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markschaeffer
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Is using Live Paint unprofessional?

Apr 9, 2012 10:44 AM

Tags: #illustrator #live_paint_group #live_paint

Ever since this feature was introduced into Illustrator, I've told my students that Live Paint is a cheat for beginners, and that real Illustrator professionals create closed paths with fills. Do other people feel this way as well, or is this just my own prejudice? (I don't want to be one of those "When I was your age, we used a rock for a mouse, and we liked it" kind of people. But I do have this nagging feeling that Live Paint groups are less robust than filled paths.)

 
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    Apr 9, 2012 10:53 AM   in reply to markschaeffer

    Mark,

     

    Do other people feel this way as well, or is this just my own prejudice?

     

    Yes.

     
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    Apr 9, 2012 10:58 AM   in reply to markschaeffer

    For myself, the main time that I use live paint is when faced with an illustration imported from an autocad program. There are no closed paths there, and Live Paint saves a ton of time.

     
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    Apr 9, 2012 11:03 AM   in reply to markschaeffer

    It's a coarse preconception. All depends on what you are doing in detail.

     
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    Apr 9, 2012 4:58 PM   in reply to markschaeffer

    Hmm. Live Paint is as unprofessional as photography was when photography wasn't professional. Or as unprofessional as an electrical guitar before it became professional. Or as unprofessional as digital art before it became art.

     

    I know lots of folks who would tell you and your students that it's a cheat to draw closed paths with fills. They have this nagging feeling that students of computer graphics should be learning to write the raw postscript code that draws their paths and fills on screen. I suppose their logic has the exact same premise as yours, no?

     
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    Apr 9, 2012 5:11 PM   in reply to markschaeffer

    It is like saying the aphfinder is unprofessional as the live paint does things that the pathfinder is often used for and then some as well then there is the shape builder that aids in doing things in a way that bot the live paint and the pathfinder cannot do.

     

    There was a time I would not use Photoshop filters but of course there may be some filters I would not use at least not in the the way they were originally intended but I have foiund use for almost all of them, if the filter does what you want it is popintless to find a way to manualy create the effect but if it doesn't get you what you want then you find your own way.

     

    In other words assoon as your students get into the real world they are going to laugh at you and ZI hope only for this reason.

     

    Play around with the tool and see what it can do and then think it over again.

     
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    Apr 9, 2012 5:30 PM   in reply to Wade_Zimmerman

    Live paint is a valid and useful tool, live trace may be what you're referring to, though it doesn't seem to be.

     
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    Apr 9, 2012 7:16 PM   in reply to markschaeffer

    Sometimes it's a sloppy cheat; sometimes it isn't. Expand the results and see what you've actually got. Are those paths anything at all like what a reasonably skilled user would draw?

     

    If not, you have one more out: Is the nature of the origional line work such that drawing the fills deliberately would be utterly impractical?

     

    JET

     
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    Apr 9, 2012 7:19 PM   in reply to Doug Katz

    None of these strained analogies are fitting.

     

    JET

     
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    Apr 9, 2012 10:02 PM   in reply to markschaeffer

    If the employer or customer paying for the work or people who see your works can't find a difference if you made it one way or another then the method that takes more time is simply waste of time.

     
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    Apr 9, 2012 10:39 PM   in reply to JETalmage

    I assume you mean none of these strained analogies is fitting.

     

    Now were they strained, none would fit of course; because strained analogies by definition are not fitting. So "strained analogies" is a touch redundant. Thankfully, none of the ones used in this case is strained, and all fit. What you probably mean is that you don't see  the historical resemblances that I see. Or maybe you're seeing technical or technological differences that are real but have nothing to do with the analogies themselves. Oh well. Seeing as neither the strained analogies nor the obsevation that they're strained is likely to change the course of human events, I'm prepared to let the OP decide whether they offer him any insight into his pedagogical practices and expert opinions. .

     
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    Apr 10, 2012 10:18 AM   in reply to emil emil

    If the employer or customer paying for the work or people who see your works can't find a difference...then the method that takes more time is simply waste of time

    Customer contracts for a logo design.

    Designer delivers a logo built with down & dirty auto routines.

    Looks fine to the unwitting customer. He can't tell a difference.

    Customer pays the designer.

     

    Three months down the road, Customer needs a sign.

    Customer delivers logo file to sign shop.

    Sign shop can't cut the sign from the file, because it is improperly built.

     

    Happens every day.

     

    JET

     
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    Apr 10, 2012 11:52 AM   in reply to JETalmage

    Well, you gave an example where a difference WAS found and described as improperly built. This can be labeled fairly as cheating if proper preparation for eventual use was specified in the initial contract and the extra work for this was paid. Designers should inform their clients about possible scenarios with using the design and the client will have the final decision about what should be done.

    My statement is valid for differences that no one will ever realize or miss. Along with the case you mentioned, in my practice I've also seen the opposite cases too. Designers who are obsessed with being perfectionists to the smallest details that no one cares about and will not make any difference in using the design.

     
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    Apr 10, 2012 2:14 PM   in reply to markschaeffer

    And what does Mark Schaeffer now say?

     
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    Apr 10, 2012 6:55 PM   in reply to emil emil

    Well, you gave an example where a difference WAS found and described as improperly built.

    I gave just one example of a situation wherein the Customer would not know the difference. It's also an example of a designer who blissfully thinks he's doing commercial quality work.

     

    JET

     
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    Apr 10, 2012 7:47 PM   in reply to JETalmage

    Three months down the road, Customer needs a sign.

    Customer delivers logo file to sign shop.

    Sign shop can't cut the sign from the file, because it is improperly built.

    I would say that was a sign maker that was not prepared to make signs.

     

    Sure if you don't know how to use the tool then yes you are not professional for using the tool on the other hand if you use the right tool for the job and use it to accomplish a professional result then you're professional.

     
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    Apr 10, 2012 9:32 PM   in reply to JETalmage

    JETalmage wrote:

    ...

    I gave just one example of a situation wherein the Customer would not know the difference. It's also an example of a designer who blissfully thinks he's doing commercial quality work.

     

    JET

    Yes, there are such designer and it happens quite often, but I think the original question was about competent designers making a choice. For me my choice is based on the requirements of my clients. I always try to educate my clients but this is not always a simple thing - some clients react to this as a sale strategy to charge more and often ask "does this take more time and adds to the cost?" and if I say no, in the case of avoiding Live Paint coloring, I would be lying.

    By the way, I can't think of any other service industry where free customer education is included in the service - usually any information given is to make a profitable sale. And if later, after everything promised is delivered, the customers realize that this is not exactly what they wanted, they usually blame themselves for not making an intelligent choice. However in my observations, in the design industry we tend to blame the designer.

     

    Just my 2 cents

     
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