February 01, 2013

Check out WidthScribe for Illustrator

A rough transcript of me watching this demo: “Uh-huh… sure, sure… Whoa!

Using pressure to essentially “paint on” width, plus the Width Gradient tool? Very cool indeed.

WidthScribe comes from the same Astute Graphics folks who make the powerful VectorScribe for Illustrator.

Posted by John Nack at 8:01 AM on February 01, 2013


  • michael jahn — 9:07 AM on February 01, 2013


    At first, you might think, “Touch has been incredibly successful on our phones, tablets, airport kiosks and cash machines. Why not on our computers?”

    I’ll tell you why not: because of “gorilla arm.”

    There are three big differences between these handy touch screens and a PC’s screen: angle, distance and time interval.

    The screen of a phone or tablet is generally more or less horizontal. The screen of a desktop (or a laptop on a desk), however, is more or less vertical.

    [All true, but I wouldn’t conflate any of that with the usefulness of WidthScribe. One could use it perfectly well with a traditional Wacom tablet. –J.]

  • Pecourtejoie — 10:23 AM on February 01, 2013

    We need that in Ideas!

    [Agreed. –J.]

  • Ben Hansen — 1:32 PM on February 01, 2013

    that’s pretty darn cool.

  • Valery Sibikovsky — 9:00 AM on February 04, 2013

    Yeah that’s great. The only question is why do we need Width and especially Vector Scribe?

    It seems that there are almost no progress in Illustrator vector drawing toolset for more then ten years. Illustrator team brings few small features from time to time and then the small independent company adds the huge toolset in couple of years. Doesn’t this looks strange to you?

    And also there’s the question of implementation. For example the Smart Guides in InDesign are much better then the same feature in Illustrator (nevertheless it was implemented later) and both are far inferior to AutoCAD’s. Actually they look like “dumb” guides in comparison.

    And it seems that nobody cares.

    P. S. I think that there are unexplored horizons of what can be done in vector graphics. And many things can be learned from already existing applications like AutoCAD, Houdini and even FontLab, which are established standards in their respective industries.

    • Ben Hansen — 10:52 AM on February 04, 2013

      i believe the idea with that plugin is that you can modify stroke in a more freeform basis the existing implementation only allows for manual point by point editing of path widths i believe.

      • Valery Sibikovsky — 10:55 AM on February 04, 2013

        Yes, I know the purpose. That was rhetorical question.

        My question is about why Illustrator toolset for drawing stays almost the same for so many years. Lack of competition?

        • Ben Hansen — 10:58 AM on February 04, 2013

          “The only question is why do we need Width and especially Vector Scribe?”

          that’s a rhetorical question? internet sarcasm i guess.

          • Valery Sibikovsky — 11:00 AM on February 04, 2013

            I’m not very good at English.
            May be you’r right :)

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