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SVG Filter Effects

Illustrator 10 contains an entirely new category of special effects that you can apply to your Illustrator artwork: SVG filter effects. What's so special about them? If you apply a regular effect like Gaussian Blur or Ocean Ripple, the artwork must be rasterized. With SVG filters, no rasterization is necessary. Now if you've been paying attention, you're probably asking: “So if it's vector artwork, and Illustrator's not rasterizing it, where does the SVG effect become rasterized?” Good question. The answer is a bit of a surprise: The Web browser rasterizes the effect (or more accurately, the SVG plug-in in a Web browser rasterizes the effect). SVG allows this by including the SVG filter effect as a set of XML instructions that Illustrator exports along with the file. A sample of this is shown in Figure 21.23. For you and your Web audience, the big win is that the filter instructions take up a lot less space than a rasterized version of the same effect, for the same reasons that vectors take up less space than a raster bitmap does.

Figure 21.23. SVG filters, such as the AI_shadow_2 effect applied in the example at the far right, are not rendered until they reach the Web browser.



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