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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
ID: 22724489
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
ID: 22728079
Yes I do.  How would i do this in Photoshop?
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by:gabrielPennyback
ID: 22728081
Photoshop CS3
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by:Jason210
ID: 22728678
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
ID: 22728725
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
ID: 22728732
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
ID: 22728737
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
ID: 22728959
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
ID: 22729173
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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Expert Comment

by:djwinger
ID: 22731815
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
ID: 22732025
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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Author Closing Comment

by:gabrielPennyback
ID: 31506429
Jason, this is the one that looks the best to me, but all your answers are helpful.  Thanks!
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by:gabrielPennyback
ID: 22881216
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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Expert Comment

by:Jason210
ID: 22883618
Glad it worked - thanks for the points.
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