Posts Tagged ‘csbuzz’

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:┬áBefore 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