Creating artwork with a combination of Illustrator and Phantasm CS is very liberating when it comes to adjusting color. It’s possible to use Curves, Levels, Hue/Saturation, vector Halftones effects, and more, directly to vector artwork and images in the Illustrator document. And one of the most flexible methods is by using these tools as live Effects.
The benefits of live Effects may be seen in this video (also available by clicking here):
However, what happens if you send you artwork on to colleagues or customers who do not have the Phantasm CS plugin installed? Or what happens if you have been using Phantasm CS live Effects in your artwork within the 7 day trial period and then the trial license expires? This article discusses these questions.
Phantasm CS tools to consider
Phantasm CS has 6 kinds of tools:
- Color adjustment Filters
- Color adjustment Effects
- Embedded image editing/re-linking
- Pre-press output previews tools
- Full separations tool
- Additional object selection types
The only tools which leave any trace in an Illustrator document of a Phantasm CS operation having been applied are the color adjustment Effects. If adjustments are applied as Filters, the change is permanent and the result indiscernible from color changes having been applied “manually” via the Color panel, etc.
The pre-press output preview tools found in Phantasm CS Studio and Publisher provide instant non-destructive previews only. The embedded image editing/relinking and the full separations tools also found in Phantasm CS Studio and Publisher produce artwork using objects perfectly native to Illustrator. Finally, the additional object selection types, such asare “helpers” rather than artwork modifiers.
Therefore, it is only when a live Effect, such as Curves, are applied to an object within an Illustrator document that you would get any warning if the document was subsequently loaded into an setup with Phantasm CS missing.
So, what happens?
If you attempt to load an Illustrator document which contains a Phantasm CS live Effect into a system lacking the Phantasm CS plugin, you are presented with the following Illustrator warning:
The warning box lists the Phantasm CS Effects present within the document. Clickto continue loading the artwork.
The most important factor is that even though the Phantasm CS plugin may not be present, all live Effects are rendered correctly, including color adjustments and vector Halftones. The document will also output (print and save for web) correctly, with all vector and image objects featuring the designer’s original adjustments such as Levels and Duotones.
Is it possible to adjust the objects?
All objects and targeted layers not touched by Phantasm CS live Effects remain completely standard and editable. Where Phantasm CS live Effects have been applied, all affected artwork can be selected but not immediately modified. It’s not possible to, for example, modify the Curves or Levels applied, or even move the object. If the latter is attempted, the following warning message is shown:
It is possible to delete affected objects. However, there are better ways to regain full control of the artwork…
Further editing objects with Phantasm CS Effects
If the Phantasm CS plugin is not present, there are three methods to further edit an object where a Phantasm CS live Effect has been applied:
(1) Download and install the fully working 7 day Trial version
With the release of Phantasm CS version 2, the Trial version of the software gained a huge boost thanks to the new licensing system by allowing users to fully use all tools for a 7 day period. Therefore any recipient of affected artwork can download and install the plugin to gain full control, including being able to further modify the Phantasm CS adjustments applied. This approach is completely free!
(2) Remove the Effect
If the Trial period has expired and the plugin has not been purchased (it’s quick and easy!), it’s possible to target the Phantasm CS Effect applied to the affected object(s) via the Appearance panel:
Once the Effect(s), declared as, is selected in the Appearance panel, it may be deleted by clicking on the panel’s trash can icon. Having done so, the artwork reverts to being standard to Illustrator and therefore fully adjustable once more.
Note: this approach will also remove any color adjustment applied by the artwork’s creator and therefore alter the final result!
(3) Expand Appearance
The final method “flattens” the affects object(s), thereby converting the live nature of any Effect (Phantasm CS and native Illustrator) into standard object types. Simply, select the affected object(s) and opt for.
Note: this approach would also expand any non-Phantasm CS live Effects which may have also been applied to affected object(s). This could reduce the ease by which the object can be further edited; for example, some native Illustrator Effects such as Roughen can add many nodes to paths.
What can I do to avoid any concerns with clients?
Even though clients of artwork will be viewing and outputting the document correctly if they do not have the Phantasm CS plugin installed, it is recognised that some may be unduly concerned by a warning message stating that something is missing.
There are several simple approaches to avoid causing undue concern:
(1) Direct your clients to this article
This article should alleviate any fears and offers solutions.
(2) Supply the artwork as PDF
All live Effects present in Illustrator, including Phantasm CS Effects, are flattened and therefore any reference removed when the artwork is saved as a PDF, EPS, SVG, etc.
(3) Use the Filter variants of the color adjustment tools
All live Effects have Filter variants of the tools. Filters apply fixed changes or results, thereby negating any live/dynamic reference to Phantasm CS in the Illustrator document.
(4) Expand Phantasm CS Effects before sending
Phantasm CS Designer | Studio | Publisher version 2 all offer the new object selector. Using this, all accessible objects (ie. not ones placed in locked layers) which have a Phantasm CS live Effect are selected. It’s then possible to opt for to “flatten” these live Effect references. It’s advised that the artwork is saved as an alternative file name following this operation as it would not be possible to revert to the live adjustments following a file save/reload.