Vector Studio 2.0 : Retouch Brush Tools

(1) Color Brush (2) Brighten Brush (3) Darken Brush (4) Saturate Brush (5) Clone Brush Tools

Retouch Brushes bring a new and powerful interaction to color editing in Illustrator. With this tool, you can create both artistically expressive and photo-realistic designs never before possible in a computer drawing system!

The Retouch Brushes plug-in is designed to work on many objects at the same time. The tools operate like paintbrushes: while the cursor moves over an area of the document, the brush affects any objects in its path. Retouch Brushes works with paths, compounds, and gradient meshes. It is particularly effective at colorizing substantial collections of strokes, and, in concert with Illustrator's gradient mesh tool, producing convincing airbrush effects.

This following animation shows a grid of circles colored by the Color Brush tool. To make the tool interactive and intuitive, cues are displayed in the form of small preview squares that show up as the brush drags over the paths.

Retouch Brushes works wonders when you use it on gradient meshes as in this apple example. The first step is to create a gradient mesh, as shown below.

The second step is to use the Clone Brush to color the mesh using an image as a reference, as shown in animation below.

Notice that the bottom portion of the apple has some mesh vertex colors that are inconsistent with the rest of the illustration. To fix this, we shift the mesh in order to sample other parts of the image.
Before actually making the fix, the brush size is made small so that gradient mesh vertices can be painted individually. To complete the job we just drag the brush over the problem areas, and presto, we get an apple that looks good enough to eat!

Using Illustrator's built-in gradient mesh vertex editing tools you could create the above design by selecting each individual vertex and change the colors one by one. For this apple example, a mesh with a grid of 5 rows and 30 columns, you would individually need to modify 150 vertices - clearly an almost impossible task without this tool!

This following example of a banana is created using the same method described above.

In addition, you can now modify the mesh using the Brighten and Darken Brush tools. With few easy strokes, you can create complex gradient meshes!

Duplicate, translate, rotate, scale, and go bananas! Afterwards, you can use the Darken and Lighten tools to add highlights to the front and shadows in the back.

Retouch Brush Tools is tightly integrated into Illustrator's working environment. As with all of Vector Studio 2.0 tools, Retouch Brush Tools integrates Smart Guides and Snap to Grid features, giving you better control and precision in editing your designs. To make the tools even more useful, all of our tools come with shortcut keys so you can spend more time with your design and less time changing controls. Also all Retouch Brush Tools recognize pressure sensitivity for that extra control.

For additional convenience, Retouch Brushes does not require a selection. If there is no selection on mouse down, all the objects on the current layer are used. It's a handy feature not only because you don't have to make a selection, but also because the "blue" selection outlines can distort the perception of colors.

Retouch Brush Tools is the next step towards a new kind of drawing system that marries the best of paint and illustration systems, achieving stunning subtlety and detail while retaining the all important editability of vector graphics!

[ Main ] [ Palette Shepherd ] [ Direction Handler ] [ Zoom Lens ] [ Sampler Tools ]
[ Retouch Brushes ] [ Wrinkle Remover ] [ Gradient Factory ] [ Gradient Texture ]

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