Adobe Illustrator CS2 - Upgrade Review

Adobe Illustrator CS2 - Upgrade Review
This month AdobeR will release the latest upgrade for their popular vector graphics software IllustratorR CS2. Here are just a few of the new features and improvements.

The feature that I appreciate the most is Live Trace. Many of my own designs begin from a pencil sketch which I scan into my computer. But, it still needs further touch-ups because of the gaps in the drawing caused by the scanning process. So, I then use several tools to remove these gaps. All of this was a very time consuming process but now the improved Live Trace converts photos and scans to vector paths almost effortlessly. Live Trace even has precise controls for the degree of gap detection. This makes my life much easier. Thank you, Adobe. Working in combination with Live Trace is Live Paint (view larger image) which uses paths to "separate" colors in an image making it much easier to edit an image based on the colors. Live Paint will even create a new color based on the combination of colors in overlapping paths.

Another improvement is better stroke options. In previous version of Illustrator, you had little control when placing a stroke on a path. When the stroke was added to an image, it often changed the dimensions of the image and you had no way to make adjustments. Depending on your design, you sometimes had to resize the image to compensate. But with this latest upgrade, you have the option to place the stroke in several places; centered on the path, a little to the inside or a little to the outside of the path.

One of the most notable changes in Illustrator is the replacement of the File Browser with the Adobe Bridge stand-alone application which ships with Illustrator. (View larger image) This new application is the next step toward integration of the Adobe products. Digital art projects have increased in complexity over the last few years. To complete a major project such as a marketing campaign, you now need to use several programs. As a stand-alone application, the Adobe Bridge can work with any of the Adobe software and you can move effortlessly from PhotoshopR to Illustrator, InDesignR or GoLiveR. Read my review to find out more about the Adobe Bridge.


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