In the process of creating illustrations that consist of thousands of vector objects, a digital artist may lose control over color harmony. I personally always want to slightly adjust color and contrast after completing work. Selecting and recovering objects traditionally is a long and tedious task with no guarantees that you will get the desired result. Color correction can be easily and quickly performed with the help quite familiar to Photoshop users – Levels, Curves and Hue / Saturation features that are available in Illustrator with Phantasm. Let’s see how it works…
There are two ways to use the Phantasm tools of color correction. You can apply Phantasm filters (Object > Filters > Phantasm > …) or Phantasm Effects (Effect > Phantasm > …). If you apply filters, you get to “hard change” the color characteristics where your only option to revert to original is to Undo (Cmd / Ctrl + Z) … if immediately available. If you are using Phantasm’s Effects, at any time you can change the Effects parameters by opening a dialog box with the help of the Effects’ entry in the Appearance panel. Therefore this is a non-destructive way of color correction, similar to Adjustment Layers in Photoshop. Let’s look at color correction on the example of Castle vector artwork. The process of its creation is described here.
Adjust the tonal range using Phantasm Levels or Phantasm Curves Effects. The Phantasm Levels feature is used for color correction of vector or embedded bitmap images by adjusting the levels intensity in shadows, intermediate tones and bright areas of the image. Select the entire artwork and opt for Effect > Phantasm > Levels….
Here we can see a histogram of our vector illustrations and three sliders below it. Moving the black slider to the right makes dark areas such as shadows darker.
Moving the white slider to the left makes the bright areas brighter.
If we move the middle slider to the left, then we make the intermediate tones of an image lighter.
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