What is a Vector Layer?

What is a Vector Layer?

Here is a typical Manga Studio user’s problem: Raster… or… Vector…? Have you ever struggled with this question? I know I have! And I also know I’m not alone in this…

Many of us have been really wondering… Which ones are better? Which ones to use? How to decide when and how? Well, I’ve prepared a series of two little videos that will reveal to you all the unsolved mysteries that these two wonderful tools have been keeping from you.

Are you ready to learn the truth?

The following text is a transcript from the video above. You can go ahead and watch it. It will be easier to understand and it will take only a few minutes of your time. But if you are old school and prefer to do all the reading, feel free to do so!

 

Vector Layers

Vector Layers look like Raster Layers, but the way they work is very different. We can make new Vector Layers by clicking the third button from the left.

Making a new Vector Layer in Manga Studio

Making a new Vector Layer in Manga Studio

Vector Layers use mathematical algorithms instead of pixels to define the work. When we draw a line in a vector layer it will be displayed as pixels, just as the contents of a Raster Layer. So the resulting look will be almost identical of that of a Raster Layer.

However, the drawn line will be formed by a vector curve–a succession of points that are connected by a line. The Vector Layer will record the position of this points in space, and it will draw the pixels on top of it. Thus, we will be able to scale the points, move them and edit them without losing any resolution in the drawing, because the curve will be recalculated and redrawn every time we make an edit.

Vector versus Raster in Manga Studio

Vector versus Raster in Manga Studio

This Vector Curve points can be moved at any time, allowing vector lines to be re drawn. We can also apply different line effects to the curve, being able to change the thickness, the color, or the texture of the line.

If the resolution of the image is increased, the vector curves will update the number of pixels on the screen, giving always a high resolution.

The drawback of Vector Curves is that if used for painting and shading, they will create a great number of points, making the file bigger and the computer processing harder.

For all the above, Vector Layer must be used for inking purposes only. The vector quality of the lines will allow the ink to have always the highest resolution, even if we change the document size.

Inking an illustration in Manga Studio with Vector Layers

Inking an illustration in Manga Studio with Vector Layers

One important thing to know is that Vector Layers can be turned into Raster Layer. Once completed the inking stage of our drawing, if we feel that we will not need to edit the curves anymore, we can rasterize the layer by right-clicking on it and choosing Rasterize. This will delete all the vector curves and turn its visual appearance to pixels.

It is also possible to turn Raster Layers into Vector by right-clicking  the panel and choosing Convert Layer. In the Type section, we will choose Vector Layer and press OK. The software will ignore all the color information, and it will retrace the black lines only, making new Vector Curves. It is important to be careful when using this approach, for it will create messy lines full of Vector Points, that will lack the order and cleanness of the Vector Curves drawn by hand.

You can convert Raster Layers into Vector using the menu in the Layer Panel.

You can convert Raster Layers into Vector using the menu in the Layer Panel.

Remember: Vector Layers are ideal for inking, and Raster Layers are ideal for painting.

 

Pts! Did you see the Raster Layer video yet? No?

T hank you for reading the post all the way through! If you liked the contents don’t keep it to yourself… Tell your friends! Thanks to your support I can create amazing entertainment projects. Check them out in my web or in my social media and tell me what you think!

See you there!

Sayuri
murasaki@sama-sama-studio.com

I am an illustrator and a comic artist. I like to do character designs and play the harp.

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