open my computer. And before I go too far I'd like you to go your Layers panel, and just make sure that you have the blur layer active, because that's the layer we're going to be working on here. Now go ahead and close that panel. And I'm going to press Cmd+A on Mac or Ctrl+A on Windows to select all the content on that layer. To apply a Gaussian blur, we're just going to come up here to the Effect menu and we're going to go to Blur, and choose Gaussian blur. Now, this does open a dialog box.

But you'll notice that there is no longer a preview area within this dialog. Because what we do is we turn on the preview and the effect is going to appear live on our art board. Now for these objects, this value is a little bit big, so I'm going to pull that down to about ten. That's pretty good. And then I'm going to go ahead and click OK. Now you probably noticed that as I was changing it, that effect is being rendered immediately. There's no waiting, there's no dialog progress bars. It just happens almost immediately.

Now those were fairly narrow objects, so let's just go ahead and do another example. I'm going to grab my Ellipse tool, and I'm just going to draw a small ellipse in here, just kind of like right over top of the open text that I have on my page. And what I'm going to do is apply a Gaussian blur to that object. So we'll go to the Effect menu and go to Blur, and we'll choose Gaussian blur. I'm going to turn my preview on, and again, as I drag this slider up, the preview updates almost immediately. Again, not much waiting happening here.

Now if I click okay the other nice thing is that if I grab my Selection tool the effect is dynamic. It's applied to the object so as I make changes the effect updates accordingly. Now maybe what I want to do is reduce the intensity of that ellipse so I'll just go to my transparency panel and go ahead and reduce the value that opacity to about 50%. And that'll just ghost that back or make it a little bit less intensive in there. Now the other thing I want to show you here is that there's going to be times where you open up a file that might have a Gaussian blur applied from a previous version of Illustrator. And let me just show you what that looks like.

I'm going to go ahead and go to the File menu. And I'm going to open a file in my chapter two folder called Gaussian blur legacy. I'm going to go ahead and open that up. Now this doesn't look a whole lot different than the one that we were working on. But what I want to show you is that if we select these objects, and we go to our Appearance panel, you're going to see that there's an entry here called legacy Gaussian blur. What happens, when you open up an older version of Illustrator in CS6, it's going to honor that Gaussian blur that was applied, and I believe that the reason for that is to avoid changing the appearance of that Gaussian blur when you open it.

However, if you click on that link it will open up the Gaussian blur dialog box that's native to CS6 with this setting applied. And if I click OK, it's going to now convert it to a newer CS6 version of Gaussian Blur. So keep that in mind as you're working on documents especially ones that you are opening from previous versions of Illustrator. I'm going to go ahead and close that. We won't save it, and thanks to Illustrator's overhaul there's no longer excessive wait times for Gaussian blur to render the effect. This allows you to spend a lot more time creating artwork and a lot less time waiting for progress bars.

I'm going to go ahead and close that.

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Illustrator CS6 New Features Overview

12 video lessons · 2706 viewers

Chad Chelius
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