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Iaroslav’s Top 5 Astute Graphics Tools

posted by: Iaroslav Lazunov, in Articles / Inspiration/ Comments: 2

Today I’d like to talk about five excellent vector tools, which I often use in my working process. They are convenient, intuitive and there are no analogues to their function among native tools. They save my time, speeding up the routine workflows.

Crop Image Tool

I am sure that workflow of many illustrators and designers, including me, begins with the search for reference images on the Internet. I place selected images next to the artboard. In the future, they serve me as a starting point for exploring colors and shapes of objects. Crop Image Tool of Rasterino allows me to accelerate this process in several times. I just create a screen short by pressing the Cmd + Shift +3 (or Print Screen for Windows users), and then open the current Illustrator's document and paste the copy of the screeninto it (Cmd / Ctrl + V). Now all that I have to do is to crop image with Crop Image Tool.

In addition, the Rasterino plug-in has many other tools and features that allow you to work with raster images directly in Adobe Illustrator. You can learn about them by watching the HD-ready product movies...

InkScribe Tool

The tool is designed for fast, accurate, and smart creating and editing of Bezier curves on which the entire vector graphics is based. Unlike the Pen Tool InkScribe is able to convert points, has the functions of the selection tools, has a number of intelligent functions. These include: Connector mode (it's intended to create a smooth transition between straight and curved segments), Smart Smooth mode (it's designed to convert corner points into smooth while moving their handles) and Smart Remove feature (it’s designed to remove extra points on the curvilinear segments and giving a path smoother look and correct shape).

These and other great features of InkScribe Tool, undoubtedly, make it a vector tool of a new generation, which is why I prefer to use it in my work. Learn more about all the features of the InkScribe here...

Smart Remove Brush Tool

There are various processes in Adobe Illustrator, as a result of which we get extra points. We have an unreasonable amount of points, converting the 3D objects into regular vector objects. We are facing this problem after applying the command Object > Path > Outline Stroke to brush strokes or to variable stroke paths. Artworks and textures obtained through applying the Live Trace feature to bitmap images have an abnormal amount of points. Even drawing tools e.g. Pencil Tool (N) may cause an excessive amount of points along the generated path. The large number of points usually makes it more difficult to edit paths, causes the increase of the file size and slows down the workflow of the peripheral devices such as a printer or plotter. Therefore, it is desirable to remove such extra points and while the shape of the path can not be changed significantly. Smart Remove Brush Tool of VectorScribe plug-in allows you to delete multiple extra points with one move along the chosen path. You can also use the Only Remove Points option if Path Changes Within Tolerance. This allows us to remove points from the entire selected path or paths by simply drawing with a brush over it and without thinking about what points should be removed and which should not.

Learn more about Smart Remove Brush Tool by watching HD-ready movies...

MirrorMe Tool

As a designer, I often have to draw symmetrical patterns and other symmetrical objects. MirrorMe Tool allows me to avoid a lengthy trial and error process. It is designed to create reflections in your vector artwork by using either one axis or multiple (up to 72) axes. With the help of the MirrorMe we can see the entire symmetrical object in the process of its creation, to achieve the desired result as soon as possible

Space Fill Tool

Space Fill tool allows you to fill the container path with selected objects, distributing them evenly within the shape. Space Fill panel (Window> ColliderScribe> Space Fill panel) has a number of options that allow you to choose the way you want to fill the container with Filling Art objects from a set of random ones, resize, vary sizes and rotate objects inside the container, set the number of copies, and manage operations within. I use this tool to quickly create large areas of similar objects of similar textures

Read more about the options of this tool in the article How to use the Space Fill Feature in ColliderScribe 2. A simple trick allows us to use the Space Fill Tool to fill the container uniformly. You can read about this it in the article Uneven Space Fill with ColliderScribe2.

Don’t consider the rest of the Astute Graphics' tool to be less good or comfortable than those that I chose today. It’s not like this, simply because these 5 tools I personally use most often in accordance with my workflow. Your top 5 AG tools may consist of other tools. That’s why spend some time to familiarize yourself with all of our plugins.

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