Creative Cloud test

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Creative Cloud test

Postby Thorf » Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:39 pm

I mentioned a while ago the possibilities Adobe's Creative Cloud open up, allowing me to easily share the most up to date files for my maps. Recently this functionality has improved and expanded, so here's a little taster test to see what everyone thinks.

This link is to the Iciria 40 miles per hex map. Creative Cloud presents a page showing a preview of the file, with various pieces of information. Most importantly, it has an icon in the top right which allows you to download the file in Illustrator AI format, as a PDF file, or as a PNG (or JPG) image file. The download takes a little time, especially for the image files as they have to render first - which is not a minor operation with a map such as this.


Please have a look and try it out. The PNG it renders is really very nice. Note that although you can render a JPG, graphics such as my maps are better suited to the PNG format.
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Re: Creative Cloud test

Postby Hugin » Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:51 pm

Awesome! The more access to your maps the better. Especially for those that could use the actual Illustrator AI file.
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Re: Creative Cloud test

Postby Havard » Mon Feb 11, 2013 5:04 pm

Nice! :)

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Re: Creative Cloud test

Postby Cthulhudrew » Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:04 pm

Nice. I see you've added the curvature into this map, too (and presumably made some other adjustments to compensate?).
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Re: Creative Cloud test

Postby Culture20 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:28 pm

Thorf wrote:The download takes a little time, especially for the image files as they have to render first - which is not a minor operation with a map such as this.

Is there a way to restrict the png it creates to render at a certain size (pixel-wise)? Doesn't seem to be an option on the download side, but there might be one in your options/settings.
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Re: Creative Cloud test

Postby Thorf » Tue Feb 12, 2013 3:16 pm

Cthulhudrew wrote:Nice. I see you've added the curvature into this map, too (and presumably made some other adjustments to compensate?).


It just has the graticule (the lines from the world map) added for now. Having it there allows you to see at a glance how much distortion there is - which is to say rather a lot in the extreme north and south.

Culture20 wrote:Is there a way to restrict the png it creates to render at a certain size (pixel-wise)? Doesn't seem to be an option on the download side, but there might be one in your options/settings.


Not that I know of. It may be based on the DPI, but that's not something that's usually all that relevant for an Illustrator file - it may even be fixed.

Is there a specific size you'd like it to be? I just compared one of my previous PNG files for the same map and found that the same map which used to be 2200 x 2900 is now 6300 x 8100. That's pretty massive.

Hmm, I searched for the answer for quite a while and nothing came up. I'm pretty happy with the new sizes myself. They may throw things out of whack with the older versions of my maps, but that will resolve itself in time as I work through adding them all to the Creative Cloud.
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Re: Creative Cloud test

Postby Culture20 » Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:30 am

I wasn't looking for a particular res, I just figured it would help with the slowness if the CC didn't have to generate a huge file.
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Re: Creative Cloud test

Postby Thorf » Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:10 pm

Culture20 wrote:I wasn't looking for a particular res, I just figured it would help with the slowness if the CC didn't have to generate a huge file.


Well, in that regard, the size of the output file is not really an issue; it's the complexity of the original vector map file that slows things down. Crunching all those hexes takes some time even on my local computers, so it's not surprising it takes a while for the server to do it too.
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Re: Creative Cloud test

Postby Carillion » Sat Feb 16, 2013 11:23 am

The resolution of the hex symbols on the Iciria PNG file is amazing. You can zoom in and the symbols still look smooth. That's the only problem I have with GIMP - as soon as you increase the resolution over 200%, then the graphics look blocky. Still, GIMP is free, so I can't really complain!
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Re: Creative Cloud test

Postby Thorf » Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:36 pm

Carillion wrote:The resolution of the hex symbols on the Iciria PNG file is amazing. You can zoom in and the symbols still look smooth. That's the only problem I have with GIMP - as soon as you increase the resolution over 200%, then the graphics look blocky. Still, GIMP is free, so I can't really complain!


That's the advantage with vector graphics - in Illustrator, you can zoom in as much as you like and it always stays sharp. That's how I draw the hexes in the first place, and also how I work on detailed lines such as the coasts.

Of course, this is just a raster PNG of the vector file, but I agree the resolution is amazing.

Incidentally, with further tests I've discovered that it seems to be rendering whatever file I try to download with it's long edge the same 8192 pixels. This means small maps give amazing resolution, while larger ones get not quite so good - where "not quite so good" still far exceeds my usual size. For comparison, my TM1 & TM2 combined replica PNG file was 5213 pixels wide.

It's great that it's giving such high resolution, but with one big caveat: no two PNG outputs will have the same size of hexes. It wouldn't be impossible to scale them, but it certainly complicates things needlessly.

So, the conclusion seems to be that I won't be giving up PNG distribution through my own web space just yet. But PDF serving will definitely be shifting over to the Creative Cloud, which will always be where to find the latest versions of all my maps.
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Re: Creative Cloud test

Postby Culture20 » Sun Feb 17, 2013 1:06 am

Thorf wrote:So, the conclusion seems to be that I won't be giving up PNG distribution through my own web space just yet. But PDF serving will definitely be shifting over to the Creative Cloud, which will always be where to find the latest versions of all my maps.

Will you be providing links to the Creative Cloud on your website to keep everything visually in one place?
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Re: Creative Cloud test

Postby Thorf » Sun Feb 17, 2013 4:38 am

Culture20 wrote:Will you be providing links to the Creative Cloud on your website to keep everything visually in one place?


I'm thinking in the Wiki, yes. That's the main problem with Creative Cloud right now: it doesn't have an interface for sharing multiple links publicly, so you have to create a net of links to it from elsewhere. Anyhow, if I'm continuing to serve up PNGs then it's not a problem to add the links to the Wiki. Besides, unlike the PNGs, the Creative Cloud links will only have to be added once, then they're good for the duration, regardless of when or how often the file is updated.

I should really get rid of the cartography part of my web site, because it's out of date and probably causing confusion. The Wiki is where to go for the latest maps.
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