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Setup:

I have 4 Ai files which are going to be individually exported as PNGs. Some parts of the images have curves, while others are straight lines. Before exporting, I click "make pixel perfect" to line everything up to the pixel grid.

I also am creating a 4-panel image composed of all 4 images mentioned above.

Problem:

When I place the Ai files into a Ps document, the Ai images are no longer pixel-perfect. The fine lines in the Ai files become blended with the pixels bordering them, and the end result isn't a crisp as it could be. The file size is also larger than it needs to be, as the anti--aliasing adds more colors to the document.

Question:

Is there any way to line up linked Ai artwork to Ps's pixel grid and keep the original artwork sharp? Should I just be making this 4-panel grid in Ai rather than in Ps?

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You have narrow pixelated lines which are mangled another time when placed into Photoshop, where the pixels probably do not fit and it's automatically resampled and antialiased. Probably quite disastrous to thin lines.

Many persons make the compositions in InDesign or Illustrator and import the needed photos, because their work needs may be very different than yours.If Photoshop fits to your workflow and processing needs best, then use it.

Remove one mangling phase and copy the shapes into the cipboard in Illustrator. Then paste them to Photoshop. You have several options to select from. As pixels makes it a bitmap image as soon as you have scaled it and press enter. Select Smart objent if you have to test different sizes and positions.

Options as Path and as Shape layer are not useful except if you need paths and want them to be drawn in Illustrator.

You can also place a full vector Ai file. It stays as vector shape and does not lose its high quality scalability until you rasterize it. You must rasterize it if you want to apply effects.

Have higher resolution in PS than you actually need. Downscaling at the end of the job is easy and you have reserve for quality degradations.

The absolute pixel perfectness is not quaranteed in the previous, only some less degradation.

Your last resort is open your pixel perfect PNG in Photoshop and add stuff to it, maybe increasing the canvas size, if needed. As long as you do not scale, the crispness of your PNG stays intact

NOTE: You must watch it using zoom = actual pixels. Otherwise there's nothing visible left of the possible pixel perfectness.

  • Thanks! I am not limited to Ps, I'm just more familiar with it than I am InDesign. For one of these 4-panel images I used an adjustment layer to get a grey scale effect. – elliottregan Sep 8 '17 at 20:34
  • Also, I did place the original Ai file, and that did not change the anti-aliasing. Placing @2x PNGs didn't do it either. If I could choose which scaling algorithm to use, that might help, but I am unaware of any way to do that when placing an image. – elliottregan Sep 8 '17 at 20:41
  • @oatmealsnap so do not scale.. Open the PNG and adapt other stuff. This case probably would catch more attention and maybe generates also useful answers, if you insert 3 file links. One to an Ai file, one to the perfect PNG and one to your current PSD with not so high quality imports. They can be radically simplified, but must show the problem. – user287001 Sep 8 '17 at 20:52

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