Though PrPro can Import AI Vector, you are correct that it will Rasterize it, and I am not keen on the results. I always use Photoshop, and the Place function to Import my AI file, then Scale in PS to exactly what I need in a New Image w/ the proper Preset for my Project. If the Scale and Position are critical, I'll even use a Freeze Frame still, as a reference image, and just not Save_As PSD with that Layer visible.
I find that workflow yields very good results.
Those are good workarounds and I may have to resort to them, but for this project the image scales over time and I'd have to create several different sizes in order to avoid blatant rasterizing.
I may have to do the effect in After Effects...
I am wondering how After Effects handles Illustrator files. Does After Effects rasterize illustrator files? Or at least, do you (or anyone else here) have experience with After Effects importing Illustrator files.
I'll also post this question in the After Effects Forum.
Rasterization will need to take place along the line somewhere. AE can handle the Vector image until you Export.
For what you are describing, I would Scale to the max size in PS, and then Import that PSD w/ Transparency, or as a Sequence with Layers intact, and then animate that down, where necessary.
Read help re "continuously rasterize" in AE.
For some purposes, I'd go with AE. For others, doing what Bill suggests and bringing your max size image into PR would be fine.
Stan mentioned it below, but AE has a "continuously rasterize" toggle for vector graphics (it's the little icon that looks like a sun). Basically, this flag is telling After Effects to go back to the original vector data for each frame of an animation, scale/move/rotate/whatever the vector data, and then rasterize it. This ensures that highest quality through the course of an animation..
My workflow with vector graphics is just what you've suggested. I drop the AI file into a PPro sequence, scale it however I see fit (yes, it will look like garbage, but that's OK), and then right-click the clip and use the Replace with AE Comp command. When AE opens, and builds the comp, all I have to do is check the Continuously Rasterize box (it might be checked by default; I can't recall exactly), and I'm done. The animation from Premiere is preserved, and the clip is already in use in Premiere, so there really isn't anything more to do.
It's kind of lame that Premiere Pro doesn't have a continuously rasterize option.
I thought I'd just mention that it's Not checked by default, at least not in CS5.5.
I'm just curious though, if you keep the animation in Premiere won't you have the same problem? From my understanding, Premiere is only raster? Wouldn't that mean it would be taking each frame from AfterEffects and rasterizing it? Well if the scale doesn't happen in AfterEffects then AE is only continuously rasterizing the same logo at 100% in that application, then Premiere is scaling it up.
I just did a test, and that is indeed what happens. If I replace the footage with AE and check continuously rasterize, I get a nice crisp image. Sweet. Now if I scale it up in Premiere it looks pixelated. I just did 200%. If I do the same animation to 200% in AE, it looks perfect the entire time in Premiere.
I'd like to know what technique you used, if you got it to work in Premiere without redoing the animation in AfterEffects...not that a simple scale is rocket science or anything.
Brilliant solution, Colin (while we wait on Adobe to correct this oversight). Thanks for sharing; it was nice and crisp.