Raster and vector collide

Creating eye-catching imagery for print can be a balancing act between the two distinct worlds of computer-based design. Scott Hansen shows you how to get explosive results in Photoshop.

The strengths and weaknesses of vector and raster graphics have long been apparent: vector is known for its clean lines and resolution-independent scalability whereas raster has a more photographic nature. Although vector graphics are particularly suited to print work thanks to their scalability, there are some things you can't do without bringing rasters into the picture.

In this tutorial we show you how to bring together both vector and raster elements to create a seamless piece that sits well in both worlds. The concepts we explore will lend a timeless, weathered feel to what would otherwise be a rather stark design. Relying on Photoshop's powerful raster tools and quite adequate stable of vector tools, we can tap the strengths of both without leaving the familiar realm of Adobe's most powerful graphics app. We can unite two styles of design by employing Photoshop's powerful blending mode options along with advanced gradient masking techniques to produce an illustration style that is truly unique.

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