Tagged: vector

Create vector-based halftone and raster patterns with VectorRaster


Vectoraster is a Mac OS X graphics utility for creating vector-based raster patterns and halftones based on bitmap images, an effect that has been popular in illustration and design the last couple of years, but is quite tricky to achieve without the proper tools.

The raster patterns and point shapes can be freely configured to produce many different styles. The resulting rasters can then either be exported as vectors to EPS or PDF files, as images to JPEG, PNG or TIFF, or simply copied into most graphics software.

VectorRaster is $29 ($12 upgrade from previous versions) and a demo is available for download.

Create an emboss text effect in Adobe Illustrator with this great tutorial

I recently had the need to create a realistic looking license plate for a project and I wanted to do it completely in Adobe Illustrator in order to keep it easily editable and total flexibility in sizing for later use. I knew I had read a tutorial years ago, so a quick search found it.

Create a realistic vector emboss text effect with this tutorial

Real World Illustrator offers this fantastic emboss text effect tutorial that yields near perfect results every time.

Easily create vector format QR Codes – and know when to use them

I’m not a huge fan of QR Codes, I think they’re a great idea that just hasn’t taken off. Regardless, if you have a client that wants to use them, you’ll need a way to create them. There are more than a few iPhone and OS X apps that can create them for you, but most only allow you to save a JPG or PNG version. Not very flexible.

QR Code generator

Simple QR Code creation with vector file output

I set out to find one that allowed me to save a vector version so I could edit the colors freely, and scale the QR Code to any size I needed. Here’s what I found. (more…)

Free vectors: torn paper

Torn paper vectors and brushes

Creating the torn paper effect is easy with this collection of free artwork

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to use a torn paper texture over the years. Getting just the right paper, and then carefully tearing it is difficult at best. Thankfully, artbees has made it easier with three free torn paper vectors for Adobe Illustrator, and matching Photoshop brushes.

The files are flat black vectors you can use as is, or use as a mask in Photoshop as I did in the image above. I got the paper texture itself from one of the BittBox Free Texture Tuesday collections.

VectorScribe takes vector path and shape editing to new levels

Astute GraphicsPlease join me in welcoming The Graphic Mac’s latest site sponsor, Astute Graphics. The first time I heard of Astute Graphics was back in 2008 when I reviewed Phantasm CS, a new plugin suite for Adobe Illustrator. In that review, I called Phantasm CS “the most useful plugin set I’ve ever come across for any version of Adobe Illustrator.”

Today I want to introduce you to VectorScribe, the latest plugin from Astute Graphics. VectorScribe allows you to quickly and easily create and manipulate vector paths in Adobe Illustrator CS3 to CS5 through the use of several new tools and panels.

VectorScribe by Astute Graphics

VectorScribe makes complex path operations easy

Because there are two versions of VectorScribe, Designer and Studio, and the tools are so incredibly powerful and in-depth, I’m just going to briefly overview them here. But before I do, let me just say that if you’re the type of Illustrator user who only opens AI once or twice per month to quickly edit an existing logo, VectorScribe probably isn’t for you. But if you spend a good amount of time in Illustrator, working as a logo designer, architect, illustrator, or cartographer, then you’ll definitely enjoy this plugin! (more…)

Free Freehand group files antitrust lawsuit against Adobe

FreehandThere was a time when the battle for vector creation dominance was a heated battle between Adobe Illustrator and Macromedia Freehand. Illustrator was the dominant player, but not by much. Freehand users were extremely loyal, and the application offered many features that are still absent in Illustrator to this day. All of that changed in 2005 when Adobe acquired Macromedia and discontinued Freehand completely.

Freehand users were absolutely furious. To this day, Illustrator faces no real competition in the professional vector art creation world.

Out of nowhere (for me anyway), a group called Free Freehand has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Adobe Systems, Inc., alleging that Adobe has violated federal and state antitrust laws by abusing its dominant position in the professional vector graphic illustration software market.

I suspect that the group is seeking to have the code for Freehand sold to another party for active development, or donated to the open source community. At this stage of the game, I’m not sure if anyone could resurrect Freehands popularity among professional designers. Illustrator is a great program, and as part of the Adobe Creative Suite it is a staple product for every professional designer; a group that doesn’t take well to drastic change. But it will certainly be interesting to follow the lawsuit.

Tutorial: Enhance your vector image with Adobe Photoshop

Photoshop enhanced vector art

Enhancing vector art in Photoshop takes your image to the next level

The greatest value in any tutorial you come across on the web is not the actual image you create following the tutorial, but being exposed to the techniques used to create them.

Vector art ready for enhancementVectorTuts has a great tutorial on enhancing your vector art with Photoshop. The image to the right is a piece of vector art created in Adobe Illustrator. It’s flat and boring, and you could use many filters and techniques to enhance it in Illustrator, but exporting the vector file as a layered Photoshop file offers you the opportunity to learn some really useful techniques. The end result can be seen in the image at the top of this post.

As with any tutorial, I encourage you to play with the settings illustrated in the tutorial to suit your taste. The tut makes heavy use of layer effects and gradients. While the tutorial is what I would call intermediate level, it will probably take you about a half an hour to go through.