Adobe Illustrator might already contain great features and editing options but there is no harm in enhancing its usability and performance using a couple of plugins. The plugins for Illustrator are several but not every such tool would be useful to you. Photoshop contains a wider range of external plugins but Illustrator does not fall short in this notion as well. The need to know and be well versed about such tools is a core requirement for becoming a professional illustrator.
Your passion for illustration design would surely lead you to work in a renowned illustration agency but that does not happen overnight. If that is your ultimate goal then you should know every intricate detail and functionality about how you can enhance the tools, features, and performance of Illustrator using plugins.
Here is the list of tools, software, and plugins that will surely prove to be useful for every designer out there.
Made by MAXON, this 3D plugin for Illustrator CC is free to download. Many new designers and digital artists face difficulties in creating 3D drawings so if you are one of them then this plugin will assist you in practicing the creation of 3D illustrations. The correct way of using it is to transfer your 2D files and then transform the 2D image by adding 3D visuals to it. Rendering is an important element of 3D and Cineware has made it easier for designers. You can render your illustration on Adobe Illustrator itself, without relying on external software.
Producing, editing and positioning shapes is a taxing job when you are solely relying on Illustrator. However, with the ColliderScribe you can position and edit shapes the way it befits your taste. Most designers cannot symmetrically align objects or shapes but you can do so using this plugin. This notion speeds up the process of alignment and positioning in the background objects of illustrations in general. You can even create and arrange unique patterns but the best part if that another version of ColliderScribe has been launched as well that contains a list of updated features.
The Hot Door Control plugin is compatible with Adobe Illustrator from CS6 to the CC 2015 version. The best part about this tool is that it contains seven plugins that have different functionalities. Solely relying on Control allows you to do most of your designing work on Illustrator. From editing to aligning, this tool encompasses many useful features that designers need. If you are purchasing the entire set of seven plugins, then it will cost you $98 in total but separately each of them is for $20 each.
The task of exporting content or files on Illustrator is, in fact, time-consuming process but it has been eliminated by the plugin Magic Exporter. This mostly works for turning your Illustrator files into a PNG version simply by exporting it. You have to go into each design layer for exporting certain file or design element but that is not the case with Magic Exporter. Just select what you want to export and a menu will be displayed to you. Make your desired selections and your Illustrator content will be then turned into its equivalent PNG form.
Just as its name suggests, Phantasm is used to edit or add effects into your illustrator. It fills in the gap between the connectivity of both Illustrator and Photoshop and not many plugins are able to do that successfully. Since Illustrator works on vectors, you can use Phantasm to add features of the bitmap for editing purposes. The effect tools, in general, contain saturation, hues and the overall features you see in photo editing apps. The list of features this plugin has is extensive but most of it is related to making visual changes in your drawing.
This plugin is a costly option but it is definitely worth its expensive price. Used mostly by professional designers, if you happen to be a relatively new designer then you will face issues in its usability at first but that does not make it any less user-friendly. It works the best for illustrations with complex shapes, patterns, and textures. If you are creating an abstract drawing then it will include many layers so using SymmetryWorks plugin, you can make this process faster. The cost for the full version is $364 but various other plans are available as well. However, it is recommended to go for the full version, as it is equipped with the complete set of features.
This plugin might be a bit expensive considering the features it offers but it can be your go-to tool for shape design and creation. Shape design is not the only function of ArtBlue Gold as it not only lets designers customize shapes but also allows you to transfer and save data to and from Photoshop to Illustrator using ArtBlue. From altering shape matrixes to full customization, you can play around with geometric structures and 3D shapes using this tool.