I have recently drawn and scanned a children's book that I will try to have published. I converted the scans into vectors using Vector Magic in order to have nice, clean, smooth lines without any stray pixels. These files are now .ai files. I was wondering what my next step is in terms of

  1. cropping - The pages are currently fully scanned A4s. I wanted to crop the edges off that were not actually part of the drawing and make it a resizable landscape. I haven't decided on the exact dimensions, but it will be in landscape, perhaps 18.7w × 12.7h.

  2. re-sizing or moving elements - some drawn elements (i.e. a person) are either too big or two small. In Photoshop, I would simply cut these elements out, paste them to a new layer, move and resize them. This also includes rotation for crooked scans.

  3. painting. The drawing is currently black and white lines. I need to "paint around the vector sketches" - filling in all the white. I have recently played with the Live Paint Tool in AI, so I think I could do this.

  4. getting it print ready. I haven't decided if I will self publish or submit to some of my favorite children's book publishers. If I self publish, I have seen mostly 300dpi PDF requirements. What's the best way to prepare vector graphics for print production?

I am new to Illustrator but well seasoned with Photoshop. It seems that Illustrator does not have the same functionality as PS. I tried converting and then opening as an .eps but my smooth lines were very pixelated. I'd really appreciate any advice!

Here is an example scan (non-vectorized) from the book

enter image description here

  • So the question is essentially - how to digitally paint around vector sketches, but in a way that will still be print quality and not pixelated when done? Is this right? It is true that digital painting is most often done in raster/pixel applications like Photoshop not vector ones like Illustrator. Commented Aug 13, 2013 at 14:21
  • Without knowing exactly what you're trying to achieve, no one here can give you a solid answer. There are just too many ways to approach illustration. If you have a particular style of working or another illustrator who's work you'd like to emulate share an image and we can help you get there. Commented Aug 13, 2013 at 16:11
  • 1
    I hope no one ever publishes this for children. Just this one picture would give my kids nightmares! Commented Aug 14, 2013 at 3:57
  • It's a zombie book for children. All colored with text, it's actually quite cute. I promise. Commented Aug 14, 2013 at 15:16

1 Answer 1


welcome to GD! Your question is very broad and hard to answer but I will try to do the best I can to help you.

  1. You mention a printed book but you dont mention the finished size.
  2. Its nice you are using Illustrator for the vectors but ideally the layout should be done in InDesign.
  3. Cropping: I have no clue what you need to do with cropping because I dont know the layout, size, trim size, flow, type or anything to do with your book.
  4. resizing or moving elements: Again, no info in the final product or an example is provided.
  5. painting: again.. use color? are you going to do this black and white.

If you can edit your question with more detail I can edit my answer.

  • Is it easy to move painted vector graphics to InDesign? Commented Aug 14, 2013 at 0:05
  • Yes, it is quite easy: just File > Place... Commented Aug 14, 2013 at 3:58
  • I'll check it out. In the meantime, I have edited my question. Commented Aug 14, 2013 at 15:17

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