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Processing a pattern swatch to use in commercial applications.

Community Beginner ,
Oct 08, 2020

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Hi,

 

I have encountered an issue with processing patterns developed in AI.

 

I am noticing a feint white line after a pattern is rendered for using on a product. It is not happening every time but is presenting problems in getting to an acceptable print.

 

My processs is not complex I create a pattern in a rectangle usually oblong sometimes square dependent on the pattern convention being used. I make certain everything is centred and perfectly contained in the document and then once satisfied I turn this rectangle in to a clipping mask carry out a test on the mask to ensure repeatability on all sides and then use the pattern tool to create a swatch. Once the swatch is created I drag the swatch out of the swatch panel and then use this as the basis of my PNG file and then I save a copy of this swatch as PNG.

 

I have noticed that in some cases the swatch from the swatch panel shows a very minor change in its dimensions so for example a square pattern swatch created on a art board of 300 x 300 pixels shows a dimension of 300.00001 on one side which of course my account for the feint white line. However I am not sure nor am I sure that I have done anything wrong that this might happen.

 

should I bee using a different process can anyone help to unravel this mystery.

 

thanks,

 

Gerard

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by Monika Gause | Adobe Community Professional

No, that is not elitist. You can watch it in this and other forums: people complaining about error dialogs being presented to them about basic stuff. And there are a lot of complaints. And if it were elitist, then what are all the professionals doing inthis forum explaining their trade to you and other beginners?

 

And it's also not about professionals not liking it that others use the software. But it's just that the trade is not only about learning how to use a software, but also about all the technical stuff that accompanies it. There's a reason that it takes several years to learn the trade. And the software cannot teach you that - it doesn't even know what your pattern is made for, so where ahould it start?

 

It's not the software's job to train you. The software is just a tool. A hammer also doesn't teach you about wood. And which wood to use best with which nail.

 

If you would like to make a proposal to the engineers to include specific warning, then please make a feature request: http://illustrator.uservoice.com

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Processing a pattern swatch to use in commercial applications.

Community Beginner ,
Oct 08, 2020

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Hi,

 

I have encountered an issue with processing patterns developed in AI.

 

I am noticing a feint white line after a pattern is rendered for using on a product. It is not happening every time but is presenting problems in getting to an acceptable print.

 

My processs is not complex I create a pattern in a rectangle usually oblong sometimes square dependent on the pattern convention being used. I make certain everything is centred and perfectly contained in the document and then once satisfied I turn this rectangle in to a clipping mask carry out a test on the mask to ensure repeatability on all sides and then use the pattern tool to create a swatch. Once the swatch is created I drag the swatch out of the swatch panel and then use this as the basis of my PNG file and then I save a copy of this swatch as PNG.

 

I have noticed that in some cases the swatch from the swatch panel shows a very minor change in its dimensions so for example a square pattern swatch created on a art board of 300 x 300 pixels shows a dimension of 300.00001 on one side which of course my account for the feint white line. However I am not sure nor am I sure that I have done anything wrong that this might happen.

 

should I bee using a different process can anyone help to unravel this mystery.

 

thanks,

 

Gerard

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by Monika Gause | Adobe Community Professional

No, that is not elitist. You can watch it in this and other forums: people complaining about error dialogs being presented to them about basic stuff. And there are a lot of complaints. And if it were elitist, then what are all the professionals doing inthis forum explaining their trade to you and other beginners?

 

And it's also not about professionals not liking it that others use the software. But it's just that the trade is not only about learning how to use a software, but also about all the technical stuff that accompanies it. There's a reason that it takes several years to learn the trade. And the software cannot teach you that - it doesn't even know what your pattern is made for, so where ahould it start?

 

It's not the software's job to train you. The software is just a tool. A hammer also doesn't teach you about wood. And which wood to use best with which nail.

 

If you would like to make a proposal to the engineers to include specific warning, then please make a feature request: http://illustrator.uservoice.com

TOPICS
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Oct 08, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 08, 2020

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When you create an artboard for your swatch (after dragging it out of the swatches panel) make sure your artboard is aligned to the pixel grid.

When exporting it, either don't change the resolution from 72 ppi or just use multiples of 72.

Also: after exporting the PNG, open it in Photoshop and check for excessive lines along the edges. And if they have been generated, crop them. Sometimes they just can't be avoided.

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 08, 2020

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Hi again Monika and thank you for your second in put to my trivial issues 😉 

 

I see the sense in your advice but am away from my Big Mac so will employ these little gems as and when I am back at the desk. 

 

Kind regards 

 

Gerard

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 13, 2020

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Hi Gerard,

 

hope it will help!

 

Kind regards,

Monika

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Oct 13, 2020 0
Community Beginner ,
Oct 16, 2020

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HI Monika,

 

always an excuse but living gets in the way more than anything at the monent so apologies for the tardy feedback.

 

The answer is no! unfortuantely not. So I completely dissected the issue and reimagined something I learnt a few years back but forgot.

 

Let me explain as it may be of help to the wider community.

 

. Create the artwork that forms the template for the "repeat" or tile. In this process try to keep artboard dimensions as close to whole numbers as possible. I say this since I draw most of my initial ideas in my iPad and migrate that vector work into AI and somehow it always seems to franctionise the numbers! 

 

. Once satisfied that the artwork is correct. Like I rarely if ever use strokes so I expand all strokes into outlines. I do preliminary checks for repeats throughout the process and only ever position items on the periphery by moving via the transform tool as this confirms accuracy.

 

. After these checks are complete I ensure all colours I have adopted are global which aids later colour palette revisions. I then create a clipping mask which will form the templte or tile that I migrate to the pattern tool to create the pattern swatch. This usually only consists of sizing the tile to the art work. At this poiunt I expand the view to 9 x 9 and check for any glaring issues and if ok hit done and return to the artboard. There will be a swatch of the new pattern in the swatch panel.

 

. At this point it is where I revised the process. I pick up the swatch from the swatch panel and drop it into the workspace. While still selected I then ungroup the swatch. Then go to my layers panel find the background rectangle copy it and paste it on top (ctrl + F) but I almost always take it to the top of the layer stack and then reselect all the artwork that was in the original group.  Then I go to pathfinder and crop the selection.

 

. Et voila hey presto a file that is now usable in photoshop where the final test can take place. The key is to determine if their is any separation or if in fact the pattern repeat is seamless. AI has issues of its own when rendering patterns that show feint white lines that are imaginary but if they are there there is no way in establishing if the file is corrupted without checking in photoshop. So now select the cropped file and export as a selection in a PNG format in as high a resolution you require (I select 600 but maybe this is over the top).

 

. I then revert to Photoshop open a new document the exact size of the just exported file and then place the new file into the new document (file place) it will normally popualte the artboard just hit the OK and it is then good to go. From there either go to Edit + Define Pattern a new dialogue box apperas give the pattern a name & the pattern is now loaded into the visual pattern library seen on the right of the screen or via the top menu bar Windows + Patterns. 

 

. I then open a new much larger document 8500 x 8500 as a new document select the artboard and drag and drop the pattern that will be in the libray drop down menu on the right. This document can be enlarged to the actual size and checked for lines. So far adopting this process has failed to be flawed all files created using this process long winded as it seems are 100% OK. 

 

It is a shame that for something so simple Adobe who charge such a large fee for small designers like me that there is nothing robust in the system to fix this. The problem comes from AI and AI pattern swathes as far as I know are not compatible with photoshop period. 

 

Adobe fix this! I am a nobody and found a worakaround. Either tell me thats as good as it gets or get off the pot and fix it. I pay hard earned money to use AI and expect better. Or come back to me a tell me I am misinformed and show me where I am going wrong? 

 

Maybe Monika a rookie (I am 67) like me has helped you? Who knows if I have great if not so what. I am happy you took the time to pass on your knowledge as it spurred me on to do more. Have a great weekend. 

 

Gerard

 

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Oct 16, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 16, 2020

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That is complicated. All you need to do would be to export the raster file from Illustrator. Then in Photoshop check for excessive pixel lines and if there are any, crop them.

I've done it. Had it printed.

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 18, 2020

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Hi Monika,

 

sure but its not very scientific and I am somewhat OCD....Look thats cool it is how it is complicated or straightforward I guess its what you are comfortable with. But I guess we both agree why is it like this? Why can't Adobe get it right???

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Oct 18, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 18, 2020

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Because it's not possible.

There are no half pixels. So if the resampling you do when exporting (either by changing resolution or by changing percentage and this will result in half pixels, then Illustrator cannot just cut them off. Not everyone is exporting patterns, some might export a button and they need the round edge of that.

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 19, 2020

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Thank you. But I thought AI was vector based? and no not everyone is exporting patterns but still there is a pattern tool and there is no warning on the tin there are no caveats that Adobe issue that say that this software is limited in this way. Like why have a pattern tool that is flawed? Anyway you are clearly far more technically appraised of this stuff. I wish you a great week. And thank you again for enaging on my issue. I think I might take up underwater crocheting instead 😉  

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Oct 19, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 19, 2020

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The thin lines (nearly) only matter when exporting to pixel based formats.

And the transparent edge pixels also only appear when exporting to pixels. On top of that: Illustrator is an app for professionals. Many people are not only slightly annoyed when you put up a warning box for stuff that you already know because you have been trained for the job.

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Oct 19, 2020 0
Community Beginner ,
Oct 19, 2020

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Frankly thats a very elitist statement! Ah I understand professionals don't like it knowing that other less qualified autodidactic erks like me use a tool expressly fashioned for just for them. Mmmmm how interesting one for Mr Jung I suspect. You know its responses like this that iritate me to the point of saying what the cmyk am I bothering for! Humility is something that is learned perhaps you might want tyo go back to school to find out more about that. Perhaps Adobe needs to add on the tin the wonderfully all embracing marketing tag line "Made for for Professionals not suited to amateurs" Have a wonderfully bountiful head in the sand day.

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Oct 19, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 19, 2020

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No, that is not elitist. You can watch it in this and other forums: people complaining about error dialogs being presented to them about basic stuff. And there are a lot of complaints. And if it were elitist, then what are all the professionals doing inthis forum explaining their trade to you and other beginners?

 

And it's also not about professionals not liking it that others use the software. But it's just that the trade is not only about learning how to use a software, but also about all the technical stuff that accompanies it. There's a reason that it takes several years to learn the trade. And the software cannot teach you that - it doesn't even know what your pattern is made for, so where ahould it start?

 

It's not the software's job to train you. The software is just a tool. A hammer also doesn't teach you about wood. And which wood to use best with which nail.

 

If you would like to make a proposal to the engineers to include specific warning, then please make a feature request: http://illustrator.uservoice.com

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Oct 19, 2020 0
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Community Beginner ,
Oct 19, 2020

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You really could have fooled me. As I say humility is something you have to work at.....As a sports pschologist I frequently have to remind professionals that arrongance is fine on the pitch but of the pitch out of the game  humility is a precious but invaluable commodity.

 

As for your analogy of the wood the nail & the hammer. The hammer was made to do a job. It does one. AI was made to do a job it falls short. But I am happy I found a fix that actually works. The one ideal I have in my favour I have hours of free time and I love what I do. Peace and goodwill.  

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