Texturino Adds Texturing Capabilities to Adobe Illustrator

Astute Graphics made a name for itself with the release of its Phantasm plugin for Illustrator, which improves on Illustrator's basic color adjustment capabilities and works with gradients, meshes, tweens, bitmaps, Live Trace and Live Paint, with all color adjustments available as Filters and Live Effects. The firm subsequently released DrawScribe, which includes the InkScribe and Dynamic Sketch vector artwork creation tools, for saving time during the initial drawing process; SubScribe, which makes it possible to perform such tasks as defining circles and arcs with two or three points; WidthScribe, which allows Illustrator users to complete complex stroke width alterations with the ease of using a brush; ColliderScribe, which adds several tools to provide improved object positioning within Illustrator; MirrorMe, which can mirror artwork on single or multiple reflective axes; VectorScribe, which focuses on creating and editing the actual vector outlines of an illustration; Autosaviour Pro, which automates backups; and Stipplism, which is designed to simplify the process of creating non-destructive dot and shape patterns. With the result that Astute Graphics is by far the leading developer of Illustrator plugins.

All these plugins add great value to Illustrator, in fact significantly more than Adobe itself has provided in recent years, despite the much-touted "constant updates" that Creative Cloud was supposed to bring, along with monthly payments. But is there anything significant left to add to Illustrator? Apparently so, since Astute has just released Texturino, which allows users to add textures to their Illustrator artwork and then modify them, with no recourse to Photoshop. Very handy but of course nothing Adobe would ever implement, since creating cross-application dependencies is a key element of the Creative Cloud business model.

The Texturino plugin, which cheerfully thumbs its nose at Adobe by supporting both CS6 and CC versions of Illustrator, allows users to employ a Texture tool to add multiple raster-based textures as Live Effects to filled paths, live text, gradient meshes and raster objects. Controls are displayed directly on the filled element, simplifying the adjustment of such factors as scale, rotation, opacity, and blending mode. Textures can also be set to fill an object by tiling, with 10 tiling textures included with the plugin. A Texture Manager is provided that provides functionality as renaming, assigning categories, favoriting, deleting and exporting. Next up is a Texture brush, for brushing in or out one or more textures, to remove portions of them or make them fade out. Extending this idea is an Opacity brush, which can be used to brush an opacity mask for fading or completely removing textures, with Wacom support providing enhanced control.

Texturino for Mac and Windows Illustrator CS6-CC is available for purchase on the Astute Graphics site for €75.14. A free trial is also available for download.