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Photoshop versus illustrator

Posted on 2004-09-10
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
Hi,

I'm new to graphics. I'm a programmer but know nothing about graphics and want to start learning. May i know  

1)what is the difference between Photoshop and illustrator?

2) When to use which?

Tha nks
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Question by:ricjava
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by:will_scarlet7
will_scarlet7 earned 25 total points
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Lobo042399 earned 100 total points
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Hi ricjava,

Your question is pretty much the same that millions of people have been asking for the past 3 thousand years: What's the difference between Vector and Raster images?

Vector images are stored as a series of mathematical equations that describe shapes and colours that fill these shapes. That's the basic stuff, of course. There's a lot of other things like gradients and patters, but for this purpose that desciption will suffice. As a result of their nature, Vector images are what we call "resolution-independant." This means that we can scale them up and down without losing image quality. Think of the fonts you use daily in Word. You can resize them up and down and they always look crisp, because they are vectors.

Raster images, on the other side, are stored as a collection of pixels that contain colour information. The larger the image, the more pixels there'll be and the bigger the file. These images are thus called "resolution-dependant." If we scale them up they become pixelated; if we scale them down they lose detail.

Now the fun part. Photoshop is a program designed to deal with Raster images. Yes, you can add text and scale it up and down, but once you've "flattened" it that's it. No more resizing. Illustrator is a program designed to deal with Vector images. Again, you can import rasters into it when necessary, but you can't edit them in it.

So, When to use which? When you need to work with vectors, use Illustrator; when you need to work with rasters, use Photoshop.

Good Vibes!

Lobo
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by:ricjava
ID: 12040802
Hi....thanks for answers so far. Btw, are photoshop and illustrator use the same file extension.....?
Pls elaborate  a bit..:)
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by:Lobo042399
ID: 12041308
Hi ricjava,

Photoshop's native file extension is PSD; Illustrator's is AI.

You can save an Illustrator file in EPS format and then open it in Photoshop, but when you do that Photoshop will rasterize it -convert it to a raster image- and rend it uneditable in Illustrator again. Similarly, you can save a Photoshop file as EPS and open it in Illustrator, but you won't be able to edit it. The reason for this interoperability is that in some cases you may have a shape drwan in Illustrator that you need to open in Photoshop to add some filters effects. Or you may have a raster photograph in Photoshop and you want to bring it to Illustrator to add text or other vector-based effectrs to it.

Good Vibes!

Lobo
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Author Comment

by:ricjava
ID: 12041348
hi Lobo,

>You can save an Illustrator file in EPS format and then open it in Photoshop, but when you do that Photoshop will rasterize >it -convert it to a raster image- and rend it uneditable in Illustrator again.
So you mean to say it is uneditable after the file opened by Photoshop(without saving by photoshop)?

>Or you may have a raster photograph in Photoshop and you want to bring it to Illustrator to add text or other vector-based >effectrs to it.
I thought u said that the file once opened by photoshop, it will be uneditable by illustrator?

Thanks
ricjava
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by:Lobo042399
ID: 12041474
Hi ric,

>>So you mean to say it is uneditable after the file opened by Photoshop(without saving by photoshop)?

If you save the Illustrator EPS in Photoshop it it becomes uneditable in Illustrator. If you simply open it and close it without saving the file will not change.

>>I thought u said that the file once opened by photoshop, it will be uneditable by illustrator?

Let's say you have this nice vector-based image of a frame you've done in Illustrator and you want to place a small photo in it. You can import the raster Photoshop EPS file and place it where you want it. You can still edit the vector parts (say change a colour or a shape), but you can't edit the photo beyond a basic resizing. I.e. you can't change the colour of your eyes in it, you'd have to go back to Photoshop and do the colour change there and then import it into Illustrator.

Good Vibes!

Lobo
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by:will_scarlet7
ID: 12041936
Hi ric,
ThanX for the points. I hope I was able to be some help. Just curious though about the "B". It's not really that I think I deserved an "A", but Lobo seems to have answered all your questions in fairly good detail no?

God bless!
Sam
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Author Comment

by:ricjava
ID: 12050590
Hi,

I thought B means good answer. :) Yea maybe I shouldn't be too strict in  giving grading.

Cheers,
ricjava
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