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Product: Illustrator 10
Company: Adobe
Estimated Street Price:
Review By: Julien Jay

Creativity Features

Table Of Contents
1: Introduction
2: Interface & Web Features
3: Creativity Features

   Illustrator 10 is packed with ferocious creative features that have been widely improved over the previous release. First Illustrator 10 hosts a few new drawing tools in the toolbox palette. There are new Arc, Rectangular Grid and Polar Grid tools that let you quickly create open curves and matrices as easy as point and click. Grid tools will be especially useful to create background grids in an instant or to create complex charts while the polar grid draws concentric circles and radial lines that’ll help you create target, radar screens, or maps of the north and south pole in just a few mouse clicks. Users frequently select objects in a graphic: thus Illustrator 10 comes with the acclaimed Magic Wand tool that will select a range of objects with similar attributes. 

Adobe Illustrator 10: Polar Grid (click to enlarge)

Illustrator has always been software aimed to help you unleash your creativity. In this release Adobe has included awesome creative features like the Live Distortion one. Those new distortion options make easy to bend, warp, and manipulate your design in order to create a wide variety of effects. The ‘live’ word, means you can make changes to the artwork content (like text, images and objects) without affecting the appearance of the distortion. Illustrator includes fifteen warp settings that can be applied to objects, text and images. Since each effect has a bunch of settings to adjust there are many way to create amazing artworks.  

Adobe Illustrator 10 Live Distortion Tools In Action! (click to enlarge)

Another distorting effect is the highly awaited envelopes one: using this tool, any path you create can be used as the basis to distort images, text and objects. Envelopes are available in competing software for some time now, and we’re glad to see Adobe has finally adopted it! That way you can add depth to drawings, develop complex designs or simulate 3D effects. Adapted from the gradient mesh tool, the envelope gives users an accurate control over the torsions that will be inflicted to the drawing. The best thing is surely the fact you can still edit the shapes within the envelope so you can refine contents without the distorted shape context. You can apply a grid over text, images and drawn objects using the make from mesh command. Once it’s done, you can manipulate points on the mesh to distort the underlying elements of your artwork. One of the live effects, ‘Rasterize’ will help you control the anti-aliasing of a text. 

Adobe Illustrator 10 Envelope Tool (click to enlarge)

Adobe has included seven new liquefy tools in Illustrator 10. These tools like the liquefy brushes (like pucker and crystallize) will transform basic paths into jittery lines or exaggerated shapes. These tools work almost like filters. New to Illustrator 10, but already an old school feature of PhotoShop, is the Flare tool. The Flare tool will let you add realistic lens flares to your artwork. Plus thanks to the numerous settings offered by the tool, you have total control of the flare appearance. The lens flare is a vector object thus it looks awesome at any resolutions. They can also be animated in Adobe Premiere or After Effects. 

Adobe Illustrator 10 Lens Flare Tool (click to enlarge)

Long time Illustrator users know they have to combine simple shapes to create complex forms. Illustrator 10 now simplifies the process for a greatest efficiency: the pathfinder palette has been updated to offer more intuitive settings as well as the ability to make compound shapes “live”. Indeed each elements of a compound object, despite the global outward appearance has changed, keeps its integrity. In order to offer more flexibility the pathfinder palette now lets you combining shapes using the new Add, Substract, Intersect and Exclude options while maintaining the editability of each elements.

Adobe Illustrator 10 Revamped PathFinder Palette (click to enlarge)

Illustrator 10 supports full scripting technology. Thus you can create automated routines to perform painlessly daunting tasks. Batch processes can access virtually every feature of Illustrator using JavaScript, or Windows Visual Basic. In addition to all the fabulous features explained above, Illustrator 10 is fully Windows XP compliant.

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