Josh (the blog)

Hey there. I’m Josh, a SydneyCanberra-based maker of Internets. I don’t update this very often.


Why no, vector artwork is not universally superior for lines

I’m cooking up a booklet for a study camp at the minute that has a simple grid-lines (ruled maths paper) background and initially traced it with Illustrator because it looked, err, linear enough to be a fair candidate for such work.

The trace had to be a little eclectic for realism’s sake, so I didn’t just do the redraw with Ctrl + D transform ninja skills, but let the software trace it. Big mistake.

It was one of those things that InDesign got a little upset about the complexity of — which is okay — and had to import as encapsulated postscript instead of as native vector data — which is also okay. Trouble was, it wasn’t just borderline too-complex, it was stupidly over the edge. I stuck it on the A-Master (which keeps me sane and the .indd filesize down) and got to work for about a week on the rest of the content and so forth. As we get closer to press (I was aiming for today… others apparnetly have different ideas) I’ve started doing the Indd->PDF shuffle and discovered the absolute pain of waiting for it to “render” (basically that’s what it’s doing) the EPS onto every page as it creates the PDF file.

I endured this for about two days and then finally snapped this morning, went back to Photoshop with the source image and processed it to make it look similar enough before pasting the raster scan into the A-Master in the traced thing’s place.

As if by magic, the generated PDF size dropped from 55MB to under 4MB.

Raster images are your friend.

p.s. hopefully I’m back here now. Am away next week with GPRS Internet only, then in New Zealand (with Internet, albeit with uncertainty about having a computer in the accommodation). Yes, busy as ever. On Facebook quite a lot, because status updates are more managable than full blog posts!