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Symbol shadow troubles

Mar 26, 2013 10:39 AM

Tags: #drop #illustrator #shadow #cs6 #symbol #bug?

I've come across a very particular difficulty, spent the last hour trying to nail it down repeatably. The problem is this: I have a jpg image that I use multiple times in an illustrator file, and I wanted to be more efficient by making it into a symbol. So I embedded the image, made it a symbol, then updated my Illustrator file, replacing the instances of that image with the symbol-version of the image. I then tried to add a drop shadow effect to one of those symbols. Although the effect was listed on the appearance menu, it didn't actually show up visibly on the screen. However, if I added a non-shadow effect to the symbol (e.g. blur .1 pixel) then added a drop shadow, the shadow would then appear. Oddly, I have other images that I have made into symbols where this problem does not occur. Perhaps it's some weird image format issue?

 

I've included a jpg export below, showing the problem. I've also put the original .ai file up on my Google docs folder here:

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B0Hoxcl5zTEtNmZnYW9qaWpkVVU/edit?usp=s haring

 

I'm using Illustrator CS6 trial version (16.0.3 64 bit). on a Win 8-64 laptop.

 

Any comments/help would be greatly appreciated.

 

Yes, I'll probably buy the real version of Illustrator very soon. I need something better than Inkscape, but I'm a little hesitant, put off by all the oddities I've discovered in the past couple weeks. I'd hoped that a for-profit package would be more reliable than this.

 

SymbolShadowTroubles.png

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 26, 2013 11:19 AM   in reply to asee23455

    I think by making the image a symbol, you actually do not make the file more efficient.  And, if I'm not mistaken, the actual artwork via a symbol could be a preview image.  Try Expanding ( Object > Expand Appearance ) the symbol that has the shadow.  I think the shadow works on a blurred version of the symbol image because you are, in a way, modifying the original artwork so it is no longer considered a symbol, but an actual element.  This is just a hunch.  I would think relying on Placing the original file and step and repeating that would be more efficient and allow you more freedom to apply different effects to certain images while leaving others alone.  If you are concerned about file size, do not embed the image.  Link it instead.

     
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    Mar 26, 2013 4:09 PM   in reply to asee23455

    asee23455 wrote:

     

    ) I tried Expanding, but there's no change. Also note that the png above is not a screenshot, but is instead an export from Illustrator, so it represents the final look of things, rather than a preview.

     

    You needn't use "blur". Try the effect "offset path" instead. Sounds weird, but works. Set it to 0 offset.

     

    asee23455 wrote:

     

    ) I considered the linking, but I work on two different computers, and when I transfer files, the links break. I wonder if this has to do with relative vs. absolute paths.

     

    that's the reason.

    Are all the files (linked images and .ai file) in the same folder?

     
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    Mar 26, 2013 5:15 PM   in reply to asee23455

    ...by making the image a symbol, you actually do not make the file more efficient...

    Of course you do. The content of a Symbol is stored only once in the file, regardless of how many Instances you place.

     

    And, if I'm not mistaken, the actual artwork via a symbol could be a preview image.

    No, it's not.

     

    I think the shadow works on a blurred version of the symbol image because you are, in a way, modifying the original artwork...

    Applying a shadow to a Symbol Instance does not modify the original artwork contained in the Symbol.

     

    ...so it is no longer considered a symbol, but an actual element.

    No, it's still a Symbol Instance.

     

    JET

     
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    Mar 26, 2013 6:27 PM   in reply to JETalmage

    Thanks for the info.  Any theories on why the shadow does not work?

     
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    Mar 27, 2013 4:15 AM   in reply to John Danek

    Here you can find a adjusted file: https://dl.dropbox.com/u/275719/FTPlinks/SymbolShadowTroubles.ai

    It is possible but you need to apply your drop shadow inside your symbol.

     
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    Mar 27, 2013 4:46 AM   in reply to CHMprepress

    CHMprepress wrote:

     

    It is possible but you need to apply your drop shadow inside your symbol.

    no, you don't.

     

    Apply "Offset path" to the symbol instance first and then Dropshadow.

     

    Offset path won't do anything, it just needs to be there.

     
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    Mar 27, 2013 4:59 AM   in reply to John Danek

    Any theories on why the shadow does not work?

    Not without opening the problem file in CS6, which I've not had opportunity to do.

     

    As described, it shouldn't be a problem. I've often applied drop shadows to individual Symbol Instances. May be a bug in CS6; just don't have that version in front of me right now.

     

    JET

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 27, 2013 5:44 AM   in reply to asee23455

    asee23455,

     

    Try this. Select each symbol with the appearance panel open. Delete all the appearance additions to each symbol in your file.

     

    Now double-click on one of them.

     

    Now click once more on the symbol. Now add the Effect | Stylize | Drop Shadow. You can check the box for preview if you desire. You'll see (should see) the drop shadow.

     

    Now back out of the symbol. The other instance should update.

     

    Take care, Mike

     
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    Mar 27, 2013 5:48 AM   in reply to Monika Gause

    Yes your solution works to, now he has 2 solutions for the same price

     
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    Mar 27, 2013 8:59 AM   in reply to asee23455

    Yes the shadow is orientated for the symbol's original orientation, unless on the rotated instances you break the link. In which case I would add another symbol for that orientation in case I want to quickly change the shadow color, offset, etc., for all instances of the particular (or all) shadowed symbols. This would make for quickly updating all instances of all symbols, albeit for each orientation.

     

    Take care, Mike

     
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