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Producing a ragged edge effect in Illustrator

Posted on 2008-10-15
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Last Modified: 2013-12-02
How would I get the look of the background of this image in Illustrator?  Not just the ragged edges, but the mottled look as well.

IFor the ragged edges,  tried a bunch of different effects in the Effect Gallery and couldn't get it right.

Thanks,

John
raggedEdges.jpg
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Question by:gabrielPennyback
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by:Jason210
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You'd do it Photoshop, because that's a raster graphic. Illustrator is a vector application.
Raster applications, like Photoshop, are for editing images made up of pixels.
Vector applications are for drawing geometric type graphics, like icons, company logos and so on.
Do you have Photoshop?
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by:gabrielPennyback
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Yes I do.  How would i do this in Photoshop?
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by:gabrielPennyback
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Photoshop CS3
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by:Jason210
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OK. I'm not sure exactly how they achieved that effect, but lets start with something like this...
001.jpg
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by:Jason210
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Select the brush tool.
On the top left of the options bar is a symbol of a brush, with a downward pointing arrow.  Click on the arrow.
A box appears with a list of three presets.  On the top right of the box is an arrow poiting to the left. Click on this arrow.
A menu appears.  Choose "Brushes" near the bottom. Click "OK".
You will now have a new list of presets in the box.  Choose "CHALK BUILD UP".
Change the brush size to about 30 pixels, and change the foreground color to white.
Paint around the edge of the graphic until you get this result.

002.jpg
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by:Jason210
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It's not quite the same but may be it's a ok?
You can use the blur tool on it too make it a little blurry:

003.jpg
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by:Jason210
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There a lots of ways to achieve the effect you're looking for - this is just one approcah which uses a brush style to get the basic pattern.
You can try different brush styles, and also combining different brush styles. You can also take a very small brush with a softedge and work on it manually. I think this kind of stuff just takes a bit of time!
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by:Jason210
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A better approach is to use the eraser tool, in Brush mode, with a brush style from the brush palette. The  you have transparency if you want it.
When you have a brush style, you can play around with the dynamics of the brush by clicking on this button:

brush-palette.jpg
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Jason210 earned 500 total points
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I tried trhe last method, and it worked quite well. There are some good parameters you can change regarding the brush styles, when you press that button above.
I found shape dynamics,  scattering and angle jitter useful here.
I don't normal work with brush styles, so this has been an interesting problem for me. Thanks!

Eraser-brush.jpg
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by:djwinger
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If you really wanted it in Illustrator for scalable vectors, you could convert it to solid black and white in Photoshop using a mixture of the Levels and Paintbrush tools, and then import the image into Illustrator and use the Live Paint option to turn it into a vector.
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by:gabrielPennyback
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Jason, tis is an embarrassment of riches, thanks.  I want to try them out so I'll no which ones to give the points to.

Thanks!

John
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by:gabrielPennyback
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Jason, this is the one that looks the best to me, but all your answers are helpful.  Thanks!
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by:gabrielPennyback
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djwinger, thanks for posting your answer. I may be asking another question about how to do what you're suggesting.
Thanks,
John
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by:Jason210
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Glad it worked - thanks for the points.
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