How To Use The Rasterino Illustrator Plug In from Astute Graphics

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How To Use The Rasterino  Illustrator Plug In from Astute Graphics

Rasterino does much more than crop images in Illustrator.

 Last month I wrote about a really neat Astute Graphics Illustrator plug in named MirrorMe. This month , let’s look at another offering from Astute Graphics: Rasterino.

If you are an Illustrator user you have probably bumped up against the limitations of adding raster graphics or bitmap images to your Illustrator projects. This is understandable considering the fact Illustrator’s focus has always been on vectors. With the rise of the web and mobile, Illustrator is gaining a solid foothold in the design process and that includes the use of bitmap images. Rasterino’s focus is to make your life easier when it comes to working with bitmap graphics in an Illustrator artboard.

Let’s see how.

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How To Get The Rasterino Plug In From Astute Graphics

Rasterino is available as a trial version or can be purchased.

To get this plug in head over to Astute Graphics and pick it up for about $44.00. You can also get a free 14-day trial if you just want to take Rasterino for a test drive. When you download the plug in, double click it to install it.

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How To Crop An Image With Rasterino

Rasterino's Crop Tool is added to Illustrator.

To crop an embedded image in Illustrator ,select the image to be cropped on the artboard. Next, click and hold on the Eraser tool and you will see that Rasterino has added a Crop Tool to the line up. Select it.

Click and drag one of the handles surrounding the image. You should notice to width and height values change in the red Crop Tool Annotation box. You can also move the crop area around the image to isolate just the area you need. Once you are satisfied , click the Check mark or press Return/Enter to accept the change or the X to start over. The really neat thing about cropping through Rasterino is, the image is actually cropped. There is no masking involved which means the file size does come down 

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How To Access The Rasterino Crop Tool Options

There are a number of options you can apply to the Crop Tool.

There are a number of options available for the Crop Tool. There are two ways to access them.

The first is to hold down the Command Key and double click the Tool.

The second method is to select Window>Rasterino>Rasterino Panel to open the Rasterino panel. Click once on the Panel menu button and select  Crop Image Tool Options.

Either method opens the Options panel.

Your options are:

  • Show Annotations. Deselect this and red Annotations box disappears.
  • Constrain Crop to Image’s Pixel Grid: Keep this selected. If deselected the odds are pretty good you will not have an image that is pixel perfect which is critical if the image is destined for mobile or the web.
  • Disable Smart Guides. Select this- the default-  and smart guides will not appear.
  • Preview Cropped Area. Deselect this and the areas being cropped out of the image will not dim.
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How To Edit An Image Using Rasterino

You can edit out artifacts and edit images useing Rasterino.

This is a killer feature. When an image is embedded into an Illustrator document and you notice flaws in the image you either have to leave Illustrator to edit them in Photoshop and re-embed the image or live with them. Not in Raterino.

Select the image, make your crop and open the Rasterino panel by selecting Window>Raterino>Rasterino Panel. Click the Image Edit tool and Photoshop opens. Edit the image. In the case of this one I used the Healing Brush tool to remove the artifacts scattered across the image.

When you have finished, save the image and return to Illustrator. Select the image and click the Update Image button in the panel and your change is added to the Illustrator image.

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How To Trim An Image In Rasterino

trim out the excess from embedded images.

One of the major issues when using embedded images in Illustrator is they tend to have rather large file sizes. This is usually due to unused pixels surrounding the image. Rasterino presents you with a rather elegant solution to this problem.

In the above image a jpg image with a lot of white area around the yellow leaf has been placed on the artboard. The red leaf is a .png image with a large transparent area around the leaf. Those extra areas are doing nothing more than adding weight to the image and the Illustrator file.

To reduce the unused area select the image and open the Rasterino panel- Window>Rasterino>Rasterino Panel.

Select the image to be trimmed on the artboard and click the Trim Image button. When the trim panel opens you can choose the pixel color to pick including its location. You can also choose which areas of the image to trim. If Preview is selected, you will be shown the new trim area inside the selection’s blue bounding box. Click OK to accept the Trim. For transparent areas such as those found in a PNG image, you can select Transparent for the pixel color.

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How To Resample Image Resolution In Rasterino

Resample images in Rasterino.

Another common issue, especially when images are destined for mobile or web use, is the actual resolution of the image. For example, the default image resolution for images from my Nikon is 300 ppi which simply won’t work if the image is destined for a Screen.

To resample an image, select the image on the artboard and open the Rasterino Panel – Window>Rasterino> Rasterino Panel. In the Resolution area you can either enter a new value or select one from the pop down menu. Obviously changing the resolution changes the image’s size. You can set the Reference point for the resizing by selecting one of the Handles on the icon to the right of the Resolution pop down.

If you have a number of images with varying resolutions you can set a common resolution by simply selecting the images and changing the Resolution value in the Rasterino panel.