Phantasm v4

Rated 4.00 out of 5 based on 5 customer ratings


Color control like Photoshop’s in Illustrator

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SKU: pcsd4 Categories: , ,

Pro Vector Artwork Colour Control + High Quality Vector Halftones

Vector halftones | 12 color adjustments inc. Levels, Curves, Hue/Sat | Apply as non-destructive live Effects | Photoshop compatible settings | Pre-press corrections

What's new in version 4.1

Filter variants of all Phantasm v4 live Effects have been re-introduced due to popular demand! Discover more in the Object > Filters > Phantasm > … menu.

This is a FREE update for all Phantasm v4 customers.

Highlights of what's new in version 4

  • NEW Phantasm Panel for instant and intuitive color control

  • IMPROVED vector Halftone engine for greatly improved quality

  • NEW Vector Halftone clipping option

  • NEW Prepress Correct Effect and ability to auto-apply to all layers (via panel)

Made up of three key components, Phantasm makes light work of much sought-after vector halftones, duotones and tricky color adjustments. Easily adjust vector artwork, text, effects and embedded images with curves and other essential controls (just like Photoshop!) directly in Illustrator. With user defined adjustments to ensure a fast workflow and maximum creativity.

Color Adjustments

Instant access to adjustments via new Phantasm Panel. Essential adjustments, many like you would find in Photoshop including the following: Brightness/Contrast, Curves, Levels, Desaturate, Exposure, Hue/Saturation, Invert, Shift to Color, Temperature/Tint and Prepress Correct. Works on vectors, editable text and embedded images. Live preview. Load and export settings with Photoshop.

Phantasm color adjustments being applied direct to vector and embedded artwork
Phantasm vector Halftones

Vector Halftones

New Halftone Engine in version 4 for improved results and detail clarity! Quickly create a 100% scalable halftone effect based on any underlying artwork. Includes controls such as Monochrome, CMYK/RGB, Sampled colors, grid angle, dpi, undercoat color and dot gain. Dots can be Circular, Square, Line, Text characters or Symbols. Can be applied to layer prior to drawing. Halftones are particularly useful for posters through to T-shirt design and security printing.

Live Effects

All Phantasm adjustments are applied as live Effects to ensure a smooth, non-destructive workflow. Toggle the Effect visibility on/off via the Appearance Panel. Can be applied to other live Effects such as drop shadows and textures found in our other plug-ins Stylism and Texturino. Phantasm live Effects work for vectors, editable text and embedded images. Artwork can be opened by clients without Phantasm.

Phantasm Live Effects via Appearance panel
Phantasm Duotone applied to vector artwork


Including monotone, tritone and quadtone. Directly compatible and interchangeable Photoshop settings.

Prepress Corrections

New Prepress Correct Effect ensures overprint white is removed automatically, whilst rich blacks can be converted to pure black. Most color adjustments have Advanced settings to control individual channels including transparency (alpha) and spot inks. Adjust the profile of drop shadows and glows for a much more realistic result. Handle flexo drop-offs directly in Illustrator.

Prepress Correct live Effect via Phantasm Panel

Installing Phantasm v4

  • When installing only Phantasm v4, on the installer step that lists all the plug-ins available to install, tick the box next to Phantasm.
  • If you have previously installed Phantasm v3 or earlier, you will see confirmation text Upgrade version 3.x.x to 4.x.x.
  • Now click on Install button to continue with the installation process.
    Installing Phantasm v4

For full advice on installing our plug-ins, please refer to our Installation Guide.

Not ready to move to Phantasm v4?

Don’t worry, you won’t be forced to upgrade if you don’t want to. If you’re not ready to move on to this new version, please see our advice on Remaining with / Reinstalling Phantasm v3.

Example Artwork

The artwork above was created using Phantasm.

Recently-released Plug-ins

Currency converter

Currency conversions are estimated and should be used for informational purposes only.

New in version 4.1

  • Filter variants of all live Effects re-introduced
  • Easily automate Phantasm changes with Actions + Filters

New in version 4

  • NEW Phantasm Panel for instant and intuitive color control
  • IMPROVED vector Halftone engine for greatly improved quality
  • NEW Vector Halftone clipping option
  • NEW Prepress Correct Effect and ability to auto-apply to all layers (via panel)
  • IMPROVED presets across and control
  • All adjustments are live Effects and Filters (v4.1)
  • Significant internal overhaul to better ensure future updates and support

Tool Functionality (all available as live Effects and Filters)

  • Brightness/Contrast
  • Curves (including individual RGB/CMYK/Spot + alpha control)
  • Desaturate
  • Duotone (including monotone, tritone and quadtone)
  • Exposure
  • Halftone (vector)
  • Hue/Saturation/Lightness (including Colorize mode)
  • Invert
  • Levels (including individual RGB/CMYK/Spot + alpha control)
  • Shift to Color
  • Temperature/Tint
  • Prepress Correct

Photoshop-compatible color adjustment settings exchange

  • Curves (including pencil mode)
  • Duotone
  • Exposure
  • Hue/Saturation
  • Levels

Color function options

  • Safe CMYK, with option to exclude pure black
  • Ignore spot colors
  • Apply to: Fill / Stroke / Text / Images
  • Convert colorized bitmaps
  • Auto Rasterize
  • Black / White color cut-off
  • Rich black to user-defined color
  • Overprint control
  • Gradient Accuracy

Other benefits

  • All live effects can be incorporated into Illustrator Graphic Styles
  • Save and manage options settings
  • Graphic Styles compliant
  • Additional spot color object, image types and Phantasm live effect selection

Using our plug-ins

Color-coded Panels
Installation, Licensing & Activation

To install, please refer to our step by step guide to installing with Astute Manager.

Software Requirements

Mac OS
Illustrator CS6 to CC2019
macOS 10.10 to 10.14

Adobe Illustrator CS6 to CC2019
Windows 7/8/10

Example Artwork

The artwork on the right was created with the Phantasm plug-in.

Download all our sample artwork source files and have a look at them in Adobe Illustrator.

Download Artwork

5 reviews for Phantasm v4

  1. Rated 4 out of 5

    Just love that new plugin. Unfortunately, I have to question the compliancy of Phantasm 4 with ‘’Actions’’. Since Phantasm 4 has been place in the ‘’Effects Menu’’ instead of the ‘’Object Menu’’, it is not working anymore with ‘’Action Scripts’‘. I’ve noticed that many other commands in that menu are not (or not easily) scriptable. The Adobe’s basic documentation states clearly that: ‘’Commands in the Effect’s Menu do not work with Action Scripts’’. I’m not saying that there’s no work around this and may I wish it. But right now, I did not find any solution and to me for now it’s a bummer.

    • nick

      We listened! We have re-introduced the legacy Filter approach with new variants of all v4 Effects as of release v4.1 (free to all Phantasm v4 customers). Full details on our blog…

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    Phantasm is fantastic and effective plugins for graphic work. I think price of this plugins should be economic. I request to Astute graphics please think over it as more and more people can avail it. Thanks.

  3. Rated 5 out of 5

    Thank you for listening Nick, I’m sure I will appreciate this new legacy plugin. I will look at it soon. R.

  4. Rated 5 out of 5

    Would like to try this but I don’t see how to download Phantasm on the 14 day trial basis?

    • Lorna

      You can download our fully functional Free 14 Day Trial here.

      License key numbers are not necessary when you trial our plug-ins on the Free 14 Day Trial. When you are presented with the window asking you to enter a license number, please click on OK to close the page. Please note that it is not possible to re-set or extend the trial period of our plugins (once the 14 day trial period has expired then the only way to trial again is by using another computer) and so in the trial installation process, you can use the tick options to select only the plug-ins you wish to trial, in case you cannot use them all in the 14 day period.

  5. Rated 1 out of 5

    Phantasm is great, but Astute has no respect for its customers. I purchased Phantasm v3 two years ago for £59. Recently they released Phantasm v4 for £35, which already put me at a disadvantage for purchasing earlier. Next, my plugin stopped working altogether as Illustrator updated, and now they want me to either revert to an outdated version of Illustrator or pay them an EXTRA £20 for the updated plugin… Why pay again for something I already purchased for more than I could have??? Extremely disappointing, considering how much I enjoyed working with this plug-in.

    • nick

      Thanks for your feedback. Yes, we do offer discounts at times and adjust prices over the 12+ years this particular product has been around. But the upgrade from v3 (which has been around for several years) to v4 was well publicised where upgrade discounts were also offered for a limited period. We recommend customers sign up to our mailing list or opt-in on your account to our newsletters here

      Phantasm v4 offers very significant updates to v3 including a new panel for quick access and higher quality vector Halftones.

      You should be able to keep working in Phantasm v3 on your existing license up to the version of Illustrator catered for when it was released (up to CC2018). This will not be taken away from you.

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