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Forums Adobe Illustrator Should video guy bother learning Illustrator?

  • Should video guy bother learning Illustrator?

  • Bob Cole

    July 15, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    As a video producer/editor, I’ve used Illustrator maybe a couple times a year. I know that vector shapes are great space-savers, etc. But I’d like to hear from someone who lives in the video world and actually finds Illustrator useful.

    There’s an interesting article here: Illustrator for the Video Person. And maybe some tutorials.

    Bob C

  • Vincent Rosati

    July 21, 2010 at 7:14 am

    you’ll find more people who live in the video world in a video forum like:

    COW Forum: After Effects

    COW Forum: Premiere

    The COW has over 450
    Tutorials for After Effects
    and many of them utilize vectors for graphics, shapes, masks, and motion paths.

    I would argue that Illustrator is a fundamental tool (and an advanced tool). Do you need it to do video – no. Do you need it to create vectors – no – you can also do that in PS and AE. Are you going to need the array of tools that are available in Illustrator, to quickly create complex vectors – maybe. Only you will know that.

    Generally I’ll push Illustrator, because so often people want to know how to convert something they’ve already created in some other app into a vector. At which time I’ll explain that their workflow was backwards, and they should have started in Illustrator to build their primary components.
    But that’s just my workflow.


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  • Dave Johnson

    July 23, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    Vincent made some good points so I’ll just add my two cents as someone who does “live in the video world” and just stumbles over to this forum occasionally …

    I learned Illustrator early in my career (something like 15+ years ago), am very glad that I did and still use it frequently (even in some cases when I don’t have to). However, the reason I mentioned that I learned it early in my career is that it was far more necessary then for video editors than it is today. Similar to the way Photoshop now includes all sorts of capabilities that were once exclusive to video and motion graphics programs, many video and motion graphics programs now include capabilities that were once exclusive to vector art programs like Illustrator.

    So, my opinion is:
    [1] learning Illustrator is still helpful for video editors, but no longer essential for most
    [2] the degree to which it’s helpful or essential depends on the specific types of work you do and your workflow preferences … in other words, it’s still hard for me to imagine editors who do motion graphics, special effects, composting, etc. not knowing Illustrator, but not all video editors do those things

  • Bob Cole

    July 23, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    Thanks for the insights, guys.

    Is there a tutorial that gives “just enough” Illustrator orientation for the video editor?

    In my case, AI would be most pertinent for text builds (to create text that I could use at any resolution), and for tracing, to transform jpeg’s of client logos into vector art.

    Thanks again.

    Bob C

  • David Johnson

    July 24, 2010 at 11:11 pm

    I haven’t used or looked for Illustrator training in a long time, but I’m sure there’s plenty out there if you search the COW and Google for “Adobe Illustrator video”.

    Also, the leader of the Photoshop forum, Richard Harrington, writes books that I believe are called something like “Photoshop for Video Editors” … perhaps he has an “Illustrator for Video Editors” book too. If so, I’d highly recommend it even though I haven’t used it personally … I know both from other editors and from following him here for quite a few years now that he is very knowledgeable.

    I do most of my text work in After Effects, which has had the scale-able text capability for the last few versions, and primarily use Illustrator for logos and other complex vectors (very rarely get non-vector logos). It sounds like knowing Illustrator will be a plus for you … just a matter of how much time you can/need to spend learning it rather than deepening your skills with the other tools you use more.

    I hope my two cents is helpful.

  • David Johnson

    July 24, 2010 at 11:45 pm

    By the way, I meant compositing in my first post, not “composting” … although some of the work I’m forced to do nowadays does smell a little like compost. ;~)

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