Have you ever come across a vector graphic in Illustrator that looks pixelated? The lines are all blurry, and the points don’t look crisp. Today, this is a common issue, but it doesn’t have to be.
If your vector art looks pixelated in Illustrator, there are a number of causes such as clipping paths, blending layers, shape edges, and more. Using higher resolution may be the best way to remove this issue.
You might not know the answer to this question because there are different reasons why some vectors may look pixelated. This article will teach you how to identify and fix these issues in Illustrator so your vector graphics will always look sharp.
Common Causes for Pixelated Vectors in Illustrator
Pixelated means that a graphic is blurry or not crisp, and individual pixels are visible. A pixelated vector graphic is a vector graphic that looks blurry, and the points don’t look as crisp as they should. Essentially, it just doesn’t look as clean and professional as it should.
There are many reasons why some vector graphics may look pixelated in Adobe Illustrator. Some of the most common causes are:
1. Failed Vectorization
A vector is a set of instructions in Illustrator that tells the program how to draw your shape, whether a circle, line, or text box. Vectorization includes the points and lines that make up your shape.
For example, if you have a rectangle, the vector would include the coordinates for the four corners of the rectangle. When vectorizing, you’re converting what would be traditionally drawn as pixels into vectors.
If there are gaps between these points and lines, vectorization has failed, and you will see pixelated lines. This can happen for many reasons:
- You’re trying to convert an image file (.jpg) or any other type of picture file (.png) into vectors. These files will not work in Illustrator because they are raster images.
- Suppose there is overlapping content in the images that you’re trying to convert into vectors (such as text). In that case, this can also cause failed vectorization because there may not be enough information for Illustrator to create clean paths in between those individual objects.
- A third reason could be that your document isn’t large enough. If you’re working with a small document size and trying to convert an image into vectors, this may cause failed vectorization because of a lack of space on your screen.
2. Resolution Too Low
One of the most common reasons vector graphics may look pixelated is that the resolution is set too low. You can set the resolution in Illustrator through File>Document Properties or by pressing Ctrl, Shift, and P on your keyboard.
There are six different resolutions you can choose from:
- Low (150)
- Medium (300)
- High (600)
- Very High (1200)
- Extra High (2400)
The default setting will be Medium, which should be enough for most projects. However, if your project has a lot of detail in it, you may want to increase the resolution.
If you notice that it looks pixelated when viewing your vector graphics on-screen, chances are the resolution needs to be adjusted. The higher the resolution, the smoother your vectors will look on-screen.
It’s also important to note that choosing a higher resolution doesn’t affect file size in any way – it only makes your vectors sharper and cleaner on screen. Once you’ve made this adjustment, export your file and see if that fixes your issue!
3. The Vector Has Been Scaled Too Large
The most common problem with vector graphics is that they are scaled too large. This blurs the lines and points of the vectors.
What does this mean for you? It means that if you scale your vector up, it will start to look pixelated. If you find that one of your vectors is pixelated, try scaling it to a smaller size. It should be crisp as soon as you do this.
If you have a vector that has been scaled too large, it’s not always necessary to resize it to fix the issue. If your design looks good at its current size, don’t change anything. But if the blurred lines are starting to bother you, then resize your vector and make sure all details are clear again.
How to Fix Pixelated Vectors in Illustrator
If you have a vector graphic in Illustrator that looks pixelated, there are a few things you can do to fix it. If you use a raster layer as the source of your vector, it will be pixelated. First, go to Layer > New Raster Layer and select the raster layer to fix this issue.
Then right-click on the layer and set the Resolution to 500%. You might also need to resize the image for different screens. If your vector is pixelated because it’s large or has many points, try simplifying the design by reducing its points or making it smaller.
You can also use the Scale Tool (C) to reduce its size and make it clearer. If your vector has too many colors and gradients, convert it into an outline shape. This removes all of the colors from your vector so that you can only see black lines with no pixels in them.
Resize the Vector
If you’re working on a vector that has blurry points, the first thing to try is resizing the vector. If you resize it and the points still look pixelated, other factors are at play, such as anti-aliasing.
Anti-aliasing is a technique for smoothing out jagged lines in a digital image or graphic. It effectively takes pixels from one area and blends them with pixels from the adjacent area, making it seem like the line is smoother. The problem is that this can make your vectors look pixelated.
To fix this, you need to change how Illustrator displays your vectors. To reduce aliasing, go to Edit > Preferences > Previews & Fills in Illustrator and change Point Density to Medium or Low. This will cause Illustrator to use less ink when it displays vector graphics, which means these graphics will be sharper.
One possible cause of pixelated vectors is the use of anti-aliasing. Anti-aliasing is a feature in Illustrator that smooths out jagged lines. But when it’s misused, this can lead to pixelated graphics.
To fix this problem, you need to decrease the anti-aliasing applied to your graphic. There are two ways to do this:
- In Illustrator, go to Object > Path > Offset Path and enter a value of -1px.
- Go to Effect > Stylize > Round Corners and input a value of 1px or 2px.
Keeping Your Vectors Crisp
If you want to prevent your graphics from looking pixelated, the best way is to make sure they have high resolutions. The higher the resolution, the better quality of the graphic it produces.
You also need to be aware of how anti-aliasing and aliasing work in Illustrator so that you can use them properly for an optimal result on whatever project or design you are working on.
Finally, keep in mind when designing a vector illustration that if there aren’t enough points per inch (PPI), then this will create jagged edges—which may cause pixels and other undesirable effects like artifacts and blurriness–in your final product.