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Preserving vector shapes from Illustrator when going to Photoshop

Aug 26, 2013 5:00 PM

Is there a trick to having your vector shapes from illustrator import into Photoshop as (vector) shape layers?

 

I swear I used to be able to do it, but now it's not working. If I remember correctly, you had to keep your layers very simple (with now special Appearance settings, etc) but you could then Export from inside Illustrator to a PSD file (with Preserve editability checked) and when you opened the file in Photoshop you had all your vector shapes from Illustrator as Photoshop vector shape layers.  What I get now is all the shapes on separate layers, but they are all rasterized.

 

FWIW, I know that I can copy and paste paths via the clipboard into Photoshop and then choose to bring them in as Shape Layers, Smart Objects or raster images -- but I'm looking for something simple where I can convert and entire document at once.

 

Thanks

 
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 26, 2013 8:42 PM   in reply to Ziplinski

    Check out the tutorial by Justin Seeley at link below.

     

    http://www.lynda.com/Illustrator-tutorials/Creative-Quick-Tips/117542- 2.html

     
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    Aug 27, 2013 11:47 AM   in reply to Ziplinski

    Which version of Illustrator are you using? Which version of Photoshop?

     

    Is a sample .ai file available?

     
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    Aug 27, 2013 12:22 PM   in reply to Ziplinski

    I had no trouble getting both editable text and paths in Photoshop. Just be sure to turn on Write Layers and both checkboxes below that Maximum Editability and Preserve text editability

     
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    Aug 27, 2013 1:00 PM   in reply to Larry G. Schneider

    Larry, any chance we could get a screen shot?

     
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    Aug 27, 2013 1:30 PM   in reply to elDudereno

    Actually when I checked closer, what are listed as <Path> in PS are just the raster lines and you can add effects but not change the basic structure in PS. Sorry for the confusion. Copy/Paste as Smart Object seems the only way.

     
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    Aug 27, 2013 1:43 PM   in reply to Larry G. Schneider

    There may be other ways.

     

    To check them a sample .ai file has to be provided.

     
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    Aug 27, 2013 2:17 PM   in reply to Ziplinski

    The only way to get a path from Illustrator to Photoshop is copy and paste. And to get it on a shape layer select Shape layer in the Paste options. This will create a new shape layer with the path using the current foreground color. But if when pasting with Path or Shape Layer options, you also have a path  selected on a shape layer in Photoshop then the path from Illustrator will be pasted in in the currently selected shape layer making a compound shape with the existing path/s.

     

    Exporting to Photoshop rasterizes the paths with the selected resolution keeping their original appearance and Preserve Text Editability is available as an option if there is a text without appearance attributes.

     
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    Aug 27, 2013 2:26 PM   in reply to emil emil

    The only way to get a path from Illustrator to Photoshop is copy and paste.

     

    No, there are ways to export to .psd and preserve paths.

     

    Depends on what you have. Therefore a sample .ai file has to be provided.

     
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    Aug 27, 2013 4:03 PM   in reply to Kurt Gold

    Kurt, unless there is an external tool like a script or plugin, I don't see a possibility in Illustrator. I just tried a file with nothing else but a box with black fill and no stroke and it exported as raster. And I also tried it even with no fill and no stroke and I got an empty canvas and no path in PS. I can't think of any simpler test files.

     
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    Aug 27, 2013 4:16 PM   in reply to emil emil

    It needs to be a compound shape.

     
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    Aug 27, 2013 4:38 PM   in reply to Monika Gause

    Thanks Monika,

     

    that worked

    not sure if I will ever need it as smart objects are what I use all the time but it is good to know.

     
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    Aug 28, 2013 8:08 AM   in reply to Ziplinski

    The file has compound paths, but not compound shapes.

     

    Make compound shapes and it will work.

     
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    Aug 28, 2013 8:29 AM   in reply to Monika Gause

    how is that done, and what is the difference between a compound path and a compound shape?

     
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    Aug 28, 2013 9:01 AM   in reply to dissidently

    release the compound paths (select all and press Shift + Ctrl + Alt + 8)

    then select the two red shapes and in the Pathfinder click Minus Front while holding the Alt key on your keyboard.

    repeat for the green shapes.

     

    In the Layer's panel examine the hierarchy of the objects you have now to understand the difference between Compound shapes and Compound paths.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 28, 2013 11:02 AM   in reply to Ziplinski

    Ziplinski,

     

    when asking for a sample file I meant a "real" file, not something based on the suggestions about compound shapes.

     

    If you indeed only have compound paths in your files and if you're going to convert them to compound shapes, it should suffice to use the Make Compound Shape command in the Pathfinder palette menu.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 28, 2013 12:14 PM   in reply to dissidently

    dissidently wrote:

     

    how is that done, and what is the difference between a compound path and a compound shape?

     

    That is explained in the manual.

     
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    Aug 28, 2013 1:37 PM   in reply to Monika Gause

    Given that Illustrator probably has not come with a manual since the 90's, care to be a bit more specific where it might be in this chaos: http://helpx.adobe.com/illustrator/topics.html

     

    ?

     
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    Aug 28, 2013 1:48 PM   in reply to dissidently

    dissidently wrote:

     

    Given that Illustrator probably has not come with a manual since the 90's, care to be a bit more specific where it might be in this chaos: http://helpx.adobe.com/illustrator/topics.html

     

    ?

     

    the search phrease for Google is "Adobe illustrator help" + "what you need to know"

     
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    Aug 28, 2013 1:51 PM   in reply to dissidently

    I do like printed manuals, but if you just follow the link you just provided and use the search input field to search for compound shapes you get a document that explains the main differences pretty well:

     

    http://help.adobe.com/en_US/illustrator/cs/using/WS714a382cdf7d304e7e0 7d0100196cbc5f-6462a.html

     
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    Aug 28, 2013 1:51 PM   in reply to Monika Gause

    Help files and their associated resources are very different to manuals. 

     

    Tutorials are different to manuals.

     

    Reference materials are different to manuals.

     

    Yet Manuals might contain tutorials, help files, associated resrouces and reference materials. 

     

    However the art of producing a manual seems to have been long forgotten at Adobe.

     
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    Aug 28, 2013 1:56 PM   in reply to Kurt Gold

    Have you read that part of that document.

     

    I just did.

     

    At no point does it really explain what the differences are.  It instead talks about them individually.  And attempts, unscuccessfully to point out the superiority of one approach over another.

     

    It does, in fact, use similar ideas with different words to describe the two different things.

     

    Perhaps someone could attempt to abstract out the REAL differences between these THREE types of compound objects.  Surely you'll get a job re-writing Adobe's "documentation" because nobody is doing it right now.

     
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    Aug 28, 2013 2:00 PM   in reply to dissidently

    Perhaps you're all going to need some help, via an example, to help you see just how bad this documentation is:

     

    "

    Compound shapes

    Compound shapes let you combine multiple objects and specify how you want each object to interact with the other objects. Compound shapes are more versatile than compound paths because they provide four kinds of interactions: add, subtract, intersect, and exclude. In addition, the underlying objects are not changed, so you can select each object within a compound shape to edit it or change its interaction mode."

     

    "Compound shapes are more versatile than compound paths because they provide four kinds of interactions: add, subtract, intersect, and exclude." [missing is... THIS IS DIFFERENT IN THAT COMPOUND PATHS ONLY DO ....(fill in the truth, if you know it)]

     

    So, what I'm gathering is that Compound Paths ONLY have Subtract, and its permanent... only it's not a new object, it's a compound object, for reasons that remain a mystery, since there's no ability to the objects separately.  Wouldn't it make more sense to collapse this compound path to a single object, somehow?

     
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    Aug 28, 2013 2:11 PM   in reply to dissidently

    Now I understand. You are looking for a dedicated chapter "What exactly is the difference between compound shapes and compound paths".

     

    You may need a coach.

     

    And perhaps you may forget about your snooty "Perhaps you're all going to need some help" statement.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 28, 2013 2:15 PM   in reply to Kurt Gold

    You're being snooty.

     

    The point is simply this:

     

    Any given document reads in two different ways.

     

    1. The way it may be read by someone that already understands what it is saying.

     

    2. How it reads to someone new to the matter.

     

    You are NOT new to the subject.  So, not at all snootily, I'm pointing out JUST ONE of the many contradictions/absences in logic that might be applied to actually expressing knowledge for those new to it.

     

    After all, this is the point of documentation... right?

     

    Or are you so high and mighty, self involved and utterly belligerent that you're happy being the only one able to discern the knowledge you already know?

     

    Or... you know, you could be helpful and fill in some of the blanks.  There's only about 10 that I can discern, that would take it from an utterly chaotic mess and turn it into a useful document.  You could do that, right?

     

    Probably not.

     

    Better to be a condescending ****, right?

     

    Go for it.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 28, 2013 2:19 PM   in reply to dissidently

    Finished.

     
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    Aug 28, 2013 2:22 PM   in reply to dissidently

    To be honest I don't reed the manual a lot too. I can't learn and remember manuals by reading from cover to cover without working on a specific job. I learn better when I need to do something and feel it could be done easier then I refer to manuals and web input. I learned about the compound shapes probably long after they were introduced and probably read the manual (can't remember) but learned better about compound shapes by just playing around.

    The major reason I would prefer compound shapes over compound paths is flexibility and the reason choosing compound paths is simplicity (less items clutter). The left side is a compound shape and on the right compound path - on the bottom you can see what happens if I decide later to change the shape.

    Capture2.JPG

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 28, 2013 2:24 PM   in reply to emil emil

    Compound shapes are a massively important aspect of vector illustration.

     

    Seeminlgly a perfect example, also, of the mixed paradigms and archaic manners of Illustrator. 

     

    Perhaps Rhino has more different ways of combining objects, but still manages to do it more intuitively than Illustrator.  And yet it's in 3D, and got NURBS to deal with.  Other than that I can't think of any software i've used that makes such a mess of putting objects together.

     

    It's up to you, dear readers, to figure out what they were thinking when they left three different ways to compound objects... and use obscured shortcut keys to make it happen. 

     

    I'm guessing Emil Emil is right, partly.  Combine his approach with a bunch of time for experimentation and it might be possible to divine how compound shapes, paths and Pathfinder effects work.  Maybe.

     
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    Aug 28, 2013 2:26 PM   in reply to emil emil

    This is slightly disingenuous because you're using a different combining method in the bottom example, right?  You could, with compound shapes, achieve exactly the same result in the bottom row, right? 

     
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    Aug 28, 2013 2:33 PM   in reply to dissidently

    dissidently wrote:

     

    So, what I'm gathering is that Compound Paths ONLY have Subtract, and its permanent...

     

    No, that's not the case. Maybe you should read about compound paths as well.

     

    Compound paths are a basic principle of vector graphic software and work the same in about all of them. If you don't like the Illustrator manual, read any other manual or documentation, there's plenty of them. The principle of compound paths is about 20 (?) years old ... older than the web for sure.

     

    Compound paths relate to the fill rules (there's also plenty documentation on that one available). Those fill rules enable you to do more than just subtract.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 28, 2013 2:37 PM   in reply to Monika Gause

    I'm referring to Illustrator.  What they do in Illustrator.  Compound Paths.  In Illustrator.  In which, yes, they've been around, I'm sure, a very long time.

     

    So break it down.  What else can they do, IN ILLUSTRATOR?

     

    THey are different in Illustrator to the way they operate in Corel Draw and 3ds Max and Rhino, I can assure you of that.  They have some very strange unexpected behaviours, for me.  

     

    Perhaps, since they respond the way you expect them to, you could explain what that manner is?

     

    Shouldn't be hard... because, as far as I see, there's only subtract, and a recognition of the "compounding" of non-overlapping "paths".  Again, this is where Illustrator is a little unique.  It calls somethings Paths, with a capital P, and somethings that are shapes it treats as paths with a little p when compounding them, but they're now Paths, once compounded.  Right?

     
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    Aug 28, 2013 2:47 PM   in reply to dissidently

    For pure comedic value, make a minus compound shape from two shapes, then hit the Expand button in the Pathfinder panel. 

     

    Anyone expect that reaction from a button that says EXPAND????

     
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    Aug 28, 2013 2:51 PM   in reply to dissidently

    dissidently wrote:

     

    because, as far as I see, there's only subtract,

     

    Take a look at "fill rules".

     

    And please: explain the "unexpected behaviours" you experience.

     

    For explaining the basics there's the manual. If you have problems applying functions to a specific project, please show the example that doesn't work for you.

     
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    Aug 28, 2013 2:55 PM   in reply to Monika Gause

    Monika... where is the Manual?

     

    So far as I'm aware there is no manual for Adobe products, across the board.  Just a mess of tutorials and help files and some scattered reference docs.  All of which rely on the user having learned the paradigms and terminology somewhere else so that they can then apply the correct lexicon to google searches within the domains of those chaotic "help files".

     

    That wouldn't be funny if it was a technical company making a technical product.

     

    But this is design software.  So the very least you'd expect from a company making design software is that they cohesively design their UI's, and design well layed out (you know... well designed) help files, manuals, tutorial snd reference documentation.  Rather than leaning on their community of users in here and google out there.

     

    See, that's ironic... right?

     
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    Aug 28, 2013 4:37 PM   in reply to dissidently

    Dearest dissidently,

     

    Allow me to answer all the questions and provocations you've posted to date and all the ones you will post:

     

    Illustrator is a hopeless piece of software. Partly it's hopeless because of its machinations, inconveniences, and mysteries. Partly it's hopeless because it hasn't come with a manual in some time. Partly it's hopeless because it's so dominant in the marketplace that dissident voices can be ignored. Partly it's hopeless because asking, "Why does this work this way?" as you so often do, is like asking your mommy, "Why is the sky blue?" There are answers, but your mommy probably doesn't have them.

     

    Now that that's settled – now that you know the answers to your questions before you ask them – there are some smart moves to be made:

     

    1) Change your software. JET and others have pointed out that other software exists which will make evident why the sky is blue. It's important not to say you "can't" change software because of this or that external pressure. If you do, you'll be just like Adobe, justifying why things don't change because of this or that external pressure.

     

    2) Change your screen name. This could help enormously. It won't reduce the imperfections you uncover, but it might imbue you with a more joyous outlook.

     

    3) Change nothing. I for one understand the pleasures of pointing out flaws under cover of asking questions. It's great sport and really easy in the case of Illustrator. And as you've discovered, sometimes unsuspecting forum members will give you accurate and useful answers.

     

    I hope you don't find this post snooty. I have more sympathy than you may realize. But if you feel I've misunderstood your intent, by all means find a way to ask your questions such that so many of us don't get the nagging feeling the question is subordinate to the pleasures of the assault… right? I mean you clearly have the intelligence and the experience to do that.

     
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    Aug 28, 2013 4:46 PM   in reply to Doug Katz

    I really do want to know WHY each individual idiosyncracy is the way it is.  To see if there is some underlying method to the madness.  Or hitherto unseen benefits available from the methodologies and paradigms and approaches used.  Sometimes there are.  THERE MUST BE.

     

    It can't possibly be all this bad.

     

    Can it?

     

    In more specific replies.

     

    1. Yes. I'm now using Corel Designer some of the time for the more fiddly work, and I'm slowly pushing more and more to it.  It's a bit of a process.  So until that's complete I still find more joys in using Illustrator.

     

    2. My screen name won't change my views.  And believe me, I'm enjoying myself.

     

    3. It's not actually about pointing out the flaws for the pleasure or sport it might bring me.  I'm hoping I leave some kind of a roadmap for any others suffering through this same experience.  But yes, it is nice when I get a real answer.  And this might come as a surpirse to you, I really am looking for the best possible answers.

     

    No, don't find it at all snotty.  A little misintentioned.  But then so am I.  But it really isn't an assault on Adobe.  I leave that to experts like JET.  He's got every right to have a good solid crack at Adobe... he got involved enough to be scripting feature additions and cleanup "on their behalf".  That would be maddening in the extreme.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 28, 2013 5:03 PM   in reply to dissidently

    Fair enough. I most certainly do believe you're enjoying yourself. Never really doubted that, even through all the moaning… maybe because of it.

     

    So have at it, friend.

     
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