Illustrator CS3 incorporates Live Color

According to statements by Philip Guindi, Product Director of Illustrator, made to Macworld USA, “Essentially, there are three main aspects of this version: innovation, productivity and integration.”

Perhaps the most interesting of the novelties in Illustrator is Live Color, a complete environment for exploring color. Live color is designed for people who have always been frustrated when it comes to selecting the appropriate color for a project.

Live Color allows interaction with the application to discover novel and unique color combinations that can be saved and reused. Using the Color Guide it is possible to find attractive and suitable colors, as well as to save and organize them in groups within the swatches panel.

You can create color schemes based on the 23 classic rules of color harmony, such as complementary colors, analogs, monochromatic, triads, or create custom color harmony rules. Select a base color and below you will see a series of variations based on the established rules. It is also possible to limit the color schemes to some of the available libraries, such as PANTONE solid colors or any group of colors that you may have saved in a previous project.

If you reduce the number of colors used in a document, Illustrator adjusts the colors of the objects based on the defined parameters.

Illustrator CS3 also offers integration with Flash CS3 Professional. Features that are of particular interest to Flash designers are the use of Illustrator’s type and symbol tools. The ability to save any Illustrator shape as a symbol allows you to paste it into Flash and use the symbol tool options that are now common in Illustrator and Flash as well.

According to Adobe, the underlying architecture of Illustrator has been improved so that you can use the application more seamlessly, without having to wait for the application to follow your hands. Now you can scroll and apply enlargements with greater speed and you will notice substantial improvements in the refresh rate, as well as in the general response of the application. If you use multiple CPUs you will also notice an increase in performance due to the advances made in Illustrator CS3 for multi-threaded work.

According to Guindi, “If you are looking for a PowerPC vs. Intel comparison, we are currently seeing 250 to 300 percent improvements in handling typical files.”

Other Illustrator CS3 enhancements include drawing tools and controls, a new erase tool, new document profiles, a cropping tool, and improved symbols.

Adobe Illustrator CS3 will be available in April 2007 for users in the United States and Canada.