I'm working on a book with InDesign, in which I would like to add vectorial illustration of different species of mushrooms. Each species has a similar shape but different colors. I would like to create a master in Illustrator and then create as many files as species thanks to that master. This is already possible using models. But the purpose is to be able to change something in every illustration simply by changing the shape of the master instead of changing every illustration one after the other... In a word, it would work just as master pages do in InDesign.
Do you know whether it is possible or not ?
Thank you very much in advance for your help.
If the only changes would be colours, then dynamic symbols would work for that 🙂
Thanks for reaching out. I am afraid this feature is not available in Illustrator, however, as suggested above you may use Symbols.
Here is video tutorial by Tony himself (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-82_kmT0NY).
Let us know if this helps or if you have any further questions. We'd be happy to help.
Thank you for your answers ! It may indeed do the job. I'm going to watch a few tutorials and I'm coming back if I still have questions about the feature.
Edit : I do have questions...
If I draw the basic shape and save it as a dynamic symbol, then use it in many different files (one file for each mushroom species), then :
- how should I proceed to modify the symbol ?
- will the modification apply to every file I created ?
- if the master symbol has layers, is it possible to import them into the file at the same time (which makes it easier to select parts of the symbole or to hide some) ?
Symbols do not work across files.
How important is it, that the different "species" stay linked to the master? Do you need a functionality where you change the master and the copies follow?
And can we please see something? Examples?
Here are three examples :
As you can see, the global shape is the same, but the are different colors and ornamentation on the mushroom's stipe.
I would like to :
- create a master with the global shape and every possible types of ornamentations.
- apply the master shape when I create each file (one for each species)
- be able to modify the master shape and have modifications automaticaly reproduced in every file related to the original master (that's what master pages do in InDesign).
Do you think it's possible with the Dynamic Symbol feature or with another feature ?
Thank you very much for your help !
Dynamic symbols are your only chance to get even close to what you want.
But you would need to stay in one file. InDesigns master pages also do only work in the same file.
Thank you. Then, do you think I could use multiple artboards a bit like there are multiple pages in InDesign ? This way, I would create a single dynamic symbol, create one artboard for each species, and modify colors and patterns afterwards, one artboard after the other : am I correct ?
Another question is about layers : when I create a dynamic symbol, I can create layers to organize the different parts of the mushroom. Yet, when I insert the symbol on a blank page, I can no longer select ou hide shapes using the Layer panel : the symbol is now a single object in a single layer. Is there a way to change this or is clicking the only way to select a part of the symbol ?
As for the use of artboards as pages: yes. It might make sense to create a main layer for each of the artboards as well.
As for hiding single parts of a dynamic symbol: you would have to set its stroke and/or fill to none in order to hide it.
You might want to test this approach on some of the designs before you go for all of them.
Thank you : it may indeed be a solution.
One more question : I'm testing gradients but I can't create a freeform gradient in a shape inserted using dynamic symbol... Is it normal ?
It's possible that freeform gradients don't work in dynamic symbols. Both of them are slightly peculiar to handle.