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View Full Version : Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator which is better for Mapping????



spiderfate
01-17-2011, 02:54 PM
Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator which is better for Mapping????

i generally use photoshop because its the only program im familiar with but i heard people use Illustrator. i was jsu wondering what the difference is and if their are features which are better for cartography?

Ascension
01-17-2011, 04:52 PM
From a theoretical standpoint vector (Illustrator) would be better because that would allow for zooming in and out with ease without pixellation distortion. That makes it good for technical things. I prefer more artistic things and less technically precise so I go with raster (Photoshop).

RjBeals
01-17-2011, 05:49 PM
a combination of both is usually the best way.

ravells
01-17-2011, 06:00 PM
If you go to the software section on the site, it's discussed at length on one of the stickies.

spiderfate
01-17-2011, 07:37 PM
hey thanks ill check out the software discussion.

Midgardsormr
01-17-2011, 09:45 PM
I feel like I should also jump in to say that mapping in Illustrator is often done with a set of plug-ins that cost almost as much as the software itself does. I forget the name of the plug-in suite at the moment.

spiderfate
01-21-2011, 10:21 AM
i would love to know the name of those plug in suit if you remember.

guyanonymous
01-21-2011, 11:08 AM
A limitation, though, that I've found in Illustrator, which drives me nuts is the limit on the number of vertexes in a path/ink line you are permitted. When tracing out a complex coast, etc, I often hit the limit early and am unable to trace the whole coast in one go, which makes it difficult to get a decent continuous outline/pen effect. I haven't done much with paths in PS, so I'm not sure if it kicks in here on or not; I usually use the other selection tools and layers.

Midgardsormr
01-21-2011, 03:27 PM
I hadn't noticed such a limitation. But I generally don't trace with the pen tool--I use the pencil. Are oyou using an older version? Or maybe it's just a limit with bezier curves; they do need a bit of computation to display.

Those plugins are called MAPublisher (http://www.avenza.com/products.mapub.html).

Ascension
01-21-2011, 04:55 PM
I have the same problem with the software I use in stained glass. Long time ago I tried to trace a coastline in my stained glass software and hit the limit. But when I did the same coast in PS I didn't hit any limit. This is not to say that there is no limit just that I didn't hit it on this one example.

guyanonymous
01-21-2011, 05:38 PM
I hadn't noticed such a limitation. But I generally don't trace with the pen tool--I use the pencil. Are you using an older version? Or maybe it's just a limit with bezier curves; they do need a bit of computation to display.


It's been over a year now (CS4 is what I've been using), but even the pencil had limitations if you go long enough...I believe it starts removing/averaging points starting at the beginning of your pencil tracing and following through, though I could be mis-remembering that aspect.

I'll have to go back and experiment some more....after my initial frustrations (lots of time lost tracing to no avail) and experiments to test things, I've not returned to see if things have changed.

Midgardsormr
01-23-2011, 08:02 PM
Interesting. I did my Wheel of Time map in CS3 and used the Pencil to trace the entire coastline without problem. I'll have to look into it once my computer is set up again and see if I can find where the limit is.

It's also possible that it's a memory issue. I have 12 GB available, so I might not run into it if CS3 was 64-bit. I don't recall if it was or not. I know Photoshop was, but I'm not sure about Illustrator.

Gidde
01-23-2011, 08:48 PM
Wow, software limitations aside, I'm impressed that you had the patience to trace the entire coastline at once. Back in the day when tracing coastlines with CC, I had to do it in several stretches of pencil then merge them all after the fact or my eyes/hand would go buggy. //EDIT: I just realized that I was doing that with a mouse, which made the process more onerous. Perhaps it'd be easier with the tablet.

guyanonymous
01-23-2011, 09:42 PM
It's possible I'm mis-remembering, as it has been a while. I do remember the cramp hand after holding down the mouse button for an hour though! The tracing in one go, I think, was my last attempt after joining shorter tracing snippets ended in AI saying no. I do need to revisit sometime, but for now I'm happy to put those horrible memories behind me ;)

Midgardsormr
01-25-2011, 03:20 PM
Yeah, the tablet makes things much easier. Without it, I'd have probably tried to get a good alpha from Photoshop and imported it for a live trace. That may still have been a better solution, but I dislike cleaning up all the weirdness live trace leaves behind.