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Blend / Symbol Bug? - Adobe Illustrator Windows

In AI 12.0.1, try this: 1. Object>Blend>Blend Options. Set to Specified Steps with a value around 12 or so. 2. Draw an object. (You could just drag an instance of one of the default Symbols from the Symbols Palette.) Object>Rasterize. 3. Drag the rasterized image to the Symbols Palette to define a new Symbol. 4. Drag an Instance of this Symbol back onto the page. 5. Drag another Instance onto the page. Transparency Palette: Set its opacity to zero. 6. Select both Instances and Object>Blend>Make. AI creates the expected Blend with intermediate steps of varying opacity. But now do it ...

  1. #1

    Default Blend / Symbol Bug?

    In AI 12.0.1, try this:

    1. Object>Blend>Blend Options. Set to Specified Steps with a value around 12 or so.

    2. Draw an object. (You could just drag an instance of one of the default Symbols from the Symbols Palette.) Object>Rasterize.

    3. Drag the rasterized image to the Symbols Palette to define a new Symbol.

    4. Drag an Instance of this Symbol back onto the page.

    5. Drag another Instance onto the page. Transparency Palette: Set its opacity to zero.

    6. Select both Instances and Object>Blend>Make. AI creates the expected Blend with intermediate steps of varying opacity.

    But now do it this way:

    1. Drag an instance of the Symbol onto the page.

    2. Copy.

    3. Paste.

    4. Set the opacity of the pasted Instance to zero.

    5. Select both. Object>Blend>Make. A Blend is created, but there are no intermediate steps, despite the setting of the Blend Options. It's not just a redraw issue; exanding the Blend leaves you with just the two original instances.

    JET
    James_Talmage@adobeforums.com Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: Blend / Symbol Bug?

    James,

    I'm pretty sure that this has nothing to do with the copy/paste/blend situation on the artboard. It rather proves that an old bug - introduced in AI 10, that is, the time when symbols were introduced - has not been fixed until today. It is the copy-and-paste-bug within the Symbols Palette when dealing with symbols based on raster images. To reproduce it, just create a symbol out of a raster image, call this symbol "", place an instance of symbol "" on the artboard, then copy and paste it. Now look at the Symbols Palette: The copy/paste command results in a duplicate of symbol "", it's called " 1" and the instance that was copied and pasted on the artboard is linked to this new symbol. So, the behaviour you described is a kind of logic as one cannot blend between two different symbol (instances). Of course (or fortunately) this is not the case when you Alt drag the symbol instance to copy it.

    It's a bad bug that does not happen with symbols based on vector shapes.

    Can you confirm this for AI 12, James?
    Kurt_Gold@adobeforums.com Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: Blend / Symbol Bug?

    So Kurt,

    The symbol resulting from the copy/paste operation looks like ? Except, when you go to blend it, it turns out to be a different ?

    No !

    Bert
    Bert Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: Blend / Symbol Bug?

    :-) Ah, Bert, you're searching for more nice things, right? So, currently I don't know if the following is valid in AI 11 or 12. In AI 10 it is, for example:

    - Draw a circle, blue fill
    - Apply any vector effect (like the Warp effects or Roughen)
    - Create a symbol out of it
    - Drag an instance on the artboard
    - Copy and paste

    Result: Duplicate in the Symbols Palette (unexpected behaviour).

    Do the same, but take any Raster Effect, and you will get the same unexpected results.

    Now, switch to the Brushes:

    - Draw a rectangle
    - Create an Art Brush or a Pattern Brush or a Scatter Brush out of it
    - Draw any stroked path and apply one of the brushes
    - Copy this Brush stroke, paste

    Result: Duplicate in the Brushes Palette (unexpected behaviour)

    Now, look at Graphic Style definitions:

    - Draw any shape, red fill, no stroke
    - Create a graphic style out of its appearance
    - Delete the shape and draw another one
    - Apply the graphic style to this shape
    - Copy and paste it

    Result: Duplicate of the graphic style linked to the pasted object (unexpected behaviour).

    Hmmh...
    Kurt_Gold@adobeforums.com Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: Blend / Symbol Bug?

    The same thing will happen with patterns that contain raster images. What is going on is that the clipboard is internally a separate artwork, just like a doent with no window. So when you copy then paste something, it is almost exactly like dragging it to a different doent and then back.

    When you transfer symbols, patterns, brushes or graphic styles from one doent to another, the intention is that if both the name and the definition match an element in the destination doent, then the existing symbol, pattern or whatever in the destination doent will be used. If the name is the same but the definition differs, then a new name will be assigned to maintain uniqueness, and the new element will be added to the destination doent's palettes. (If there is no element with a matching name, then a new one is always added and the definitions are not even compared.)

    However, there are some kinds of contents for which Illustrator has no accurate comparison for equivalency. One of those is rasters. Another is graphic styles. Since the result of a false inequality is to generate duplicate palette elements, while the result of a false equality would change the appearance, Illustrator generally errs on the side of considering the objects unequal if it can't do a deep comparison.

    Some other kinds of objects that can cause unwanted duplicates are putting a drop shadow, feather, or any other raster-generating effect on an object and then making a symbol or pattern from it. Brushes inside of symbols also cause duplication.

    Additionally, plugin groups are compared by testing for the equivalency of the source art and the appearance art. The options of the plugin group are not compared. So it is theoretically possible for two objects with different plugin options to not be detected as unequal if they happen to generate the same appearance from the same input, and neither the original nor the appearance contains any rasters. (E.g., a blend with a specified steps of 4 and a blend with a smooth appearance option that happened to generate 4 steps.)

    Note that comparing two images for equality could be slow when they are equal. (If they are unequal it will tend to detect that early, but if they are equal it will have to look at every pixel to make sure.)

    Ideally it would be nice if Paste could somehow detect when the clipboard contents were derived from the same doent as the Paste destination, and no palette contents in the destination doent had been redefined since the contents were put in the clipboard, perhaps by stamping them with some unique source doent id and "global objects timestamp" id, and avoid the definition comparison in that case. This would not only eliminate unwanted duplications, but also make Paste of contents containing global objects (i.e., things that are linked to palette content) faster. But we have never had the time to put in the architecture to support that. If not done carefully it could lead to unwanted appearance changes instead.
    Teri Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: Blend / Symbol Bug?

    Thanks for the technical clarification, Teri. But I have to ask one question: Are you really saying that this cannot be qualified as a bug? Or at least as a very strange and in almost any case unexpected, unwanted and unefficient behaviour from the point of view of an Illustrator user?
    Kurt_Gold@adobeforums.com Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: Blend / Symbol Bug?

    Sounds like a good argument in favor of a Clone command (FH) instead of having to PasteFront / PasteBack to clone an object in place.

    JET
    James_Talmage@adobeforums.com Guest

  8. #8

    Default Re: Blend / Symbol Bug?

    No, I'm not saying that it isn't a bug. I don't think I implied that at all. I am describing why the bug occurs.

    It has been entered in our database as a bug ever since AI 8. (In AI 8 it happened only with brushes since there were no symbols or effects, and rasters were not allowed in patterns.) It is just the kind of bug that never gets prioritized as high enough to work on since the fix is hard and the impact is relatively low. (For those cases where having duplicates causes problems, you can always do a Replace Symbol for symbols, or assign the original brush or style or pattern and delete the duplicate.) Or avoid Copy-Paste within the same doent in favor of alternative duplication methods such as copy-drag on the artboard or within the Layers palette.

    Most versions of Illustrator ship with about 1000 known non-fatal bugs. Generally about 100 to 200 of those get approved for fixing in the next version, typically the ones that generate the most calls to Customer Support. That may sound extreme, but it is actually low for the software industry. Most versions of Microsoft products ship with the known bug count over 10,000.

    Engineers absolutely hate seeing the product ship with bugs they aren't allowed to fix, but there is no reasonable alternative in the world of publicly-owned software companies. Delaying the ship date by an additional six months to fix all the known bugs would mean that the stock price would drop to the floor because the flow of upgrade dollars was delayed, and some competitor like Quark or Microsoft would buy the company for bargain basement prices, and then immediately "fix" the balance sheet by reinstating the industry standard policy of shipping to schedule and not to a zero-tolerance quality standard.

    By the way, you can clone in place in Illustrator by applying any Transform dialog with a null transform and clicking on the Copy button, among other methods. It is not very discoverable, though, so I agree that a command which does that would be convenient.
    Teri Guest

  9. #9

    Default Re: Blend / Symbol Bug?



    By the way, you can clone in place in Illustrator by applying any Transform
    dialog with a null transform and clicking on the Copy button, among other
    methods.




    Yes, I know. Like pressing Alt, nudge with an arrow, release Alt, nudge back.

    Yet another awkward and unintuitive workaround for a program already overrun with workarounds. Maybe other programs are just better at hiding their bugs, I don't know. But stock won't do too well when users get fed up, either.

    I appreciate you muchly, Teri, so please don't take my rant personally. But AI is becoming less a "joy" to use every day.

    In my opinion, AI's quality is nowhere near commensurate with that of Photoshop and InDesign.

    JET
    James_Talmage@adobeforums.com Guest

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