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Ivan's picture

Layered vector effects

707

Macromedia Freehand's days may be numbered, but we shouldn't forget about it yet. Hopefully the feature below and many others not existing in Illustrator will find their way into the next version of Adobe's vector application.

Freehand paletterIn Freehand MX you can apply more than one stroke or fill to an object. In this example there is a thick white border on the letters. As a second layer of stroke that is covering the white one, I applied a thinner orange stroke. And finally there is an even thinner white stroke in the middle. You can download the file for closer inspection.

To add a new stroke or fill you just need to press the little plus button with the relevant icon and you will be able to see how the different strokes and fills are layered above each other. You can also move these layers around like you would do in PhotoShop.

What other features would you like to be saved from Freehand if it happens to be phased out?

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Travholt's picture
6 pencils

You can do the same thing in Illustrator, in the Appearance palette. The only thing one has to remember is to select the text with the Type tool first and remove any stroke/fill from the "Characters" in the palette. Then use the Selection tool and select "Add New Fill" and "Add New Stroke". You can add multiple fills and strokes if you want. (If you don't remove fill and stroke on the characters, it can get a bit confusing, as the displayed fill and stroke in the Tools palette will be for the characters, while what you really see in your illustration will be the object level fills/strokes.)

Ivan's picture

You're right, I'm such a dumb. ::blushing:: I totally forgot about this in Illustrator. Thanks for clearing this up Travholt.

One feature checked. I guess we could file this post under Illustrator as well. :)

Ivan's picture

The other thing that comes to my mind is that I'd like to have paste inside mask in Illustrator like in Freehand. I know there is masking, but it would be nice to be able to paste in just one object into a mask. Also in Freehand the mask can have properties like background or stroke.

mark's picture

You can apply strokes, fills and some effects to masks in Illy as well. Strokes are above any masked objects and fills go behind any masked objects.

Ivan's picture

Excellent. I guess my intention of praising Freehand's features over Illustrator is not very successful. :)

Anonymous's picture

Just copy, paste behind a thicker stroke...in Illustrator. Why? Because freehand is doomed! Also, check out the new specs for illustrator CS

- paint bucket fill (even if shapes aren't closed, you set tollerance)
- tracing (ala streamline)
- new stroke options

http://www.adobe.com/products/illustrator/newfeatures.html

Ivan's picture

1. Collect for output is missing in Illustrator, something we discussed before here.

2. Find&Replace that works with colors, strokes, etc. not just text?

3. Library of elements like Flash?

4. 3D tools like extrude?

JimD's picture
2626 pencils

1. Illustrator doesn't have Collect for output, because 90% of the creative world doesn't use Illustrator for page layout – and you can embed all your images and fonts anyway, so there's nothing to collect.

2. Find & Replace IS in Illustrator, go under the Select menu and look under the Same and Object sub-menus. You will find a bunch of options there.

3. Librarys have been in Illustrator since version 9. Go under the Window menu and look at the bottom, you'll see a few listed library options. It's fairly easy to customize them to your needs, though not quite as easy as InDesign or Quark's Library palettes. Plus, you can use the Symbols palette as well.

4. Extrude is in there as well. Look under the Effects menu, the first effect listed is 3D. In that sub-menu, the first 3D effect is Extrude and Bevel.

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Ivan's picture

1. Agree. InDesign is better for page layout.
2. I knew about this one, but it's not as advanced as in FH, but it does the job.
3. I seem to remember using this one before to create special strokes. How do you add a logo for example? If I change the custom object in the Library would all the instances change as well?
4. I guess it's there in CS, but I only have 10. I guess I can skip CS now and just go for CS2 right away.

Wurx's picture

Ivan your suggestions hit it 100%. But it's going to be a long time in the making. The new version is done. Then again, they have surprised us with new undocumented features. Let's hope we see some. (no chance for collect for output, they would surely advertise that....)

coded's picture
51 pencils

While InDesign already has multiple pages, Illustrator does not. Why use two programs when I can use one? For that matter why have 2+ files when you only need one?

In the screen printing shop where I work we use this Freehand feature 30+ times a day. If an art order has multiple pieces (eg: center chest print/full front print/full back print) we can keep all the art in one file. Using Illustrator would make for multiple files. File management is already a huge issue for us as we have anywhere between 5 and 50 orders going through the art department daily.

JimD's picture
2626 pencils

I *believe* I read somewhere over at Adobe's forums that they are putting multiple page documents into the next version of AI. Hopefully you won't have to wait long.

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Anonymous's picture

I'd like to see contour and logrithmic gradients, as well as a 3D move tool. Also, the select and subselect tool in Feehand is so much more intuitive, I'd love for there to be an option to have those tools act like they do in Freehand.

While we're at it, blends of blends would be nice, as would type previews of whatever text is selected. And I'd also prefer Freehand's trace tool to Streamline anyday. And I'd like to be able to drag and drop colors across palettes and objects like Freehand allows too.

Basically, give me Illustrator's GUI and preview capability with all the functionality of Freehand.

Ivan's picture

You can pinpoint one object in a complex artwork with many groups embedded in each other and keep pressing the "tilde" button to expand the selection.

thornysarus's picture
930 pencils

I prefer Freehand to Illustrator, probably because it's what I learned on and was required to use (by Gannett News/USA Today) since version 1.0.

I'm troubled knowing full-well that Adobe will end up nixing Freehand. Oh well...

There are many things (most of which are listed above) that sets Freehand apart, but in general, I find it (especially since Macromedia has owned the title) generally easier to learn, use and it just seems more intuitive.

Maybe it's just what you get used to using every day.

So long Freehand... You'll be missed.

Terrell Thornhill

e-zign Design Group

Ivan's picture

As far as I know it's not a done seal yet. Do you have more info?

thornysarus's picture
930 pencils

Just going on assumptions here. I'll post something when I hear about the Fate of Freehand. I'm keeping my ear close to the ground (as they say) on this issue.

There's just too much speculation on the issue as of now.

Terrell Thornhill

e-zign Design Group

JimD's picture
2626 pencils

that I might be surprised to hear Adobe's plans. Of course I said, little bird, whatever do you mean? The little bird told me that when Adobe bought Freehand from Aldus years ago, they had to sell it because it would have been a monopoly since there were no other vector apps out there. He then pointed out that Microsoft currently has a vector app available for OSX (which we have a post about here at CB), as well as StoneStudio and Corel Draw Suite.

This is all the big dumb bird would tell me, but he had a smile on his face when he said it... of course, maybe he just ate a worm.

Get your "fix" of design software tips, tricks & commentary.

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Visit The Graphic Mac for graphics and Mac OS tips, reviews, tutorials and discussion.

p4trick's picture
29 pencils

Some neat stuff for illustrator here:
http://www.hotdoor.com/

dpc's picture
359 pencils

I seem to having trouble keeping files embeded in illustrator.

Where is the option to embed files and fonts?

Thanks for the help!

http://www.davidpcrawford.com - http://www.vomit76.com

Graphic, Web and Logo Designer from Pittsburgh, PA http://www.davidpcrawford.com

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