They've mystified me since I noticed them.
Lords of Illustrator, forgive your humble servant's blatant ignorance, but searches and experimentation have come up disinsightful (possible a new word) - what do you do with these?
(Right now, I'm making a focused effort to figure out everything I can do with live Appearance Panel effects - the more I know, the better I feel I set up artwork, non-destructively. It's great. Correct Answer will manifest happy dancing.)
A simple example - In the case of Outline Stroke, basically it would have susequent effects operate on the resulting outlined object (the one on the right) as opposed to the stroke (left example)
It is an odd one to puzzle out, as by itself, it appears to do nothing. And yeah, the appearance panel kicks ***. I remember the epiphany when I discovered it and was like "wow - I've been doing it ALL wrong..." [edit:] Amusingly (well, now anyway) the other "oh my god" moment was finding offset path and realizing that I didn't have to do it by hand.
Thanks Mathias, this is one very cool illustration!
To be clear, these files are not mine and I don't know who made them, they are floating on the web and I happened to have the ftp link in my bookmarks.
The artist/engineer is Teri Pettit who's name you will find in the Credits list for Illustrator. She's been with Adobe since the early days of Illustrator and has contributed greatly to the product.
She also used to be one of the few Adobe employees who would slum it down here in with us lowly users. It's been a few years since she's been here. She taught me the awesome secret bat cave trick to determine the area of an irregular shape.
From an experimental point of view that flower is a remarkable study. No doubt.
From a pragmatical point of view it's also a remarkable study that shows how absurdly over-complicated one can construct things inside the Appearance palette which can be done easier and way more straightforward by applying "normal" transformations to simple objects.
The Appearance palette is useful, but it can also be an alluring playground that may mislead your mind.
The point of the exercise for me was to determine at what point is it folly to continue to alter an object via the appearance panel. As well as to study performance differences. For example, I learned the Scribble effect dramatically slows down redraw. The image I posted draws in a few seconds, add a Scribble effect anywhere and that redraw time is easily quadrupled. Glows, shadows, blurs, feathers, etc. don't have that delay which the Scribble Effect provides.
Another goal was to determine just how much transformation can you accomplish and how to get past some limitations (such as the restriction to only move an object 100px via the transform effect). While I'd never actually need anything similar to the flower for real work. It is sometimes handy to know you can create multiple objects which different via the Appearance panel. For example.... eyes or ears of a comic character. That way they stay internally connected and you have less assets to manage. Set up graphic styles for eyes... and they are then just a click away.
I once did a (rather simple, but not too simple) topographic map just by using the Appearance palette. An enlightening experience and a sportful experiment ;-)
As for the 100 px limit you mention: Isn't it 4000 px per Transform effect ?
(sweet, we can link Youtube's right in the posts, never tried it)
I'm sorry man . . . I'm still mystified here . . . I can't get Outline Stroke to work like the above-linked Illy 10 Style Demo.
I took her Distort > Roughen circle, with Outline Stroke applied so that the stroke becomes an outlined path and the subsequent Roughen affects it like it's been outlined and tried to duplicate the outcome from scratch, but I can't do it!
Doesn't work me . . . yet look at the Appearance Panel and compare - they're the same.
What is going on?
No, no difference. Tried that.
As you can see - my Roughen is affecting the path with no outlining taking place, it has a constant width, unlike Teri's stroked path.
This shouldn't be that hard . . .
Hmm, works fine here.
Try this, select your path and from the Appearance panel menu choose Clear Appearance. Then take the eyedropper tool, make sure it is set to copy appearance by double clicking the eye dropper in the tool box. Then while your path without any appearance is selected click on Teri's path to see if it will copy the effect. It may be helpful to turn the smart guided on to make it easier to click on the path with the eyedropper.
Yeah, I've always been able to copy her path's Appearance to any other path. That's actually how I've been getting the effect into my files since then.
Are you able to duplicate her results from scratch?
Yes, I can do it from scratch without a problem. The point of my suggestion was when you start from scratch, after you draw the path, first clear its appearance to make sure it is not inheriting something by default. And also create it on a brand new layer.
Mathias, I'm seeing the same problem (even after clearing the appearance), but can solve it by shifting the effects around the Appearance panel at what I think is random before putting them in their proper places. At least I have not yet determined which changes precede proper functioning. I got it to work on your "crappy" example by shifting both the outline and roughen effects a couple of times each, including applying them to the fill before shifting them back to the stroke. If there's any sense to it I haven't found it yet.
Wow . . . I still can't get it to work, even after shifting the effects around in the Appearance Panel for about a minute. No change. Very odd. I'm doomed to keep Teri's circle as a Graphic Style I'll have to apply to my own paths if I want the effect to work. What the heck.
No wonder I could never figure out what these effects did, in the past.
Maybe you would like to post an example of what doesn't work.
But in addition to that: Teri's example is from Illustrator 10. There has been a change in the appearance panel in Illustrator CS4 which affects exactly the outline stroke and outline object effects. Stuff that has been possible until Illustrator CS3 is not any more:
Did you miss the file I linked above, with the big black and white image in the post? My curvy path should show what Teri's circle is doing, but doesn't.
Your link led me to here - http://tpettit.best.vwh.net/adobe/index.html
I looked at a bunch of the webpages and files she makes available there. You speak of there being fundamental changes to how Illustrator handles basic things - like Outline Stroke. Well here in Teri's Fill and Stroke Behavior for Compound Shapes she talks about some changes. So, while it's possible that the way Outline Stroke is handled has changed it seems odd that it still works as intended on Teri's circle even in my CS6.