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Brush Problem

Jul 8, 2012 5:04 PM

Tags: #illustrator #help #settings #brush #glitch #drawing #basic #adjusting

I'm trying to start a complex drawing on illustrator involving stylized fire. But I have a problem: My brush tool is exhibiting some stubborn glitches. It seems to prefer the settings the document starts with: "5pt. Round" brush, "Uniform" width, 1 pt. thickness, 100% opacity. Any brushstroke I draw after adjusting these settings automatically reverts to the original settings, and I end up having to adjust the strokes individually after I create each one. But the predominant concern is that for some reason, it won't allow me to choose the "Basic" brush when I'm using the Brush Tool AT ALL!! I need someone to tell me how to clear up these problems soon.


PS: I can't seem to find Adobe's Online Chat Page, can someone help me with that problem as well?

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 8, 2012 5:41 PM   in reply to Sparkaeus

    In the Appearance Panel Menu, uncheck "New Art has Basic Appearance."


    The "Basic" brush is essentially "No Brush and a Basic stroke". The Naming can be confusing. Choosing "Basic" means remove the brush stroke.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 8, 2012 8:14 PM   in reply to Sparkaeus

    Basic is NOT a brush. As I've posted, "Basic" removes all brush dynamics from a stroke. The items youv'e posted in italics are not brush dynamics, which is why they are retained. The bold items in your post are brush dynamics and removed when you select "Basic."


    Stop selecting "Basic" if you want brush dynamics.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 8, 2012 11:27 PM   in reply to Sparkaeus

    I won't argue with you. For the third time..... Basic is not a brush. This is why you can apply gradients... it's just a stroke, not a brush.


    The "Basic" option was added to the brush panel becuase users were having dificulty figuring out how to remove a brush stroke. That's what the Basic items does... remove brush strokes.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 9, 2012 2:31 AM   in reply to Sparkaeus

    What I'm saying is if you just need a stroke, you shouldn't even be looking at the Brush panel, much less the Basic item in it.


    Brush and stroke are never interchangable when referrencing Illustrator.


    For a path to be seen, it must have a stroke. That stroke can be a standard stroke or have brush artwork applied to the stroke (often referred to as a Brush Stroke).


    Basically, you can have a stroke without a brush, but you can't have a brush without a stroke.


    What the "Basic" brush does is remove the brush dynamics and reverts the stroke to just a standard stroke - no brush settings. So.... if you continually apply brush dynamics like rounding, angle, etc, then click "Basic" you may as well be choosing "Remove Brush Stroke" from the Brush Panel menu. It's the same thing.


    As an example.. do this.


    Select a calligraphic or bristle brush and paint a stroke.

    Now duplicate that brush stroked path.

    Select the duplicate and click the "Basic" item in the Brush Panel.

    You'll see the path becomes a standard stroked path.

    Watch the Appearance Panel while doing all this to see how designations change.


    Where I get hung up in your description.....


    I set the thickness from 1 to 10 pts, the width from Uniform to Double-Arc, the opacity from 100% to 80% and the brush from 5pt Round to Basic.


    Weight 1 to 10pts.... So you're setting that with the Width Tool?


    Uniform to Double-Arc... Huh? No where in my copy of Illustrator does "Double-Arc" appear, especially in reference to strokes and brushes. I assume you mean a Stroke Profile here. That's the same thing as using the Width Tool. The Stroke Profile overrides any custom adjustments you made via the Width Tool. Therefore you are removing the 1pt to 10pt weight change you just applied. Essentially you are creating a 10pt stroke then applying the Double-Arc profile to that. There's no benefit to first setting the stroke weight to vary from 1pt to 10pts.


    Opacity from 100% to 80% ... are you doing this with a gradient applied to the stroke? Must be. No problem with this on standard strokes. But gradients can not be applied to many types of Brushes.


    5pt Round to Basic .. Again, huh? 5pt round is a Calligraphic Brush. Basic, as I've explained, removes the brush dynamics. So you're contradicting yourself in this step. In addition, you can't set two separate brush definitions to the same stroke. You would need multiple strokes in the Appearance Panel to do this. By trying to do this to the same stroke, you immediately remove the stroke profile you assigned (Double-Arc) when you click the "5pt" brush (a Calligraphic Brush), then you remove all brush dynamics as soon as you click "Basic". In the end you're left with a striaght, standard stroked, path.


    For the sake of clarity, you should think of the "Basic" item in the Brush Panel as meaning "No Brush". You only need to click "Basic" when you want to remvoe any previously assigned brush artwork to a stroke. That's all it does. The fact that it is not really a brush is designated by the name being in brackets - [Basic] - on the panel when set to List View.


    From your description, I can guess that what you really want to do is utilize the Width Tool and the Stroke Panel. Specifically the rounded end caps on the Stroke Panel. I don't see any reason why you would even need to look at the Brush panel to create the stroke you are after.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 9, 2012 8:42 AM   in reply to Sparkaeus

    Sparkaeus, simply said, to achieve what you want, just do not use the Brush tool. Instead use the Pencil tool and make sure "New Art Has Basic Appearance" is not checked on the menu of the Appearance panel .


    You can not draw using the Brush tool with Basic selected in your brush panel. If you try a brush will be selected automatically. If you delete all brushes in the Brush panel and have only Basic left you will never be able to use the Brush tool, when you try, you will get the Unavailable mouse cursor.


    Think of Basic in the Brush panel as a button to remove brush properties from selected paths and from the stroke attributes before creating strokes with any tool  except brushes.


    I think the Brush panel in Illustrator has bad interface and I can see how Basic appearing as a brush can be confusing. They should have made it appear as a large button at the bottom of the panel or on another place.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 9, 2012 3:28 PM   in reply to Sparkaeus

    You really don't need a brush for those strokes though.


    This is just a standard stroke with a profile and gradient applied.



    Grab the Pencil Tool, make certain "New Art Has Basic Appearance" is NOT checked in the Appearance Panel menu... and then draw paths to your heart's content.


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