Highlighted

Placing artwork in illustrator

New Here ,
Oct 10, 2020

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

I am creating a cookbook for print.  My publisher has an InDesign plug-in so the end product will be in that format. However,  I am laying out the book in Illustrator because the majority of the artwork is manipulated text.  In addition to the manipulated text, I am adding artwork that I am creating in Procreate and exporting into Photoshop (as a psd).  From Photoshop, I place the artwork into Illustrator.

 

I am wondering if the following method of getting desired results is a good one.  I don’t want to inadvertently do something that impacts the quality of my art images.  My art style is crisp black outlines using various paint effects for the rest of the subject.  I was not happy with how my outlines were losing the desired crispness once I place them in Illustrator.  As I mentioned before, I create the artwork in Procreate and then export them as psd files into Photoshop.  From there, I create one file that is the black outlines converted to a smart object.  I create another file that is the rest of the image converted to a smart object.  I then place both into an Illustrator document as 2 layers.  I image trace the black outline layer.  Then I group it with the other layer.  From there I place it into my actual page layout in Illustrator.  It seems to be doing a good job accomplishing my goal of crisp lines filled with the desired paint effects, but I need someone that knows way more than me to let me know if I am doing something that will get unintended results.  

Any other suggestions as to how to minimize the hit on quality would be greatly appreciated.  I’ve read that rotating, reducing, etc. can all impact this.  (I was hoping that converting the artwork to a smart object would avoid this.)  

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by Anna Lander | Adobe Community Professional

1. Yes, it's OK to copy/paste the group of objects inside Illustrator. AI is their native space, they have the same circumstances and working rules. When you copy the linked raster image from one AI doc and paste it into another one, it automatically re-links to a new place. And vector objects (your traced layer) travel between AI docs like you go from one room in your house to another one 🙂

You have to place (import) AI pages into InDesign, but inside Illustrator you can copy/paste anything doubtlessly.

 

2. Yes, you can feel free to transform your artwork in AI after tracing the outlines (I hope you don't forget to Expand the tracing result 🙂 ). 

- The raster part will be distorted a bit, but as little as possible because for final performance AI reads the original image from disk, not the result of previous transformation. Wether you increase or decrease size, or rotate, or shear — it always reads the original image at each step. And as you don't need the extra crispness for this part, it's OK.

- And your outlines are already vectorized at this moment, so, as I told before, they are always crisp. You can transform them any way, as you want and need.

TOPICS
How to

Views

131

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more

Placing artwork in illustrator

New Here ,
Oct 10, 2020

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

I am creating a cookbook for print.  My publisher has an InDesign plug-in so the end product will be in that format. However,  I am laying out the book in Illustrator because the majority of the artwork is manipulated text.  In addition to the manipulated text, I am adding artwork that I am creating in Procreate and exporting into Photoshop (as a psd).  From Photoshop, I place the artwork into Illustrator.

 

I am wondering if the following method of getting desired results is a good one.  I don’t want to inadvertently do something that impacts the quality of my art images.  My art style is crisp black outlines using various paint effects for the rest of the subject.  I was not happy with how my outlines were losing the desired crispness once I place them in Illustrator.  As I mentioned before, I create the artwork in Procreate and then export them as psd files into Photoshop.  From there, I create one file that is the black outlines converted to a smart object.  I create another file that is the rest of the image converted to a smart object.  I then place both into an Illustrator document as 2 layers.  I image trace the black outline layer.  Then I group it with the other layer.  From there I place it into my actual page layout in Illustrator.  It seems to be doing a good job accomplishing my goal of crisp lines filled with the desired paint effects, but I need someone that knows way more than me to let me know if I am doing something that will get unintended results.  

Any other suggestions as to how to minimize the hit on quality would be greatly appreciated.  I’ve read that rotating, reducing, etc. can all impact this.  (I was hoping that converting the artwork to a smart object would avoid this.)  

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by Anna Lander | Adobe Community Professional

1. Yes, it's OK to copy/paste the group of objects inside Illustrator. AI is their native space, they have the same circumstances and working rules. When you copy the linked raster image from one AI doc and paste it into another one, it automatically re-links to a new place. And vector objects (your traced layer) travel between AI docs like you go from one room in your house to another one 🙂

You have to place (import) AI pages into InDesign, but inside Illustrator you can copy/paste anything doubtlessly.

 

2. Yes, you can feel free to transform your artwork in AI after tracing the outlines (I hope you don't forget to Expand the tracing result 🙂 ). 

- The raster part will be distorted a bit, but as little as possible because for final performance AI reads the original image from disk, not the result of previous transformation. Wether you increase or decrease size, or rotate, or shear — it always reads the original image at each step. And as you don't need the extra crispness for this part, it's OK.

- And your outlines are already vectorized at this moment, so, as I told before, they are always crisp. You can transform them any way, as you want and need.

TOPICS
How to

Views

132

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
Oct 10, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 10, 2020

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

So what kind of file format do you deliver for printing? An INDD file?

As far as I understand correctly what you are doing there, your artwork should stay vector artwork.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
Reply
Loading...
Oct 10, 2020 0
New Here ,
Oct 10, 2020

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

The file format for printing will be INDD.  But I am laying the pages out entirely in Illustrator and copying and pasting into InDesign.  I worked out this part of the process with your wonderful help a few months ago!

 

So my original artwork is not vector artwork.  It is raster.  I draw in Procreate on my Ipad and export it to Photoshop as a psd file.  My style is crisp black outlines (with lines that vary in width), but I like the style of raster painting as opposed to vector.  When I just placed the psd images in Illustrator, I was losing the desired crispness in my outlines.  (Once I place my artwork, I resize and rotate as part of the design process.)  So my solution is to separate the outlines from my drawings and trace them to get the crisp vector lines.  The rest of the artwork remains raster.   Does this seem like a good solution to get the desired effect of crisp outlines?  I convert both the outlines and the remaining artwork into smart objects before placing them into Illustrator.  Is this the right thing to do?   

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
Reply
Loading...
Oct 10, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 10, 2020

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

But then you image trace that placed artwork, right?

 

If you later copy and paste complete pages into InDesign, you might run into issues, because there's a limit for copy and paste: 500 paths.

 

So you might need to save files and place them into InDesign.

Or place a multipage PDF: https://indesignsecrets.com/placing-all-the-pages-of-a-pdf-inside-indesign.php

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
Reply
Loading...
Oct 10, 2020 0
New Here ,
Oct 10, 2020

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

I am only image tracing the outlines and keeping the rest as a raster image.  I like the crisp vector look of the outlines but also like the subtle color variation and highlights that I can achieve with raster images for the rest of the artwork.  So each piece of artwork is two layers:  the black outlines that I image trace and the raster image for the color.  Is there anything wrong with doing it this way?  Also, before placing in Illustrator, I convert the black outlines and the remainder of the art (the color) into 2 smart objects.  

 

Thanks for the warning about copying and pasting.  I just looked at my notes and we did work out that I should place (not copy and paste) the Illustrator pages.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
Reply
Loading...
Oct 10, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 10, 2020

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Clear a bit please.

What format should you give to the publisher? Actually, InDesign is an intermediate program as well as Illustrator. You can save multipage PDF file for printing directly from AI. Or you prepare each page as a separate file and finally collect all in InDesign?

 

Considering the quality, there are some general issues based on the raster/vector nature.

As you might know, raster graphics is the set of small squares (sometimes rectangles, but now we won't look at them) — pixels. They allow us to create very impressive, smooth-colored or hi-detailed images, but they are extremely sensitive to any transformations such as scaling and rotation, cause the amount of pixels is limited and changing their positions requires the program to find the way to fill the gaps. Using Smart objects decrease the problem but does not eliminate it.

If you draw the crisp line in the raster image (e.g. 300ppi resolution), your quality limit is a point size 1 in/300.

On the other hand, vector graphics is based on paths — lines, created technically by math formulas. They are always crisp. Their quality don't depend on any transformations. Their limit is approximately 1 in/2500. Much better. But there are some problems with color transitions and tiny details.

 

So, your idea to keep the colored parts raster and trace the outlines is absolutely correct. 

You even don't need to separate the outline and the color group to the different layers in AI, the tracing operation will work just with selected image. You even can do this in the actual artwork, but it's up to you.

 

But what is really important, is to NOT copy/past the artwork elements directly to InDesign. Copy/past is not so harmless operation as it seems, especially for complex objects. If you need to place the artwork into InDesign (I see, the AI file with many artboards with complex compositions may become huge and slow 🙂 ), save each artboard as AI or PDF and import it in InDesign like you would do with any photo. Then all the quality will be kept fine and you can if necessary edit it any moment in AI.

 

NB. You can be upset by the image performance looking at it in InDesign. Don't worry, it's just a preview. If you want to check its real quality, use View > Display Performance > High Quality display. But remember that this mode heavily charges the system, so use it just for check, not for the entire work.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
Reply
Loading...
Oct 10, 2020 0
New Here ,
Oct 10, 2020

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Thank you!  I have a few more questions, then will have the confidence to sally forth!

 

The publisher has an InDesign plug in so that is why I am using it as my final stopping point.  I am preparing each page in a separate file in Illustrator and collecting it in InDesign.  Each page is laid out exactly as I want it in Illustrator.  I will be careful not to cut/paste the artwork elements.  I am totally unfamiliar with InDesign, so when you say to import the pages as I would any photo, do you mean place?

 

I have questions about your suggestion: "You even don't need to separate the outline and the color group to the different layers in AI, the tracing operation will work just with selected image. You even can do this in the actual artwork, but it's up to you."  I'm not sure how to accompish this....I don't know how to trace only part of my artwork in Illustrator as it is just one psd layer once I place it.  Or is it something that I can do in Photoshop?  (I've outlined my workflow below so you can see what it is that I am missing.)

 

Can you please tell me what you would change in my current workflow?  I would love to make this more efficient if possible:   I create the artwork on my Ipad in Procreate and I create it a bit larger than I need.  Before sending, I merge all the outlines on one layer, and all the remaining color artwork on another unless I have additional work to do in Photoshop (usually involving masking patterns or using a particular brush.)   I then send it to Photoshop as a psd file, and do any additional work there including making the two final layers smart objects.  I create a separate psd file for each of the layers.   Then I place both psd files into it's own Illustrator file separate from my page layout file because the page layouts get quite large AND I often use the same image on more than one page.  I then image trace the outline layer. Then I place the entire image (which consists of an image traced layer and the color raster layer) in the page layout document. (I was copying and pasting, but I won't do that anymore!)   Once in there, I scale and rotate.   

 

Your comment about copying and pasting has me wondering about my other workflow method.  I mentioned that much of my artwork is manipulated texted that I create in Illustrator.  I use the same word, for instance, COOK, in many of the pages.  I copy and paste it, sometimes multiple times, on the individual pages that I am creating in Illustrator. Is it okay to copy and paste vector images from one document to another and/or within the same document, or should I be placing them as well?

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
Reply
Loading...
Oct 10, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 10, 2020

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Well, InDesign in its basics quite similar to Illustrator, so you will not have big difficulties with it.

1. When you create a new doc, set the doc intent (Print in your case), page size, amount of pages and turn Facing pages option On. This will create the normal book-styled document. Important: If your background is not white (any bg color, or  artworks which go closely to the page edge), you have to use Bleed (some extra space around the page for better cutting). I hope your publisher told you about this detail. If background is white and there are margins around the content, this step is niot needed. Since the doc is ready, you can use File > Place (Ctrl/Cmd + D) command to add the image. AI and PDF files are available for import the same way as any other graphics.

 

2. From you description I thought that you make 2 files for each artwork: the outlines file and the color group file. If it's right, you can import the both into your working AI file and put them on the same layer (unlike Photoshop, Illustrator has 2 structure levels — layers and object stakes on each layer). So, you can put the PSDs on the same layer, "Outline" above the "Colors", align them carefully, select the "Outlines" and trace it. As "Colors" is another image, it will not traced.

 

3. I meant "not to copy/pasting from Illustrator to InDesign". Inside Illustrator you can do it doubtless 🙂

 

4. Your current workflow is a bit too complex. The first part (Procreate -> Photoshop) is fine. But then you make some unnecessary steps.

  • You need smart objects only if you want to transform your images in Photoshop. Any transformations in Illustrator don't need them because if you import the PSD as a linked image (recommended!), AI reads the original PSD from disk and don't lose information. So, if you don't plan to scale or rotate the arts in Photoshop, you can skip the Smart objects creating. But saving each layer to its own file is a good idea, it helps to control the process better.
  • You don't need to create a separate AI file for each PSD layer. As I said above, just create AI with the needed size and import there both PSDs (File > Place, Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+P), align them and trace the "Outline" one. Then you can group them and copy/past to your page in Illustrator. It's safe and correct.
  • Yes, you can copy and paste vector images between docs inside Illustrator, just don't do it from AI to InDesign. If you have to put some details to the same places in different docs, you can use Edit > Paste in Place command instead of usual Ctrl/Cmd+V. 

 

If you will need any explanations about InDesign, just ask and I'll help you.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
Reply
Loading...
Oct 10, 2020 0
New Here ,
Oct 10, 2020

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

This info is great and is really going to make my project so much better!  Thank you for all your time and spot on advice!

 

I'm clear on almost everything and am happy to eliminate unnecessary steps!  I want to make sure tht I am doing my transformations at the right spot in my workflow.  Once I save my two layers into two separate psd files, then I place both of them in a new AI file where I align them and trace the outline layer, then group and copy/paste* to my layout page in Illustrator.  It is at this point that I scale and rotate.  (I don't really know what size I'm going to need or the rotation I desire until I see it on this layout page.)  Is this okay?

 

*Also, I'd like to confirm that it is okay to copy/paste and not place the AI file that has both an image traced outline layer and a raster layer.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
Reply
Loading...
Oct 10, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 11, 2020

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

1. Yes, it's OK to copy/paste the group of objects inside Illustrator. AI is their native space, they have the same circumstances and working rules. When you copy the linked raster image from one AI doc and paste it into another one, it automatically re-links to a new place. And vector objects (your traced layer) travel between AI docs like you go from one room in your house to another one 🙂

You have to place (import) AI pages into InDesign, but inside Illustrator you can copy/paste anything doubtlessly.

 

2. Yes, you can feel free to transform your artwork in AI after tracing the outlines (I hope you don't forget to Expand the tracing result 🙂 ). 

- The raster part will be distorted a bit, but as little as possible because for final performance AI reads the original image from disk, not the result of previous transformation. Wether you increase or decrease size, or rotate, or shear — it always reads the original image at each step. And as you don't need the extra crispness for this part, it's OK.

- And your outlines are already vectorized at this moment, so, as I told before, they are always crisp. You can transform them any way, as you want and need.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
Reply
Loading...
Oct 11, 2020 0
New Here ,
Oct 11, 2020

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Excellent!  I really appreciate that you not only clearly explained what to do, but why.  I feel like I understand Illustrator and Photoshop a bit better now!  And I'm so glad that you mentioned to Expand the tracing result because I wouldn't have.....it is a new process for me and I didn't know any better.  Thank you so much!

 

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community Guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
Reply
Loading...
Oct 11, 2020 0