Publishers of technology books, eBooks, and videos for creative people

Home > Articles > Design > Adobe Creative Suite

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter is from the book

Working Between Illustrator and Photoshop

Nick Diggory, like many of the other artists in this book, often uses Photoshop in concert with Illustrator for embellishments that Photoshop handles better. Among the most common uses of Photoshop for Illustrator artists are applying soft, blended drop shadows and rasterizing artwork for printing.

Nick Diggory used Photoshop for both these purposes. He applied the drop shadow in Photoshop at the final production stage. In some circumstances you may wish to add Photoshop elements, such as drop shadows, in Illustrator and preserve the vector artwork while adding some raster images to the final drawing. It's not hard to do since Adobe developed Illustrator and Photoshop to work together.

If you want to add a drop shadow to an element or an entire drawing and preserve the vector objects that you created in Illustrator, open Photoshop and create a new document, being careful to specify a color model and image resolution when you create the new file. If your artwork is to be printed in CMYK color at 175 lpi, for example, be certain to create a new document large enough in physical size to accommodate the Illustrator elements at CMYK and 350-dpi resolution. (Note: use two times the halftone frequency for image resolution as a standard rule of thumb.) Open both Illustrator and Photoshop and place the document windows side by side. With a new document in the Photoshop window appearing as a blank page, select all the elements to be shadowed in the Illustrator window and drag them to the Photo-shop document window (Figure 26).

Figure 26 Figure 26: Drag and drop Illustrator vector art from the Illustrator document window to the Photo-shop document window.


When the objects appear in Photoshop, the artwork has not yet been rasterized. You can freely size or transform the vector objects without affecting image resolution. As long as the vector-bounding box is visible around the objects, the objects are still in vector rather than raster format. However, in the case of drop shadows, you'll want to be certain not to scale the objects, so leave the size alone.

To rasterize the objects, strike the Enter or Return key on your keyboard. The result will be a rasterized version of the objects on a new separate layer. Hit the slash (/) key to lock the layer's transparent pixels, and then fill the layer with white. When transparent pixels are locked, only the layer's nontransparent areas will be filled with white. Use the Layer Style dialog box (Layers > Layer Style > Drop Shadow) to apply a drop shadow and set the distance and size (Figure 27).

Figure 27 Figure 27: Open the Blending Options dialog box and check the box for Drop Shadow.Set the size and distance to create the shadow desired.


Click OK in the Blending Options dialog box. Drag the layer with the shadow to your Illustrator drawing and send the shadow behind the objects (Figure 28). By preserving the type and objects and only adding smaller raster images to the design, you'll use less memory than rasterizing the entire illustration.

Figure 28 Figure 28: The final artwork after the Photoshop shadow has been introduced in the Illustrator drawing.


  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account