Sign & Digital Graphics

June '17

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58 • June 2017 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S DIGITAL PRINTING AND FINISHING DIGITAL GRAPHICS unexpanded state is a kind of a hybrid vector-raster object. For example, an Envelope Distortion (Object > Envelope Distort > Make with Mesh) creates a dis- tortion mesh that can be manipulated by dragging the grid's points. (see Figure 6). The paths that normally define the objects are not accessible during this pro- cess until the object is expanded (Object > Expand) when it returns to its vector status with reshaped Bezier curves. This process gives the user unparalleled con- trol over the artwork and access to a lot of sophisticated shape-altering tools. 2D to 3D In Vectorland, three-dimensional objects are sometimes based on their 2D counterparts. The primary 2D structure is a simple cross section of the in-the- round object, and the surface is revolved around or extruded from the primary vec- tor. An initial shape is drawn with the vec- tor tools, and then the surface is applied using a 3 D interface (see Figure 7). The object can then be shifted and viewed from different angles. The sur- face of the object can be lit from one or more light sources. This is a powerful technique for creating simple 3D forms. They retain 3D editing capabilities until they are expanded. Vector to Raster Okay, so what about converting files? Can a vector image be converted to pixels? Of course! In order to print a vector, a RIP (raster image processor) automatically converts files to printable pixel-based RGB information. But it may be advantageous for speed and to avoid Figure 6: Dragging points on the envelope distortion mesh will warp specific regions on the objects. Figure 7: These shapes are the result of extruding (top) rotating (bottom) in the 3D interface. Figure 8: The original image is placed (a) and vectorized (b) with the Image Trace feature to produce this effect (c). A C B

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