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Creating Tree Blocks

Creating Tree Blocks

Creating Tree Blocks

Hi Folks - I'm looking to use Illustrator to create a trail map and would love to be able to replicate this style if possible. Especially the ability to designate a block of trees with a shape, but fill it with these types of trees. So it's not a mask as the trees must be able to extend beyond the shape of the mask.

I can certainly create the triangular tree shapes, different shades of green, but how to create a shape to fill the area with these trees.

Would love to hear people's thoughts on how to accomplish this:





RE: Creating Tree Blocks

...the illustrations are of high detail and most likely created using the symbol sprayer tool(s) in illustrator as opposed to simply filling shapes...

...the symbol sprayer tool(s) allow for a lot of randomisation using a single source vector symbol, this symbol can easily contain multiple shades of tree. The artist has more than likely used this technique using 3 or four different shades of triangle and manually applied shadows later...




RE: Creating Tree Blocks

Thanks so much for your response apepp. Sorry for my late reply as I hadn't seen this answer.

So I got into using the Sprayer quite a bit and am LOVING it! However, I'm finding that the more spray groups I apply, the heavier the file acts; even though the it's 8.5mg. Then the redrawing actually slows my MacPro 2.8 ghz quad core to a crawl. I've actually got to find other stuff to do while it's redrawing & especially when saving.  

It's a huge momentum buster for designing, as I've found the only solution has been to save in outline mode, quite and restart.

I've played around with the scratch disks with no luck.

Any insights into how to remedy this is appreciated!  

RE: Creating Tree Blocks

...there are many factors that influence application performance. I actually have the exact same mac setup as yourself, however i run 6GB memory. Memory is the single most effective upgrade you can do to enhance performance of Illustrator and applications in general...

...faster saving and smaller files sizes from illustrator can be achieved by turning off the PDF compatibility option in the "file > save as" dialog.

...even with this option off however, there will be a limit depending on artwork complexity to how file sizes perform...

...the other area that illustrator will display slower performance is with regards the "document raster effects" setting, found under the "effects" menu, in conjunction with artwork effects such as drop shadows, glows etc, that require bitmap data to be created...

...the raster effects setting defaults to 72dpi usually, so cranking this up to anything higher than 260dpi is not only too high, but has no advantage in both performance and print quality come final output. In fact you can do well in high end printed output with just 150dpi...

...the sprayer tool bases itself on "symbols" which help to reduce file sizes and also performance, so looking at your outline preview posted there is certainly a lot going on there, so I wander if many of those areas could have actually been created using less areas with the sprayer tool. The tool does allow you to add to existing areas, but without seeing your actual artwork, dimensions, resolution used, effects etc, it would be difficult to determine if anything can be changed to improve illustrator performance...

...there is a kind of myth with vector artwork producing smaller file sizes than pure bitmap work, in some cases this is true, however there comes a point where pure bitmap data actually performs better. This is not only true with printed output speed, but also with regards PDF export...

...having said that, vector work produces sharper and cleaner printed output, so the advantages kind of outweigh the costs in my view...



RE: Creating Tree Blocks

Apepp - that is a whole heck of a lot of 'appreciated' response. Thanks very much for the insights. I'm pretty new to the sprayer tool, but I'll bet that with some refinement or redesign of trees and groupings of trees, that I can accomplish a lower # of the symbol groups. I'm certain that would cut down on the amount of redrawing my machine has to process. I'll keep you posted. If you'd like to see a shot of th map's progress, I'm happy to PM a link to you.

Thanks again!

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