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Importing Illustrator file into Pro Animator

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TineTime
Importing Illustrator file into Pro Animator
on Jul 23, 2006 at 10:26:21 pm

Hi,

I had a design team design my company logo. Im looking to animate my logo with Pro Animator. Everytime I try to import my logo into the animator I get the message, "No usable vector paths." What do I need to do to my logo so that it will properly import into Pro Animator. Currently I have Illustrator CS2 and the latest version of Pro Animator. I haven't used Illustrator that much so if you can walk me through with baby steps I'd appreciate it.

-Tine



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Jon Okerstrom
Re: Importing Illustrator file into Pro Animator
on Jul 24, 2006 at 4:50:00 am

Tine,

Your logo must be vector-based (no bit-mapped elements, gradiations or blends.) You need the basic shapes and that's about it. Convert all text to outlines. Invigorator and ProAnimator work best with filled, closed-path solids.

When you have the file be sure to uncheck the compression check box.

If you need more specifics, ask away.

Jon



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TineTime
Re: Importing Illustrator file into Pro Animator
on Jul 25, 2006 at 4:23:36 am

I'm not sure how to go about that. When I select the text, the create outlines is grayed out. I'm really new to illustrator and I'm not sure of what steps to take to follow your instructions.

-Tine



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Kevin
Re: Importing Illustrator file into Pro Animator
on Jul 25, 2006 at 2:36:49 pm

Just had the same problem...
Try resaving your file in AI as AI version 8.
Just do a "save as" of your file - rename it - then when you get the ai file specs change it to illutrator 8. Be sure not to overwite your original file. (worked for me)

Kevin


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head_ed
Re: Importing Illustrator file into Pro Animator
on Aug 22, 2006 at 4:20:20 pm

Hi guys,

I have just come across a demo version of Invigorator Classic that came with A.E. 5.5 that I bought many moons ago.

The dems works great on v6.5 that I am running now however I have exactly the same problem as described above when I try to import my own text.

I am using the CS version of Illustrator (v.11.0.0), and it doesn't give me the option of saving as an earlier version of Illustrator - only as an .eps or an .ai file.

Is my problem that my version of AI is too new for the version of Zaxwerks? I am bummed if it is, cos I wanted to try it out for a while before jumping in to the 3D world. :(


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Jon Okerstrom
Re: Importing Illustrator file into Pro Animator
on Jul 25, 2006 at 5:57:50 pm

Tine,

When you select the text, it cannot be part of another group. If it is part of another group, ungroup it.

The text must also be native postscript or truetype text, not bit-mapped art that looks like text.

Does this help?

Jon



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hahaiah
Re: Importing Illustrator file into Pro Animator
on Jul 27, 2006 at 2:05:36 am

I'm having problems with this also. Latest versions of everything.

Just creating a simple "plank" in illustrator and importing to ProAnimator Gives something that looks like the normal plank with a skinny line attached to the end of it that is about the same length as the original.

Oddly, saving as v8 Illustrator allows it to import correctly, but when re entering proanimator the deformed shape is back.

I've noticed all the illustrator files I import have this issue and have for a few versions now ...

Any ideas ?


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daveyg
Re: Importing Illustrator file into Pro Animator
on Jul 29, 2006 at 10:05:50 pm

when you are saving the file in CS2 there is a box about halfway down that says compression. ok


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hahaiah
Re: Importing Illustrator file into Pro Animator
on Jul 29, 2006 at 11:30:21 pm

Yes. Unfortunately it doesn't fix this problem ...


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Jon Okerstrom
Re: Importing Illustrator file into Pro Animator
on Jul 30, 2006 at 2:26:11 am

Hi guys,

Send me the file.

jokerstrom1 (at) mac.com

Jon



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TineTime
Re: Importing Illustrator file into Pro Animator
on Jul 30, 2006 at 3:19:07 pm

I'll send you my file. My logo is only text, it's art work as well. Is that causing the problem?



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Jon Okerstrom
Re: Importing Illustrator file into Pro Animator
on Jul 31, 2006 at 2:50:00 am

Any text in your Illustrator file needs to be converted to outlines. At that point, the text is just like any other part of the artwork. Invigorator likes filled solids best - and avoid effects like drop shadow, gradients and bit-mapped elements.

jon



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Jon Okerstrom
Re: Importing Illustrator file into Pro Animator
on Jul 31, 2006 at 2:50:01 am

Any text in your Illustrator file needs to be converted to outlines. At that point, the text is just like any other part of the artwork. Invigorator likes filled solids best - and avoid effects like drop shadow, gradients and bit-mapped elements.

jon



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Jon Okerstrom
Re: Importing Illustrator file into Pro Animator
on Aug 12, 2006 at 2:08:46 am

Thanks for sending the file.

I've emailed back several recommendations for making it work:

1. remove blended surfaces. You only need the basic shapes.

2. Remove some of the complexity that's not needed. Some of the filled text outlines have the same outlines with strokes behind them. You'll do better simplifying everything and using material editing and edge editing to make everything 3D

3. Organize the logo parts into layers. It'll help you with object tracks and controlling the motion of the elements.

Jon



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Horizon
Re: Importing Illustrator file into Pro Animator
on Oct 1, 2006 at 5:38:14 am

Hi Guys,
I am having the same trouble importing Illustrator files into Invigorator. I've read the "fixes" listed above, but have had no luck getting the star I made in Illustrator to open in Invigorator (no useable vector paths found). The star is a closed path filled with yellow. When I "save as" in Illustrator, I don't get any file extension options other than: .ai, AI, Bitmap, and Jpeg. In the "export file" command, I find no file format mentioning an .ai version 8. I am sure this is straight forward and I'm missing something, but if someone could walk me through the process I'd sure appreciate it. I've been using AE for awhile now, but I'm a newbie with both Illustrator and Invigorator, so be gentle with me (ha)!
Horizon



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Jon Okerstrom
Re: Importing Illustrator file into Pro Animator
on Oct 1, 2006 at 3:04:09 pm

Horizon,

Instead of Save As, Look for File>Export>Illustrator legacy. That will allow you to save Illustrator CS files in case you need to do that. I do a fair amount of work with screen printing companies and they like it that way.

If you're working with ProAnimator 4, you don't need to do that. Simply Save the file, and unclick the use compression box.

If you want, send me the file: jokerstrom1 (at) mac.com and I'll take a look at it.

Jon



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hahaiah
Re: Importing Illustrator file into Pro Animator
on Oct 1, 2006 at 7:59:12 pm

I'm still having problems with this also. Most of us are having problems with ILLUSTRATOR. Most of the help seems to assume everyone is famiiliar with Illustrator, which we're not.

A friend who had a minute quickly transformed a file I needed into the "vectors" nec. to use with Proanimator. It involved TRACING and some other stuff, no more than 3 or 4 commands got exactly what I was looking for.

The file now imports but adds a LONG STRAIGHT LINE to any almost any imported file I work with, making it look strange and unusable of course. Using CS2 suite.

A simple walk through from start to finish would go A LONG way with this ... maybe a CAMTASIA screen cap ? I've done that for people who needed help with stuff I knew about and it worked great without taking much time ...


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Jon Okerstrom
Re: Importing Illustrator file into Pro Animator
on Oct 1, 2006 at 9:29:53 pm

Hi hahaiah,

I can give you some basic concepts.

Invigorator and ProAnmator need vector-based Illustrator art. Simple, filled solids created with shape tools, the pen tool or other tools work best. Any text you use in Illustrator must be converted to outlines for it to work.

If you have an open path (one where there is an open or unattached end), PA and Invig will try to close the path, often causing weird lines. If you have a stroked open path, you can use the path>outline function to make it into what Invig and PA like best... a closed, filled path.

If you have used gradient fills or any bit-mapped effects like drop shadows and gradients, those will not be useful to PA or Invigorator.

You CAN apply complex bit-mapped Illustrator art to the faces and edges of your objects, either by using the layer mapping technique or by converting the entire artwork to a bit-mapped file like a targa and applying it as part of a material you create.

There is a section in the documentation dealing with preparing Illustrator files. You might want to take a look at that.

Hope this helps.

Jon






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hahaiah
Re: Importing Illustrator file into Pro Animator
on Oct 1, 2006 at 10:08:58 pm

Thanks for the help Jon ...
I emailed you a scrn cap of my results and the AI file to the address in your profile, maybe if you have time you could take a look

I've gotten to the point where I HAVE to get this accomplished by next week.

I'm pretty sure it's something I'm doing wrong within AI with the tracing and closing paths etc .. just don't understand it at this point.


When I do get this figured out, I'll post a step by step for anyone else who might need it ...



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Jon Okerstrom
Re: Importing Illustrator file into Pro Animator
on Oct 1, 2006 at 11:58:26 pm

Thanks for the file.

Part of the problem with your illustrator art is that the piano guy has a large rectangular clipping path the same size as your document. You can't have a clipping path and a compound path in the same object.

I removed that path, which will get rid of the extra shapes beyond the art. I also noticed you have a very sharp corner in this art, which may cause a long spike to grow out of the bottom of the art when you import it into ProAnimator. To fix that, simply use the spikebuster slider in ProAnimator.

You mentioned trying to convert artwork in the gif format, using Illustrator. Converting bit-mapped art like that into vector art is a pretty common task. You can use the auto trace function of Illustrator, but will often have to clean up the art. When you're done with using the gif as a template, remove it from the file.

That way, ProAnimator has only the vector art to try to interpret.

Jon



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Jon Okerstrom
Re: Importing Illustrator file into Pro Animator
on Oct 2, 2006 at 12:01:07 am

One last thing.

The screen capture movie showed the long spike coming out of the bottom of the piano guy. This is caused, as I mentioned, by a very sharp corner in the art, where that spike comes from. You can fix it in Illustrator, or use the spikebuster slider in ProAnimator to fix it. Moving it up to 1 or 2 gets rid of the spike for me.

Jon



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hahaiah
Re: Importing Illustrator file into Pro Animator
on Oct 2, 2006 at 12:18:48 am

Thanks Jon

After looking at everything, looks like using the SPIKEBUSTER fixed most of my problems. Thanks. I thought spikebuster was for something else.
As for importing from scratch, I guess I have to read up on LIVETRACE and LIVEPAINT, etc in AI and the rest of PA manual.




Note to self: When all else fails (and I mean ALL else) ... Read the manual


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Horizon
Re: Importing Illustrator file into Pro Animator
on Oct 2, 2006 at 5:41:11 am

Jon,
Thanks from me also. I finally found the coveted legacy file format. In Illustrator 12 CS, you have to "save a copy" of your original file and choose the .AI extension (not .ai or .AIT file extensions). I had saved mine as both of these since .AI is not offered under the regular "save" or the "export" command. Once I saved my star in the proper file format, it opened up and everything worked just fine. You MUST select the .AI format in the pop down menu and then click save to get the dialog box that allows you to choose which version of Illustrator you want the file extension to be. You would think that software that is not completely backward compatable with older versions would make this kind of translation more visable by including it as an option in all the "save", "save as copy", and "export" commands. If I understand the rest of the posts, this conversion is not neccessary in ProAnimator Pro ver. 4. Hey thanks to everyone who has posted and offered your help. I'll be sure to share whatever I learn and to be a frequent visitor. So go get proanimated!
Horizon



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