08 October 2006

[design] Illustrator: It's Not Just For Breakfast Anymore

One of the things I love reading about is how other creatives use thier tools. The things they use them for gives an exceptional insight in how flexible and liberating these digital applications are.

What caught my eye today was the way a local blogger, Terry Grant, uses Illy to aid and abet her quilting. I myself in the past have done drawings and I have a big drawing desk that's still on of my most inspiring pieces of furniture; just sitting down in front of it is enough to get the creative juices flowing. And, when I'm in full effect, I have my drawing affixed to it and reference drawings taped up and scattered about the edges. The way she uses layers to hold reference drawings reminds me very much of this.

Terry also sagely assays a very big reason why vector drawing programs, such as Illy, are essential to the digital creative artist. From her blog entry:

I enlarged my drawing to the size I wanted it. (That's a great thing about Illustrator—it is a vector image that can be enlarged to whatever size you want with no loss of quality)
This is an important point. While pixel-oriented editors such as Photoshop (for the high end), PaintShop Pro (for the middle) and even lowly MS Paint (for the tyro) are very capable programs, enlarging parts of those drawings also enlarges the pixels they are made up of, rendering your enlargment blocky. Vector drawings, on the other hand, are made up of paths, and are stored as x,y coordinates with an equation that tells the program how to draw the line that connects the two. That means that no matter how you scale the object in question (or zoom in), a resolution-independent line with the proper attributes is simply redrawn by the software with no pixelation.

Read Terry's blog entry via this link.

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