13 Replies Latest reply on Sep 13, 2009 12:18 PM by Wade_Zimmerman

    New to illustrator need help with bitmaps and vector

    msaunders26

      HI there

       

      I have some images that have been taken with a 8mega pixel camera and the image has been taken off the background and put on a tranparent background.

       

      The image is a bitmap and when it is added to powerpoint it looks great buit when I save the powerpoint presentation as a PDF the edges of the image look awful, all pixelated.

       

      So I have now opened the image in Illustrator and convert it to a vector and it looks good but when I save the illustrator file as I PDF it looks awful again.

       

      What Am I doing wrong?

       

      I have attached the PDF

        • 1. Re: New to illustrator need help with bitmaps and vector
          Jacob Bugge MVP & Adobe Community Professional

          m,

           

          I have some images that have been taken with a 8mega pixel camera and the image has been taken off the background and put on a tranparent background.

           

          How?

           

           

          The image is a bitmap and when it is added to powerpoint it looks great buit when I save the powerpoint presentation as a PDF the edges of the image look awful, all pixelated.

           

          So I have now opened the image in Illustrator and convert it to a vector and it looks good but when I save the illustrator file as I PDF it looks awful again.

           

          How have you converted it?

           

          What Am I doing wrong?

           

          I have attached the PDF

           

          I am unable to open it in Illy 10 nd Acxrobat 5, the message says the file was damaged.

           

          Can you post an image of the appearance in Illy and in PDF, using the Camera icon to avoid qeueing?

           

          Answers may help the helpers.

          • 2. Re: New to illustrator need help with bitmaps and vector
            msaunders26 Level 1

            I used photoshop cs4 to get the image onto a transparent background then copied it into Illustrator.

             

            I convert the llustrator file to PDf byclick save as in Illustrator and selecting PDF

             

            I have attached the PDF ina .zip

            • 3. Re: New to illustrator need help with bitmaps and vector
              Jacob Bugge MVP & Adobe Community Professional

              m,

               

              I used photoshop cs4 to get the image onto a transparent background then copied it into Illustrator.

               

              As a PSD file?

               

               

              I convert the llustrator file to PDf byclick save as in Illustrator and selecting PDF

               

              I have attached the PDF ina .zip

               

              I am still unable to open it, same message.

              • 4. Re: New to illustrator need help with bitmaps and vector
                msaunders26 Level 1

                Yeah a PSD file.

                 

                I think am not setting the correct settings when the illustrator file is saved as a PDF.

                 

                I get this dialog box when I save as a PDF

                 

                What settings do I need to set for images to look good

                • 5. Re: New to illustrator need help with bitmaps and vector
                  Jacob Bugge MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                  m,

                   

                  There is nothing wrong with the setting; they are not causing my opening issue. The file would be smaller without the editing capabilities, but those may be convenient for whoever is able to open the PDF.

                   

                  Still, a few images showing the issue would be nice.

                  • 6. Re: New to illustrator need help with bitmaps and vector
                    msaunders26 Level 1

                    Here is a image showing the PDF, one image is a bitmap and the other one is vector.

                     

                    The vector looks horrible

                    • 7. Re: New to illustrator need help with bitmaps and vector
                      Jacob Bugge MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                      m,

                       

                      The vector looks horrible

                       

                      I agree, but how did you convert it?

                       

                      Can you post a screenshot of it selected (using the Camera icon to avoid queueing)?

                      • 8. Re: New to illustrator need help with bitmaps and vector
                        msaunders26 Level 1

                        Inside Illustrator I clicked save as and select PDF then a dialog box came up where I could select settings for the PDF but I did not know what to select so Iclick OK and then the PDF was created

                        • 9. Re: New to illustrator need help with bitmaps and vector
                          Jacob Bugge MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                          I mean: how did you convert from raster to vector?

                           

                          The screenshot might show something about the appearance/properties of the vector artwork.

                          • 10. Re: New to illustrator need help with bitmaps and vector
                            JETalmage Level 6

                            > I used photoshop cs4 to get the image onto a transparent background then copied it into Illustrator.

                             

                            > As a PSD file?

                             

                            > Yeah a PSD file.

                             

                            Since when does PowerPoint import native Photoshop format?

                             

                            > What Am I doing wrong?

                             

                            Everything.

                             

                            So far as I can tell from your incomplete description of what you are doing and why, this is what you are doing:

                             

                            1. You masked an image in Photoshop, intending to use it in PowerPoint. You left it grossly oversampled for that purpose.

                             

                            2. You imported the image into PowerPoint. But you don't say in what format. Your mention of 8-bit masking implies a format that supports 8-bit alpha masking. But the image reeks of what looks to me like JPEG artifacts, and JPEG doesn't support that. You say the image "looks great" in PowerPoint. But nothing in your file or screenshot suggests anything other than a white background. Did you think you made the background "transparent" and then save the image as a JPEG?

                             

                            3. You then exported the PowerPoint to a PDF. That process converts the image to a JPEG. So, if my suspicion is correct you have now:

                             

                            1. Taken a photo with a digital camera. That most likely means JPEG.

                             

                            2. Opened the image in Photoshop. Saved it as JPEG.

                             

                            3. Imported to PowerPoint. Exported to PDF. Contains JPEG.

                             

                            Count the "JPEGs" in the above. Each time you re-save an image as a JPEG, it degrades. JPEG is, by definition, a lossy compression format. That's one reason why the photo looks like crap.

                             

                            4. You open the PDF in Acrobat and are disappointed in the appearance.

                             

                            5. In a futile attempt to improve the results, you then decided to auto-trace the image in Illustrator (?!) Your auto-trace settings tried to make separate paths around every JPEG artifact in the image.

                             

                            6. You export to PDF. You open the PDF in Acrobat and are again disappointed with the results. The auto-trace looks crappy in Acrobat because of Acrobat's anti-aliasing. You're seeing antialiasing artifacts around all the paths that were drawn by auto-trace settings that tried to draw paths around all the JPEG artifacts in the image.

                             

                            So...

                             

                            Forget everything you've done and start over. Before proceeding, answer these questions:

                             

                            • What is the purpose for starting this in PowerPoint? Are you doing a PowerPoint presentation or not?

                             

                            • What do you intend to use the PDF for?

                             

                            Then someone can tell you how to proceed properly, without all this aimless and exasperated experimentation.

                             

                            For future reference, remember these principles:

                             

                            • Auto-tracing does not "convert" a raster image to a vector drawing. It just tries to draw paths around regions of same-colored pixels. There is no "magic bullet" in this. There is no free ride. You NEVER gain deail or accuracy or clarity in doing this. "Garbage in, garbage out" applies. There is no advantage in auto-tracing a photo like this (at least not using the settings you used). You're just trading one kind of ugly artifacting for another.

                             

                            • You don't need high-resolution images for anything that you should properly be using PowerPoint for. You're just bloating your file to no advantage. If you have a legitimate need for higher-than-monitor resolution, PowerPoint should not be anywhere in your workflow between the start of the project and whatever high-res output you need.

                             

                            • Never repeatedly save images in JPEG format.

                             

                            • If you need to simply erase a "background" of a photo that's just going to be used on a white background, don't make the "background" pixels "transparent." Just make them white. Don't save as JPEG.

                             

                            • If you do need to use 8-bit masking (so-called "transparency") for use in PowerPoint, use PNG format. If you need it for commercial printing, use PSD (native Photoshop) format, and forget PowerPoint; build your pages in a program capable of properly building files for commercial printing.

                             

                            • If you want a PDF with higher-than-monitor resolution, but do not need it for commercial printing, import PNG into Illustrator (not PowerPoint) and save the PDF from Illustrator.

                             

                            JET

                            • 11. Re: New to illustrator need help with bitmaps and vector
                              msaunders26 Level 1

                              HI there

                               

                              This is the situation

                               

                              My Dad is trying to make a brochure for his company. He only knows how to use Microsoft office programs so he has started to make the brochure in powerpoint.

                               

                              He asked me a while ago how to have images with transparent backgrounds, so I showed him how to use the Pen tool in Photoshop to select the product in the image and then copy the selection and paste into a new Photoshop document with a transparent background.

                               

                              Once he had the product on a transparent background he then saves the file a png to keep the transparency and imports the png into powerpoint.

                               

                              Once he has finished creating the page in powerpoint he then exports the page into a PDF format by click on print in powerpoint and select Adobe PDF and it then saves.

                               

                              When he opens the PDF the images he made in Photoshop have every pixelated edges and look awful. I have told my dad that doing the layout in powerpoint is not the best way. After looking on the internet I have found a lot of people saying the best app to use to create the layout would be Indesign.

                               

                              The aim is to create a brochure that can then be turned into a PDF with nice looking images.

                               

                               

                              Thanks

                              • 12. Re: New to illustrator need help with bitmaps and vector
                                JETalmage Level 6

                                > The aim is to create a brochure that can then be turned into a PDF with nice looking images.

                                 

                                Then use programs appropriate for building brochures and press-ready PDFs. PowerPoint is not one of them. Build the brochure in Illustrator or something else like it.

                                 

                                InDesign will work fine, but is probably overkill, depending upon what kind of brochure you are talking about. Generally speaking, programs like InDesign are primarily for text-intensive, high page-count projects which call for alot of automation features to facilitate repetitive page layouts and "bookish" features (master pages, indexing, TOC creation, etc., etc.) Any mainstream Postscript-capable program that can do color separations (including drawing programs) is appropriate.

                                 

                                Realize, PNG is an RGB format only. When building files correctly for commercial reproduction, you generally work in CMYK and/or spot color.

                                 

                                I'm not foo-fooing PowerPoint. I'm just saying it's inappropriate for your objective. Think of making images for PowerPoint much as you would think of developing for the web: When you need marketing pieces to serve all your needs (print, web), you work from the most demanding toward the least demanding. In other words, develop for print first; then for web (and other low-res purposes like PowerPoint) second. Otherwise you end up redoing things.

                                 

                                JET

                                • 13. Re: New to illustrator need help with bitmaps and vector
                                  Wade_Zimmerman Level 6

                                  Save the file as a .png once you have it on a transparent background and place that in Powerpoint. Now save it as and choose PDF and tell me if that solves your problem?

                                   

                                  I think it will be fine then.