May 01, 2011

Vector Paparazzi adds smart shapes to Illustrator

I know very little about it (nothing beyond what this video shows, in fact), but the Vector Paparazzi plug-in promises to give Illustrator a number of features I’ve wanted for years–most notably smart shapes (e.g. live rounded rectangles with on-screen control handles):

Posted by John Nack at 9:29 AM on May 01, 2011


  • Ryder Booth — 10:30 AM on May 01, 2011

    It’s not friendly to show something like this and then not give a link to buy it. DAMNIT, I WANT IT NOW!

    Brilliant tool.

  • George Penston — 10:55 AM on May 01, 2011

    Hot! This reminds me of one of my favorite features in Fireworks that I always felt was a little finicky so I didn’t use it that much. It looks like it’s tons more powerful here in Illustrator and the control handles have been greatly refined, which is totally necessary for something like this. I can’t wait to use this myself.

  • Mike Skocko — 10:57 AM on May 01, 2011

    I know 200+ kids who would love this! (And I would too. :)

  • Rg — 11:04 AM on May 01, 2011

    So why the secrecy? Ca someone say if it’s a future feature or a paid plugin? We know it’s not 5.5.

    • Mylenium — 12:25 AM on May 02, 2011

      The way it’s implemented very likely a plug-in. I wouldn’t expect a native feature to use redundant palettes…

  • Mylenium — 11:04 AM on May 01, 2011

    Awesome! Exactly what has been missing in AI for years.

  • Chris Davis — 11:52 AM on May 01, 2011

    Looks fantastic. Might they someday they may have a worthwhile dimensioning tool for those radii?

  • Cary — 3:13 PM on May 01, 2011

    These kind of things are available in Xtream Path since a few years now:

  • earth — 7:43 PM on May 01, 2011

    Illustrator’s tools have needed a refresh for 15 years. Any clue why they’re so reluctant to evolve?

    • Mylenium — 12:14 AM on May 02, 2011

      I guess they’re stuck with their limited development resources and the whole app is just too messed up under the hood….

      • Kartenlegen — 7:29 AM on May 02, 2011

        YMMD, i also thought this way, because every new version illustrator offers me how much really wanted new features?


  • Trond Roar Eide — 3:47 AM on May 02, 2011

    Wow, this will definately change whats practically possible in illustratations and not to forget logos and typography.

    But question is then… is this something Adobe is working on? or is it a developer? Lets prey and hope its handed to us by the creatives at Adobe…

  • v3ktor — 4:26 AM on May 02, 2011

    Finally something good happens to Illustrator! And I’m not surprised that it aint from Adobe. They are to busy bloating the program with spraycans that let you spray dolphins onto the canvas.

  • imajez — 4:32 AM on May 02, 2011

    I seem to recall Corel Draw having rectangles with individually editable round corners 10 or so years ago. This does seem in advance of that, but it should be 10 years on.
    I’d also have to say that as much as I love PS and find it very easy to use, Illustrator has always felt clumsy to me and somewhat difficult to work with.

  • Chris — 7:38 AM on May 02, 2011

    Has anyone else complained (I’m sure they have) that just about every link to every tutorial/help/whatever now redirects to CS5.5 showcase pages??

    • Chris — 7:46 AM on May 02, 2011

      btw, as but one example, I googled for more information on using InDesign to publish to EPUB format, found some adobe blog post but the links took me to the showcase page. So I clicked on the “Digital Publishing Technology Center” link at the bottom which took me to this page:
      Now, try clicking the links on that page and see where you end up…

      Last week I ran into the same problem exploring scripting. Someone has really poked the adobe website or some nutty marketing manager has run rampant. Either way… very painful.

  • BJN — 8:53 AM on May 02, 2011

    I’ll betcha CorelDraw is cheaper than the plugin and it has had nearly all of these capabilities for years. Although Illustrator is my primary tool, I still keep CD in the toolkit since it can do some jobs in a fraction of the time it takes using Illustrator’s funky old modal toolbox.

    I’ve had my eye on a couple of Illustrator plugins like Hot Door CADTools ($300) and Barcode Producer ($200) but with Corel having a barcode app, callouts and dimension drawing it’s hard for me to cough up half a grand to extend Illustrator for plugins that usually charge for every version update.

  • Jamhoc — 2:57 AM on May 03, 2011

    Bit of a joke that this has to be added as a plugin in 2011 when it should have been in Illustrator YEARS ago.

    • Mylenium — 7:41 AM on May 03, 2011

      Yeah, definitely. There’s nothing wrong with buying plug-ins for specialized workflows, but parametrized drawing tools should be in the base program. I just hope whoever is behind the plug-ins has the good senses to keep them affordable as indeed otherwise it might be cheaper to just buy another program…

      • foljs — 4:26 PM on May 04, 2011

        True, that.

  • Navarro Parker — 1:52 PM on May 03, 2011

    Simply amazing! Adobe, you must include this with CS6!

  • Astute Graphics — 9:21 AM on May 05, 2011

    Sorry to all for the Cloaks ‘n Daggers with this movie. However, we can now reveal it was ourselves – Astute Graphics – behind it. If you liked the video, you may like all the official material:

    And thanks to John for posted this, as he was as much in the dark over the movie’s origins as everybody else!

  • Kartenlegerin Samantha — 3:23 AM on August 27, 2011

    That’s exactly what I’ve been missing for years in the AI.

  • Kartenlegerin Samantha — 3:28 AM on August 27, 2011

    Many thanks for posting. That’s exactly what I missed in the AI ​​ever.

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