Lemieux Design

Flash | Interactive | Web | Graphics | Brand | Video

Archive for the ‘Illustrator’ Category

Griping about Adobe Help

Posted on: April 8th, 2009 by alemieux

Application program Help is all over the place on the Mac platform. Sometimes, you’ll see the standard OS interface, other times, it will be a proprietary interface, and in Adobe’s case (for CS4 that is), it’s all web-based.

Yes, that’s right, CS4 help is web-based. Now at first glance, that may sound ideal and when you first try it, you might be impressed to find that any search will return results not only from the Adobe website, but anywhere on the web.

However, this can be a hindrance and not help. If you use a focused search on something like “Knife Tool”, in Adobe Illustrator CS4, you may get some results that are directly about CS4 and some that aren’t. In earlier versions of Adobe products, the Help file would be only about that particular product. It becomes more frustrating in Flash, when you’re doing searches on ActionScript particulars. I thought the earlier help tools were much more helpful, though maybe not as broad, than the current version.

The most frustrating thing about the new help system is that, if you don’t have an internet connection, you can’t get help! That just doesn’t seem right.

What are your thoughts?

On another note, it’s been a while since I’ve posted here. I’ve been posting at my other blogs:
http://usingflash.blogspot.com
http://usingillustrator.blogspot.com
http://usingindesign.blogspot.com
http://usingphotoshop.blogspot.com

I’m also feature in another blog from the school where I’m currently teaching:
http://www.cdiabu.com/blog

Finally, I’m also blogging for my place of work at:
http://boggse-learningchronicle.typepad.com/the_online_conte/
in the Tricks and Tips for CSS, Flash, XHMTL Category.

Cool Illustrator Plug-in: Xtream Path

Posted on: April 3rd, 2009 by alemieux

Xtream Path, by CValley Software, is a set of tools that allow you to work with paths a little easier than just the Direct Selection tool. There are demo videos on their site and I can think of a bunch of uses for these tools.

Multiple Artboards

Posted on: September 24th, 2008 by alemieux

Illustrator CS4 now supports multiple artboards. I know, I know, Freehand had this capability for a long time, but now Illustrator finally can do it. But differently. It’s not like multiple pages in Freehand or InDesign, it’s very flexible. There’s an artboard tool that allows you to modify or select each artboard. When you start a new document, you can choose how many artboards you want.

I think this is awesome, especially for someone who works in Illustrator for print design work. You can create collateral pieces now in a single Illustrator document, which saves a lot of headache’s finding files, etc.

Article at Layers Magazine

Posted on: August 15th, 2007 by alemieux 2 Comments

I’ve been published! My first article/tutorial was published by Layers Magazine. It’s about using Flash and Illustrator together with dynamic text. Getting Dynamic with Illustrator and Flash.

CS3 Creative License Conference

Posted on: June 13th, 2007 by alemieux

I went to the Adobe CS3 Creative License conference yesterday at the Hynes convention center in Boston and was splendidly surprised at all the whiz bang of it. Aside from the presentations, they gave us a whole month’s worth of training from Lynda.com. Plus, the people at On1 software gave us $400 worth of plug-in software for Photoshop CS3! In our little Adobe bags they also included a DVD version of the video workshop which includes video tutorials for all of the products in the creative suite. Well worth the $79 price for attendance.

First up, Terry White gave us an overview of the entire suite. He got a lot of oohs and ahhs from the audience by showing the new Quick Select tool in Photoshop, Smart Filters, and the ability to load and play video files. There were some cool new features in Contribute that allow you to edit and update a blog. Terry took a couple of snapshots of the audience and then posted live to his own blog. I was impressed with the new version of Premiere and the ability to drag and drop After Effects comps directly into Premiere.

Terry and the next presenter Sebastian, spent a lot of time extolling the goods of Bridge. The new Bridge home has some video tutorials that you can view online. Sebastian then went into all of the cool new features of Camera Raw 4.1 like, parametric curves, clarity and vibrance, and split toning. The wildest thing that he showed though was the Auto Align and Auto Blend features in Photoshop. You can align images on multiple layers. The Auto Blend features works well when stitching together panoramas.

Sebastian then went into Kuler and talked about how you can use it with the Live Color feature in Illustrator. The ability to manipulate colors in a smarter way with color groups in the Swatches palette and the new color guide are going to improve the non-color savvy designers creations. InDesign has some great new transparency and effects. Now you can have transparency for fills, stroke, type, and object. InDesign CS2 only allows object transparency, so this is big.

The web portion of the presentation was particularly weak. The presenter (Kyle) had a lot of difficulty getting anything to work and within a few minutes he had blown his demo completely. It was hard for me to pay any more attention to him because he kept mucking things up so badly. People in the audience had to help him remember things and Terry white had to help him through his demo on FireWorks. He fumbled through the Spry Framework in Dreamweaver, which was a particular bummer. He was able to recoup though, during the Flash portion, showing us the new primitive objects and native Illustrator/Photoshop support. Copying and pasting motion tweens from one object to the next is really great and, of course, copying a tween as ActionScript is even cooler.

Towards the end of the day, it was all about video and Kevan showed us some awesome features in Photoshop. Yes, that’s right, I said Photoshop. You can now export from Vanishing Point an image in a special 3D for After Effects VP Exchange format. Once in After Effects, you can treat the object as a 3-D element and do pans and motion. There’s an awesome and hilarious new feature in AE called the puppet tool. Kevan took a live action shot of a person doing kung-fu and rearranged the kick of the person to reach out to different locations, kicking away a piece of text. Finally, he showed us some very cool features of SoundBooth, which has some really remarkable audio clean up tools.

All in all, it was a great day of learning and I am very excited about the possibilities. I’m really excited about Flash and After Effects especially.

+ Freehand RIP +

Posted on: May 16th, 2007 by alemieux

Not surprisingly, especially with the release of CS3, Freehand will go the way of PageMaker and many other products, as Adobe will no longer develop it. I’ve used Freehand, I’ve taught others how to use it and, honestly, I’ve never liked it.

It could be one of those things where I used Illustrator first and not Freehand and if it were the other way around, maybe I would’ve liked it. What I didn’t like about it was that it just felt clunky. There were hundreds of palette’s and features, but you had to seriously dig to find them.

I’m not going to miss it, will you?