Join Mike Rankin for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating vector halftones, part of Up and Running with Astute Graphics for Illustrator.
With the Vector Halftone features of Astute Graphics Phantasm, you can achieve a fantastic variety of halftone effects in your Illustrator art work. Your vectors remain vectors, so they'll look good any size, and the effects are non destructive, so you can edit them at any time or remove them all together. Let's take a look. So, 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 art work and zoom in a bit, about 200%. And I'll go to Effect>Phantasm>Halftone.
And the dialogue box is made up of three main areas, with controls for working on the pattern as a whole, for the dots, 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, RGB dots, which come either in 100%, or a sample tint, or colors sampled from the artwork. I'm going to stick with monochrome just for now, 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 grid, FM, or radial. I'll stick with grid. And I can pick how many dots per inch. So, for a finer dot pattern, I can change from 18 to say 36. Or a 72, and so on. I'll go back to 18 for a coarser pattern. I can pick an angle. Right now, it's at zero degrees, but I can change it to something, like 30 degrees if I wanted to. And I'll reset it back to zero. I can also do things like, set the precise origin of the grid, too, either Relative to Selection, or to the Artboard.
In the Dot Properties, I can pick a shape, so either circles, squares, lines. Characters, which has options where I can pick a font and I can pick the specific characters and whether they come out in random order or in a specific order that I type or I can use just about any shape by saving it as a symbol and then selecting it prior to opening this dialogue box. I'll go back to circles. I can also change the size of the dots with width and height controls, or by selecting a tint adjustment in this menu here.
So, I can vary just the width of the dots, just the height of them, both, or none, which makes all the dots the same size. I'll choose width and height. And I can also adjust the size of the dots by using the dot gain curve down here. So, I can make them larger or smaller. So, let's switch, at the top in the type menu, from monochrome to sample colors and I'll set the DPI to 72 and click OK. Deselect and if I zoom in, I can see that these are all nice vector dots that will look good at any resolution.
No rasterization has occurred here. I'll go back to viewing it at 200%. And maybe, after looking at it, I want to go for a coarser dot pattern. Well, no problem. I can go to the Appearance panel, click on Phantasm Halftone and change the DPI. So, I'll go back down to 18 DPI. And for fun, let's change the dot shape to a character. So, in dot properties, I'll change from circle to character, and in the options, I'll spell out the word pie and select repeat text, and click OK.
I'll turn off the tint adjustment, and maybe I'll scale down the characters just a little bit. Down to about 75%. If you want to reuse an effect, you can use the menu in this dialog box to save a preset. Here you can also apply presets, including several that come with Phantasm, like halftone rosette, roman mosaic, and square block, which creates a really fun eight bit pixellated effect. So, you can really see the flexibility and variety of effects you can create with vector halftones.
So, as we've seen in this movie, you can create, apply, adjust and save a collection of cool, non-destructive vector halftone effects with Phantasm.
- Working with dynamic corners and shapes
- Editing paths with PathScribe
- Connecting and straightening objects
- Drawing circles and arcs
- Using the Snap to and the Rotate at Collision tools
- Mirroring text and images
- Creating vector halftones
- Editing path segments with InkScribe
- Using DynamicSketch
- Working with the WidthScribe brush tools
- Stippling vector graphics, photos, and text
Skill Level Appropriate for all
Q: This course was updated on 5/23/2014. What changed?
A: The author added a new chapter (Using Stylism) featuring eight new movies, on working with effects like drop shadow, feathering, inner and outer glow, and more.
Q: This course was updated on 04/15/2015. What changed?
A: The author added new movies on WidthScribe and Autosaviour Pro, and updated two movies describing the abilities of the entire suite of plugins and the process of installing them.
Q: This course was updated on 02/19/2016. What changed?
A: We added a new chapter, "Using Stipplism," which covers stippling vector graphics, text, and photos with the controls and stipple symbols in Astute Graphics's new Stipplism plugin for Illustrator.