If you ever visited a studio of a graphic designer, than there are big chances that you saw an array of Macintosh computers. Ever since its inception, Mac OS was promoted as a platform for creative individuals and professionals, with strong bonds between Apple and Adobe. Perhaps you haven’t known this, but Adobe’s Photoshop was first made for Macintosh platform, which happened in 1988. It became available on Windows in its version 2.5, which was in 1992. Ever since that time, graphic designed fell in love with Macs, and surely for a good reason.
Today, industry standard tools for graphic designers are a set of tools available in Adobe’s Creative Suite. Perhaps the most usable one, for this particular profession, is Illustrator. This is a professional grade, very complex and extremely comprehensive tool. Still, in order to deliver a finished product, a graphic design needs to work in Photoshop in order to make a realistic preview, in order to present it to a client. The thing is that every client wants to see how a final design will look on a particular billboard, a t-shirt, on a car, to name a few examples. In order to show this, a graphic designer needs to spend quite some time tinkering around its design and photoshopping it, so that client can finally approve it.
Well, in this article we are going to tell you about a tool which most graphic designers will find extremely helpful. These tools are commercial, and could be found at a website named LiveSurface. This is a library of thoughtfully designed templates of 3D objects and surfaces onto which you can easily paste your own design, and that’s how you get a preview of a finished project, ready to be presented to a client. But LiveSurface isn’t only a simple gallery of templates, since it also brings a design tool called Context which integrates into Illustrator, like a plug-in. It is available on OS X only.
Context works closely with LiveSurface templates and your own graphic design made in Illustrator to show you a fast rendered preview. This can save you huge amounts of time, and make you more concentrated on your work and design, instead of spending valuable time on rendering a presentation.
LiveSurface Gallery and Context work flawlessly with Adobe’s Illustrator, and they are made to be integral part of this application. This means that these new tools will easily integrate into your own workflow in non-obtrusive way. Process of rendering is very simple, and most importantly, it only takes a few seconds to render some change, so you can see how it reflects to a finished project. I also need to add that this tool doesn’t only save valuable time and help you easily create presentation-ready material, but it can also help you help test your work and become more productive.
Live Surface Context is free to use, while one template usually costs $29.
Update: Pre-launch pricing for context is $9/month and $89/yearly. No other fees.