Can I automate illustrator?

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by Kingsly, Jul 26, 2006.

  1. Kingsly macrumors 68040

    Kingsly

    #1
    I want to live trace a bunch of frames and recompile them back into a movie... but doing it by hand would take months. Can I automate illustrator (similar to photoshop actions) to open a group of files, apply the color-6 live trace, save, and close? I looked in the menus and layer palette thingy, but couldn't find anything.
     
  2. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #2
    There is an Actions palette; in CS anyway.

    Menu: Window>Actions

    Right at the top. ;)
     
  3. Kingsly thread starter macrumors 68040

    Kingsly

    #3
    Lol, I'm a bigger idiot then everyone originally assumed. It was right there the whole time (i've literally been searching for a week). :eek:
    Thanks.
     
  4. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #4

    Why? :confused:

    F1 pulls up Illustrator Help, under the Help menu. Type in Actions and the first entry is 'Using the Actions Palette'.

    I genuinely don't understand why people don't read the manual... not having a go at you, but it often confuses me.
     
  5. beatsme macrumors 65816

    beatsme

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    #5
    it's like stopping to ask for directions...men just don't do that.
     
  6. Kingsly thread starter macrumors 68040

    Kingsly

    #6
    A) I don't have a manual
    B) I kind of idly looked for it while I was working on an existing illustrator project-I never had a dedicated search session. When I did, it was there!

    One problem, though. Illustrator doesn't want to record live trace as an action! Help.

    Here's what I did:
    export the sequence from FCP as a image sequence. BMP, 24 FPS
    Open illustrator
    select 'new action'
    name it
    click 'record'
    open the first image.
    select it with the mouse (so the little blue line surrounds it)
    click 'live trace color-6'
    it live traces, but the action stopped recording after opening the image.

    Help?
     
  7. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #7
    Which may explain some of the technical quality issues I get with freelancer's work...

    I absolutely despise being blocked by a software problem or hidden workaround in the office... it breaks the creative flow and can be extremely frustrating with an imminent deadline looming.

    With each upgrade of software, we buy a new set of fat books to supplement our library. It's one of the main ways to learn what your tools of the trade can do.

    I enjoy learning new tricks or shorter ways to get from A to B... besides, sooner or later, there'll be a young and hungry kid on the block gunning for my job.
     
  8. beatsme macrumors 65816

    beatsme

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    #8
    what you may have to do is this:
    in the Action menu, there's a little thing called Insert Menu Item. What you can do after it stops recording is select that option, and it will then ask you to choose some function from one of the menus at the top, such as Save As or something like that...
     

    Attached Files:

  9. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #9
    Don't include the 'open' command in your action. It'll want to open the same file each time the action is run. Start recording with the file open, do your process (probably by Selecting All – Apple A) and then do a 'save' or 'save as' and close.
     
  10. beatsme macrumors 65816

    beatsme

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    #10
    agreed...freelancers are the absolute WORST. Making a good looking file and making a file that can be used are evidently two separate skills.
     
  11. Kingsly thread starter macrumors 68040

    Kingsly

    #11
    Tried that...
    Okay, I started a new action with an image already open.
    hit Apple-A (it recorded that)
    hit the little arrow next to live trace> selected my preset, color 6.
    the image live-traced, but it didn't record.
    So, I click 'insert menu item' go to Object>live trace> make and select it. It records.
    Now my image is B&W. once again I select my preset and it does not record.
     
  12. beatsme macrumors 65816

    beatsme

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    #12
    I don't have a copy of CS2 at home (which is where I am) but I'm assuming that if it's available in the menu then you must be able to set the Live Trace preferences. The Help menu is probably your best friend right now...
     
  13. Kingsly thread starter macrumors 68040

    Kingsly

    #13
    Okay, Illustrator told me If I want to batch live trace, I have to use bridge.
    :mad: :eek: :confused:

    WTF. OF COURSE I NEED TO USE AN UNRELATED PROGRAM TO DO AN
    ILLUSTRATOR ACTION!!!!
    (I'm getting really mad at adobe, can you tell?)
     
  14. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #14
    Here's a cached Google page talking about it with some conjecture as to why and how to go about extending its capacity for doing more than 10 documents with Bridge.

    I don't have CS2 at home either so can't add much more than that.
     
  15. JasonElise1983 macrumors 6502a

    JasonElise1983

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2003
    Location:
    Between a rock and a midget
    #15
    ok, i played around with it some. You need to go into Trace Options, set all of your settings and then save that as a preset and make it the default one. Then when you record, just hit Live Trace > Make. And you'll be done. Atleast it worked for me fine.

    Edit: Yes, you will have to use Bridge to do the Batch.
     
  16. Kingsly thread starter macrumors 68040

    Kingsly

    #16
    Thanks. Now my life is good. :)
     
  17. beatsme macrumors 65816

    beatsme

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2005
    #17
    the Batch setting in the Action palette won't work for this? Why not? Or is it that CS2 no longer has a Batch feature?

    sorry, I thought CS was garbage so I've stuck with v.10. I subsequently know next to nothing about CS2.
     
  18. JasonElise1983 macrumors 6502a

    JasonElise1983

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2003
    Location:
    Between a rock and a midget
    #18
    I forgot about the Batch option in the Actions palette. Been so long since i've used it...huh? Yeah, it would work just fine.
     
  19. Kingsly thread starter macrumors 68040

    Kingsly

    #19
    Okay, more help needed. I successfully was able to batch the images. Now I need to batch convert them to PNG so I can re-inport them into QTpro (they are .ai files right now)

    Illustrator has a action for this, but it requires me to babysit it to press 'save' for each image. Cant I automate the save??

    EDIT: tried photoshop and have the action running, but it keeps saving as the original file name, overwriting the previous one over and over again! Help? How do I set up a action that opens, saves as PNG, and closes... yet preserves the ORIGINAL file name?
     
  20. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #20
    Use Photoshop.

    In Finder, set up a destination folder for your PNGs, give it a name.

    Make sure your action is set-up beforehand with simple 'Save as PNG and close' elements.

    Go to (Menu) File>Automate>Batch...

    In there you can choose the Action Set and Action itself.

    Then choose the 'Source' folder. Check the four small boxes underneath if you're happy with these things being used or suppressed.

    Then choose the 'Destination' folder, selecting the 'Override Action Save As Commands' option.

    Finally, add rules if you want. You can ignore this step if you want leaving the default setting. Hit OK (top right), make coffee. :)
     
  21. Kingsly thread starter macrumors 68040

    Kingsly

    #21
    I think the action is my problem. I have done the exact steps you put down, but my action contains an open command, because PS asks me to convert the .ai file....
     
  22. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #22
    Even with these options selected in the Batch box?

    • 'Override Action 'Open' Commands
    • Suppress File Open Option Dialogs

    Hmmm, thinks...
     
  23. Kingsly thread starter macrumors 68040

    Kingsly

    #23
    Yep, here is it with 'Override Action 'Open' Commands':



    and with 'Suppress File Open Option Dialogs':

    I am trying them together now.
     

    Attached Files:

  24. Kingsly thread starter macrumors 68040

    Kingsly

    #24
    Okay here it is with both of them together:


    And a pic of my actual action:
     

    Attached Files:

  25. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #25
    Sorry, try deselecting the Override Action 'Open' Commands...

    Also, another tack perhaps... but first, remind me again how many images do you have in total in .ai form?

    Edit: Usually the Save command in an action doesn't work when the destination folder has been removed or renamed.

    Did you select Override Save As commands under the Destination chooser?
     

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