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I Hate It! I Hate Ai!!!

Discussion in 'Adobe' started by Deadworry, Jan 28, 2005.

  1. Deadworry

    Deadworry Member

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    Ughhh! Blech (As Bill the cat would say) !! I hate Adobe Illustrator! I love me some Photoshop but hate Illustrator...WHHHYYY? Now, on with the questions...more like a statement....Why can't they make a book explaining how to make sign graphics in AI? Don't say "buy Flexisign" or something like that, cause my hands are tied. Anyhow what's a screenprinter o do? I read the manual, got classroom in a book...blah, blah....But Illustrator bothers me....Someone come and put me out of my misery...

    Yer Pal...Deadworry

    :help:
     
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  2. jimdes

    jimdes Active Member

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    You ought to try AutoCAD if you think AI is bad, the learning curve on AutoCAD looks like Mount Everest.

    Like many utility programs, there are many uses for AI and there are many books written about the program. As a rule, user manuals generally only describe the tool, it's function and how to deploy the tool. The artistic use of these programs is what seperates artists from hacks (I'm not calling names, just making a point) is the ability to learn what works well with their tools and how to make them work for the artist.

    In essence, AI is to a Computer-Aided Sign Artist as a Mack 0000 Sword Striper is to a striping atrist. You can have a whole box of expensive brushes, but you need to know how to use them. Again, you can put a brush in any idiot's hand but the artist is the guy that knows how to make that brush work for them.

    Now for your comment, your hands are tied, that just sucks . . . kinda like being forced to use Dutch Boy to stripe a car, you could probably do it and there's probably someone out there that swears by it and can make it flow like butter over a warm skillet but you just know there's got to be a better way.

    You just have to find the right book, I'm gonna be taking a class at the community college this summer, maybe that's a good place for you to look? I dunno, just a suggestion. More books <a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/search-handle-form/104-1216091-7342351">here</a>
     
  3. Deadworry

    Deadworry Member

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    Well, Thank you...that was very sweet and soothing...but I'm sure tears will be shed over this situation...or heads will roll...no...blades will fly...wait...probaly tears will be shed...I'm all talk.
     
  4. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    Hang in there .... it gets better.
     
  5. Deadworry

    Deadworry Member

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    The Cutting Master Plug-In that came with the Graphtec only outputs things you can convert to lines, such as text...what if I want to import something from Photoshop? Or a piece of clipart...what then? I think I need a different software other than AI? Am I right?
     
  6. ChiknNutz

    ChiknNutz Major Contributor

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    You can convert any vector object into it's curve components. I know how to do it in Corel, but not in AI. BTW, I messed with AI some and never could get teh hang of it either. I know AutoCAD and other drafting programs pretty well, and CorelDRAW seemed to be an easy learn for me.
     
  7. Graphic Language

    Graphic Language Member

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    Same with me.. I've used AutoCad and used to use CadKey for quite a long time. I have the opposite problem as Deadworry... The vector drawing (I just think of it as drafting with out all the fine tollerance worries) comes easy to me, but trying to use a raster drawing program is harder than actually drawing/painting/etc by hand.

    Bryce
     
  8. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    No, it sounds more like you need a different outputting application if it is that limited. My guess is you just need to get up to speed on vectors and what the difference is between a bitmapped image, a vector and a vinyl-ready vector.

    Adobe Illustrator requires some learning as does any application of similar complexity. But Adobe Illustrator is the keystone standard of vector graphics and is the primary application used to create both native AI format and EPS.

    Your plotter requires vector paths to cut vinyl. It doesn't understand bitmaps and it doesn't understand strokes. Just vectors. Vinyl-ready takes vectors to a little higher standard in that there should be no overlapping shapes and every part of an image is totally defined by vector paths.

    It's a lot different than simply printing or showing something on a monitor. But it really isn't that hard.
     
  9. Deadworry

    Deadworry Member

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    What would be a different outputting program?
     
  10. Rick

    Rick Certified Enneadecagon Designer

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    I started with Corel, and now a Illustrator user, they differ very little...of course when you are forced to change because of employment, you make due......

    With any software try doing simple tasks first.

    type a word out
    create outlines
    offset path (you may want to look at it in preview mode, if there are unwanted lines, then use pathfinder to "unite" it)
    give the offset path a different color.

    then add to it, like copy and past a drop shadow, or compounding, group certain things.

    Learn how to move things to the front, to the back

    In your preferences, mess around with them to suit your needs. I myself turn "area select" off. I also like snap to point, and the rulers on.

    Photoshop is actually harder, it may be fun using the filters and all, but try actually doing a specific task that involved layers, transparencys and paths.

    You may also want to look into a school course, Adobe may even have something on thier site. I do feel your frusteration, the first time I used a mac, it took me 2 hours to figure out how to turn it on......
     
  11. SouthPaw

    SouthPaw Member

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    If you have a simple vinyl cutter (as opposed to a wide format printer), then you may have noticed that the cutter cuts LINES and that is all it can do (what else would you expect a knife blade to do?)...that is why you have that limitation.

    The technical name for the LINES is VECTORS. Art that is "plotter ready" is VECTOR ART (all lines). You can purchase clip art that is vector art and some that is specifically "plotter ready"...which basically means that the lines do not cross over each other.

    RASTER ART is what Photoshop deal with. TIFF, GIF, JPEG, PSD, BMP...those are all RASTER image files. RASTER images are made of PIXELS...no lines involved. Your plotter, unless it has printing capabilities, cannot output raster images.

    Now, what CAN be done is a RASTER image can be converted to a VECTOR image using something called a TRACE program. Adobe's TRACE program is called STREAMLINE: a good program, if you wish to convert a lot of raster images to vector images. But you must remember that you will need to greatly simplify the image someway; how many colors of vinyl do you want to use? Many photos have millions of colors! A grey-scale photo has 256 different shades of grey! You will want to keep colors to a lot fewer than millions or hundreds, I'm sure...maybe 5 or fewer. There are various ways of reducing colors in Photoshop. I seem to recall a "posterize" feature that could do this. You can convert to a black and white image (strangely called "line art" in some programs--has NOTHING to do with vectors) and then adjust the brightness/contrast or the threshold until it looks right...this will produce an image that can be reproduced with one color of vinyl AFTER it is traced in the trace software (Adobe Streamline, in your case).

    I think that AI can also TRACE images that you import into it...I forget how to do this, but someone else might be able to tell you the name of the tool to use. Once you selected this "trace tool", you just click on the imported image and it "traces" it (draws a vector image on top of the raster image).

    Another way to convert raster images to vector images is to import the bitmap (raster image) into AI, and then, using the bitmap as a guide, draw the necessary lines in AI itself...when you're finished, you delete the bitmap behind the drawing--you would need to be pretty handy with AI's tools, which you will be if you do much of this.

    Sounds like you wish you had a wide format printer or a printer/cutter like the VersaCamm or the Gerber Edge, etc.

    --William
     
  12. Gazzz

    Gazzz New Member

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    no program will convert a picture to a vinylable image automatically, and look half decent. For that you'll need to recreate or "digitize" the raster image. Adobe illustrator is more than capable of doing this, but if you can't handle illustrator try corel draw. it's nowhere near the cost of flexisign, and you might be able to pickup version 8-10 for cheap, which will more than adequately suit your vector needs.
     
  13. SouthPaw

    SouthPaw Member

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    On the other hand, if you have clipart that is bitmaps or tiffs or jpegs, etc. and it is also black and white, or has only a few colors, and especially if all the colors in the art are solid colors, you can easily convert such things to vector images for your plotters using either Adobe's bitmap trace tool or Adobe's trace program Adobe Streamline. Most likely anything you trace will need to be fixed up a bit before sending it to the plotter, though. The fewer colors and the higher the contrast in the image (generally) the better the trace results will be--as far as plotting is concerned.
     
  14. Deadworry

    Deadworry Member

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    Oh my goodness! SouthPaw..your my hero! You have finally answered my question!!!! Everyone else was a lot of help too, but you hit the nail on the head. You guys kept mentioning pictures though...I didn't mean that, just simple art....Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!!!!!
     
  15. Rick

    Rick Certified Enneadecagon Designer

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    Thats good, one of us was ready to fly over there and show you.......once we knew what you were talking about :biggrin:
     
  16. SouthPaw

    SouthPaw Member

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    Well, you are quite welcome.
     
  17. iSign

    iSign Verboten

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    Deadworry, you might find this thread interesting. Check the link on the first post, & seemy reply below it as well.
     
  18. iSign

    iSign Verboten

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    Also, you may want to check out the trial version of this software:
    http://www.algolab.com/

    more good discussion here:
    http://www.letterhead.com/ubb-cgi/ultimatebb.cgi/topic/1/18911.html?

    as you can imagine, the struggle for useable vectors has been discussed many times before. Here is another thread I had posted an image at the bottom of, discussing the trials & tribulations of fixing bad artwork. (More stuff to learn to do in Illustrator) :
    http://www.letterhead.com/ubb-cgi/ultimatebb.cgi/topic/1/28092.html?
     
  19. Deadworry

    Deadworry Member

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    I can't thank you guys enough! You've all really been a big help! Now I'll see if there's not something else I can't figure out!
     
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