On May 13, 2019, the process of contributing vector images (EPS) to the stock photo service Shutterstock has been changed.
Previously, JPEG images for preview and EPS files were uploaded together, but JPEG images are not required at now. The preview is automatically generated when you upload the EPS. It is more comfortable for contributors, as there is no need to convert EPS to JPEG.
The problem is the dimensions. In the new process, a condition was added that only EPS files of at least 4 MP (megapixel) in size were accepted. Although it is a unit that is not familiar, megapixels indicate dimensions that can be obtained by width * height. For example, width 2000px * height 2000px is 4,000,000 = 4 MP. Files of this size will pass the examination because the conditions of at least 4 MP are cleared.
However, there are few people who draw a vector image for stock illustration so large. If you think A4 is 841px * 595px and A3 is 1190px * 841px, you can see how big it is.
In other words, in order to upload vector images to Shutterstock, the work of calculating the enlargement ratio at which the size of each EPS data is 4 MP or more, actually scaling and then saving will occur like a mountain. Furthermore, the size limit is 25 MP, so you need to make sure you don’t exceed it. This is unreasonable.
Therefore, this time, we will propose a script for Illustrator that resizes the EPS artboard size to 4 megapixels to less than 25 megapixels for Shutterstock upload.
Watch in the video
Tell me the outline
This is a script for Illustrator that automatically resizes EPS artboards to between 4 megapixels and less than 25 megapixels for Shutterstock uploads. The original files are not modified, and the edited EPS files are saved in a new folder.
We call it a script for convenience, but it is actually a multi-platform application written in Electron for both macOS and Windows. There are separate installers for each OS.
Which version does this support?
It is as follows.
- Support for macOS 10.12 or higher (confirmed to work on macOS 10.12, 10.13, and 10.15. Electron also works on 10.10, so it may be possible)
- Support for Illustrator CS6 (16) or higher (confirmed to work on CS6 and CC2015.3-2020)
- Support for Windows 10 (confirmed to work on Windows 10. Electron also works on Windows 7, so it may be possible)
- Support for Illustrator CS6 (16) or higher (confirmed to work on CS6 and CC2019-2020)
How do I install it?
The installer is available as a dmg file for macOS and an exe file for Windows. If you download it and open it, you can follow the instructions.
Once installed, try opening the minimumArea app. If the window comes up, it’s successful.
I can’t get it to start
In the case of macOS, unidentified applications downloaded from the Internet may be prevented from starting.
You can allow it by right-clicking on “Open” or selecting “Open” in System Preferences, Security and Privacy. Open a Mac app from an unidentified developer – Apple Support
How do I use it?
Basically, you just drop a target EPS file to the icon or window of the application. By default, the script works as follows
- Copy the file to a new folder and open it in Illustrator (the original file is not changed)
- Measure the width and height based on the art board, and give the scale factor so that it fits within the specified size.
- Resize only if the size does not meet the standard
- Save with the same options as the original file
The behavior can be changed in preferences described later.
It may also block the execution of the script for security reasons. In this case, please issue permission by looking at the following measures.
Go to System Preferences->Security and Privacy->Privacy->Automation and check System Events under minimumArea. System Events is mainly used to check the version of Illustrator that is running.
The security software may have considered minimumArea’s built-in exec.exe to be a virus and quarantined it.
Restore the file and return it to its original location, and change the setting to ignore exec.exe, so that the error will not occur next time. The location of the file is “resources/scripts_unpacked/exec.exe” under the folder where the application is installed. Please refer to the manual of your security software for specific instructions. exec.exe is used to send the script to the foreground Illustrator.
What are the specifications?
The minimum size is 4.5 MP, and if it is smaller, it scales to 4.5 MP. We chose this number because it often fails if it is just over 4 MP. Similarly, the maximum size is 24.5 MP with a little extra space. If it is larger than this, it will be reduced to 24.5 MP.
This script calculates the size based on the artboard. Shutterstock’s judgment is based on the bounding box, so if there is a space between the object and the artboard, please place a rectangle with no fill or stroke with the same dimensions as the artboard.
Before scaling up, the layer/object is unlocked automatically, and the hidden layer/object is changed to visible.
To resize, select everything, then resize with the scale tool, in the same order as when you do it manually. It avoids problems that are common in scripts, such as the absence of an opacity mask. Also, line widths, effects, patterns, live corners, etc. are resized according to the ratio. However, please note that there are some effects that do not follow the resize, such as Gaussian blur in Photoshop effect.
Items other than dimensions should be set to pass the screening in advance. The embedded metadata is retained.
How do I open the preferences?
When the application is running, select Preferences in the menu to open it. The shortcut is command+K on macOS and ctrl+K on Windows, the same as Illustrator and Photoshop.
What can be set?
There are three main categories: saving options, editing settings, and display language. If you can’t read the language, you won’t understand anything, so we’ll start with the display language.
You can change the language on the Preferences screen by choosing between Japanese and English. The default setting is Japanese. This item will be applied when the application is restarted. By the way, the language setting panel is still in English.
This item mainly specifies the saving method.
Duplicate the whole file to a new folder, and only when there is a change in the document due to the size or edit settings, overwrite it with the same settings as the original file. If you choose this option, the save options below it will be ignored.
Freely selectable save options and fast operation. However, if you get the error “The vector image is saved using the [Use Artboard] setting” when uploading to the examination, you must resave it. If you don’t see it, we recommend this.
Saves all files to a new folder with the specified settings. It slows down but prevents the [Use Artboard] error. Therefore, it is recommended for those who are in trouble with errors.
Version, Preview, and Options are the same as in Illustrator’s Save EPS dialog. See How to save artwork in Illustrator for the difference.
Options that do not need to be changed are fixed. Please check what is displayed.
Specify the contents of the automatic editing process for each document and its ON/OFF.
When ON, execute [Object->Expand Appearance] with all objects in the document selected. If it has an expandable appearance, it is converted to a plain object. Otherwise nothing happens. The advantage is that you can avoid rejects because of “remaining appearance”.
This is a useful feature, but be aware that raster effects such as drop shadows and inner glow will be imaged. That is a factor in failing the test. In particular, inner glow produces an image that is treated as an opacity mask, a troublesome object not found by checker scripts.
Add a Rectangle of Artboard Dimensions
If it is ON, it will automatically create a rectangle of the same size as the artboard with no fill or strokes (the target layer is determined by the following [Rectangle Layer] setting).
The minimumArea calculates based on the artboard whether it is the specified size, but in the Shutterstock examination, it is based on the bounding box of the object. Therefore, if there is a space between the object and the artboard, an artboard-sized rectangle is required. Turning it on frees you from manual work and prevents subtle misalignment in size and position.
When Add a Rectangle of Artboard Dimensions is ON, the rectangle will be placed on the layer with the name you set here. If it does not exist, a new layer will be created on the back of the document.
Want to buy!
This time, the application (macOS / Windows) is sold as a set. We have stores on Gumroad and note, and you don’t need to create an account to buy.
It may be difficult to put out your hand at this price, but please calculate for a moment.
For example, suppose that manual resizing for Shutterstock takes one minute per file.
If the hourly salary is 9$, it would be 9$ for 60 pieces and 27$ for 180 pieces. If you convert 180 pieces, you will get back the amount you paid.
If the hourly salary is 27$, it is 27$ for 60 pieces. It returns with only 60 pieces!
But the best part is that it frees you from the pointless work you do not need to do. Let’s leave the simple work to the machine and put emphasis on the creative part.
This script was produced with the cooperation of @toyotoyo2ro and testers. Thank you very much.