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Always smooth, forever precise, never varying in width, the PostScript stroke is a draftsman's dream. But if your goal is to create traditional style artwork , the uniform weight of the stroke is downright inhuman. Like a key on an old-fashioned synthesizer it produces a steady tone utterly immune to artistic expression. Adobe invented the fixed width stroke, so it's only fitting that Illustrator provides a way to escape it. The program's Brushes palette lets you apply a calligraphic stroke that fluctuates in response to such variables as stylus pressure and path direcction.
Then there's the pressure insensitive Art Brush, which stretches a collection of shapes along the length of a path. The result is an entirely new class of graphics that you can bend and distort merely by manipulating a central spine. Then there's the new Blob Brush, which doesn't draw strokes at all. It draws filled paths that glom together based on their shared attributes. Combine it with Illustrator's erase and you have everything you need to sketch out your ideas without the hassle of laying down anchor points and control handles.
Calligraphic strokes, blobs, and art brushes. They're Illustrator's way of simulating natural media in a vector-based environment.
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