SymbolPaint Toolbox (Andrew's Vector Plug-ins Volume 8) Introduction (paint tool using symbols) This plugin is a toolbox plugin. To use, you must initially select a symbol from the symbol palette (or set the randomization / ordering options in the settings panel), and then apply the brush strokes using the symbol (or symbols) Andrew
Installation of plug-in toolbox/ symbols PC: Please place the GX08_SymbolPaint.aip file in the c:\program files\adobe\illustrator CS\plug-ins folder [pc Illustrator 速 CS] or c:\program files\adobe\illustrator 10\plug-ins [pc illustrator 10] or CS1 CS2 CS3 CS4 equivalent OS X: please place the GX08_SymbolPaint file in Please note, the entire folder 'plugin for Illustrator CS2' must be placed in the plug-in path of CS2 for the plugin to work in CS2 (please don't change the names or remove any items.. the plugin will fail)
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)
Install of symbols The symbols files (*.ai files) should be placed in the c:\program files\Adobe\Illustrator...\presets\symbols folder (or mac equivalent). Access the symbols files via the windows\symbols menu (please consult the Illustrator documentation)
Initial Use of plug-in 1) Select plug-in from plug-in tool box 2) Select a symbol in the symbols palette (CS3 CS2 CS 10) If no symbol selected, the first symbol will be used 2) Set the symbol no in the symbol paint dialog (CS4) Note: 0 is the first symbol in the palette, 1 the second and so on. 3) Apply brush stroke using current symbol NOTE If you don't change anything such as the dialog or the symbol palette, the only symbol to be used will be the first symbol in the palette (which depends on the version of Illustrator) NOTE To randomize the symbol used in the palette or apply the brush stroke symbols in the order of the symbol palette, set the random or ordered option setting
Plug-ins notes NOTE if there are no symbols in the palette, the plug-in will not work
Above, the symbol paint dialog (in CS4) see the symbol no field at the bottom of the dialog. Select this to change the symbol used
Symbols Symbols can be anything (well nearly anything.. graphs are one item exclude from being a symbol). Symbols can be created from text and images as well as gradients and patterns as well as standard paths. Brushes can be converted into symbols. Illustrator, especially CS, comes with a huge range of different symbols (and brushes) for possible use in the plugin. You can create your own. Or use the royalty-free set included with this plugin
Symbols libraries You can use any of the pre-existing symbol libraries. To access the symbols libraries (AI files) 1) Go to the symbol palette 2) Go to the right side menu dropdown 3) Select the open symbol library option 4) Select one of the libraries stored in the presets folder 5) If you wish to select another, go to the other library option 6) Once displayed, select required symbols places the symbol in the symbols palette for the document
Apply brush stroke To use the plugin, just apply and hold down the mouse (or pen) and release. The plugin comes with a wide range of options to decrease the size or change the angle of the symbol brush dab (as well as the additional 'bristles'). The plugin can be applied just using the dab settings, but you can extend the brush stroke to include additional symbol bristles and this in turn is controlled by the brush settings.
Tumble / initial tryout A good starting point for trying a wide range of different settings is the 'tumble' button. Click on the tumble button to randomize many of the dialog settings
Plug-in Controls' Dab' Screen / dialog This is the basic screen to control the paint tool 'main' brush dab. 'Initial size (%)': Symbols have an initial size (at the time of creation of the symbol) and this may or may not be the required size for a brush stroke. Use this to shrink the size of over large symbols or increase the size of the start point of small symbols.
'Initial angle (o)': As with size, a symbol comes with an initial angle (at the time of creation of the symbol) and you might prefer to have the initial angle to be at 45 degrees to the original. Another way around this, as with the initial size, is to drag the symbol to the document and modify the symbol and then drag to the symbol palette.
'Dab shrink/per dab': Each symbol will be reduced in size by the setting (if 98%) then each symbol created will be 98% the size of the previous. The symbol can also grow in size, though this can be dramatic if set to a large value and can fill a screen in seconds. A more useful setting is something like 99.5%, and the symbols will shrink in a more controlled manner
'Dab resize (R) (%)': Random resizing of the symbols between the entered minimum and maximum. The symbol resize can also be negative and this will flip the symbol. The first row is for the horizontal / width, the second row is for the vertical / height of the symbol (this is indicated as v and h on some screens to reduce size of the text entry. The resizing is proportional to the original proportions of the symbol by default, though this can be set to off via the link setting to create thin or thick symbols. No change if set to 100 100
'Dab angle[R] (o)': The symbol is rotated between the minimum and maximum angle settings. If set to 0 and 0 then no random rotation will be applied with this setting (there are also other additional rotation settings and these are added to the rotation, whether relevant or not)
'Dab jitter [R] (p)': The symbol is moved from its default position (the brush stroke path) by this jitter setting. The first row is the horizontal direction jitter, the second row, the vertical jitter. The jitter is applied between the minimum and maximum settings set and these can be negative as well as positive. Paths might overlap depending on the jitter settings. No jitter applied if 0 0
'Symbol No': In previous versions you can just select the symbol to use from the palette. With (CS4) select the symbol via the dialog 'Symbol No' field. 0 is the first symbol in the palette, 1 is the second etc
If you wish to select the symbol 3 above (in the palette) 1) Go to the symbol paint options dialog - this could be visible or stored in the side bar. If you delete or close the dialog, you can only re-access it via re-starting the application (so please just store it in the side bar if you wish to remove it from the document artpad) 2) Go to the symbol no field 3) Enter 4 or click the up down control till you reach 4 4) Apply brush (if the random or ordered option is selected then the 4 will be ignored) Mirror: Mirror options. Instead of just painting a single stream of dabs/bristles, the brush reflects (in a variety of ways), the brush stroke. Most of the reflections are around the document view center, this is not the same as the actual document center but the center of your view (so if you shift the view and re-start drawing, the view center is a different position and the reflection will be in a different location). There are a variety of reflections such as tiling, zigzag, etc. Use the mirror / reflection options to create unusual pattern designs, brush strokes and more. 'Presets': A selection of brush presets (this appears on all the screens)
'Tumble' : The tumble button randomizes most of the settings
'Apply' Screen / dialog This screen controls the application of the brush dabs, apply rate, paint on symbols, interpolation of symbol generation based from a defined 'interpolation' position etc 'Paint on symbols': This is ignored if the 'paint anywhere' is set on. The brush can be used to paint only on an anchor point or a end point or a center point or a fill. This can be used to create a traced image using the symbols; or as a fill. Some of the options may be a little obscure and I would suggest checking out the Illustrator manual to understand direction line end points and anchor points of paths.
'Hits': Ignored if the 'paint anywhere is on'. This option allows you to specify you only paint on a brush path or a text object or a selected object or locked objects etc or objects with or without fills. As with the previous option, I would suggest reading the Illustrator documentation to understand some of the issues of bezier and selected and locked objects. 'Paint anywhere': If set to on, the plugin ignores any of the hit request or hit type option settings and applies the brush anywhere and everywhere the cursor passes, depending on the jitter etc settings. The tool will not apply a symbol on top of a symbol though so to apply 100s of symbols to a small area or to a line etc you will need to set the overlap option. 'Overlap paint': More useful when used with 'paint anywhere' set to off. The plugin will generally generate more symbols in a small area and can be used to fill areas or lines with more symbols (useful for creating a complete frame instead of a frame with gaps)
'Dabs per layer': The number of brush dabs to add to a layer before creating a new layer. The bristles are added to the same layer as the dab. If set to 0 then the layers option is ignored. Useful for animation effects and possible export to SWF format. 'Dabs apply rate': The plugin (depending on the machine) can generate a lot of symbols per second. If set to 0, the plugin will generate symbols as fast as possible. If set to 20 or so, less symbols will be generated per 'brush stroke pass'. Useful for more controlled brush strokes as well as reducing the number of symbols generated.
Plug-ins notes '+ Alternating angle (o)': If set to 0, ignored. The plugin will modify the angle of the symbol of the second symbol, fourth symbol, ... and so on by this amount. Useful for unusual patterned effects
'+ Twist angle (o)': The plugin rotates the symbol by this amount and this is accumulative.
'Shrink factor / ordered': Only applied if the symbols in palette order is set. This creates a pulse effect of symbols re-sized through the cycle of symbols in the current symbols palette. 'Interpolation dropdown': A selection of different settings for the interpolation of position of 'generated' and the interpolation center. If interpolation value is 0 , this dropdown is not enabled and is ignored. The interpolation center by default is the actual center of the symbol, other options include center of the document view, the document frame, vertical point from application, etc. 'Interpolation': If set to 0, ignored. Can be set to negative or positive and modifies the generated position of the symbol from the actual brush stroke point. You could be painting at X/Y, if interpolation is used, the interpolation factor and the interpolation center (defined by the dropdown) moves the symbol to a new position. This could be around the edge of the document, throughout the document (creating a texture), along one edge, around the document view center, along a line, and others
'Edges' screen / dialog This screen controls the addition of bristles to the main dab. Originally listed as 'bristles', the panel is now 'edge' 'Number of bristles per dab': The plugin can be used without any additional 'bristles' (or symbols). If set to 0, ignored, and most the bristle related entries are set to ignored
'Edge resize (%)': The bristles are applied as is but can be re-sized proportionally from the Center ('dab') to the edge of the bristle range (defined by the brush width) This creates small (or larger symbols at the edge of the brush stroke.
'Core resize (%)': The bristles can be re-sized in the middle as well (or core), so instead of using 100% sized symbols, the symbols can be shrunk or increased in size at the middle (the size is interpolated from the middle to the edge and depends on the brush width)
'Bristles resize (%)': The bristles are applied at the size determined by the edge and core, but you can also re-size them to create even smaller overall bristles or much larger bristles 'Number of bristles [R]': If the bristles are set to 0, ignored. The bristles generated per dab are the same for each dab unless this option is set. The number of bristles will be randomized between 0 to the current number of bristles
'Bristles random symbols': The bristles are applied as the dab. If this option is set, the bristles are randomly selected from the current symbols palette
'Brush' screen / dialog This screen controls the overall brush size and angle 'Brush width (p)': The width of the brush region for the bristles distribution (the dab ignores the width)
'Brush height (p)': The 'height' of a bristles and dab section (this is repeatedly continuously as you apply a brush stroke), not the most controllable of features but can modify the density of brush strokes 'Brush slant (o)': The slant of the bristles distribution (height/width) 'Brush resize': Resize the brush width and height, shrinking or increasing the brush size. If there are no bristles, this is ignored. Doesn't decrease the size of the dab, though (so it might be better to apply the brush stroke without the 'central' dab)
'Brush width [R]': Randomizes the width of the brush stroke per distribution region of the brush stroke (which depending on the size and number of the bristles) may contain a lot or very few symbols. The randomization of the width shrinks the distance from the dab from 0 to the entered value
'Brush height [R]': randomizes the height of the brush stroke distribution, to get bunched or sparsely distributed symbols. 'Brush type': The default brush is a square brush but you can set the tool to work as a ring brush or a diagonal or cross brush or arrowhead and other types of brush. This is ignored if no bristles are set. Depends on the size of the brush width and height (the ring brush becomes more like an oval if the width is less or greater than the height). You might like to remove the 'dab' by setting the dab AND bristles to off.
'Setting' screen / dialog General checkbox settings. 'Dab link v/h resize': The brush re-size entry randomizes the vertical and the horizontal scaling of a symbol and this can result in thin or squashed symbols, the dab link option keeps the original proportions 'Dab align to direction': Aligns (if on) the symbol to the direction of the brush stroke. Here is an example of ON and OFF 'Dab random symbols': Instead of using a single symbol, the plugin randomly selects from the symbol palette. This sometimes requires some initial setup, to remove all the symbols no longer required. Fill the symbols palette with letters or 3D blocks or images.
'Dab in palette order': Instead of using a single symbol or randomly selected symbols, the plugin uses the symbols in the palette order, from 1 to the last symbol and back again. The symbols can be re-ordered in the symbols palette as required 'Align angle / endpoint': Align the bristles to the direction of the brush stroke's end point 'Apply bristles and dab': Apply the bristles and dab. If set to OFF, the dab is removed
'Align bristles to dab': Align the bristles to the dab angle, the default is ON. The example below is OFF 'Sync brush to dab': Match the width and brush size to the scaling of the bristles and dab 'Expand symbol and delete': Turn the symbol into a path.. though obviously not all types of symbol can be converted. 'Create [R]': Randomly decides to create a symbol or not 'Pen pressure for dab': Ignored if using a mouse. Modifies the resize of the dab using pen pressure (pen and tablet). More pressure, greater the size of the dab. Useful for creating a more realistic brush stroke.
'Pen pressure for dabshift': Ignored if using the mouse (also requires actual jitter to be set in the first panel), modifies the shift / jitter setting based on pressure ' Pen pressure for bristles': Ignored if using a mouse. Pressure applied for the size of the bristles. 'Pen pressure for width..': Ignored if using a mouse. Pressure applied for the width and height of the brush (in addition to any syncing of the dab and bristles and brush) 'Pen pressure for twist': Ignored if using a mouse. Pressure applied for the twist setting. Works out the twist or turn based on the pressure, but needs a twist setting to work from (twist angle of 0 will ignore the pressure setting). Works well with symbols made up of multiple shapes.
Applications support mac OS X 10.2 .3 .4 .5 98 ME NT XP Vista Adobe 速 Illustrator 速10 CS1 CS2 CS3 CS4
Questions Please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org Other plugins are available on the site http://www.graphicxtras.com
Copyright The plugins are copyright of 1997-2008, Abneil Software Ltd (Andrew Buckle). The symbols are royalty-free, feel free to use as required. Symbols are (c) 2004-2007 Andrew Buckle / Abneil Software ltd. This product was released by Abneil Software Ltd (UK based company)
Trademarks Illustrator and Adobe and Photoshop are registered trademarks of Adobe. We have no connection whatsoever with Adobe. Adobe product screen shot(s) reprinted with permission from Adobe Systems Incorporated.
Symbols Installation of Symbols Please place the symbols in C:\Program Files\Adobe\Illustrator 10\Presets\Symbols or mac equivalent such as HD:applications:adobe illustrator CS:presets:symbols. The symbols can be accessed from any folder but this is probably the best location as the file/s can be accessed via the symbols dropdown. Use in conjunction with the document symbols palette.
De-install the symbols: Please remove the AI files from the preset libraries folders Symbols format: The symbols were created in 10 format symbols. Saving AI symbols: You can always save the files as CS format if so required, just use the save command on the document symbols palette (in CS) and save all the current symbols or you can always open the original symbols file and copy some new symbols or delete symbols from the symbols palette there and then save the symbols file. Symbols Use: The symbols can be used as is, just use them as a image resource and drag the symbol from the palette and use as a path (though you will have to expand the symbol to do this), sometimes it is best to just keep it as a symbol as all the effect menu options can be applied to the symbol such as free distort and transform and styles can be applied as required. None of the filter menu filters can be used on symbols, though many of the 3rd party plugins such as the graphicxtras.com Andrew's (vector) plugins can be applied to symbols as well as paths. Flash export: Symbols are useful in flash export (for low file size). The symbols can be exported to SWF format and also manipulated across layers to create animation effects. Or exported to SVG format. Sprayer tool: Symbols can be used with the native symbol sprayer tool, the symbols can be applied and then using the scruncher etc additional tools, the symbols can be re-sized and rotated and stained as required (graphicxtras.com also have some excellent tools that have a vast additional set of options and features to handle symbols from the toolbox). Replace symbols: Symbols can be replaced at a later point of the creative process, so create an image with a box, multiple boxes and then select the symbols and then the replacement symbol in the symbol palette and then use 'replace symbol' from the menu to change all the boxes into the more complex art. All the live effects remain as before. Brush symbols: Symbols can be converted to a brush, simply drag the symbol (and any associated effects) to the brushes palette and you will be asked to store the brush as a scatter / artistic or pattern brush. Copy: Symbols can be copied and repeated as required with minimal file size overhead. Also of great use with transformations, the transform effect. This tool has a 'copies' feature which can be used to create unusual zoom effects and rotations and can be used in combo with the appearance palette to create multiple transformations for a single symbol. Photoshop: Symbols can also be copied via the pasteboard to other applications such as Photoshop (so a wonderful background symbol can be used as a wonderful background texture in Photoshop.. along with transparency information for use with layer effects such as bevels) Envelopes/3D: Symbols can be warped by the envelope filter 3D symbols: Symbols can be turned into 3D shapes by using the 3D features of AI CS (extrude and bevel...) By using the appearance palette, multiple warps can be applied to a single symbol. So create an arc warp effect, duplicate it and modify the direction (say vertical instead of horizontal). This can create truly weird shapes from even the most basic symbol. Symbols: Symbols can be virtually anything, from text / text paragraph / a story / images / gradients and more Text symbol: