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Improved performance: Gaussian Blur

From: Illustrator CS6 New Features

Video: Improved performance: Gaussian Blur

Another tool that saw significant performance enhancements in CS6 is the Gaussian Blur tool. In previous versions of Illustrator this feature has been somewhat of a headache for me. The previous report, the render time was always a little slow, but in CS6 the Gaussian blur provides instant previews and vastly improved render time. Let's check it out. First off I'm going to start here in CS5, so I'm going to draw out a shape and in this case I'm just going to draw out a square. And I'll make this pretty obvious by giving it a red color, no stroke, and I'm going to blur this thing out pretty good.

Improved performance: Gaussian Blur

Another tool that saw significant performance enhancements in CS6 is the Gaussian Blur tool. In previous versions of Illustrator this feature has been somewhat of a headache for me. The previous report, the render time was always a little slow, but in CS6 the Gaussian blur provides instant previews and vastly improved render time. Let's check it out. First off I'm going to start here in CS5, so I'm going to draw out a shape and in this case I'm just going to draw out a square. And I'll make this pretty obvious by giving it a red color, no stroke, and I'm going to blur this thing out pretty good.

So I'll go to the Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur, and inside of this I don't really get a preview necessarily. I mean I can zoom out to see a preview here, but on the artboard itself I don't get a live preview, that always bothered me. If I drag this all the way up to 250, and hit OK, you'll notice that the render time is somewhat slow to even start. And then it finally pops in and uses the Gaussian blur. I'll save this in my Exercise Files folder as square, and then I'll hit Save.

Now I'll jump over into CS6. If I go in to open that file, you'll notice that it comes right in and it looks pretty much the same as it always did, but if I click on it and then look in my Appearance panel, which I'll drag out here, you'll notice something called Legacy Gaussian Blur. Legacy Gaussian Blur means that it's currently using the old Gaussian blur algorithm. If I were to edit this appearance, it would automatically be converted to the new Gaussian blur algorithm, and it will be much faster, and I also get live previews in here.

For now though, I'm just going to remove this, so I'm going to take this and throw it away. I'll use the same square and add another Gaussian blur to it to show you exactly how much faster it really is, and how much that live preview comes in handy. I'll go up to Effect > Blur, and select Gaussian Blur. Immediately I'll drag it over to 250 pixels and check this out. If I click Preview, an instant preview appears. Did you notice the render time? Almost instantaneous. If I hit OK, there's no waiting around there's no sliders, there is no nothing.

There is no beach ball of death. I've got my blurred out square all rocking and ready to go. So that's the advantage of the new Gaussian blur. So again, it's not so much a new feature as it is an improvement over the old one, but it's still a pretty good enhancement in my opinion. So take some time and play around with this and always make sure to convert your old Gaussian blur to the new.

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Illustrator CS6 New Features

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Justin Seeley
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