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Vector or bitmap?

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Stephen RobertsVector or bitmap?
by on Aug 3, 2015 at 11:19:37 pm

Hi everyone!

I'm starting a new animated video project, I've created all the artwork in Illustrator, and I'm debating whether to bring the Illustrator files straight into After Effects, or to rasterize them in Photoshop first.

Any thoughts regarding:

- Overall file size and ease of rendering

- updating layers

- I always seem to run into trouble with AE's " continuously rasterize" setting (with Illustrator layers). I'm never sure which comp to apply it to.

- Any other thoughts?

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Julie DeHaanRe: Vector or bitmap?
by on Aug 4, 2015 at 12:38:47 am

Personally, I would import it as an AI, that way if you want to make any changes to it, you can do that in illustrator, and it will update it in AE. If you rasterize, you won't have that option, or you'll have to edit it in illustrator, then rasterize in photoshop before it will update in AE.

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chris brettRe: Vector or bitmap?
by on Aug 4, 2015 at 8:01:20 am

Hi Steven

I know what you mean about continuous rasterise especially when using multiple comps in 3D -- in some configurations I'm not even sure it works properly because on some occaiasions I have had to give up and use workarounds. ( could still be operator error but its sure not simple )

However IMO I still go for vector assets every time as it gives a much cleaner result - well worth the hassle.

This is especially true with type / logo assets / and anything that needs to be scaled up.

If you are still getting used to the foibles of continuous rasterise I suggest you just stick with it rather than avoid it.

If anyone has guru type knowledge of what happens when you have a comp inside a comp inside a comp etc ( using vectors ) -- would be interested myself.

------------------ all the best ------- chris ---


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Walter SoykaRe: Vector or bitmap?
by on Aug 4, 2015 at 12:19:30 pm

I think the source of misunderstanding here is that the sun icon for vector layers means continuously rasterize; that is, go back to the original vector data and re-draw from the original for each new tranformation.

However, for a composition, the sun icon indicates "collapse transformations [link]." This tells Ae to treat the comp as if its elements were contained in the main comp. This requires ignoring precomps' lights and cameras, and changing the render order in a way that affects effects and blend modes.

This question comes up here a lot. I'd be happy to write an article that goes into more depth on the subject, but it'd be very helpful for me to understand what's unclear about how the feature works. What sorts of things surprise you when you turn on that switch? Do you have any examples of troublesome projects you could share with me?

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]

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chris brettRe: Vector or bitmap?
by on Aug 4, 2015 at 12:45:58 pm

Hi Walter

I reckon you would be doing the AE community a great service if you are able to write an article that explains not only the basics but how these might apply in more complex situations.

I think you are right about the cause of confusion but also, in my experience the real problems start when you need the precomp ( which may have other comps inside )to behave like a single scaleable item which is a blend of effects / keys / whatever.

This seems especially tricky if using ray tracing as most effects do not work with 3D and therefore need implementing in precomps.

I cant remember the jobs where I have had to use a workarounds but next time I am stuck I will save a copy for reference.

All the best ---------------------- chris --


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Stephen RobertsRe: Vector or bitmap?
by on Aug 4, 2015 at 3:01:19 pm

Thanks everyone! … I'll use the Illustrator files, and, if I'm understanding correctly, turn on "Continuously Rasterize" for wherever the actual Illustrator file layers reside.

For instance, if I have a character walking in a scene. The scene is a comp, the character is a comp, and his blinking eyes are a separate comp. So for his blinking eyes, I would turn on "Continuously Rasterize" on the "eyes" layers within the "blinking eyes" comp.

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chris brettRe: Vector or bitmap?
by on Aug 4, 2015 at 5:18:21 pm

Hi Steven

------ that is what one would expect but I think not - I reckon you need to check the button in the parent comp ( ? ) ---

------ I'll admit to being a bit slow in getting to fully understand this function and I am as keen to hear the full logic of this as you are ....

------------------------------- chris ---


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