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Submitted on
November 16, 2010
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Photoshop: Vector or Vexel? by VAngelLJ Photoshop: Vector or Vexel? by VAngelLJ
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Here I am explaining the difference between the pen tool settings to see whether you are working with vector or raster in Photoshop.

This tutorial is a visual supplement to the 'Did You Know..?' box on my userpage, which is quoted in full below.

There are quite a few people who are confused by the various settings and there are those who think that anything created in Photoshop has to be vexel while Illustrator is the program people use for vector. The latter is true, people do use that a lot, but Photoshop is perfectly capable of creating vector images.

You will need
:bulletpink: Photoshop 7 +
:bulletpink: Enough pen tool knowledge to make a shape or [use the rectangle tool].

Did You Know..?
"In Photoshop, just because you have used the pen tool to create something, it does not necessarily mean it is a vector - and it also does not necessarily mean it is vexel just because it was done in Photoshop and not in Illustrator.

The pen tool has two options in this respect, which are called "Shape layers" and "Paths". If you are using the shape layers setting, you are indeed making vector shapes, if you're using the paths setting, you are making raster layers, which are made out of pixels and do not have the vector qualities of scalability.

If you are unsure whether you're making vector shapes or layers, here are three simple ways to tell the difference while you're working:

1. Look at the pen tool setting - is it set to shapes, or is it set to paths? Hover over the selected icon to find out.
2. Resize your picture to about 50-100 pixels across - make it really small. Then resize it again back to its originial size. If the quality has been damaged in any way, you are not using vector shapes.
3. Start a new path. Does it automatically create a new shape layer or are you still working on the layer you previously had selected? If it is the latter, you are not working with vector shape layers.

Lastly, if you merge any layers or add any Photoshop filters, your image will no longer be a vector. You can use layer effects such as 'gradient overlay' and 'stroke' which you find in the FX menu beneath your list of layers. Why? These will scale along with the vector shapes, but filters (noise, lens flare, texture) will not.

Here endeth the lesson!"
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Daily Deviation

Given 2010-11-18
Ever wanted to know what the difference is between a vexel and a vector? Well Photoshop: Vector or Vexel? by =VAngelLJ shows you just that in this handy tutorial! ( Suggested by jussta and Featured by shelldevil )
CameronKobe Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh my gosh, this is so useful. I have tried so many times to get clarity on this subject!
VAngelLJ Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm glad you found it helpful ^^
guko9909 Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012
Thanks for the info. :)
VAngelLJ Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Arashix Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you :)
fazerT Featured By Owner May 15, 2012
perfect explanation - made a lot of sense and the examples worked for me no trouble. The part where I was going wrong previously is not understanding the significance of the little hollow button as opposed to the button with the pen nib in it. simple now you point it out :D

Many thanks!
VAngelLJ Featured By Owner May 17, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm glad it helped ^^
HeroTheHedgefox Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
i have cs3 and the vector didnt work.
VAngelLJ Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You'll have to give me a bit more info than that if you want my help ;p In what way didn't it work? I don't have CS5 yet so you'll have to provide me with a screenshot, if possible.
HeroTheHedgefox Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
well, i have cs3, which looks like the program used in this tut.

anyway, i do all the steps to make a vector(vector mask, pen toll shape layer, etc.), and when i finish all of the stuff i need to do, its all pixelly.
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