How to Use the VectorScribe Smart Remove Brush in Adobe Illustrator

How to Use the VectorScribe Smart Remove Brush in Adobe Illustrator

Graphic designers, technical illustrators and artists using Adobe Illustrator are in for a treat with Astute Graphic’s, VectorScribe plug-in. VectorScribe extends the functionality of Adobe Illustrator with a suite of powerful tools designed to increase your efficiency and expand your creativity.

After installing VectorScribe, you will find some additional tools in the toolbox. On the surface, VectorScribe appears utilitarian in nature, offering functions to modify paths and shapes. Among VectorScribe's features, one tool stood out above the rest that every Illustrator user can benefit from. The Smart Remove Brush.

Working with vector drawings created with Illustrator’s native pencil tool or graphics created using Image Trace, it is common to encounter complex graphics. Meaning those with an excessive amount of points. Graphics such as these can be cumbersome to modify or manipulate in the clean up step.

The Smart Remove Brush tool makes this process nearly effortless. With this brush, the user merely paints over the selected vectors to remove unnecessary points, refining the object. With fewer points, the artist can more effectively manipulate the graphic to their liking.

The feature that is most intriguing is found in the Smart Remove Brush preferences, where you can enable pressure-controlled tolerance. With pressure enabled, you can control the amount of points to be removed based on the level of pressure that you place on the pen when painting over vector points. Pressing harder removes more points, while a lighter touch removes fewer.

Also beneficial is the incorporation of a couple of well designed keyboard shortcuts, enabling users to temporarily ignore tolerance (Option/Alt) and protect selected points (shift), all on the fly, with pen in hand.

Another tool-favorite in VectorScribe is the Extend Path Tool. The Extend Path tool, as its name implies, extends paths but with a bit of a twist over traditional methods in Adobe Illustrator. Selecting the end of an open path with the Extend Path tool extends a path in one of four manners, toggled by hitting the E key on the keyboard: Straight, Constant Radius, Bezier and Spiral. This tool is a welcome addition to every Illustrator user. Who hasn’t needed to tweak a path as as soon as you lay one down?!

Above all of its functionality, perhaps the best part of VectorScribe is its seamless integration and solid performance inside of Adobe Illustrator. After just one day, I found myself selecting the tools within VectorScribe like any other standard Illustrator tool. (A trait shared by all of the plugins available from the developer.)

VectorScribe, is one of a collection of drawing plug-ins for Adobe Illustrator by Astute Graphics. Other Wacom favorites include: DynamicSketch, InkScribe and WidthScribe. Look for future reviews, tips and techniques on these additional plug-ins and more right here on the Wacom blog.