Learn how to use the Phantasm plugin in Astute Graphics VectorScribe to create, apply, adjust, and save a collection of nondestructive vector halftone effects in Illustrator artwork.
- [Instructor] With the vector halftone features of Astute Graphic's Phantasm, you can achieve a fantastic variety of halftone effects in your Illustrator artwork. Your vectors remain vectors so they'll look good at any size and the effects are none destructive so, you can edit them at any time or remove them all together. So, let's see how that works. Here I have a slice of pie and I'd like to experiment with some Phantasm halftone effects on it. So, I'll select the artwork. I'll zoom to 200% to get a closer look at it.
Move it over a bit and then choose effect, Phantasm, Halftone. And the dialogue box here is made up of three main areas with controls for working with the pattern as a whole, the dots that make up the pattern, and a dot gain curve. With the type controls, you can choose the color of the dots, either monochrome which comes with a color picker here, or you can have RGB dots in either 100% or sample tints, or color sampled from the artwork.
I'm going to stick with monochrome because I think that makes it easiest to understand what's happening when you change the other options in this dialogue box. For the pattern, I can pick a grid, FM, or radial. And, I can pick how many dots per inch. So, with a finer dot pattern, I can go for something like 36 dots per inch or even 72 or go back to a low number like 18 for a coarse pattern.
I can pick an angle. Right now the dots are sitting at zero degrees, so they go in these straight, horizontal lines, but I can change that. I could set it to something like 30 degrees and make them go at an angle. I'll set it back to zero. And I can also do things like change the precise origin of the grid, too. Instead of being relative to the selection, make it relative to the artboard. I'll set it back to the default. In the dot properties, I can pick a shape. So, I have circles, squares, lines, characters, which has options where I can pick a font and the specific characters as well and whether they're random or in a specific order, or I can use just about any shape by saving that as a symbol and then selecting it prior to opening this dialogue box.
And then choosing selected symbol. So, I'll go back to circle here and I can also change the size of the dots with width and height controls right here. So I can make them smaller, larger, and so on. And I can also adjust the size of the dots by using the dot gain curve. Could drag it this way to make the dots darker or the other way to lighten up the effect.
And, I can reset that curve by dragging the point right off the graph. So, let's try creating another effect here. I'll switch from monochrome to sampled colors. And, I'll increase the DPI to 72 and click OK. And, if I zoom in, I can see that these are all nice vector dots that'll look good at any resolution. So, no rasterization has occurred here.
I'll zoom back out a bit and maybe after looking at it, I want to go with a coarser dot pattern. Well, that's no problem. I can just go to the appearance panel, select my artwork, and then click on Phantasm halftone to bring back the dialogue box. I'll change the DPI back down to 18 and for fun, let's change the dot shape to a character. So, go to dot properties, shape, and chose character and I'll click on options and let's spell out the word pie.
So, we'll choose repeat text and we'll change the characters to capital P-I-E and click OK. I'll turn off tint adjustment to make all the letters the same size and maybe scale them down just a little bit, say to 80%. And, if you want to reuse an effect like this, you can go back to the dialogue box, and use the menu at the top to save it as a preset. I'll just call this pie.
And now that will appear in the menu here. And here you can also apply default presets that come with Phantasm including things like halftone rosette, roman mosaic, square block which creates a really fun eight bit sort of pixilated effect. So, you really have lots of flexibility in the kinds of effects you can create with vector halftones. And, as we've seen in this movie, you can create, apply, adjust, and save a collection of cool, nondestructive vector halftone effects with Phantasm.
- Working with dynamic corners and shapes
- Moving points along a path
- Cleaning up vector artwork with redundant points
- Drawing with symmetry
- Connecting and straightening objects
- Adjusting colors with filters and effects
- Creating vector halftones
- Sketching with brushes and variable width strokes
- Configuring autosaves and automatic backups
- Stippling vector graphics, photos, and text
- Applying and editing texture effects