Posts Tagged ‘cs3’

What Illustrator CS5 means for cartographers

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

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[Editor's note: I've been using CS5 for a while now and I think you'll like it as much as I do. This release is focused on making existing work flows easier, faster, and more enjoyable. Check out the official promo at Adobe. Mordy has a great screencast showing off some of these features, as well.]

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Joining lines

  • Freehand-style line joining! No longer required to select endpoints of two line, it just works with 2 or more lines selected. Did I mention it works on more than 2 lines at once? Super smart, huge time saver.
  • Caveat: if you are looking for very complicated GIS-style (angle, gap, etc) line joining, you’ll still need to use an advanced plugin. This one will work 90% of the time.

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Select behind

  • Like Freehand and InDesign
  • Quibble: Doesn’t work on strokes, only on fill

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Symbols

  • Now can have layers! This will allow us to work around many long standing sublayer bugs.
  • Can have masks and not selectable beyond the mask (if content is not visible, it is not selectable)
  • Bounding box no longer includes guides
  • Selection based on content, not bounding box
  • Actually use the registration point
  • Can transform symbols with respect to the registration point.
  • 9-slice scaling now works, have guides for them (important for preserving the shape of corners when scaled)
  • Breaking link to symbol preserves symbol sublayers
  • Can align the symbol content to the pixel grid (for pretty web output)
  • Quibble: Before you could register via the bounding box (using preview bounds). Now you can’t. Instead, set a key object and then use 0 as the offset and use the distribute space button.

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Strokes

  • Variable width (think tapered streams, see screenshot below)
  • Better corner control (miter, see screenshot below)
  • Better dashing (including centering dashes on corners, see screenshot below)
  • Better arrowheads (registered to the tip of the line or beyond the tip of the line)
  • Setup width profiles (even on calligraphic brushes and pattern brushes)
  • Segmented art brushes (similar to 9-slice scaling for symbols, no longer distorted shapes)

Fills

  • Pattern fill now stable between artboards (they don’t shift)

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Pixel Perfect Drawing

  • Get your artwork to the web with crisp, on pixel lines rather than grey anti-aliased crap.
  • Also Flash- and Photoshop-style text anti-alias settings
  • See pixel grid on zoom in
  • Quibble: only works at 100% 72 ppi. If you scale up your artwork to get it on the web via Save For Web, this will not work for you. You must scale it up before exporting.

Draw behind mode

  • Or in front or inside, like Flash.
  • Useful for cartoonists, especially.

Flash (FXG) exchange format

  • Better round tripping of graphics to Flash for interactive graphics
  • Made for working with Flash Catalyst

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Artboards

  • Can now be named!
  • Easier to reorder, delete empty artboards
  • Can rearrange artboards automatically.

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Rulers

  • Now measure Y down rather than up
  • Measure per artboard and globally.
  • Paste in same “relative” place across multiple artboards at once
  • Makes consistent with Photoshop, Flash, InDesign and most other design apps
  • For us programmers, the true mathematical Y measures up is still there, though

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Shape builder

  • Making a map icon? You’ll find Shape Builder way more intuitive to use than the Pathfinder panel buttons
  • Just click and drag between part, kinda like Live Paint.

Resolution independent effects

  • Now changing the document raster effects resolution (or scaling the object up and down will NOT change the actual effect spread)
  • This is important for “design once, distribute in web, print, etc”

Other stuff

  • Bristle brush is very cool for artists
  • New perspective grid for axiametric drawing
  • Gradient mesh now allows transparency in nodes

Scriptopedia: JS, AS, and VBA scripts for Create Suite apps

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

titre

[Editor's note: New script compendium. Some for Illustrator, many for InDesign.]

Republished from Scriptopedia.

Eddy and I are very pleased to announce the release of the scripts library for the Adobe Software and desktop publishing and photography.
Pointing out the dispersion of the scripts over the Internet, we have decided to offer a unique space gathering the best in the automation field.

Javascript, Applescript, VisualBasic or action scripts will be warmly hosted here.

If you want to make part of this adventure and help us filling the base, don’t hesitate and contact us !

We hope you enjoy surfing on this site and using the scripts as much as we had creating Scriptopedia.org.

Thanks in advance and…

Check out Scriptopedia . . .

Color Expert 1.1 (Code Line)

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

[Editor's note: The 1.1 update is out for Color Expert, the interactive color wheel and swatch library that helps artists and designers identify, translate, capture and showcase color (iPhone + iPod Touch @ $10 or free update). New feature include top-level option to snap a picture and a utility that auto-extracts swatches from photos. Also adds sending of ASE files to open up your swatches in Adobe Create Suite desktop apps and CMYK values. Thanks Matheau!]

Republished from Code Line.

Unlimited Palettes, Unlimited Colors, Unlimited Power

Powerful, interactive Color Wheel with multiple color schemes including Monochromatic, Analogous, Complementary, Split Complementary and Triadic. Custom colors can be added to any scheme to complement your harmonious palette. Color palettes include values for RGB, CMYK and Library values.
The quick to inspire Image Picker extracts dominant colors from any photo you throw at it—from your library or from your camera. Choose from the top 16 hits, or drag the screen to add your own colors, loupe and all. Color palettes include values for RGB, CMYK and Library values.
Deftly search through PANTONE® solid coated, PANTONE® solid uncoated, PANTONE® Goe™ coated, PANTONE® Goe™ uncoated, Web Safe Colors, HTML Colors. And with version 1.1, we’ve added the PANTONE® fashion + home libraries. Swatch info includes RGB, HSB and Hex. Most libraries even include Lab and CMYK.
Color Expert’s exclusive “snap & tap” technology. Just snap a photo and let your finger select that perfect color. From your eyes to the screen.
Send palettes to yourself or to friends via email. And new to version 1.1, you can use those palettes in your favorite design applications by including Adobe Swatch Exchange files.

Check it out on iTunes . . .

Map of big snow storm in DC (Kelso via Wash Post)

Monday, February 8th, 2010

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I’m still digging out from the big storm this weekend in Washington, DC. I received 24″ at my house, ranged from 14″ to over 30″ in the metro area with heaviest around Columbia, Maryland. I worked during the storm and Laris and I tallied the NWS weather spotter reports of snowfall and used the GIS to krig the a map of average depth from about 50 points (which had to be filtered to remove expired values). Then used Illustrator’s Live Trace functionality to vectorize. Preview above (for the local home page promo which didn’t have room for legend, so directly labeled the contours), full graphic below with explainer of how the storm happened (with Laura and Larry).

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Manage Projects with GridIron Flow for Adobe Creative Suite

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

[Editor's note: Their screencast is impressive. Background app that tracks file time usage for billing and how your files are related to each other (what's placed where) and can search inside documents for layer names, etc). Sounds like a version of Adobe Bridge that's actually useful!]

Republished from the company’s website.

Be totally organized without organizing anything.

Flow is the world’s first Visual Workflow Manager, built from the ground up to keep creative professionals streamlined and informed. Flow gives you a total understanding of your project, visually and intuitively. In one simple interface, you’ll see all your project files, how they’re related to each other, and where they’re located – on a local drive, on a network volume, even on a DVD you burned a few months ago.

This new birds-eye-view of your project gives you instant access to any file you need—and any version of that file, even if you’ve overwritten it while making changes. Flow even alerts you if you try to modify or delete a file that you shouldn’t. Bottom line: no more lost files, no more accidents, and no more all-nighters. You’ll find yourself delivering everything right the first time—without doing anything different.

John Nack, Principal Product Manager for Adobe Photoshop, calls Flow “one of the slickest, most potentially transformative applications I’ve seen in years.” Could it transform the way you work? Check out Flow’s features to find out.

Watch their video or get the demo . . .

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Freehand + Mac OS 10.6 Snow Leopard

Thursday, September 17th, 2009
UPDATE: Adobe has released a non-activation registration file to address Warning 1 below. Read more »

[Editor's note: Cartographers still migrating to Illustrator from Freehand MX should be wary of upgrading to the new Mac OS as it breaks your Freehand install due to the licensing restrictions the app uses on startup. There is a workaround, but only if you have a volume (company) license code. Thanks Curt!]

Republished from Adobe User-to-User Forum.

I had been unable to replicate the success of others which was quite frustrating but I finally got everything working and wanted to post my solution.  I think it either comes down to lack of complete details in the posted instructions, here is how I was able to get it working properly:
  • Step 1: Delete your local installation of Freehand.  This *includes* the /Library/Application Support/Macromedia directory (well, place it on the desktop)
  • Step 2: Reinstall Freehand. VERY IMPORTANT—DO NOT RUN FREEHAND AFTER INSTALL OR PROCEDURE WILL FAIL
  • Step 3: Recreate the Macromedia directory
  • Step 4: Place your “FreeHand MXa Registration” file back into the newly created Macromedia directory
  • Step 5: Run Freehand

For whatever reason, this was the only way I was capable of repairing my licensed copy of Freehand. Simply updating the “FreeHand MXa Registration” file or installing a new copy ofFreehand *without* first removing the Macromedia directory did nothing to help my situation.

A couple of things you should be aware of:

  • Warning 1: You may need a serial number which starts with WPD700…
    [Editor: WPD700 serial numbers are volume (corporate) licenses, your personal license will likely not work.]

UPDATE: Adobe has released a non-activation registration file to address this. Read more »

  • Warning 2: If you had other registration information for Flash, Fireworks etc, you can safely move those back into the Macromedia directory.
Continue the discussion at the Adobe Forums . . .

Using Live Paint to Build Polygons Out of Line Segments in Adobe Illustrator (Kelso)

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

I remember spending hours in my introduction to computer cartography lab class at Humboldt State University “building polygons” in the Adobe Illustrator design software package. We started with state “lines” and, one by one, duplicated and joined them into polygons by painstakingly selecting matching endpoints and cursing the Illustrator error dialogs that kept coming up. Fast forward 5 software versions and 10 years and we can now accomplish the same workflow in seconds using the new “Live Paint” feature available in version CS2 and newer. Maybe this is old news, but it’s sure makes things easier on the Natural Earth Vector project!

Download native Illustrator CS3 file and follow along with sample linework.

Step 1: Start with lines for 1st order, country, and hydro coast, rivers on separate layers (like you’d normally layer your map file).

live_paint_step1

Step 2: Duplicate all related lines onto one “building” layer (the next step would group originals if you don’t do here).

live_paint_step2

Step 3: Select all those duplicated “building” lines (interior state boundaries, exterior country boundary, and exterior shorelines for that country, the more linework, the slower it goes), choose the live paint tool livepainticon and click on the selection. It will turn into a “live paint group”. If  you are viewing the bounding box, it will appear slightly differently than normal handles (see below).

live_paint_step3

Step 4: Make sure the toolbox fill is a color like yellow (the default is set to no fill, so you won’t get the tool to work unless you change it). Click and drag the live paint tool over all implied polygons between lines. Watch them turn into filled polys!!!! If you don’t get an implied polygon to fill, try adjusting the gap tolerance at Object > Live Paint > Gap Options. The default settings worked fine for me, though. Not shown here are the reddish thick highlight around target polygons as the Live Paint tool is dragged acros the artwork.

live_paint_step4

Step 5: Once you’re done and all your implied polygons are colored in like a coloring book, expand the live paint group (Object > Live Paint > Expand, or use the Expand button on the control panel button strip). Ungroup twice (Object > Ungroup). The polys, lines, and hydro will all be on the building layer. Use select by similar to select just the filled polys you just made and move them to the First_order_admin_polys layer. Delete the left over country and hydro lines (you have originals elsewhere).

live_paint_step5

Step 6: Color code new state polygons and compound path related admin units (none in this instance). That’s it!

live_paint_step6

Problems? Try this tutorial video from Layers magazine and, separately, from Mordy Golding.

Instance_setMcName Flash Script + MaPublisher = Flash Interactive Thematic Mapping (Kelso)

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

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[Editor's note: Making the GIS > Illustrator > Flash workflow a 30 minute process instead of a 30 hour slog. Thanks Sebastian!]

Ken Hawkins, formerly of The Post and Courier newspaper (Charleston, SC) helped me figure out how to take GIS shapefile data (point, line, and polygon) prepped in ArcMap or similar, process it in Illustrator using the Avenza MaPublisher plugin, and then copy-paste import into Flash CS3+ and apply the Instance_setMcName script. I first saw his handywork in the http://www.charleston.net/graphics/200802_primary/ map which is illustrated at the top of this post. I first learned of this technique last year but I think it is still relevant so am posting it now.

Ken had help from Len De Groot over at newsartists.orghttp://www.newsartists.org/forums/showthread.php?p=41780, registration required). I have reformatted and edited Ken and Len’s instructions below.

Requirements:
  • A shapefile,
  • Illustrator CS3,
  • MaPublisher (Illustrator plugin),
  • Flash CS3, and
  • Free command script called “Instance_setMcName”. Before you start, download the script from Adobe, registration required (alternate download, no registration required) and double click file icon to install the script into Flash. Relaunch Flash to enable the script.

Overview:

  • Shapefile prep work in ArcMap GIS as needed.
  • Import the shapefile (.shp) in Illustrator using MaPublisher. Each geographic feature imports as it’s own path object in illustrator, visible in the Layers panel when it is set to not just show top level layers.
  • Use MaPublisher to name each map object’s GIS database attribute to name itself.
  • Import the Illustrator file to Flash .
  • Run the script to take the movieclip names and apply them to instances.

Detailed Workflow:

  1. Shapefile prep work in ArcMap as needed.
  2. Open your GIS shapefile in Illustrator via the MaPublisher plugin (File > Import Map Data).
  3. Edit > Select All the imported map path objects.
  4. Open the MapAttributes panel by going to View > MaPublisher > MapAttributes.
  5. In your MapAttributes panel, use the flyout menu to select Edit Schema.
  6. Select the #Name (usually selected by default) in the list of columns.
  7. Check the box marked “Derive value from expression”
  8. Click the “…” button.
  9. In the resulting dialog’s text entry field, type in the name of the field you want to use to name the individual polygons (county, precinct, etc.). This is case sensitive.
  10. Hit OK twice.
  11. Watch as your individual path objects are named in the Layers panel then save the file.
  12. Open Flash and import the AI file to the stage (File > Import).
  13. In the Import dialog box, select all the sublayers and check the box named “Create movie clip” and hit OK. The map will be imported both onto the stage and each map object will be added to the document’s Library.
  14. In the Library panel, select all the MovieClips in the Illustrator Import sub-folder and drag them up and out of the folders to the top level.
  15. Use Edit > Select All to select all your map object symbols on the stage.
  16. Under “Commands” in the top menu, select “Instance_setMcName.”
  17. All you symbol instances will be named the same as their parent movieClip libary item. Use the Properties panel to verify this.

Both Ken and I have used this process on multiple shapefiles with hundreds of objects and it’s worked like a dream.

Caution on Numeric Names:

Some GIS shapefiles have category names that begin with numbers, which Flash doesn’t like. Flash is picky about some other characters starting off the name, too, so when in doubt, use the following solution.

You can edit the schema to add a letter in front of each name and then use actionscript to do the same to each item in your XML file. A little cloogy but better than the alternative.

  1. Click the Add button in the Edit Schema window in MaPublisher’s Illustrator panel
  2. Name the new column “a”. Make sure the Type is string and enter “a” for the value (the derive value button must be unchecked to see this option).
  3. Press enter.
  4. Select #Name column.
  5. Find the expression field in the same dialog and type out “a&PRECINCT” (where “a” is the “a” attribute column name and PRECINCT is the attribute column name). Note: the & symbol is used to concatenate (add together) the string values in each attribute column.
  6. Press enter.
  7. Verify the name changes in the Layers panel.

Seperate Stroke and Fill Workflow:

To have a seperate stroke layer on polygons so the fills can be color coded seperately from the strokes (which would always maintain the same stroke color) you’ll need to make a 2nd copy of the symbols:

  1. In Illustrator after you’ve used MaPublisher to name all your polygons appropriately, duplicate the layer and hide/lock the original layer.
  2. Give the new polygons a stoke and no fill, and rename them using Steps 3-6 except append the naming scheme with “Stroke”
  3. Import the Illustrator file to Flash. Two groups of symbols are imported.One group’s symbols will be named something like “precinct234″ and the other group’s corresponding symbols will be named “precinct234Stroke”
  4. Flash can now be instructed via ActionScript coding to independently control a symbols fill and whether or not it is “highlighted” with a stroke.

Bonus Feature!

Use MaPublisher to import other GIS layers (roads, polling locations, etc.) and they will land directly on top of the thematic symbols. I recommend doing this in the same import session, or before you rescale the maps. Best results when all GIS shapefiles are already in the same projection.

To set up your XML which is used to import your map data values (essentially an XML version of your DBF file associated with the shapefile), check out Layne’s thread.

Great Script for Simplifying Paths in Illustrator (Kelso)

Monday, March 30th, 2009

[Editor's note: Cartographers looking for Douglas-Peucker type line simplication in Illustrator now have a solution to Illustrator's default simplify command when trying to generalize features like river oxbows. Jim started on the problem of fixing an Illustrator bug (see image above) where redundant points were created in the path outline command, and now has a more generalized solution.]

Jim Heck shared an amazing tool for Adobe Illustrator with me recently to deal with the irritating bug in versions CS3 and CS4 where redundant points (stacked on top of each other, illustrated above where the dupplicate points are pulled away from the basic shape) are created on outline or offset of a path’s stroke. The script (in Javascript) and Action set he created quickly remove these redundant points while still keeping the path shape. He does this with a bit of behind the scenes trigonometry wizardry. Please note this bug still exists in CS4 contray to rumors, though is lesser virulent form than CS3 (confirmed by me via email with Adobe engineers).

I’ve worked with Jim to refine it the last couple weeks. I think it’s ready for prime time now.

Screenshots:

Settings shown to remove redundant points for outlined path screenshot above. I used a tolerance of 12 points for the river ox bow screenshot below.

How it works:

  • Selected path points only or all document paths
  • Set distance tolerance in page units (optional)
  • Works in locked objects
  • Works in compound paths
  • Reporting, Selection, and Removal modes

Cartographic applications:

I illustrate below the result of using Jim’s generalization script on a typial river path and you can see in area 1a and 2b how the ox bow removal is light years above Illustrator’s default path simplify command which grossly distorts the shape in the pursuit of point removal. Jim’s script preserves the shape and removes the tiny, tight wiggles. It needs a little bit more programming work to fix areas 1b and 2a + 2c where the shape is loosing some fidelity for not keeping the trailing point in the series of removed points. And maybe needing to keep an intermediary point between 2a and 2c for shape since this is a longer removal?

With a little more tweaking, this tool will become popular for cartographers since we often want to simplify lines while keeping the overall geometry shape when reducing clustered points. The opposite may be achievable, too, when adding points selectively to long curves, but NOT to segments of the line that are already dense with points. But that’s for a 2.0 release ;)

Download the script and actions from Jim Heck’s site . . .

Script: Place Multiple Files in Illustrator (Kelso)

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

[Editor's note: This new script allows multiple files to be placed into Adobe Illustrator at once. Illustrator's native place command can only handle 1 single file at once. This script was commissioned by Eric at Nutshell Communications, Inc.]

This script will allow you to (import) place multiple files as separate named layers from a designated folder to a new Illustrator document. The files are all placed at once, you don’t get to control individual placement (but of course you can modify location after the script runs). Script should work with CS2, CS3, and CS4, both Mac and Windows.

To install new scripts you need to:

  • Download either the IMAGES version (eg, JPG, GIF, TIF, etc) or the EPS version.
  • Quit Illustrator
  • Copy the script file into the Illustrator application folder’s “Presets” » “Scripts” subfolder. If you are in CS4 this will be the application folder’s “Presets” » “en_US” » “Scripts” subfolder (transpose “en_US” with your local language string).
  • After restarting Illustrator, you can find the scripts in the menu “File” » “Scripts”;
  • TIP: You can create subfolders in the scripts folder to organize your scripts

Usage

  • The script asks for a folder to be selected by the user in a normal file open dialog.
  • All loose files are examined and if they match EPS file type then they are placed (nested folders not examined).
  • It is easy to limit this to EPS or add other file types (see below)
  • The files are placed into the middle of the document (or registered to a 9-point page location).
  • Each placed file gets its own layer, the layer name matches the placed file’s name.
  • The file is not auto-saved. You do that manually.

Placement Options

Line 7 controls the placement of the imagesinto the document. These are 9-point registration of ul, ml, ll, um, mm, lm, ur, mr, lr.
var placement9pointAlignment = “mm”;

Adding More File Types

Line 33 controls which file extensions are supported:
if( (fName.indexOf(“.eps”) == -1) ) {

You can easily expand the file types supported as shown in the commented out line in 34:
//if( (fName.indexOf(“.eps”) == -1) && (fName.indexOf(“.gif”) == -1) && (fName.indexOf(“.jpg”) == -1) && (fName.indexOf(“.png”) == -1) && (fName.indexOf(“.bmp”) == -1) && (fName.indexOf(“.tif”) == -1) && (fName.indexOf(“.psd”) == -1)) {

To allow more file types, use the formatting and grammar as in line 34.