Randomize + Color Editing

Color Randomization

Illustrator Location: Illustrator Main Menu > Window > Astute Graphics > Randomino

Changes the color(s) of the selected objects in a random way.

Randomino Panels Color Callouts

Randomino Panels Color Callouts

In Range mode, color is controlled using the Hue-Saturation-Brightness (HSB) model. Each of the three parameters may be independently controlled (or disabled entirely), with one restriction: all must use the same distribution model. Each parameter’s value may be entered in the numerical input boxes or adjusted by dragging the slider controls. Shift-clicking the thumb area resets the thumbs to the entire range of valid values.

1. Color Preview area

When all three color parameters are enabled, the preview area shows a random selection of colors which would be generated using the current settings. When only one or two of the three parameters are being changed, the preview area shows a selection of colors on top (a standard set if nothing is selected; otherwise colors from the selected art) and the same colors that would result from randomly changing their parameters.

2. Fills/Strokes/Whites checkboxes

You may choose to modify fill colors, stroke colors, or both. In addition, you can choose to affect white colors or not. Gradients (both standard and freeform) are modified on a stop-by-stop basis. Gradient meshes are modified on a selected node-by-node basis. Randomino does not change the colors of raster art.

Tip: If randomizing the colors of art seems to have no effect, check whether 1) the stroke or fill checkbox is disabled; or 2) you are attempting to modify the color of a group (which may not exist if the group does not have an independent fill or stroke) with the “Ignore Grouping” checkbox disabled.

3. Add From Selected buttons (list mode only)

While colors may be added to the list one by one using the color picker interface, it is often useful to add several colors at once, either from the currently selected artwork or from the currently selected swatches.

Randomini Tool Operation

Illustrator Location: Advanced Toolbar > Randomini Tool

When one or more art objects are selected and the Randomini tool is in use, its widget will appear, initially centered over the bounds of the selected art (it may later be repositioned; see below). By using the cursor to click or drag parts of the widget, the artwork can be edited. Except for Hue, all changes are previewed using outlines and are not actually applied to the art until the Apply button is clicked or the Enter key is pressed. Therefore, if you change your mind and decide not to randomize the art, simply switch to another tool and the art will remain as it was. All parameters are retained between uses of the tool. When not over a widget control, the cursor for the Randomini tool has the shape of a die showing various random faces. When nothing is selected, the Randomini tool can be dragged to marquee-select artwork.

Randomino annotation widget

Randomino annotation widget

1. Rotation arm and control

Dragging the rotation control changes the angle up to which each piece of art will be randomly rotated around its bounding box center, in either a clockwise or counterclockwise direction. For example, setting the rotation arm at a 24° angle will cause the preview art to be rotated anywhere from -24° to 24°:

Randomino rotation arm preview

Randomino rotation arm preview

The rotation control may be double-clicked to set the rotation value numerically. Holding down the Shift key when dragging the control causes it to be constrained to steps of 10°. Holding down Command/Ctrl while dragging it enables “Slow-Drag,” which moves the control as if all cursor movements were reduced tenfold, allowing for fine-tuning.

2. Scale slider and thumb

Dragging the scale thumb changes the value up to which each piece of art will be randomly scaled from its bounding box center. For example, setting the scale value to 150% will cause the preview art to be scaled anywhere from 100% to 150%:

Randomini scaling control arm

Randomini scaling control arm

The scale thumb may be double-clicked to set the scale value numerically. Holding down Shift while dragging the thumb causes the scale values to be constrained to integer values. Holding down Command/Ctrl enables “Slow-Drag”, as per the Rotation control.

3. Offset slider and thumb

Dragging the offset thumb changes the value up to which each piece of art will be randomly offset (shifted in position). For example, setting the offset value to 6pt will cause the preview art to be moved anywhere from 0 to 6 points. The offset direction is randomly chosen.

Randomini offset slider annotation

Randomini offset slider annotation

As with the scale thumb, the offset thumb may be doubleclicked to set the value numerically, Shift-dragged to constrain the value, or Command/Ctrl-dragged to enable “Show-Drag.”

4. Apply button

Clicking the Apply button applies the currently displayed random rotation, scaling and offset to the selected art, as previewed. Immediately afterwards, since the art is still selected, new random parameters will be selected and previewed, allowing you to quickly apply multiple randomizations. To automatically deselect the art after applying the randomization, hold down Shift while clicking the Apply button. Pressing the Enter key has the same effect as clicking the Apply button unless no art is selected, in which case it opens the tool preferences dialog.

5. Hue button

Clicking the Hue button immediately randomizes the hues (strokes and fills) of the selected art. Note that black (which has zero brightness) and white (which has maximum brightness) are not affected by changing the hue. Also note that grouped objects are only affected if they have a stroke or fill applied in the Appearance panel at the group level, unless the “Ignore Grouping” preference is enabled (see below). Type objects are only affected if they have a stroke or fill applied in the Appearance panel above the Characters; to change the color of individual characters, use the Randomino panel.

6. Center control

The center control may be dragged to reposition the entire widget. Doubleclicking the center control resets all parameters to their default values (i.e., no rotation, no scaling, and no offset).

Set Colors/Adjust Colors Section

Illustrator Location: Illustrator Main Menu > Window > Astute Graphics > Gradient Forge

Contains controls which set or adjust the colors of selected stops. To switch between Set Colors and Adjust Colors, click the header text.

Gradient Forge Panel Set Adjust Colors Section

Gradient Forge Panel Set Adjust Colors Section

A. Swatch List

Shows all of the flat color swatches (i.e., no gradients or patterns) in the document. Each swatch’s name is shown below the grid when the cursor is hovered over it. Clicking on a swatch will change the color of the selected stop(s). Holding Option/Alt while clicking automatically advances the stop selection to the right after recoloring. A swatch may be dragged upwards into the Editing Area just below the gradient preview to add a new stop or recolor an existing stop without having to select it first.

B. Swatch Scroll Arrows

If more 42 swatches exist, these arrows are enabled, allowing you to scroll the list up or down to reveal additional rows of swatches.

C. Color Sliders

Similar to the native Color panel; display and allow editing of the color of the currently selected stop(s). When a global or spot color is being edited, the single slider specifies the tint of the color.

D. Color Value Inputs

Reflect the same color values as displayed in the sliders but allow precise numeric input of these values.

E. Color Model Popup Menu

Available when all selected stops have colors using the same color model; allows switching the color model for editing the color(s), choosing between Grayscale, RGB, HSB, HSLuv, and CMYK. Unlike the native Color panel, switching the color model will immediately convert the color(s) to the chosen model, which may change the color when the gamut of the new color model does not include the original color.

F. Rotate Colors Left/Right Button

Changes the colors of the selected stops (or all stops, if no stops are selected) so the color of each stop is moved one stop to the left/right (wrapping around for the end stops). This, therefore, has the effect of rotating the colors either to the left or right. The positions of the stops themselves are not changed.

Gradient Forge Panel Rotate Example

Gradient Forge Panel Rotate Example

G. Randomize Color Order Button

Randomizes the order of the colors of the selected stops (or all stops, if no stops are selected). The positions of the stops themselves are not changed. A new random seed is used on each press of the button, which usually results in a different look.

Gradient Forge Panel Randomize Example

Gradient Forge Panel Randomize Example

H. HLS Sliders

Control the Hue, Lightness and Saturation values which modify the colors of the selected stops when the Adjust button is pressed. While the sliders are dragged, the gradient preview will change in real-time to show what the color would look like with the current adjustment. The H, S and L labels may be clicked to reset each corresponding value to zero.

I. HLS Value Inputs

Reflect the same values that are displayed in the HLS Sliders, but allow precise numeric input of these values. Hue change can vary from -180 to 180; Lightness and Saturation can vary from -100 to 100.

J. HLS Popup Menu

Allows you to use the HSLuv color space instead of the default HSL colorspace (see https://www.hsluv.org).

K. HLSuv Indicator

When visible, indicates that the HSLuv color space is being used.

L. Adjust Button

Applies the adjustment specified by the HSL values to the color(s) of the selected stop(s) (or all stops, if no stops are selected). Stops with spot colors are not affected. When the cursor is hovered over the button, the gradient preview will change to show what the color(s) would look like after adjustment with the current values, but the gradient will not actually be changed until the button is pressed.

COMING SOON