I am trying to export several illustrations spread on 6 Artboards of different sizes (composite of vectors and raster images) for web ads in Illustrator CC 2019 v.23.

Whenever I export my artboards (and however I do it, Export for Screens or Save for Web alike), the photo part of the illustration exports very badly:

enter image description here

I've tried exporting at 4x and then scaling down but even then I have a similar problem:

enter image description here

In the Artboard, the photo looks fine (source image is 5k x 4k pixels, and the problems happens with a 1800px version of the image too):

enter image description here

Setting are set as such:

enter image description here

At this point I'm so frustrated and angry at Illustrator's countless bugs that I'm close to just make a screenshot and call it a day. Unless if I'm missing something super obvious... Am I doing anything wrong?

  • We need a few more details of the export configuration you’re using to answer intelligently - perhaps a screen cap of your export settings and / or description of intent / use case could help? So for example, we don’t know if you’re exporting .svg or .png or .pdf... if you’ve defined slices or just art boards - you get the idea - help us help you! – GerardFalla Jun 15 '19 at 0:34
  • @GerardFalla See my edit – MicroMachine Jun 15 '19 at 0:37
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    My rule of thumb - ratios... if the final output is raster and 50% or more of the visuals are raster.. then do it in Photoshop. If you need vector elements, copy/paste from AI to PS or create those natively in Photoshop. I can't say for certain what the issue is.. but I do wonder, are you rotating the raster image in Illustrator? It appears so.. AI does not interpolate pixels - so rotating rasters = degradation. There is zero edge anti-aliasing or interpolation in AI for placed raster images. Rotate in Photoshop and place the pre-rotated image in AI. You might get better results. – Scott Jun 15 '19 at 1:59
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    You might not be able to.. realize I can't see the entire piece. But realistically, there's not a whole lot you can do in AI that can't be done in PS. It may take a few vector layers in PS, but there's rarely an "impossibility" with regards to stacking order/masks/layering. In any event, the photo rotation is probably the issue. – Scott Jun 15 '19 at 3:14
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    Have you tried using the legacy export, it exposes better antialiasing options. In either case your image is a bit unoptimally sized for the task at hand. Anyway i find that adobe is very good at adding features that are useless because the later implmentors botched something. ALL in all illsutrator works very well if you choose to use the oldest possible toolset for each task, with about 4 exceptions. – joojaa Jun 15 '19 at 8:54

Let’s start simple: .png 8 bit depth is a lovely format, but has the same 256 colour limitations as a bunch of lossy formats: it therefore handles out of gamut colours via dithering, which looks like bad anti-aliasing - I think that is part of your issue here.

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