The Assets panel is a nifty new feature, and I am confident that its use will be enhanced in the future. You could have read my first comments in this post. You find under Tip 2 a special feature concerning the Characters of the Illustrated category. One of the complaints often heard about downloading characters is that you have to do this one by one, which is taking a lot of time. If you like the Illustrated category, and also have access to Illustrator, you can find a tip which could save you a lot of time. It is no secret that the new features in 11.5 for SVG’s are my favorites, and they’ll play a role here as well. What would you think about characters in SVG-format, which means always crisp, never pixelated? With the possibility to edit the colors within
Step 1: Download Illustrated Work File
After the download you’ll be able to open the folder immediately from the popup dialog box. I mentioned already that it is under Others in eLearning Assets (under Public documents\Adobe if you are on Windows).
Step 2 Illustrator – Preparation
Be sure I am not at all an expert in Illustrator, my expertise is more with Photoshop, Captivate, Audition and InDesign. Three items in the Illustrator environment will be important, try to find them and get acquainted. The active workspace is not important, I used Essentials:
- Selector tool (black arrow) which is the first tool in the vertical Toolbox, indicated by a red circle in the next screenshot. It has also a shortcut key V.
- Properties panel: it may be open, just find it or you can open it from the Windows menu. This panel will be used to identify the nature of a selection (step 3). It is highlighted in light blue in the screenshot. For this particular selection it indicates as ‘Group’. You are familiar with grouping in Captivate and that knowledge will be useful in step 3. IYou can increase its size both horizontally and vertically.
The characters come with 4x6 poses. Only face changed in the groups of 6: disappointed, speaking, normal and happy.
Step 3: Identify and change status of character
Choose the Selector (arrow) and drag a rectangle surrounding (or cutting) the character you want to save. You’ll see a lot of blue lines (paths) appear in the image. If the Properties panel indicates that this is a group, it is great, done with this step! Here is an example (character Sydney):
For the following example, the selected paths are indicated as "Mixed Objects". You need to group them which is possible with the same shortcut key CTRL-G as in Captivate. Alternative is the command 'Group' from the right-click menu , or from the menu Object. Here is an example of a selection which has to be grouped (character Jessica):
Step 4: Drag objects to Asset Export panel
Step 5: choose Export fomat(s)
You can indicate to which format you want to export, and multiple formats are possible. In the screenshot below you’ll see that not only SVG, but also PNG’s in 3 different sizes was chosen. The last option indicated an exact height for the PNG. That way you can increase the quality to what you want exactly, since the original image is vector-based. You know the rule in Captivate: best quality for a bitmap image (PNG is bitmap) needs inserting the character in exactly the size you want. It can also be interesting to increase the size if you want to use only part of the character.
Let us compare with the normal download of characters from the Assets panel. You get only two choices , both with a fixed size (high and low).
Available formats are visible in this screenshot. For the characters, which have a transparent background you should not use JPEG because it will replace the background by a solid color:.Now click the Export button. You will be asked to indicate the location for the images. You can put them in a subfolder of the eLearning assets or anywhere. They will not show up in the Downloads section of the Assets panel.
I like the Illustrator Export Asset panel a lot. Being able to use SVG format has many advantages: always high quality, and it is so easy to edit colors in Captivate (or by roundtripping with Illustrator). This article is also meant to provide a possible workaround for having all characters available immediately without having to download them one by one. Too bad that you do not get such an overview image for the normal characters, only for the illustrated ones.
A warning: the downloaded Workfile (see step 1) nor the exported assets will appear in the Downloads section of the Assets panel. You could store them in the Others folder under eLearning Assets, but will have to import them manually to the Library of a project to use them.