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How to Speed up Illustrator When Creating Complex Vector Artworks

posted by: Iaroslav Lazunov, in Illustrator Tips / Basix/ Comments: 1
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Vector 3D sphere tutorial

In this Illustrator tutorial we will learn how to speed up the work of Adobe Illustrator using very simple manipulations, which will take you only a few seconds, but will save hours of hard work.

Problems arising when creating complex vector artworks

If you apply complex effects in your vector artworks, of course, you know that when you zoom the artboard Illustrator slowly displays the magnified area. This happens when you use in your work a lot of raster effects, blend objects and complex vector textures. Often you need to zoom the area and edit the shape of the object, and then view the entire artwork in full size. There might be thousands of these changes in the process of work, but when zooming the required area Illustrator takes time to display all the existing objects. In the case of complex artwork this time is measured in minutes and can even lead to hanging of the application. In the long run these circumstances make your work impossible! Manipulation that would normally take you a few seconds are now taking forever. What's the solution? Many vector artists just rasterize finished pieces of artwork. But I find this option unacceptable. You always need to make changes in the pieces of work that you have previously considered to be finished. Artist's work is always a trial and error journey. Besides, often the final product must be submitted in vector format. For example, microstock web sites do not accept for sale vector artworks containing raster images. Therefore, this method is not suitable for contributors of microstocks.

How to speed up Illustrator without rasterizing of the vector objects

Yes, I know how to do it, that is why I am writing this Illustrator tutorial. Select the objects that you are not editing and that slow down Illustrator, then save them as a new symbol in the Symbols panel.

Keep the symbol selected, go to Effect > Rasterize....

The parameters of this effect make no difference. Now you can zoom the artboard, Illustrator will instantly display all the objects regardless of their complexity. Thus, we speeded up the process of working with complex objects in Illustrator in several times.

Going back to 100% vector artwork

If you need to edit vector objects that were blocked by the method mentioned above, or you have finished your artwork, and you need to make sure that it no longer contains raster images, you must do the following manipulations. Remove the Rasterize effect in the Appearance panel.

Now break link to symbol on the Control panel.

That's it, you made your artwork back in vector.

I created a small video clip, which shows the described process as Illustrator’s slowing down cannot be demonstrated in pictures.

Now you know how to speed up the Illustrator when creating complex vector artworks. Hopefully, this Illustrator tutorial will save you plenty of time.

You can also read "How to Speed Up the Workflow with the Help of Shortcuts in Adobe Illustrator"

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Total comments: 1
0   Spam
1 Jonathan Patterson   (2012 Dec 13 08:12)
Clever. I'll have to try that today. Also, I think cs6 has resolved the slow performance issue but this should prove helpful for cs5 and lower. Thanks!

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