VectorWand Plug-in (Andrew's Vector Plug-ins Volume 7) Introduction This plugin uses selected paths (or images or symbols) and applies effects / scaling / color / mesh manipulation and others via a brush stroke. Using the vectorwand toolkit is easy and fun, and use to create stunning illustrations and designs Andrew
Plug-in installation Please place the plugin file GX07_VectorWand into the plugin path of Illustrator 速 CS4 CS3 CS2 CS1 10
Possible installation paths PC PC PC PC PC
CS4 C:\program files\adobe\adobe illustrator CS4\plug-ins\graphicxtras CS3 C:\program files\adobe\adobe illustrator CS3\plug-ins\graphicxtras CS2/12 c:\program files\adobe\adobe illustrator CS2\plug-ins\graphicxtras CS/11 c:\program files\adobe\illustrator CS\plug-ins\graphicxtras 10 c:\program files\adobe\illustrator 10\plug-ins\graphicxtras
OS OS OS OS OS
X X X X X
CS4 HD:applications:adobe illustrator CS4:plug-ins:graphicxtras CS3 HD:applications:adobe illustrator CS3:plug-ins:graphicxtras CS2 HD:applications:adobe illustrator CS2:plug-ins:graphicxtras CS HD:applications:adobe illustrator CS:plug-ins:graphicxtras 10 HD:applications:adobe illustrator 10:plug-ins:graphicxtras
(if the 'graphicxtras' folder does not exist, simply create it in the plug-ins folder or use another folder name if you wish. You can also just place the file in the top level plug-ins folder if you wish but putting it in a sub folder makes it easier to find at a later date)
Alternate plug-in installation location Because of recent improvements in security, you may wish to install the plug-in sets in an alternate location such as an user account and not the default plug-in folder. If you are using a basic level account and one without admin features, you might not be able to save the AIP plug-in files to the usual folder. Set up an alternate or secondary plug-in folder in your user account and then copy the files there.
To specify an alternate plug-in for Illustrator 速 1) Go to the edit > preferences > plug-ins 2) Check the additional plug-ins folder option 3) Specify / browse for your required file in your user account (such as 'third party plug-ins' etc)
CS2 Issue Please note for the CS2 and MAC OS X, please place the entire folder of GX07_VectorWand into the plugin path, all the resources etc must be added and nothing renamed
Symbols and brushes
Plug-ins notes The plugin set also comes with some royalty-free symbols and brushes. Please check the license information on the graphicxtras site for more details for the use.
Trademarks Illustrator is registered trademark of Adobe. Photoshop is registered trademark of Adobe. We have no connection whatsoever with Adobe. Adobe product screen shot(s) reprinted with permission from Adobe Systems Incorporated. Copyright (c) 2002-2008 Abneil Software Ltd (Andrew Buckle) / graphicxtras.com
VectorWand plug-in page http://www.graphicxtras.com/products/aiplugin7.htm Check here for upgrades etc and additional information and material. Support (@)at graphicxtras.com (mail address)
Toolbox The vectorwand plugin is a toolbox plugin. The plugin will not appear in the filters or the effects menu or any menu, the plugin will appear at the bottom of the toolbox The vectorwand plugin comes with 19 sub plugins. To access these, simply expand out the plugin toolbox for that tool (10 CS1 CS2 CS3) The vectorwand plug-in comes with 19 plug-ins accessed via the dropdown at the bottom of the dialog. The plug-ins are no longer expanded out. The dialog can be added to the side bar. If the dialog is deleted, double click on the vectorwand icon (CS4)
VectorWand starter The plugin only works on selected paths (or images or gradients or patterns etc and combinations of). The plugin can also be used on text with Illustrator 10 The application of the scaling / rotation etc works on the paths beneath the outline of the vectorwand. Some of the settings of the brush shape modify this but the above is the default application. Please remember that paths may or may not overlap so you might think you are applying the effect say to two or three paths but then suddenly the path changes, even though it appears that the path is not related to the brush stroke region. The brush stroke works on all the layers of the selected paths, hidden or not. Also, for some initial applies of the brush stroke it may appear that nothing is happening or that the pressure setting is so low that the applied setting has no actual effect on the color or size of the path. This can vary and it will take a little practice to apply the brush strokes in a controlled manner. The tool will only work on those relevant to the tool, so if the tool is set to a mesh tool, the mesh tool only works on meshes, whether a warp mesh or gradient mesh. If the tool is the gradients tool, only gradients are modified.
VectorWand options To access all the options for each tool, double click the icon or press return (CS3 CS2 CS 10) Access is visible at all times (unless the dialog is destroyed or added to the sidebar and closed) while the vectorwand is in action (CS4)
Key modifiers for the toolbox SHIFT and CTRL (command key on mac) key combinations modify, while using the vectorwand tool, various dialog settings. Each dialog has its own set of modifications. In the case of scaling, for example, SHIFT + CTRL modifies the scaling (increasing it) of the horizontal and SHIFT alone varies the vertical (increasing it). Some of the dialogs modify the value by increasing the setting (SHIFT + CTRL) and decreasing (SHIFT) such as the opacity value in the opacity dialog or the fill channel settings in the fill channels dialog Not all the tools have modifiers
SPACE bar For most purposes, this is not really an issue as you can release the mouse and paint a different region of the selected paths. However, if you are using the duplicated / trail cursor feature along with the layers, releasing the mouse and then re-start painting actually re-selects the original paths and the newly created duplicated paths. For example, select 100 paths and apply the wand and duplicate paths option might create 1000 paths for even a quick brush stroke. Re-selecting the wand and painting again would then duplicate the 1000 paths and many layers and you will end up with 10000 paths and so on. This makes it hard to pick a different region to apply the brush, as the brush will process all paths beneath it, whether you want to or not. Hold the SPACE bar down when you are applying the brush stroke and don't release the mouse, simply move to the new region and continue painting. Great for stunning 3D effects (using point shift) as well as controllable color etc
Pen / artpad The plugins also can be used with a pen / art pad. To use, set the checkbox 'Pressure modification' to ON. The pen is useful without setting the pressure modification setting as it is much easier to brush on an effect with a pen than a mouse (in general). The pressure setting allows for subtle applications of the vectorwand, so instead of a rapid scaling or coloring of the selected paths, the modification can be slowed and more controllable.
Tools The vectorwand plugin comes with multiple sub plugins such as point shifter, scaling, rotation, apply swatches, tints, gradients, mesh tool, warp mesh tool. Most of the plugins work on paths / images / symbols etc but some such as the point shifter only work on paths (as cornerpoint etc). The mesh tools only work on meshes, as previously mentioned
Plug-ins notes Some of the plugins work on a particular element such as gradients or patterns and if the path selected has no gradient or pattern, nothing will be changed (same with tint, the path must be tint-able)
Globalize settings The top half of each plugin dialog contains the settings related to that plugin, so for scaling there are a number of scaling settings and apply or not and selected center setting. The bottom half of the dialog contains the global settings and changing them in any dialog will change them in all. The globalize entries include the brush size, slowdown, brush shape, layers etc The following are included on all the plugin panels
Brush (horizontal) Brush size for the vector wand. The brush can be thin or thick in either direction, it doesn't have to be square.
Brush (vertical) Brush size in the vertical direction
Slowdown The brush application can be fairly quick, so if you are brushing on a fill color or a style, the application will change pretty
Plug-ins notes quick. If you wish to slowdown the application or change, set the slowdown to 5 or 6. To really slow the brush down, set it to 20 or 30
Pressure modification Modifies the setting based on the pressure applied, so the rotation will be less or more depending of the pressure applied by a pen. Works best with an artpad and pen
VectorWand size (pressure) Modifies the size of the brush based on pressure. A subtle brush stroke will reduce the size of the pen from 0 to the maximum size
Trail cursor Plugin creates a copy of the modified path. For example if the fill tool is being used and the original path is red and the settings result in a green path, multiple paths will be created blending from red to green. This can result in many additional paths. Please note that the number of paths can increase dramatically so please use this function with care. Each time you release the mouse and re-apply the wand, the selected paths are re-duplicated, so 1000s of paths may be generated
New layer for trail
Plug-ins notes Places the trail paths on new layers. This can result in many additional layers. The layers can then be exported to SWF format etc files and displayed as an animation of the scaling / rotation / color etc. The export command can also change the direction of the layer export so (for example a fill of red to green can be exported as an animation of red to green or green to red) If you use this without the trail cursor feature, layers are created but that is all.
VectorWand brush shape dropdown Instead of using the basic shape to apply the brushed on effects, the brushed on effect is applied to all the selected paths outside of the vectorwand shape; or different shape applications such as a ring or graduated or diamond apply as well as applies that use alternate paths/settings for unusual visual designs. Different brush shapes, combined with a pen, can be used to create subtle brush stroke designs as well as unique path illustrations. The size of the brush shape can be modified for all the different brush shapes, so you don't need to keep the shape to a square, the shape can be a thin line 'diamond design' or a wide brush graduated brush stroke. Combine this with the vectorwand size pressure for truly stunning brush strokes. For point related plugins such as the point shifting and the cornerpoint and the mesh plugins, the overlapping of the brush and the underlying paths is ignored, and the underlying points are checked instead. If the point is not beneath the box, then the point will not be modified. As the brush shape varies and includes an option to invert, points outside of the visible box are processed and those within the box are ignored. Likewise, the brush shapes varies the apply factor applied to the points so the point might be untouched by particular brushes.
[R] Randomizations [R]: Some of the items have an R against them. This randomizes the setting. In most cases the randomization is based on 0 to the current set value. If you want a total randomization, you will need to set the main value to a large value and then apply the vectorwand.
General settings Some settings appear on one or more dialog. The general functionality is the same for each plugin
Apply The plugin applies or not randomly.
Selected center Instead of using the selected path center, the center used is the center of all the combined paths
Effect dropdown file:///C|/...Andrew/Products/Documentation%20NOT%20FOR%20RELEASE/Illustrator%20plugins/Volume%207/GX07_Documentation.htm[30/10/2008 19:29:24]
Plug-ins notes The effect (such as transparency) can be applied using the set value or the value is added to the existing value or the value is randomized between o and the set value or total randomization or jitter of the value is applied (randomized between minus and positive value). Not all dialogs have this and some of the terms vary.
Apply to fill The effect is applied to the fill part of the path. If the path is an image or symbol etc, this is ignored.
Apply to stroke The effect is applied to the stroke of the path. The path needs a stroke.
Follow brush The effect is applied and controlled by the direction of the brush stroke. The artpad / pen varies in their response to this and the follow option works best with a mouse.
Plug-ins Scaling tool plug-in Applies scaling or size reduction or increase to selected paths or images or symbols. The plugin includes scaling setting for the vertical and horizontal, applied to the selected center, randomized scaling and random apply
The plugin now includes a range setting. By default this is ignored and scaling is applied to all relevant paths (first option). The second option applies the scaling to the paths with sizes between the two limits (in points i.e. if the range is between 0 and 10 pts and the current size of the path is 20 pts, the path will be ignored). The third option applies the scaling so the lower limit or upper limit is reached by the scaling tool, ignoring the initial size (so if the size of the path is 10pts and the range is 20 pts to 40pts and the scaling is set to 1% increase then the scaling will be applied up to the 40pts)
Translation tool plug-in Applies a shift or jitter to paths. The paths are scattered from their original position The plugin comes with translate vertical and horizontal as well as random translation, random apply of translation, translation to follow the brush direction and the translation to be modified by the current fill (slowing down and speeding up the translation based on the fill color)
Rotate tool plug-in Applies rotation to the paths. The plugin comes with a rotation value (by default 1), the path is rotated on each pass by 1 degree. The plugin also comes with rotation based on the selected center of all paths, random rotation and the rotate modified by the fill color.
Transparency tool plug-in Applies transparency / fade to paths. The plugin comes with a number of options such as jitter the transparency or total randomization of transparency. Note that the transparency is set between 0 and 100%
Stroke weight / width plug-in Modifies the stroke weight (width) setting (requires a stroke setting in place), great for sketchy styles. The plugin comes with a number of options to jitter the width, total randomization of the width, add to the width and more.
Intensity tool plug-in Brightens or darkens selected paths. The fill is modified by default but you can also modify the stroke by checking the 'apply to stroke'
Fill tool plug-in Modifies the color channels on a channel by channel basis. The first field relates to cyan or red or gray, the second to the magenta channel or green channel; the third to yellow or blue; and the last only to CMYK black. Use to darken or lighten or color illustrations. The plugin also creates swatches based on the current color. Works best using slowdown to slow down the generation of swatches / fill changes. The swatches are based on the current color set for each path. The plugin generally should only create unique swatches and not repeat colors (this is not always the case) The plugin also had an option to modify the stroke (set the apply to stroke to ON)
Style tool plug-in Apply selected style (depends on order in palette) or factor (you can use either or both). Requires some pre-setup of the graphic styles palette and can be slow if the style is processor intensive. For example, you can setup a set of styles that are scribbles or 3D and then the styles applied will all be only 3D or scribbles.
Blend modes tool plug-in Applies a random blend mode or selected blending mode
Color reducer tool plug-in Blurs /blends the colors to an average of the selected colors. Modify the reduce value to control the blending speed. Plugin also creates swatches from the colors used (these are not unique swatches at present - so you might find duplications)
Corner Points tool plug-in Modifies the in and out settings of the points (if a square this will have no effect). More useful for circular paths. Only works with paths, not symbols etc
By default the application of modification of the points is a percentage of the current value, so if the direction point is set to 10 pts then if the percentage is set to -10 then the reduction will be to 9 and then to 8.1 and so on. The first option is the default The second option is add the current value (pts), so if the direction points are 10pts and the value is set to 1 pt then the direction points will be increased by 1pt each pass, 11pts, 12 pts etc The third option just replaces the current value with the entered value, so if the direction point is 100pts and then entered value is 2pt, the value will be set to 2pts. As the value entered is modified by pressure etc as well as brush shape, the actual value entered will depend on those factors and may be 1.02 pts etc The brush factor depends now on the position of the point beneath the brush shape and not just the path position beneath the brush shape
Swatches tool plug-in Apply color from the swatches palette. Requires some pre-setup of the swatches palette. Based on the order in the swatches palette. There is no visual display of the swatch and the swatch number.
Tint tool plug-in Applies tint, though this is only useful for paths that can be tinted
Gradients tool plug-in Requires a gradient to be already set. Apply modification to the gradient changing the length / angle etc Depends on the gradient type. Hilite only works with radial gradients. Angle only works with linear. The hilite of the gradient depends on the length.
Patterns tool plug-in Requires a pattern to be set. The tool manipulates the angle as well as the scaling of a pattern
Quick shrink tool plug-in Lens like plugin, scaling based on the center of the brush size
Point shifter tool plug-in Works only on paths. Drags path points in the shift direction, though you can alter the direction to match the brush stroke by setting follow brush to ON. The plugin can also create warped shapes designs as well as bloat / punk effects using the direction points ON. The strength of the point shifting can be modified by the pressure applied as well as the actual color of the paths The brush factor depends now on the position of the point beneath the brush shape and not just the path position beneath the brush shape
Gradient Mesh Tool plug-in Requires a mesh to be selected or multiple meshes
Use the mesh to brush on color to the mesh, adding to the current color or replacing the color The mesh tool is similar to the fill tool but instead of paths, this tool uses meshes. It can be fairly slow, especially combined with other features like trail cursor and layer. All the points beneath the mesh brush shape are modified by the color set (though this can be modified by pressure etc). The fill color also can be applied either as an addition, randomization, replacement etc or total random color. The channel information can also be linked in many different ways using the link channels dropdown.
If the mesh is an RGB mesh then the fourth entry is ignored (first is red etc), if CMYK, then all four are used, (first is cyan etc) The mesh color can also be added to other parts of the mesh at the same time as a tile or mirror or opposite nodes etc or the inversion of the current color mirrored via the pattern dropdown (by default, it is off) The other settings work as with most of the other tools such as create a new path / trail cursor, brush shape changing, etc Please note, the mesh is a fairly approximate thing, to achieve some truly painted effects requires a hefty mesh, patterns etc are not so impressive if you are using only a 3 x 3 mesh.
Warp mesh tool plug-in The warp mesh works similar to the point shift tool and the gradient mesh but instead of color, the warp mesh moves points.
The points can be dragged from the current position outwards or inwards and brushed to create some truly unique mesh designs. The mesh points can be colored and these also will be dragged, the mesh can also contain paths or images and these will be warped as normal (use the envelope mesh feature in Illustrator). The warp mesh can be used to create some truly extreme distorted and warped images and text The points are dragged by the set value though using the follow command, the points will also take into account the direction of the brush stroke. The shift points can also be randomized or not applied (randomly) via the apply or not checkbox The points can also be applied to the mirror or tiled or opposite part of the mesh and will drag in the opposite direction to the current path direction. This can be used to create some truly unique patterned mesh designs. The pattern dropdown comes with a number of variant options such as mirror points and mirror points but drag only alternate points or drag points twice as far as the original points.
All these features can be applied to images contained in a warp mesh, note that this can be fairly slow and refresh might happen (a lot), also this can be even slower if you have a lot of mesh points and the meshes are duplicated and layered as well.
Published on Aug 29, 2011
Manual for the Vector Wand tools - Paint On effects in Illustrator CS5 CS4 CS3 etc such as scaling, color, rotation, movement, styles, gradi...