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Drop Shadow; Performance

Mar 25, 2013 11:21 AM

Tags: #effects #shadow #performance #slow #effect #freeze #ram #frozen #file_size #drop_shadow #stylize

Every time I use the drop shadow effect on an object file size spikes and performance dramatically declines.

 

My main concern here is the drop in performance.

 

I have had no other performance issues building this large print document and my Mac easily keeps pace and is snappy.  However, when I add the drop shadow, everything bogs down to just above completely frozen.  It takes about 20 minutes just to save the Illustrator file (faster outputting a press quality PDF).  Openning the file takes just as long.  Both processes sap 6 GB of free RAM down to about 10 megs :'( and my Mac never quite recovers until I restart.

 

Are there performance optimizations hidden somewhere in Illy?  These are found in Photoshop as tiling and cache optimizations that really help when working with small or very large documents.

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 25, 2013 12:31 PM   in reply to danldurall

    When using the drop shadow effect did you expand the appearance? This expands the effect to a permanent state in which there is no need for illustrator to recalculate the drop shadow effect when processing it. This reduces the needed RAM for saving your work but you wont be able to make any changes to your effect.

     
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    Mar 25, 2013 12:36 PM   in reply to danldurall

    go to obejct-->expand appearance  and see what happens   you still can remove the applied effect without recreating your vector from  eginning - just ungroup and remove shadow. Notice that shadow effects are converted to images.

     
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    Mar 25, 2013 12:44 PM   in reply to billef32

    What version of AI?

     
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    Mar 26, 2013 6:48 AM   in reply to danldurall

    How big is your file?

    You have a lot of effects on it?

    I have tested this in a A1 doc with 100 rectangles with the same drop shadow, it slows a bit but is still snappy.

     
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    Mar 26, 2013 7:29 AM   in reply to danldurall

    I just tried it with a file like you describe, and it slows down a bit but not like you say.

     
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    Mar 26, 2013 11:06 AM   in reply to danldurall

    You might try freeing up some scratch disk space.  What have you selected as scratch disk(s) [ Preferences ]?  I would scale that file down to a more manageable size ( 25% of original, min. ) and have the RIP scale it.

     
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    Mar 27, 2013 4:40 AM   in reply to danldurall

    I am afraid that if you are handling hug files like you are doing now, the only thing that can help is upgrading your system with more fiscal RAM.

    As you know Illustrator CS6 is 64 bit now, so there is almost no limit anymore what RAM is concerned.

     
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    Mar 27, 2013 5:58 AM   in reply to danldurall

    Are your images linked or embedded?

    If linked are it native Photoshop files?

     

    Scaling down your Illustrator file won't help a lot if your images stay the same, and scaling down images is a bad idea for the quality loss you will have if you have to scale up again later.

     
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    Mar 27, 2013 6:08 AM   in reply to danldurall

    Try linking the images, and also try it with resaved versions of your images to native photoshop files.

    Try both and compare to see what is the best.

     
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    Mar 27, 2013 6:11 AM   in reply to danldurall

    What is (will be) the average viewing distance for this?

     

    Mike

     
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    Mar 27, 2013 6:38 AM   in reply to danldurall

    Thanks, Dan.

     

    I know of no way to scale your present document but to just do it manually. Instead of half-size, I would have done it 1/4 size. I recently did one which was 236" in length at 1/4 size and it was pretty manageable, but likely wasn't as complicated. I did converted several originally vector elements to images, which did help in redraw and save time. And I did it while traveling using a 4-gig memory laptop of very modest specs.

     

    I wrote a spreadsheet a long time ago that I use for scaling images and to otherwise aid my little brain in scaling. If I am understanding, the 145" is half-scale, so I likely would have used the following parameters:

     

    capture-000170.png

     

    Note I set it to a min viewing distance of 6 feet. While people could have walked up closer to the booth, they don't unless they are interested in the printing. I could have gone lower on PPI (the background was 480 ppi I think) the result was great.

     

    Take care, Mike

     
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