Illustrator: Grain Effect makes round objects pixelated


I would like to apply an effect to the whole artboard (all elements), so that the colors don't look too monotone.

It should look like this (found it here):

enter image description here

I think this effect is called Grain. So I selected all elements in my artboard and went Effect > Texture > Grain.

Now I have two problems:

(1) Round objects look pixelated

This is how it looks in Illustrator: enter image description here

When I export it, it looks better, but still more pixelated than without the grain effect:

enter image description here

(2) The file size increases enormously

Without the grain effect the picture with circle and rectangle has 7KB. With the effect 326KB.


How can I solve these two problems? Should I export it without an effect, and apply it in another program? And is this effect even called grain?

Summarized: What should I do to get the same effect like in the referenced picture, while keeping a "small" export size and having smooth round objects?

4/1/2016 12:49:00 PM

Accepted Answer

1. Create a new layer above your artwork.

enter image description here

2. Create a shape over the whole artboard (or the area you want the texture applied to).

3. Apply your Grain (Effects → Texture → Grain).

enter image description here

4. With your textured shape selected, open the transparency palette (Window → Transparency) and change the blending mode.

Different blending modes will have different results. I suggest starting with Multiply.

enter image description here

You can use whatever color layer you want, white will work but I usually go for a slight off-white but it completely depends on the effect you want.

If you only want the texture applied to a certain area just mask off the texture.

The file size is increasing because Grain is a raster effect, you are basically embedding a raster image in your Illustrator file. You can just as easily (and I often do) create the image in Photoshop (or your preferred image editing program) and place it in your Illustrator file as a linked file. This solves the file size problem, but you now also have 2 files to worry about.

You can achieve the same effect by using a textured image.

4/1/2016 2:54:00 PM