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Illustrator CS3 Question about Actions

Discussion in 'Adobe Forum:' started by STU9000, May 10, 2014.

  1. STU9000

    STU9000 Member

    Hi, I have designed a logo and I want to turn it into a video sequence, and this is going to involve a lot of painstaking adjustments to the layers. I just had a look at the Actions feature, illustrator's own macro thingy, and I had a quick play around with it but having some difficulties. I have a series of concentric circles which I want to move at different rates and I want to set up an Action to move each by a set, relative amount for each frame, however when I did a practise run there to see how it works instead of repeating the same set of actions on the three specific objects that I thought I was recording, it performed them all on the object I had currently selected (if that makes sense). Not sure how else to explain it. I'm sure it's something fairly basic that I am doing wrong from the start. Can anyone tell me what I am doing wrong here and how to get it to work right?
  2. STU9000

    STU9000 Member

    There must be a way to do this. I could just create a set of four different action and go through each object one by one, but that would take ages. The process involves moving about 12 different objects a range of different amounts so if I could just record each stage as one action and click a button it would save me a lot of time. I refuse to believe there isn't a way to do that!
  3. STU9000

    STU9000 Member

    Why doesn't selecting an object count as an action????
  4. STU9000

    STU9000 Member

    Can anyone tell me if this is possible or should I just crack on and do it the slightly longer way? I'm wasting time here trying to figure this out.
  5. hankscorpio

    hankscorpio Moderator Staff Member

    Selecting something can't be classed as an action - as Illustrator wouldn't know what was clicked - plus on other files it would be useless as that object might not exist.

    Recording actions lets you record a series of actions when you have an object selected, like a transparency, or something like that. You can assign keyboard shortcuts to speed up your workflow.

    Google "Illustrator Actions Tutorials"
  6. STU9000

    STU9000 Member

    Already googled mate. It didn't provide me with the necessary information hence I started a thread here to see if anyone could help.

    There was something about inserting non-recordable actions in this tutorial here, but I haven't been able to work it out yet. I'm sure there is a way, it would be pretty stupid if there wasn't. Why is selecting an object a non recordable task, anyway? Surely the most sensible way to use actions would be to allow anything as recordable, and if you want to record an action that can be used on any object you select then you just record the action on an object, otherwise you include the selected object and it overrides whatever object you have selected. Bit of a no brainer really, see adobe's stuff is good, but it's not that good.

    I'm sure there must be a way to do this.

    Adobe Illustrator * Automation with actions
  7. hankscorpio

    hankscorpio Moderator Staff Member

    Do you want the action to be played on all oval shapes, or just any shape, or a line within the shape?

    Where is the shape - Illustrator would need x y co-ords to the location of the shape.

    Or do you want it on a certain weight of stroke?

    Or on a certain fill of colour?

    How would Illustrator determine what part of the object was to be used to prompt the required action.

    To be honest - it's not stupid - it's very clever.

    I do think it's still possible though - and it would require a bit of javascript to help. But I'm not very good with javascripts - but you could try over on the Adobe Illustrator Forums.

    There's usually people that right scripts all day long and frequent the forums.

    Best to ask there maybe?
  8. STU9000

    STU9000 Member

    It doesn't matter what the object is, and illustrator presumably would know where the object was. Move this object by this much, then that object by that much etc.. clickety click, moving logo animation world.

    So it's possible you say, but I have to work out how to program it to do it myself. Remind what I'm hypothetically paying £30 per month subscription for again?

    If I have to write javascript to do THAT then I'm seriously looking for an alternative package for this kind of work.
  9. hankscorpio

    hankscorpio Moderator Staff Member

    Illustrator is not the right tool to do the job. You're trying to screw with a hammer.

    If you had the CC subscription you'd have access to the correct tools to animate your logo.

    That's the whole point of the subscription.

    Yes - Illustrator can animate - but it's not easy. And javascript was added as an option to Illustrator for those who know how to program to do a job that Illustrator really isn't made for.

    If you want to do the work - then use the right application for the job.
  10. STU9000

    STU9000 Member

    Or the developers could make this feature available to illustrator. That would be the more logical thing to so. The more profitable thing would be to obfuscate the design interface and make it seem like you need more applications that you really do. Let me guess, you can do this in photoshop? I could probably do this there actually, on rasterised layers.

    Why not? Aren't they getting paid to make things easy, is that not the whole point of it?
  11. hankscorpio

    hankscorpio Moderator Staff Member

    Or you could just use the right software for the right tool?

    Why didn't they put a hammer on the end of my saw? Why didn't they put a screwdriver that pops out the end? Why do I need to buy different types of screwdrivers - why didn't the developers of the tools just make all the screws the same size?

    You seem to be in a place where you expect the unexpected and it's always someone else's fault you cannot do your task. Where in reality - it's your narrow view of how software is developed that is hindering you.

    There's a whole Suite of tools available so you can do your tasks - yet you ignore them, expecting the software that you have to do a job it wasn't designed to do. Where Adobe saw the issue and developed the software for you to use - which you choose to ignore. Then you complain about it?

    Your attitude is bordering on pathetic.


    If you want it in Illustrator then submit it as a feature request. I gave you the link to the Go Wish site at abode - or you can go look it up.


    Illustrator has been around since the 1980s and Animations have not been greatly asked for or otherwise it would be in there by now. That's what the Adobe teams do - they gather up all the requests and the ones with the most requests are the most important, and the ones with the least requests are the least important.

    You could do it in Photoshop - but again it's completely the wrong tool to do it - it has some animation features to save as GIF - where GIF is only supported as a legacy format for people who haven't moved on with the times.

    Illustrator is for Illustrating drawings - not animation. It's clearly labeled "Adobe Illustrator", it's not labeled "Abobe Illustrator/Animator"!

    If you want to animate your Illustrator drawings then check out Adobe After Effects.

    There's a reason why they don't overload a program with features. They've loaded Illustrator with fantastic drawing tools, so that Illustrators could Illustrator and have program to do that in.

    If you overload a product with features and start adding in things like "Animation" then it becomes "Bloatware".

    One could argue that InDesign and Illustrator should be able to do all the things Photoshop can do in terms of image manipulation.

    But they don't - for a very good reason! They are both built on incredibly different frameworks that wouldn't support the modules required.

    What would happen if it started being overloaded with convoluted things everyone who uses Illustrator for it's original purpose starts seeing these poor convolutions being added to Illustrator and they scratch their heads wondering why the Team didn't spend their time enhancing the already great Illustration tools it has and making it a better Illustration tool.


    If you think you can do better then go get a software engineering Masters and go make the software.

    If you don't understand that then I can't help anymore.
  12. hankscorpio

    hankscorpio Moderator Staff Member

    I just noticed this is about Illustrator CS3 too - that software is considered obsolete in terms of updates.

    Even if the submission request made it to the desks of Adobe and they agreed - the OP could never get the feature as CS3 was released in 2007 and there's 4 generations of new Illustrators on the market.

    The chances of animations being added to CS3 are absolute zero.
  13. STU9000

    STU9000 Member

    I wasn't trying to animate with illustrator, simply use it to create a series of images which I would then turn into a video sequence using another piece of software. The question was about how to use actions to select objects. I don't think including this feature would turn illustrator into bloatware, I'm sure there must be a way to do it.
  14. hankscorpio

    hankscorpio Moderator Staff Member

    I've already informed you you can't use actions to select objects.

    And you're using an obsolete piece of software - it's never going to get that feature in CS3.

    Why don't you download a free 1 month trial of Adobe After Effects and that will help you animate your logo and output a video.
  15. STU9000

    STU9000 Member

    O RLY.

    What does this passage refer to in the link I posted earlier then?

  16. @GCarlD

    @GCarlD Well-Known Member

    I have been reading this thread and I understand exactly what you are trying to do. What I don't understand is why you are trying to do it, if you are intending to use it for a video sequence. Surely, you would import your image(s) and process your required actions for video play into your video creating software. I would recommend AE for what you would like your the video sequence to achieve, in which case you would not need to do what you are trying to do in Illustrator.

    Thinking about it, I can't understand why you would do this in Illustrator beforehand, no matter what video software you are planning to use. Unless you are going to import them all layer upon layer and get a kind of choppy effect when played, in which case you still would not need to do this in Illustrator.
    Last edited: May 13, 2014
  17. hankscorpio

    hankscorpio Moderator Staff Member

    Post a link to it and I can you tell you more.
  18. hankscorpio

    hankscorpio Moderator Staff Member

  19. STU9000

    STU9000 Member

  20. hankscorpio

    hankscorpio Moderator Staff Member

    Well - it appears you can select an object in an action - pretty obscure way of doing it though. I always wondered what the Notes box was for in the Attributes Panel but I thought it was for people writing javascript to target objects...

    It's not at all obvious - learn something new everyday!

    I guess it's always worth reading the Help Files...


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