Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Adobe Ideas file transferred to Adobe Illustrator

Decided to follow up on my previous rant about Adobe's Vector drawing tool for Android - Adobe Ideas.
As i mentioned last time, the app saves your vector artwork in a proprietary format called ".idea" which is currently incompatible with all versions of Adobe Illustrator older than CS5. This is a big dealbreaker for most of the designers/artists i know. Anyway i decided that in order to do a fair review of the app, i need to follow through all the way by taking the file to Illustrator and sharing what the output is.

So here goes:
Step1: I downloaded and installed a demo version of Illustrator CS5.1
note: the file transfer from Ideas to Illustrator happens via Adobe's Cloud Service - Adobe Creative Cloud which requires you to login.. so most pirated versions of illustrator may not be able to fully integrate with this service.. in that they won't be able to publish to the service.. however you can still download your ".idea" files via the web interface.

Step2: Downloaded and installed the Plugin(33mb) for touch apps available here

Step3: on the tablet i published the file to the cloud.

Step4: On the PC, logged into in a browser,

and downloaded the ".idea" file

Opened the file in the trial version of Illustrator CS5.1

Step6: Edit as you like and save as whatever format you like in Illustrator. All layers successfully transferred from the tablet.

Vector Results:
I had been curious about what the strokes would look like. basically its the same result as the "Blob Brush" tool in Illustrator..

each brush stroke you made on the tablet is now a shape.. as a result.. all the thin lines i did are thin concave shapes.. not what i had expected..

Bottom line:
On your tablet while working with Ideas forget thin strokes.. use fat brushes and the eraser tool to block out shapes.. use the thinner brushes to create .. you guessed it - smaller shapes.

Do I recommend this app for your tablet?
If you already have a copy of Illustrator CS5.1 then this app is a must have!
If not.. then your out of luck.. for now.

UPDATE (Aug2013)Adobe has withdrawn the Ideas app from the Android Play Store. They will only be developing the IOS versions for now. You can still however google and download the apk file(from alternate sources) and manually install it. For an alternative that is actually a lot better, check out my comparison of Ideas with Infinite Design here. It exports to svg, which is compatible with any version of illustrator,Inkscape, Coreldraw or whatever vector software you wish to use.

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