Import Illustrator Files

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Danimal
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Import Illustrator Files

Post by Danimal » Thu Nov 15, 2007 4:51 pm

Had a few issues importing Illustrator and EPS files. It seems APS doesn't like files with multiple layers. Is this a known issue, or am I doing somehting wrong? Thanks!
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Post by Danimal » Thu Nov 15, 2007 4:56 pm

I should explain better: I like to draw in Flash and then I export to an AI or EPS file. I have trouble importing them into APS or Moho. Any help is appreciated!
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slowtiger
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Post by slowtiger » Thu Nov 15, 2007 5:16 pm

Although import of AI files is generally possible, I don't recommend it because too much stuff gets fucked up during that process. This is becaue AS and AI use different kinds ob bezier curves which don't translate smoothly into another, besides other issues.

File size/number of points seems to be an issue, too. Try to separate stuff and import it in more than one helping.
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heyvern
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Post by heyvern » Thu Nov 15, 2007 6:10 pm

The version of AI is an issue. I suppose EPS would have some issues as there are different types of "postscript" but I don't know for sure.

If you can use AI version 7 or 8 format... I think that works. I remember also a huge time difference on import depending on the version of the AI file. I think v9 actually did import but it was slower than the lower versions.

Color space is critical. You must use RGB values for all colors. I suppose if you are using Flash the colors should be RGB. I believe multiple layers in AI import come in as multiple layers in AS... I seem to remember that from back when I was importing AI stuff.

I have to agree with Slowtiger... there are other issues that you will need to deal with when importing AI or EPS. things like color shifting and points. Most AI/EPS imports will have way more points than are needed to animate. Even if the AI file has very few points the curves in AS are totally different... there are no adjustable bias handles. More points are added to curves to maintain the shape.

-vern
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Post by mkelley » Thu Nov 15, 2007 9:41 pm

I was actually surprised by how well CS3 AI files (exported to AI 8 format, natch) work. I was prepared by comments here that the colors and/or shapes would be off, and so far I've found that not to be the case.

But it all comes in on one layer -- I actually am not sure AI 8 supported multiple layers (it's been soooo long since I used AI 8 I can't remember much about it at all).
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Post by Danimal » Thu Nov 15, 2007 10:21 pm

I have been able to import AI files but have found that yes, there are a TON of points on each line. I do find drawing smoother and easier in Flash however. I am drawing with the mouse and not by hand. Any other suggestions if exporting to AI files isn't the best choice?

Thanks everyone for your help! :)
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Post by slowtiger » Thu Nov 15, 2007 11:12 pm

You may find useful info in here: viewtopic.php?t=7967. I can't really recommend to create stuff in Flash and bring it into AS.
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Post by Danimal » Thu Nov 15, 2007 11:41 pm

slowtiger wrote:You may find useful info in here: viewtopic.php?t=7967. I can't really recommend to create stuff in Flash and bring it into AS.
Fabulous info, thanks!

It's a shame that creating in Flash isn't recommended, I find it by a long shot the easiest vector drawing tool. I also have Freehand (old Macromedia version of Illustrator), would it be to my advantage to maybe import the Flash drawings into that and THEN into ASP? This may reduce the number of points anyway, which is insanely large.

Also, would you recommend a direct export to SWF, or import the video to Flash an use its export to go to SWF? I've found that Flash can make REALLY small SWF files out of pretty large AVI files.

Sorry, I'm really new to all this. Up until now I've used nothing but Flash and its frame-by-frame process. ASP has opened up a much easier and more creative door for me, I just can't quite get used to those "point by point" drawing tools.

Thanks so much for everyone's help!
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Post by Danimal » Thu Nov 15, 2007 11:43 pm

As a note: what I would do is draw a character "broken apart" but with no eyes or mouth, drawing those in ASP as switch layers to make animating easier, then join them together with bone rigging. Is this still a bad idea?
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heyvern
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Post by heyvern » Fri Nov 16, 2007 12:50 am

I am a long time user of AI and Flash. I went through the "transition" period where I disliked the drawing tools in Anime Studio.

Now I love drawing in AS. I prefer it to AI or Flash. You may want to keep using AS for drawing. If you learn it and feel comfortable with it you can save loads of time by drawing in AS if that is where the animation is going to be created.

-vern
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Post by slowtiger » Fri Nov 16, 2007 11:50 am

What vern says. Drawing in AS now is the fastest for me of all vector programs I use. Even better: the result is instantly animateable.

If you go for a small SWF for web distribution, there are two ways to go. One is vector, the other is video. Don't mix them up.

FLV (Flash's flavour of video) gets pretty small today, so it's always an option to just animate whatever you like, render it as AVi or Quicktime, and let Flash convert it.

Vector based animation in Flash is only small as long as you work with symbols and all those other tricks. AS files can be used for it, but then you'll be stuck with animation basically in cutout style. And there are other restrictions in exporting to SWF (see manual).
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Post by Danimal » Fri Nov 16, 2007 3:58 pm

OK, thanks everyone! I guess I need to sit down with AS and just get used to drawing in it.
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heyvern
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Post by heyvern » Fri Nov 16, 2007 4:02 pm

Check out this thread:

viewtopic.php?t=3507

These replacement tools will make using AS much easier.

-vern
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Post by Danimal » Fri Nov 16, 2007 8:03 pm

Thanks, I downloaded the tools and have been toying with drawing in AS for an hour or so now. I know you can't teach an old dog new tricks and that there's always a learning curve...

But this is easily the WORST set of drawing tools I've ever seen. Microsoft Paint looks like a class act next to this. Everything is a ten step process, and you can only fill a shape once you've welded all the points? That is going to radically halt my work flow. Surely I'm doing something wrong because this program makes animation so incredibly easy and at the same time makes drawing so difficult I never want to even open the program again.

Perhaps there is something really simple I'm just over looking?
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heyvern
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Post by heyvern » Fri Nov 16, 2007 9:27 pm

I just have to laugh a little when I have these conversations. When I first started I felt EXACTLY the same as you... all those steps... the silly tools etc etc...

Now, I find Illustrator horrible to work with after using AS for almost 2 years. I actually use AS for print work. For some reason I find the tools (especially Fazek's tools) very good and fun to use.

You mentioned that you have to close a shape to fill it? And this is terrible? What about the fact that in Illustrator you can't connect the end of a stroke to the middle of another stroke? You have to have doubled lines for adjacent shapes that share the same stroke in AI.

One time I forgot I was using AI and spent 30 minutes trying to attach the end of a line to the middle of another line... seriously. I had not used AI for so long I forgot how to use it. It drove me nuts.

How about moving a point in the middle of a curve? The curve handles in AI don't adjust as you move a point so you have adjust them afterwards. Moving a point in AI is a two step process. In AS it is just one. This really drove me nuts.

Every program has good points and bad points. They each have things we love and hate. AS is very new for you right now. It is strange, odd, and completely alien. It takes time to get use to it.

I swear.... the first week or so I used Moho (Anime Studio's old name) I was cursing up a storm... bitching and moaning. Now I can't remember exactly why... well actually I can remember but... I know what I'm doing now.

Now days, I can trace and fill a character drawn in photoshop or scanned in from a sketch 10 times faster in AS than AI.

It might be that AS will never feel comfortable for you. If so you can go back to importing AI or EPS... but you will still need to use the drawing tools in AS for clean up.

That is another thing that helped me learn AS. When I first started I was importing AI and EPS. I would spend hours cleaning it up, removing points, tweaking the shapes and many times completely redrawing the characters. This lead to abandoning AI totally and drawing directly in AS.

It took a while but eventually drawing in AS became second nature to me.

Could it be better? Of course it could but I like it.

-vern
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