Importing

yapple
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Postby yapple » December 13th, 2008, 7:36 pm

I've seen several messages on this forum about images imported from Illustrator.
I'm able to import them either by copying and pasting or dragging. They don't open directly. Only when I click on a shape in the Layer Content window. Then the shape on which I clicked appears in the Layer window and I'm unable to apply any effects or styles to the imported object which is in the Working Area. Is it even possible to apply effects or shapes to an imported image? There's no reference to importing or applying in the manual. Using Mac OS X 10.4.11 and Illustrator CS. Thank you.
Jean-Jacques Boutaud
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Postby Jean-Jacques Boutaud » December 14th, 2008, 7:25 am

Hi yapple,
There're three ways importing "images" into AT2.
These three ways have different purposes and, so different capabilities.

Here's an example displaying all the three ways:

Image

Note that the same "imported image" has been used in these three examples: the black couple you can see at the top of the screenshot (w/o the thin black border!).

From the top:
1. image has been imported as a texture (Effects Panel>Texture>Finder)
(it seems that this is the way you've used to import your image from AI (?))
Doing so, the imported image is used to fill the layer content (Text, Shapes, Icons, Finder). In this example, the layer content is the Rounded Rectangle Shape.
If you try to use the Geometry tools, you distort the layer content (the Rounded Rectangle Shape) not the filling image (the black couple).
More, adding stroke adds this stroke to the layer content (here Rounded Rectangle).

2. Image has been imported as a "Custom" icon (Layer Content pane>Finder).
The main (and big) difference is that imported image is used as the layer itself (a layer = 1 object) not as filling image.
This time, you may use "Effects" (from the Effects pane) to fill imported image: plain color/gradient, texture, shading.
Unfortunately, there's no way to use Geometry tools and adding stroke adds it to the "boundary" of the image not to the mask (alpha).

3. The third one is to use a "trick", forcing AT2 to use custom (vector) images the same way it uses its own Shapes/Icons.
As you can see in the third couple image, you may:
- add stroke to the image content itself (call it mask/alpha…)
- distort image with all Geometry tools
- use plain color/gradient, texture or shading materials to fill image
The trick is to put custom image(s) at the same location AT2 looks for use "factory" ones:
Caution, to do this, you have to (slightly) "modify" the AT2 content package (resources used by AT2 to work correctly) so, be sure to understand what you do!

- quit AT2 (if necessary)
- locate it (/Applications/Art Text 2)
- ctrl-click (right-click) over its icon then select "Display Package Content" from the contextual menu
- from this you have to locate and open a folder named "IconArt"
here its full path:
/Contents/Resources/Content/IconArt/
Open it then add a new folder (this new one will contain your own custom vector shapes so name it something like myCustomShapes (just an example)):

Image

Note that I've added "a_" at the beginning of the custom folder name (a_Custom) in a way to display it at the first place in the Icons categories list in AT2 (more later).
The last step is to add an alias of this folder somewhere (say your Desktop) so you'll easily add new contents w/o the need to open AT2 package: select the folder then use Files>Create Alias from the Finder menu bar to create alias then move it to the Desktop (you may rename it if wished (deleting the word alias for example)).

So, now when launching AT2 then opening the Content Layer pane, you may choose one of your own custom (vector) shapes from the Icons tab:

Image

Note that custom Icons have to be pdf (not eps for example) and haven't to contain bitmap images.

Some other topics/posts related to this:
http://www.belightsoft.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=4661
http://www.belightsoft.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=4679

Hope this helps.
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yapple
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Postby yapple » December 14th, 2008, 9:48 am

Thank you for your thorough response.
yapple
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Postby yapple » December 15th, 2008, 9:02 pm

Your advice was excellent. Now able to import Illustrator images and...
I can apply Textures and Effects but when I try to apply Styles, the program freezes up and I have to do a Force Quit. I tried repairing permissions and trashing the Art Text plist preferences.
Applying Styles worked after I first succeeded in importing an image. I ran DiskWarrior today, which is a normal, monthly procedure. Trouble with Styles started happening after that. Could there be a connection? Thank you.
Nick
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Postby Nick » December 16th, 2008, 3:13 am

Hi yapple,

Probably your Illustartor image is complicated enough and AT requires some time to apply effects to it.
You will help the developers to find out what's happening if you send a sample image to support@belightsoft.com

Nick
yapple
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Postby yapple » December 16th, 2008, 9:14 am

Nick:
Thank you for your response and advice. I've already received an answer from tech support ( remove and re-install ). The image is very simple. Just a flat, one color shape.
Thanks again.
Jean-Jacques Boutaud
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Postby Jean-Jacques Boutaud » December 20th, 2008, 5:44 am

yapple wrote:Your advice was excellent.

Hi yapple,
Caution: I don't know what happens when updating AT2!
Especially, I'm not sure that AT2 updates don't overwrite the whole Content folder (the one with your own vector "shapes"). So, as usual, making backup of this folder doesn't hurt, in particular before running updates.
Maybe Nick has more infos about this (potential) problem?
JJBee, Président (à vie) du G.R.O.I.N.
Secrétaire général : iMac C2D 2.16GHz
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Nick
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Postby Nick » December 20th, 2008, 2:21 pm

Image libraries are not updated by every update. So, for some time additional vector images will stay in the content folder. But it's better to have somewhere a copy of vector files added to the IconArt folder.

Nick
yapple
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Postby yapple » December 20th, 2008, 7:33 pm

Thanks for your help. Everything seems to be working fine now.
Mandig
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Postby Mandig » April 4th, 2011, 11:07 am

HI Nick and thanks for your help. Unfortunately I would still need an hand because I imported my pdf file but I can't use them.

I can see them in the layer content window but as soon as I select it I see that it's empty. I tried to save the image into PDF either with Photoshop or simply with os X preview but the result is the same. Is there some specific format or dimension or something required ?

Thanks again for the help.
Nick
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Postby Nick » April 5th, 2011, 6:21 am

Hi Mandig,

The PDF format can contain graphics in the vector or raster format, or even both at the same time. For Art Text the format is essential.

Try to import your image in a default document rather than in a document containing many layers.

Try to import using two ways:
- drag and drop it onto the canvas;
- drag and drop it onto the layer thumbnail area (below the canvas).

If the image is still invisible check these settings/effects:
1. Choose "Format > Fit to Document" in the main menu. This way we'll make sure that the image is not too small, or too large, or that it is located outside the document area.
2. In the Effects set of tools, select the Fill tab and set a plain color with no transparency.
3. Try to turn on/off Stroke. Depending on the import method and type of the image, you should see the contour of the image or of the content.
4. In the Layer panel, set the Opacity to 100%. Make sure that the "On" check box is selected in the grid.

Nick
Mandig
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Postby Mandig » April 5th, 2011, 1:39 pm

Hi Nick and thanks for the reply. If I drag and drop my pdf onto the canvas than it IS visible; otherwise it is invisible in all the way I tried.

Maybe I didn't give you enough information to understand what's happening. I tried to add the pdf in the IconArt gallery as per your guide above and, in fact, I can see it in the folder I created using the Layer Content menu. My problem is that if I try to add it as new layer the image is invisible....in thumbnail too.

In any case if you can give me a suggestion it will be highly appreciated, otherwise you solved me my problem anyway because I dragged and dropped into the canvas and it works anyway (I just would loose the convenience of having the image in the Art Text menu).

Thanks you very much for your support.

Christian
Mandig
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Postby Mandig » April 5th, 2011, 1:43 pm

Sorry Nick but I just noted that adding the pdf by drag and drop Art Text handles the file as an image so that I don't have all the features that other icons has. Now I would need some details about which kind of PDFs can be imported to work on them.

Thanks again.

Christian
Nick
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Postby Nick » April 6th, 2011, 4:10 am

Hi Christian,

I've got a similar problem repeating with one of my EPS files. The program works correctly when I import this image in a documented way. When I add this EPS to the library of icons, it doesn't show up on the canvas and in layer thumbnail.

It seems that the program treats "icons" in a different way comparing the images imported by using documented ways.

Please send your PDF and console log to support@belightsoft.com
We'll try to repeat the problem on our computer and see if it can be fixed.

To get the log, repeat the problem in Art Text. Then open the Console application from the Applications/Utilities folder. Choose File > Open Console Log. Then choose File > Save a Copy As in the menu of Console to save the log.

Nick

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