How to create vector graphics In Photoshop?


Question

I know people prefer using CorelDraw or Adobe Illustrator, but I want to know if there is a technique I can follow to use Adobe Photoshop to make vector Images.

1
14
2/25/2016 11:02:00 PM

Accepted Answer

TL;DR: Photoshop can not create true vector images. This is a very common misconception.

Think of it like a car. -- Can you go 4-wheeling with a Toyota Prius? Sure you can! Is it going to do all the things a Jeep Wrangler can do? Heck no. There's a reason you need to use a 4-wheel drive vehicle to go 4-wheeling, just as there's a reason you need to use a vector application to create vector files.


Regardless of how you create a file and save it, Photoshop always saves both vector and raster information. This is unlike any true vector application.

You can't create vector files with Photoshop. You can only create raster files with some embedded vector data. This means there may be a vector square and its edges will remain sharp and crisp, however if that square has a gradient fill. That gradient fill is raster entirely and it will suffer upon some scaling.

Applications such as Illustrator, Inkscape, CorelDraw, Xara, Sketch, etc. actually can contain only 100% resolution independent vector data. It's not a matter of "people preferring" to use a vector application. It's required if you want a true vector file in the end.

This is not to say that the vector tools within Photoshop are overall inferior, they are not. Yes you can draw with the vector tools in Photoshop and create vector content. But in order to get the real benefit of that vector content in Photoshop, you have to always use Photoshop for all future alterations. When you enlarge or transform a vector container within Photoshop, Photoshop interpolates the interior raster data to suit the transformation. That interpolation does not happen outside of Photoshop. So, after exporting/saving you can scale something like a Photoshop EPS, the vector edges will scale and remain crisp because they are vector, but the interpolation of the raster data does not happen outside of Photoshop. So "broken pixels" are entirely possible with a Photoshop EPS even though you used vector tools. This issue arises when you save the file or export it. In all vector-capable formats - PDF, EPS, PSD - Photoshop creates a raster file with embedded vector data. Photoshop does not create a vector file. This is entirely unlike actual vector-based applications.

For production purposes, this difference may be largely unimportant if you are already working at a high ppi in Photoshop. But a user should be aware that simply using Photoshop's vector tools and saving as an EPS/PDF does not create vector files using any currently available version of Photoshop (CC2017 is the most recent).

I realize some users want Photoshop to create vector files because that means they don't need to learn a new application to generate a new file format. However, there's no way around it. If you want actual vector files, you must use an actual vector application. Photoshop is and always has been a raster application, hence "photo" in its name.

24
3/25/2018 9:28:00 PM

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