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  • Andy1975
    started a topic Design challenges in Illustrator

    Design challenges in Illustrator

    Hi,

    I am having a couple of problems connected to designing two different artworks in Illustrator.

    These two questions are not connected to specific examples rather than to finding a technical way of achieving the supposed look and final result in general.


    Question - No. 1

    I have often seen (ie. on t-shirts, in logos etc.) that text is wrapped into a form of either customized shapes or warped with the Illustrator-filter that comes with certain adjustment options in which the text then is fitted.

    I tried out the Illustrator-filters and the closest to what I want to achieve is done using the "bulge"-option in the warp menu with settings adjusted to "horizontal" and "bend" set to 50% (rest is set to 0).

    This works often quite well but usually only with a short text containing 3-4 or a similar amount of letters. Using several letters or a longer word the text will still warp in "vertical lines" if looking at the edge of a warped "E" for example, however often these lines are still getting a bit distorted and thus are skew for a sharp eye to catch immediately.

    Meanwhile the letters on those t-shirts, logos and similar seem to be perfectly straight although the letters are warped the same way and into similar shapes (like into an oval shaped circle that is "laying" in a horizontal position").

    I checked a few videos on the net with tutorials for just that problem and noticed someone dragging the type into the vertical direction thus extending it's height before warping it with the "bulge" option. I tried this as well but the letters still seem to be a bit skew.

    Some people in other videos also suggested manually tweaking the text to get it the way it should be but I am rather doubting that you can tweak the text to a satisfactory look after it has been warped in some way.

    Also I am wondering if there are some plug-ins that people in here might know of that could do the trick and that are either free or that could be purchased...?



    Question - No. 2

    I am furthermore having a problem of finding the best and/or easiest way of applying a gradient to specific areas that one wants to give a darker or brighter tone etc.

    I will give a specific issue I am having as an example.

    Say we got a shape of a rectangle with rounded corners and would like to imitate the shadows of those die-cut tin-plate signs. Now the rectangle has a raised area but where it bends towards the non die-cut areas there would be either reflections of the light or areas of darker shades of the same color - let's say marine blue.

    My problem now is how to find the best way of applying those shadows to the darker and slightly shaded areas on the sides of the sign. I am not looking for crisp-clear cut edges like an overlay simulating the shadows rather than shadows with fine gradient transparency that are showing a feathered transition from the corner shadows to the brighter blue areas that are "elevated" to give the impression/illusion of a die-cut or raised area.

    I was considering making the background area the darker marine-blue and then copying the same shape just a bit smaller in the normal, lighter marine-blue color on top after which it could be feathered using the filter or effects.

    However if it would be needed to apply it the other way around - say a larger lighter marine-blue area in the background and a layer of a fat outlined stroke that would be painted with the darker marine-blue color on top which then would be feathered, the feather - according to my best guess - would be not only be applied to both sides of the stroke, giving a wrong effect but also pose the risk of overlapping over the outside of the large rectangle in the background.

    This would spoil the whole illusion I would like to achieve, thus my question is now...

    How do you create this effect apart from the first mentioned solution ie. when you are forced to use the second possibility...?

    Any input is greatly appreciated.

    I wrote this very late and while I was very tired so if this doesn't sense or you got some questions just shoot from the hip...!

    PS. I also know that for the last issue gradient mesh could be used but am having trouble applying it easily and fast without being dragged down by the cumbersome work of clicking a zillion times and selecting point by point. The auto feature of gradient mesh neither seems to work too well with lighting in order to achieve a convincing "die-cut effect" although I have been trying several options. Just to mention this in case anybody wondered...

  • kemingMatters
    replied
    Originally posted by kemingMatters View Post
    make a compound path of the "ridge" and *cringe* use the bevel/emboss photoshop effect if you're going for speed over quality. Just make sure your raster effects are set to a suitable DPI.
    This is as close to tutorial you'll get from me on this,

    1) draw a rounded rectangle (fill colour whatever you want, no stroke) (rectangle 1).
    2) copy the rounded rectangle and paste behind (rectangle 2).
    3) paste in front another copy of the rounded rectangle (rectangle 3).
    4) select rectangle 3 with the selection tool, resize to where you want the inside edge of the ridge to stop.
    5) select rectangles 1 & 3, make a compound path (ridge).
    6) Bevel/Emboss ridge. Does it look ridgy?

    Leave a comment:


  • Andy1975
    replied
    Originally posted by PrintDriver View Post
    I don't think CADtools will do what you want.
    https://www.hotdoor.com/cadtools/overview
    Thanks for the link. I agree. I don't think this is the way to go.

    However you and "kemingmatters" had both ideas for the tin-sign issue.

    I have asked several times for your advice on how to apply these techniques suggested. Nobody has yet elaborated on this nor have I gotten closer to a solution to fixing certain intrigue areas like the corners on the ridge etc. in an easy and fast editable way.

    Are you guys not willing to share this...? Because if so, it's fine. I understand.

    I'd just like to know if it is possible to get some hints on solving this according to those techniques as I will look elsewhere if it isn't.

    Otherwise I am still keen on knowing the details about this...

    I am also posting kemingmatters suggestion on the text issue below. This is what I mentioned last time as working almost 99% satisfactory in case anybody wanted to know/see. Only the vertical lines where fixed in this example as to be even and aligned and as one can see the outcome ended up quite well.





    Awaiting some reply on the before mentioned question...
    Last edited by Andy1975; 05-16-2012, 03:20 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • PrintDriver
    replied
    I don't think CADtools will do what you want.
    https://www.hotdoor.com/cadtools/overview

    Leave a comment:


  • Andy1975
    replied
    Originally posted by Bob View Post
    Corel X5 screenshot showing some envelope options and an applied bevel (it's all vector but the bevel is acutally a raster effect. I should have included an extruded bevel which is true vector).

    The first envelope effect (with handles visible) is a vertical with manually adjustable handles. The second is the vertical applied within a drawn oval as the envelope shape (you can use independent envelope shapes in AI envelopes as well, of course).

    The last is just to show that text within an envelope remains editable.

    Thanks for taking the time to make and post this.

    I did the bevel with real vector extrude and am also familiar with the raster bevel (Photoshop filters) in Illustrator. So the possibility is good to have. However as you also stated my intent is to keep it vector all the way plus that the problem of control of changing areas in the "vector bevel" - at least the easy way I am looking for - is still a problem.

    Say you want to tweak the vector bevel afterwards at the corners where there are highlights/reflections of the light on the metal ridge but right next to those various tints of blue as well as dark shades.

    This is still my headache trying to achieve all of that in an easy, quick and simple way...


    In regards to warping text in Corel. I can see that also here the program isn't able to not mess up with the - in this case - horizontal lines of the "G" in BIG.

    I tried out the advice earlier given by kemingMatters in regards to warp first with upper arch, expanding, then warping with lower arch. This looks actually much better than the "bulge" option but still messes up with the G as seen here in your example (although not so much I think).

    So I twisted and tweaked it a bit and found that the problem now lies within getting those three horizontal lines on the right opening of the G straightened out towards each other and the bend taken out of them. This way it almost looks quite good and 99% acceptable.

    Still, I'd really love to hear your experiences with that plug-in and the name or link to it that you used with success for your CAD-drawings if possible.

    Could you kindly post something like that...?

    Thanks in advance...!

    Leave a comment:


  • Andy1975
    replied
    Originally posted by PrintDriver View Post
    To learn about opacity masks, please consult the Illustrator Help documents.
    You should also be able to warp your text in Illustrator using the tools available. It's a little more picky and requires a bit of fiddlin around with but you can make it do what you want, most times.

    Also here my answer is the same. I DO know the technical aspect behind opacity masks and can easily create them. What I was looking for was an explanation as to how you wanted to apply this techique in order to achieve the subtle shading, tints and highlights in implicate areas?

    I am well aware of the fact that painstakingly drawing each and every area as an overlay/on another layer and then treating that very area would be a possibility but a dreaded one.

    What I am looking for is a quick applicable way of doing the same and in an easier and/or more simple manner...

    Leave a comment:


  • Andy1975
    replied
    Originally posted by kemingMatters View Post
    Wait, what? OP's been using Illustrator for 15 or so years and didn't know how to make a compound path? Me thinks, someone is trying to pull the wool over our eyes...

    Hold your horses, master of all puppets..., hold your horses...!

    OP's...???

    I didn't imply in any of my posts that I do not know how to use compound paths which I do.

    I described a PARTICULAR problem that I had whereas someone suggested using compound paths. I wasn't asking HOW to make compound paths. I was merely implying HOW to APPLY them in a way so they would solve the problem.

    This was in part due to the fact that I started out approaching the problem while trying to use gradient mesh (since I have seen a guy here on this forum that uses it to apply colors, shades and highlights to very realistically looking drawings entirely made in Illustrator - if you are still here on this forum and am reading this CkretAgent then please throw me an answer).

    However other suggestions were made. If I know the technical aspect that doesn't mean I necessarily understand the way people imagine how to use those techniques in order to solve the puzzle.

    That's why I asked for elaboration or a technical drawing my friend.

    I hope that this put things clearer...

    Leave a comment:


  • Bob
    replied
    Corel X5 screenshot showing some envelope options and an applied bevel (it's all vector but the bevel is acutally a raster effect. I should have included an extruded bevel which is true vector).

    The first envelope effect (with handles visible) is a vertical with manually adjustable handles. The second is the vertical applied within a drawn oval as the envelope shape (you can use independent envelope shapes in AI envelopes as well, of course).

    The last is just to show that text within an envelope remains editable.



    Last edited by Bob; 05-09-2012, 10:40 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • PrintDriver
    replied
    To learn about opacity masks, please consult the Illustrator Help documents.
    You should also be able to warp your text in Illustrator using the tools available. It's a little more picky and requires a bit of fiddlin around with but you can make it do what you want, most times.

    Leave a comment:


  • kemingMatters
    replied
    Wait, what? OP's been using Illustrator for 15 or so years and didn't know how to make a compound path? Me thinks, someone is trying to pull the wool over our eyes...

    Leave a comment:


  • Andy1975
    replied
    Originally posted by Bob View Post
    Corel has a lot of weaknesses and potholes. But in get down to vector shape drawing -- it's real 'Core' toolset, it's at time quite brilliant.

    Unfortunately, over times (again, decades), Adobe seems to have taken the tactic of adding many of Corel's less stable 'features' and frivolous tools first, and only in the last five or six years have we seen Adobe trying to finally add more primary, but useful things which have been standard in Draw for so long. Like interactive gradient control lines, (only Corel's is much faster/better), or making a clipped object's boundary -- woah-- the clipping path!

    And by the way, perspective distort (Free transform +Cmnd/Shft) is NOT the same as the taper I was talking about.

    Check out this little video on Corel X6's latest shape tool effects:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnfq3VTfI3s

    Coming soon (2020?) to a newer version of Ai?

    All I'm saying is that if someone (not me) had the time to actually sit down and plot the migration of features that have were pioneered and then migrated from CorelDraw to Ai over the last twenty years, it might add up to a slightly embarassing case of innovation blushing for a certain development team that remains largely immune to true user criticism.

    Bob <--

    Thanks to both of you guys for the interesting discussion about Illustrator vs. Corel etc.

    I am myself an "Illustrator guy" and when first laying my hands on Illustrator (I think it was 6.0 back then - yuck!) I was not only annoyed but directly frustrated with the logic behind selections, the two arrows for direct and point selection, the constant deselecting and many other little things making me want to throw the whole thing out.

    This is almost 15 years ago now and since then things have drastically improved. However if what I can read out of the comments here is true then it seems like one big "shocker" to me.

    I also agree totally on the Adobe developers' attitude being completely out of sync with reality or their customers' criticism. I tried this with Photoshop and non-working scanner-drivers (import function not working after update) about a year ago and can affirm that it was quite stunning to see such arrogance and denial of having any responsibility or part in the problem.

    On the other hand I have come quite accustomized to working with Illustrator which I learned to "love" and know as well as ID which is the primary software I work with. I only once and more than two decades ago worked for a year or so with Corel and although it worked I wasn't too impressed with it. It seemed "cheap" if I may put it that way.

    However I recently have been to a job interview in a company that actually makes prints on t-shirts, linen bags and other textile materials and now understand much better why they told me back then that Corel was their preferred software and better at handling jobs for that type of printing.

    Looking into the video that you posted the link for, I cannot see the great "exact" demonstrations of how Corel handles my particular problem with the type warp that comes out skew. Some tools seem to work better while others seem very messy in fact. What I can't see though is the more "automated tools" like "envelope distort" or similar in action. Maybe it's in Corel but it's not demonstrated in this video.

    So in conclusion I am left with the same problem that leads me to two questions...

    1. Is Corel simply the program to go with when warping text like this in the way I am trying to whereas Illustrator is not and...

    2. ...is it possible to find a plug-in for Illustrator that can do this action and if yes, which one/what is it called (maybe someone can provide a link)?

    Hoping to get some more input on the above...!

    Leave a comment:


  • kemingMatters
    replied
    It's quite simple really draw a shape, draw another smaller shape completely on top if the first shape, select both shapes and press cmd+8 (not sure what it is on pc probably ctrl+8) our select object/paths/make compound path.

    Leave a comment:


  • Andy1975
    replied
    Originally posted by kemingMatters View Post
    for # 1: "bulge" is somewhat a pseudo-3D warp effect, that's why it appears the way it does. You could also do this in a two step process using arc-upper, expand the effect, then arc-lower.

    for # 2: make a compound path of the "ridge" and *cringe* use the bevel/emboss photoshop effect if you're going for speed over quality. Just make sure your raster effects are set to a suitable DPI.

    kemingMatters <--

    Thanks also here for your input.

    I follow you in regards to the first step. However I am a bit lost in regards to number two.

    Could you also elaborate here a bit more on how to apply that compound path - if possible with a "technical drawing" that explains the same...?

    Thanks in advance...!

    Leave a comment:


  • Andy1975
    replied
    Originally posted by PrintDriver View Post
    When doing your tin plate sign, you have to take into account light direction. It wouldn't be dark all around the inside and light all around the outside.
    PrintDriver <--

    Thanks for your input. As mentioned earlier this was just a quick mock-up I made in order to show the idea of what I wanted to do.

    I am well aware of the fact that the lighting would not be equal on both sides but that is just what my problem was all about.

    I am looking for an effective way of controlling the corners and subtle areas that dont warp exactly the same way as the sides that are more streamlined.

    Shadows and highlights wouldn't be "even" here rather than probably more random. So I am still keen on knowing how to control this.

    Also..., you posted about transparency masks as a help to do all of the above.

    Could you elaborate on that part, please...?

    Thanks!

    Leave a comment:


  • PrintDriver
    replied
    Kem, Illustrator uses the clipping mask as a boundary now. Certainly in CS5 anyway.

    Corel is more like sign software in having a lot of easy, clean ways to do things that Illustrator (or rather Adobe) hasn't really even given much thought. I like to imagine sometimes what Illustrator would be like if a sign guy actually had some input into its workings...

    Leave a comment:

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