Adobe Illustrator Pattern Swatches

I hate pattern swatches. Adobe seems to have implemented them before they debugged because they are causing all sorts of memory loss issues. So far the best way I’ve found to print them is to rasterize them at 300dpi and embed them as images. I prefer not to rasterize anything I don’t have to - so does anyone have any advice on other techniques to make them more production friendly?

Thank you.

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Describe what you mean by “memory loss issues.”
We don’t have any trouble printing them (unless there is a spot/trans interaction, I hate when that happens.)

Converting them so they can be cut in vinyl, now there is a nightmare.

A lot of times, the size is a function of what’s hidden behind any masking. When going to PDF dump anything outside the clipping frame.

This is not a common problem but happens often enough that it’s worth understanding.

The pattern swatch is often vector based. If it is sufficiently complex and several clipping paths are used they can time out at prepress. There are obviously work arounds… The perfect example is when one fills a bunch of tiny areas (paths) with the swatch.

I believe what happens is that the code was written poorly in that what seems to be happening is the computations are out of order. I think (and I could be completely wrong) that the entire swatch is computed first as an object, then it is cut by the path - cut by any other path… It should be the other way around so that only the path is filed instead of the entire 2" square (plus the extra computations). This isn’t a problem with a color or a gradient since there is very little information to be calculated.

When one has hundreds of tiny paths, all filled with a 2" x 2" pattern, the time-out occurs.

Like I said, the best way I’ve found to fix this is to isolate and rasterize the layers with the swatch but that can be time consuming. If anyone knows any other tricks, please pass them on.

Ah, size matters.
The stuff I do is so large, patterns aren’t really a problem. I can see where you’re coming from, trying to jam multi-thousands of points into a very tiny area. As I just said in another thread, “it sure looked pretty on the monitor, though…”

I mean, rasterizing works fine. But I am always looking for the best solution, not just the “fine” thing.

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