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Which file format to use?

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Patryk Rebisz
Which file format to use?
on Jan 13, 2010 at 8:32:27 am

I have a project where i'm to have files delivered from an illustrator. The images are watercolors with objects outlined in black. I suggested to the illustrator to have the files on 2 layers. One watercolor painting while another one vector drawing. The reasoning is that this way i'll be able to zoom in into the picture without the black outlines loosing the quality (i don't care if the water color painting does). Thus my question is what would be the best file format for the black outlines?

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Paul Bibby
Re: Which file format to use?
on Jan 13, 2010 at 1:35:38 pm

Photoshop files in a high dpi 300 or so

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Walter Soyka
Re: Which file format to use?
on Jan 13, 2010 at 1:48:56 pm

I'd want the vector artwork delivered in Adobe Illustrator (.AI), EPS, or PDF.

Just make sure you emphasize the vector part to your illustrator, because all three formats can contain raster data, too.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
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Dave LaRonde
Re: Which file format to use?
on Jan 13, 2010 at 4:14:07 pm

What's wrong with a watercolor painting with outlines already on it?

I realize you want the black outlines sharp, but your technique sounds like overkill to me. Not to mention the potential for a real visual disconnect: while everything else goes a little soft, the black lines remain sharp: a dead giveaway that something's not right.

If that's the impression you actually seek, you're on the right track.

If that's NOT what you're trying to accomplish, I recommend a test of your technique. Have your illustrator simply slap some watercolors down, and create the outlines in the way you propose. That way, you'll KNOW before you commit to the final, detailed painting and intense work by the illustrator.

The following may apply to photography, but it also sounds like it could apply to painting and line art in this instance, too:

Dave's Stock Answer #2:

When you're out on a shoot, and you say, "we'll fix this in post" without knowing PRECISELY HOW you're going to fix it in post, don't shoot it! You'll only end up shooting it over again.

Since post typically costs three times the cost of production, fixing something in post is not a way to save money, but rather a way to spend more of it.

And, before you say "well fix it in post," always consider who's doing the work, especially if you're the one doing the work.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA

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