Wednesday, February 22, 2006

No need for layers!

Excuse my esoteric thoughts here. Sometimes I need to express myself even when nobody knows what I'm talking about. But, why would anyone using Adobe Illustrator, or any vector based program, want to work in layers? I know, it's a cool little...thing. At least it was back when they first introduced them. And, they are a necessity when using Photoshop. But, in Illustrator, if you organize your illustration efficiently in the first place, by grouping elements, you'd never have to complicate your illustration experience with layers upon layers. I won't even mention the layers in Freehand — just forget about them. And now, as I just learned the hard way, you can work with layers, upon layers, within layers. And some do. I now have a headache.

I really needed to blog that. Beats talking to myself.

7 comments:

janee said...

Don I use layers in Illustrator, but not really for the art work. I put my sketch on one layer, my artwork on one layer, and my layout markings on another layer.

Don Tate II said...

Janee: That is actually a smart and necessary way to use layers, I should have made that clear. I do the same thing; scan in my art to use as a template, put it on one layer, and draw on another. I might even use a third layer particularly if I'm going to import the art into Photoshop. But I was given some art to make sense of, and it used 6 layers. Within a couple of those layers, they had sandwiced up to 15 individual layers. At one point I couldn't even find the main part of the art because it was hidden inside a locked layer. Ug! And freehand! Ever cut(Freehands version of masking)art that has been layered in Freehand? You'll end up with a big mess on your hands.

rindambyers said...

I now understand layers when I didn't before. Thanks very much both of you!!! You have demystified layers in Photoshop at last for me. And to think of all the time I spent looking on the net for PS tutorials...sigh..sigh...
why? Do they make something so simple so hard!

janee said...

Oh, I see, Don. Were they at least labeled, so you could figure out where things were?

I suspect there's some really good reason to use layers in Illustrator that we don't know about. :-)

Jez Chill said...

layers can be quiite cumbersome, especially in Flash! To make anything work, you have to create a layer that has a button, that has movie clip inside that, that has a shape inside the movie clip (in order to move it). I need a roadmap just to find my way around! I know, it's off topic, but that's only way I could relate.

Don Tate II said...

Jez: Yes, layers in Flash has caused me one too many grey hairs. But, in flash I've learned that using them is a very smart way to organize a movie. I've learned that if I don't organize layers, and scenes my brain will freeze. I'm completely unorganized in my library, naming convention, and so on.Now, movie clips inside of movie clips, at first, that blew me away, but now, I've learned that its the only way to go...literally, if you want multiple animations to happen simotaneously<--(sp)

Ward Jenkins said...

I use layers in Illustrator to organize everything. Sure grouping items together is the way to do it, but sometimes I've created multiple layers for a particular element in order to see which color would work or not and I will forget where they are if I don't group them into layered folders. Really? It was when they introduced the folders in the layers that really made me jump for joy. Especially in Photoshop because then I could take a folder (like a group in Illustrator) and move it into another file. It's all about the organizing, man.