12 Replies Latest reply: Apr 24, 2014 8:32 AM by ProperTurnip RSS

    Why are some of my pen lines jagged in my color illustration?

    Lennaire

      Hi everyone, I'm having an issue with an illustration that I am working on. It's something that I am doing for myself so it's not anything life altering but it's very annoying.

       

       

      I scanned an ink drawing in illustrator CS3 on a Macbook at a high resolution, I don't remember what that setting was since it was a long while ago, but probably at 300 dpi at least. I then applied a live trace to the drawing to give me more defined line.

       

       

      I then traced the drawing using the pen tool and added fill colors to them to color my drawing.

       

       

      I just opened the file to continue working on it only to find that some of the lines are looking mighty jagged at 100% zoom and above. I have never had this problem before. The original black and white line drawing does not have this problem at all.

       

       

      The problem also seems to be with lines/objects that have both a fill and stroke.

       

       

      Does anyone have any idea what is going on with this illustration?

        • 1. Re: Why are some of my pen lines jagged in my color illustration?
          jdanek Community Member

          Is Anti-Aliased Artwork selected in your Preferences file?  Has the monitor's view resolution been changed?  When you select a line, any line, how may anchor points are used to create that line? Are you talking about straight lines?  Are they vertical or horizontal?  Or are they curved?  Post a screen shot if you can.

          • 2. Re: Why are some of my pen lines jagged in my color illustration?
            Lennaire Community Member

            Yes, anti-aliased is checked. And my macbook's screen resolution is at 1280X800 which I believe is what it has always been set at.

             

            None of these lines can be considered straight actually so they are all either curves or slight curves. Some lines are straighter than others and not all of the lines seems to be affected. All of these lines were created by the pen tool and some lines were only manipulated minimally by dragging points in or out.

             

            I have posted two images. The first is a screenshot from illustrator at 100% zoom. You can see the pixelation ot jagged lines clearly at the sides of the bodies, shoulders and fins.

             

            The second image is at 200% and you can still see the jagged lines where I mentioned before.

             

            Picture 2.png

             

             

            Picture 3.png

            • 3. Re: Why are some of my pen lines jagged in my color illustration?
              Jacob Bugge CommunityMVP

              Lennaire,

               

              I see the same size of jaggedness in both screenshots, so I believe it is just the screen rendering.

               

              How are things looking if you save as PDF and look in Reader, or if you print?

              • 4. Re: Why are some of my pen lines jagged in my color illustration?
                Lennaire Community Member

                Jacob,

                 

                I have saved the image as a PDF and checked it out in Reader and the lines are still jagged there.

                 

                I haven't printed it yet since my printer has decided to die on me.

                 

                It won't seem to let me post the PDF here but if needed I can put it on Dropbox.

                 

                I'm going to have someone print out the pdf for me and see what happens though.

                 

                Here's a screenshot of what the PDF looks like at 100% on my HP laptop. As you can see the lines are still jagged.

                 

                Merman.PNG

                • 5. Re: Why are some of my pen lines jagged in my color illustration?
                  John Mensinger CommunityMVP

                  Inescapably, your screen renders the artwork in pixels. It can't display a perfectly smooth diagonal line.

                  • 6. Re: Why are some of my pen lines jagged in my color illustration?
                    Lennaire Community Member

                    John,

                     

                    Did you read that when I exported the file as a PDF that the jagged lines are still there and that the original scanned artwork that I used does not display jagged lines? And also that this has never displayed this was before?

                     

                    Vector images should not show jagged lines no matter what.

                     

                    It's not just the laptop display I'm working on either. The PDF file shows jagged lines on my PC and on my friends workd PC.

                    • 7. Re: Why are some of my pen lines jagged in my color illustration?
                      jdanek Community Member

                      Enlarge an area where you see jaggies.  Select the art in that area and do a screen grab while it is selected.  Then, we can see the anchor points.  It could be there are too many anchor points, making the line appear jaggy.

                      • 8. Re: Why are some of my pen lines jagged in my color illustration?
                        Lennaire Community Member

                        As you can see in this first image there are only three acnhor points on the selected segment since I used the pen tool and not the pencil tool.

                         

                        Picture 1.png

                         

                        In this second photo you can clearly see that the uper segment of the line is very jagged/pixelated while the segment below that is a lot smoother. You can also see the normal amount of pixelation on that segment as well and the top line is a lot worse.

                         

                         

                        Picture 2.png

                        • 9. Re: Why are some of my pen lines jagged in my color illustration?
                          dougofakkad CommunityMVP

                          it's just pixels. but the red seems to render smoother than the purple. no idea why.

                           

                          Untitled-1.jpg

                          • 10. Re: Why are some of my pen lines jagged in my color illustration?
                            John Mensinger CommunityMVP

                            John,

                             

                            Did you read that when I exported the file as a PDF that the jagged lines are still there and that the original scanned artwork that I used does not display jagged lines?

                             

                            Yes, of course. I read everything you posted.

                             

                            And also that this has never displayed this was before?

                             

                            I can't account for what you may or may not have noticed...this way...before.

                             

                            Vector images should not show jagged lines no matter what.

                             

                            On the contrary; it's impossible for a monitor to render every angle with perfect smoothness. I stand by my original assertion. Everything on every pixel-based computer display is displayed as pixels. In that respect, vectors and rasters are no different. (The on-screen appearance of) Vectors at certain angles will always exhibit a jagged edge...no matter what. Various angular thresholds render more jagged or less jagged, so it's more and less obvious in different areas.

                             

                            It's not just the laptop display I'm working on either. The PDF file shows jagged lines on my PC and on my friends workd PC.

                             

                            Yes, that reinforces my previous statement.

                             

                            There is nothing in the contents of your screenshots that constitutes malfunction. Your vectors and my vectors and everyone's vectors look that way on-screen. You've demonstrated that it isn't a raster effect or a product of many anchor points, or any mechanical error. I make technical illustrations all day that exhibit similar areas of jaggedness on-screen. It's a simple characteristic of the hardware; nothing more.

                            • 11. Re: Why are some of my pen lines jagged in my color illustration?
                              Lennaire Community Member

                              Here's an image of the same area shown in the other photos zoomed in at 6400%, as far as it will allow me  to zoom in.

                               

                              If the area that you have shown is just the normal pixelation from the display, why is the purple line immediately below the "line break" and the pixelated line rendering so much smoother?

                               

                              Picture 3.png

                              • 12. Re: Why are some of my pen lines jagged in my color illustration?
                                ProperTurnip

                                Hey John, you seem to know whats up with the jagged lines associated with adding color. I have also hit this issue and can't seem to fix it.  I understand the computer pixalation issue and that it should be smooth when printed but the project I am working on will probably never see paper. I need it to look good on a digital screen. Do you have any tips on making the lines not appear jagged on screen? I don't want to sound dramatic and say my life depends on it but my portfolio sure does.  So transitive property; my life depends on it.

                                 

                                Many thanks in advance,

                                -Jake

                                 

                                Screenshot 2014-04-24 11.23.33.png

                                See the folds in the cloth have obtained little white pixel halos...