We love vector graphics! However, unfortunately, every once in a while we need to RASTERIZE a vector graphic to get it to process through our system. Why is that?

Take this chameleon, for instance:

This is a vector illustration, made up by lots of little vector shapes. Each of those vectors must be processed by the Raster Image Processor (you may have heard this called the RIP) in order to make proofs and plates for printing. Ultimately, everything we print becomes a super high resolution raster image in the final step. Long story, but all printing workflows have a RIP.

Every once in a while, a very complex vector file will overwhelm that process and we will not be able to create proofs and plates.

Notice all of the vector shapes in the outline view of this sweet little chameleon. There are way too many vectors in this illustration and he’s going to jam up the RIP.

Once the RIP gets jammed up, the prepress tech working on the file has to go back and find out what is causing the jam up. When they see that this is a super complex vector file, the solution is to pre-RASTERIZE the file.

Watch the video below to see the process of rasterizing this vector graphic in Adobe Illustrator.

This vector image was obtained from Vecteezy.com, and the original file was fine. In order to make this a super complex file, I duplicated the artwork 6 times and moved it around a little bit, then hid all that mess behind the green background. Vecteezy didn’t produce and unprintable vector, and for the record, no chameleons were harmed in the writing of this post :-).

Want to know more about VECTOR and RASTER graphics?

Chameleon Vectors by Vecteezy

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