Starburst Plug-in (Andrew's Vector Plug-ins Volume 22) Introduction The plugin creates star / flower designs / 3D star designs in 100s of different ways. Great for logos, packaging, web site designs, paintings, illustrations, symbols, and others. Andrew
Installation of starburst plug-in PC: Please place the GX22_Starburst.aip file in the CS4: c:\program files\adobe\adobe illustrator CS4\plug-ins\graphicxtras CS3: c:\program files\adobe\adobe illustrator CS3\plug-ins\graphicxtras CS2: c:\program files\adobe\adobe illustrator CS2\plug-ins\graphicxtras CS: c:\program files\adobe\illustrator CS\plug-ins\graphicxtras 10: c:\program files\adobe\illustrator 10\plug-ins\graphicxtras
OS X: Please place the file found in the 'Plugin for Illustrator 10 / CS' into the plug-in path of 10 or CS. Please place the
Plug-ins notes entire folder structure of 'GX22 Starburst' (found in plugin for Illustrator CS2) into the plugin path of CS2 CS4: HD:applications;adobe illustratir 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)
Previous versions If you have a previous version of GX22_Starburst, please remove (or backup to a different folder) file before installing the new version. You can, if you wish, have both or multiple versions running but then you will see multiple versions in the filter menu.
Initial use of plug-in Please access via the filters menu of Illustrator 速 via the <AVP Create> menu (CS3 CS2 CS 10) Please access the plug-in set via the object > filters menu (CS4)
No paths need to be selected but you may wish to initially select a fill and / or stroke and / or stroke weight before use. The plugin does not add a fill or style etc (unless the randomization has been set on) and uses the current settings. A good start point for trying out some of the features is 'tumble button'
Panels The plugin is split into multiple screens such as starburst, star, xtras.. The current panel is indicated by the 'bold' setting of the panel name. Most of the basic functionality of the plug-in is in the first / primary panel.
Presets As a start point, I would suggest using the presets or the tumble button. The presets are modified(in most cases) by the current color in the palette. So if the current fill is white, the end result might be white-ish, if yellow, yellowish and so on. Some of the presets use random colors and ignore the fill setting. You might like to set the stroke color to none (as required). The presets are on the right of the dialog (dropdown) and are visible in all panels
Tumble button The tumble button randomizes most of the settings (in many cases to the extreme settings and anything in between). Some of the settings are untouched such as the random fill checkbox. The tumble button is a great way of going through 100s of possible star designs, as well as experimenting with some of the features of the plugin. Once you have reached a 'reasonable' design, you can always tweak it further via the actual settings such as adding more starbursts or randomizing the color
Plug-ins notes The tumble button may generate a masterpiece, it can also generate a lot of gibberish. Sometimes, clicking the tumble button combined with randomization of creation of the bursts, might generate an empty design (no paths), hopefully this happens rarely
Shuffle button / randomization Shuffle button only works where there is an element of randomization such as jitter. The presets dropdown is available on all screens. Select the first preset to reset the plugin.
Swatches The plugin can be used as is, but in many cases, you might like to set the swatch palette to say a set of browns or greens etc; or if you are using the styles settings, then you will need to set up the styles beforehand (say to a set of sketch styles only)
Styles / response time If you select the styles box and use the default set of styles, the response time might be slow as some of the styles are processor intensive. As mentioned, the sketch features can also be very processor intensive
Symbols Symbols included in the set were created using the plugin. The symbols are royalty-free symbols. The symbols need to be installed in the symbols folder found in presets and then accessed via the symbols palette (select library). Once loaded, the symbols can be used in the symbol sprayer etc or used as symbols or even converted into paths. The plug-in does not create symbols but if you create a starburst that you would like to save as a symbol, simply drag the selected paths to the symbols palette and save as a symbol. Please remember to save the file to the symbols folder. The star symbols will then be accessible to other projects / files. You can use the save command via the symbols palette or the standard file save command.
Interactive / drag buttons Some of the settings have a small square beside them (such as the starbursts and length fields). The square is a slider, one that uses the current document as its source. Simply click, and hold the shift key down and drag across (or up / down in some cases) the document to modify the adjacent setting. Release the shift to stop modification of the setting.
Important - rapid visual change with interactive features *** NOTE: Please be very careful with some of the functionality if you suffer from light sensitive problems / issues as using certainly functionality and rapidly changing settings and random fill colors or path strokes, can create an intense set of color changes. This might be same for many different path combinations. This is mainly connected with the interactive drag buttons. Basically, be careful of rapid changes of settings!
Starburst panel 'Bursts': Number of burst / arms generated for a single star (though this can be varied using the random apply or skip / create options)
'Length': Length from the start point to the end of the current burst design (this varies from burst type to burst type'. The smaller the length, generally smaller the design.
'Angle': Angle of the burst design relative to the origin point.
'Burst': Subtle variation of the same shape, varying the proportions etc. Use to create design with thin paths or overlapping paths and more
'Initial gap': The initial distance from the 'start' point (the start point being the center of the document unless the center [R] is ON. The start point shape is created to the right of start point. If you set the initial gap to 200 300 then the initial shape is created 200 points (horizontal) and 300 points up from the center point and all subsequent shapes are rotated from that point about the start center point (generally the center of the document)
Stars panel 'Stars': Number of stars to create. If this is set to 1 then the factor settings are not enabled and some of the settings fields are blanked out (the factors etc are based around repeated stars and have no impact on the single default star of 1)
'Shape options': Creates a variety of different designs such as a diamond shape
'Reverse options': Reverses the direction of the triangle or shape (not all shapes are reversible as they are symmetric). The reverse options also allow 3D like effects to be created by combining multiple stars (with alternate reversed stars)
'Scaling options': The scaling options are for the 'unique elements' setting though some of the apply options will modify the entire star set (some will have no noticeable effect). Set the unique elements to ON (this means each starburst element will be modified, such as random colors or random strokes) and each element in turn will be scaled by the scaling options. Options include alternate scaling 50% or reducing for 4 elements and then returning to the original size etc. Use the scaling options to create interesting star designs. The scaling options are applied to each star set in turn, though some of the scaling options are randomized and these will be different for each star set.
'Start': Shift the start point for the star either vertically or horizontally. By default, the initial position is the view center left shifted.
Xtras panel 'Burst apply': Instead of creating a path in each slot of the starburst, gaps can be created using different combinations of skip (first column) and create (second column). The create option is always set to 1 (or more). By setting the skip and create to say 1 2 then two paths are created then a skip then two paths then another skip and so on up to the maximum number of paths for the star design
'Path interpolate': Use this if you wish to 'blend' the colors of the generated star and the original 'current' path style. By setting this to say 80 or so, and using the random fill or fill factor, the colors are subtle variants of the original pre-plugin fill color.
'Spread': Not all the paths use the spread or curve feature but by setting the spread, more rounded shapes can be generated. The first column is the direction point modification in the horizontal, the second column for the vertical. In most cases, the vertical is more useful for flower designs. The first column is more useful for sharper path designs.
'Pulse / factor': Reset the factors to default setting after a certain number of star creations (useful for trying out a number of variant factor settings), also useful combined with a number of stars / random settings and factors
'sketch color options': If there is no sketch repeats set this is ignored. If there is no stroke width then it is also ignored. The color options modifies the color of the sketch paths created, offering options such as as black or random color
'sketch weight': Adds additional weight the path (by default, the weight added is random but this is controlled by the random weight checkbox). Gives a sketchy varying stroke to the starburst 'Sketch shift': Shifts randomly (by default, though this can be turned off via the settings1 panel) the points and direction points of the additional sketch paths, creating a sketchy effect 'Sketch repeats': If set to 0, the sketch features are ignored. If greater than 0 then the plugin will create additional paths using the sketch weight shift and color. Please note that this combined with pattern and multiple paths and multiple shadow paths etc can be very very slow and it should be used with care. I would always recommend making a backup of your work / saving your work before using the sketch feature and avoid using too many sketch paths
Factors panel The factors panel modifies the fan / angle, height etc per star (as well as per element, if unique elements is ON) Change the functionality of the factor panel via the dropdown. If set to per element, the factor is applied in order of creation (so if you set the fill to 75% and the path is RGB, the later elements will be darker) 'Fan': Modifies the 'burst angle' for repeat stars and fans out the multiple shapes
'Length': Modifies the length setting for repeat stars. If the length setting is 300 and the factor is set to 50 then the next star created with have a length of 150, the next will have a length of 75 and so on.
'Fill': Modifies the fill color (if set) for repeat stars. If the first star is colored red (200,20,20) and the fill factor is 50 then the next start will be 100, 10, 10 (RGB setting) and so on. For subtle color changes, keep the fill factor approx. to 100. The fill factor can increase as well as decrease the color setting. Does depend on the current color mode
'Height': Applies a factor to the height setting for repeat stars (the height is not accessible directly, it is a combo of length and burst options)
'Angle': Applies a factor to the angle setting (path rotation) for repeat stars. If the angle is set to 0 then this is ignored. If set to angle 10, and the factor is 50, then the angle for the path second star is set to 5, third star 2.5 degrees and so on
'Spread': Applies a factor the spread setting for repeat stars. Either sharpens or curves the path design from star to star. If spread is 0, ignored. Superb for creating flower designs / radial designs
'Initial gap': Applies a factor to the initial gap setting for repeat stars. If gap is 0, then the factor is ignored. The factor is applied to both the horizontal and vertical gap. Use to create zoomed effects and more
'Opacity': Applies a factor to the opacity (based on original opacity setting for path) for repeat stars. If the opacity of the path was 80 and the factor is 50 then the second star will have an opacity of 40 and so on. This can be used fro sharpening or blurring of the design or emboss.
Factor dropdown: The panel can be used to manipulate the generated stars as well as the individual elements. To modify the individual elements, the unique elements setting on settings1 panel must be ON
Styles panel Use this panel to modify the fill and stroke as well as apply patterns The key point is that the fill etc (needs a fill in the first place) is that the fill is applied to the entire star unless the unique elements option is set to on. Many of the fill options will have any noticeable effect on a single star / not unique elements. If the unique elements is set to on (and the apply to unique is set to ON - default) the fill / stroke will be applied to each element in turn. If the star option is set on and there are more than 1 stars, the fill will also be applied to each star in turn. Visually, the star option depends on the overlapping of the stars, so you may or may not see any changes 'Fill dropdown': Requires the unique elements to be set to on (or stars>1) and the apply checks to be set as required. Applies different color settings to elements (or stars) in turn such as changing the color fill from the current color to black or a particular swatch or to white or inverted, or alternating colors with the original. Other settings for the swatch and the position of the 'midpoint' can be controlled by the fill swatch and fill process settings below
'Fill swatch': Only of use if the dropdown is set to 'to swatch' 'alternate swatch' etc The random swatches option uses all the swatches currently in the palette, so if you only want to feature blue swatches, remove all the gradient, pattern, red etc swatches. The swatch number refers to the position in the swatches palette. 'Fill process': Modifies the midpoint for the 'to' options 'Stroke dropdown': As with the fill (but for the stroke). Note that strokes cannot accept gradients 'Stroke swatch': As fill 'Stroke process': As fill 'Apply to unique elements (if unique set)': If set, the fill and stroke will be applied to the unique elements. If not set, the fill and stroke will not be applied. 'Apply to stars (if stars > 1)': If set, the fill and stroke is applied to the stars. Only works if stars is greater than 1 (though, the random options work for 1 or more)
'Pattern options': Creates multiple copies about the 'pattern options center'. A tile is created for 80% of the pattern options, though there maybe path overlapping issues that mean the tile is not an exact tile. Some of the pattern options are random center options. The pattern takes into account the shadow and sketch features but not the envelope (way too tricky) The start (on stars) is a useful way of changing the patterns (along with the other settings) but it changes the distance from the pattern center and changes the overall pattern.
Settings panel A number of different ON/OFF settings 'Opacity [R]': Randomizes the opacity of the paths 'Width [R]': Randomizes the line width (if set). Based on original line width to 0. 'Style [R]': Randomizes the graphic style applied to the star. This can be slow. It is best to apply with a little setup beforehand (perhaps setting up different styles to the default ones) 'Apply [R]': Randomizes the creation of bursts within a star. Great for creating unique star designs with gaps
'Place below': Places the created leaves / bursts beneath the earlier paths 'Spread [R]': Randomizes the spread setting between 0 and current
'Burst type [R]': Randomizes the type of burst / leaf to generate for each star. More effective when used with multiple stars
'Burst [R]': Randomizes the number of bursts (leaves) created between 0 and current burst setting. If set to 20 bursts, then the star might end up being made up of 5 leaves or 15 leaves. Similar to the 'apply' but it does not leave randomized gaps
'Shape [R]': Randomizes the shape applied for each star. More effective with multiple stars. Great for creating a wide range of different shape designs. (I have found it fairly useful to save the star / burst designs in the symbol palette, creating a huge collection of unique designs for possible use as logos / designs and more)
'Height [R]': Randomizes the height setting between 0 and current (this is an internal calculated setting, a combo of length and burst options and shape)
'Center [R]': Randomizes the location of the created star between the bounds of the document (or start)
'Length [R]': Randomizes the length of the burst / leaf between 0 and setting
'Angle [R]': Randomizes the angle / path rotation of the leaf / burst between 0 and setting. Needs angle to have a value before it is enabled
'Scale [R]': Randomizes the scaling applied to the star burst (leaves). More a jitter between 80 to 120% of the original size
'Alternate flip': Requires the stars to be greater than 1, and flips the star burst by 180 degrees (this depends on the star shape / burst to its effectiveness).
'Initial gap [R]': Randomizes the gap setting between 0 and current
Settings1 panel Additional settings shadow and sketch 'Drop shadow': The plugin creates a basic black shadow for each path of the starburst
'Shadow direction [R]': In many od the other plugins, the plug-in randomizes the shadow direction for each path in turn. As this plugin creates many different paths for the starburst and a randomized direction for each looks odd, this plugin only randomizes the direction for all creating a shadow left or right or above etc the original path 'Shadow opacity [R]': The opacity of the shadow is randomized 'Half fill shadow': The shadow color is half of the current fill 'Shadow scaling [R]': The scaling of the shadow is randomized creating flattened starburst designs 'Sketch shift [R]': By default, ON. If OFF, the sketch lines will not be curved but just shifted a random distance with the same setting (but different for each repeated sketch path) 'Sketch weight [R]': By default ON. If OFF, the sketch line weight will be the same 'Unique Elements': The plugin generates, by default, a single path and repeats that throughout the star design. If you set the unique elements to ON, the individual elements are created for each starburst and potentially have a different width / height / color etc. To use the 'factor per element' feature (dropdown on the factors panel), the unique elements must be ON.
Applications support MAC OS X 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 Adobe 速 Illustrator 速10 CS1 CS2 CS3 CS4
Plug-ins notes 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
Updates / upgrades Upgrades are generally available, either as free updates or inexpensive updates/upgrades.
Serial number Please store the reference serial number or details of order Please make a backup of this plugin onto CD / DVD.
Copyright The plugin is copyright of 2005-2008, Abneil Software Ltd (Andrew Buckle). This product was released by Abneil Software ltd (UK based company)
Trademarks Illustrator and Adobe and Photoshop are registered trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated. We have no connection whatsoever with Adobe. Adobe product screen shot(s) reprinted with permission from Adobe Systems Incorporated.
Bonus items The plugin set comes with additional items. Please check out the royalty-free items and read the documentation associated with them.
Examples of starburst plug-in Starburst example 1
1) apply a fill and stroke color before using the plugin (the plugin doesn't add a color). Set the number of stars to 2. By default, the stars will overlap
2) Set the way the alternate (or more) stars will interact, in this case the second star is flipped to the first 'star triangles'. Set the number of stars to 2 (though it can be more and can be used to create more complex star designs)
3) As mentioned, the plugin doesn't create the fill so if the path has no fill then the fill settings are ignored. If, by default, the fill is white then modifying the color will still result in white Here the color is red and the second star is filled with a red by 67% of the original red, making it slightly darker. The color space is RGB though the plugin can be used in CMYK etc as well
4) A 3D like star (with the fill being used as a shadow)
Starburst example 2
1) The star plugin was originally created using the just triangles but you can now modify the type of 'triangle', creating a triangular block via the stars panel. Some shapes work better with 3D designs etc
2) Modify the start position. By default the plugin creates the start position of the star at a slight offset to the view center. Modifying the start position varies the pattern. The pattern is defined about the document center (not the view center) and changing the start position modifies the distance from the pattern center and the pattern size and overlap of the four 'corners'
3) Click the basic pattern (settings1) to set the plugin into basic pattern mode. The pattern mode takes the shadow / fill etc into account
4) A drop shadow is added
5) The initial gap (the distance from the start position to the actual used start position for the first point) is modified to create a larger star (and perhaps more interesting source for the pattern)
6) The angle is modified. The angle is used to rotate all the elements of the star. Changing the angle can radically change the star tile pattern. Once you have pressed OK, you can take this star group and define as a pattern and use as a path fill etc
Starburst example 3
1) The scale (random) is set. The scale is the same for all the elements of a single star. This will create star elements away from the original start point
2) The width of the star elements is randomized. The width is the same for all the elements. Does need a line width to start with (stroke)
3) The number of stars is set to 9 (or any number). Each star set will have a different random scale and random line width applied.
4) As the plugin doesn't link the scale and the width and the creation of the paths, you may find many of the paths are overlapped but by clicking the SHUFFLE button you may obtain an interesting contour star design as above, with more or less actual visible stars
Published on Aug 29, 2011