In this article, we will explore how to Rasterize in Photoshop. Rasterization is the process of converting vector-based objects or layers into pixel-based images, allowing for precise manipulation and enhancement of designs. We’ll cover the steps and techniques involved in rasterizing layers, text, and vector shapes while discussing the advantages and considerations of this technique. By the end, you’ll have the knowledge to unleash the full potential of rasterization and elevate your design skills to new levels in Photoshop.
We will be showing you how to rasterize in Photoshop but first what is rasterize? Follow and learn more about rasterizing in Photoshop.
Table of Contents
What is Rasterize in Photoshop?
By default, shapes, and text are created on a type of layer called a vector layer. No matter how far you zoom in on a vector layer, the edges always remain perfectly sharp. When rasterizing a vector layer, Photoshop converts the layer to pixels.
You may not notice a change at first, but if you zoom in on a newly rasterized layer you will see that the borders are now made up of little squares called pixels.
Vector layers become pixels when rasterized. The Eraser Tool and Paint Bucket Fill are used to enhance a grid shape.
How to Rasterize in Photoshop
To rasterize an object or layer in Adobe Photoshop, follow these steps:
- Open Photoshop and open the file that contains the object or layer you want to rasterize in Photoshop.
- Locate the layer containing the object you want to rasterize in the Layers panel. If the object is on its own layer, you can skip this step.
- Select the layer or object you want to rasterize by clicking on it in the Layers panel or using the selection tools (e.g., Marquee Tool, Lasso Tool, etc.) to make a selection around the object.
- Once the layer or object is selected, go to the main menu at the top and click on “Layer.”
- In the Layer menu, hover over “Rasterize” and select the specific rasterization option that suits your needs. There are several options available, such as:
“Rasterize Layer”: This option rasterizes the entire layer, including any effects or transformations applied to it.
“Rasterize Type”: This option rasterizes only text layers, converting them into pixels while maintaining transparency and blending modes.
“Rasterize Shape”: This option rasterizes vector shapes, turning them into pixel-based layers.
“Smart Object”: If the layer is a smart object, you can right-click on the layer in the Layers panel and choose “Rasterize Layer” to convert it into a regular raster layer.
- After selecting the appropriate rasterization option, Photoshop will convert the layer or object into a rasterized layer, and you will no longer be able to edit the object as a vector or text. Make sure to create a backup of the original layer or object if you need to preserve the vector or text properties.
Remember to save your work under a new file name or create a duplicate before rasterizing, as rasterizing permanently alters the layer and removes its non-pixel-based properties.
Photoshop Tells me to Rasterize a Layer.
Certain tools, such as the Brush, Eraser, Paint Bucket Fill, and Filter tools only work on raster layers. To use any of these tools on a vector layer, the layer must first be converted to pixels.
Note that when you convert a vector layer to pixels, it loses its vector functionality, i.e.: Shapes and text can no longer be scaled to any size without loss of quality. The text is uneditable, meaning you can’t change the words or font.
The Layers panel then displays the original vector polygon and then a new rasterized polygon above it.
Should I Rasterize My Layer?
At some point in your project, you may need to rasterize a vector layer to use the tool or get the desired edit.
Before rasterizing a vector layer, always duplicate it by choosing Layer -> Duplicate. Then rasterize the copy.
This preserves the original vector layer if you need to go back later to make changes.
The original vector layer is duplicated before rasterization to allow for later changes.
Alternatives to Rasterization?
Here are three common alternatives to rasterize in Photoshop in your project.
Instead of rasterizing to paint or draw directly on a vector layer, create a blank layer above the vector layer and use one of the painting or drawing tools on the new layer.
Click the New Layer icon in the Layers panel and use the brush to paint on the new layer.
Tip: To confine the painting to the edges of the shape, first use the Magic Wand tool to make a selection of the shape, then paint or draw within the selection.
Painting on a new layer with the shape of the previous layer selected is an alternative to rasterizing.
Instead of rasterizing use the Paint Bucket tool to change the fill color of a shape or text, change the fill directly in the vector tool’s properties.
For shapes, select the vector layer in the Layers panel. Then open the Properties panel (Window > Properties). Change the color with the color picker.
For text, double-click the T icon in the Layers panel to highlight all text. Then open the Character panel (Window > Character). Change the color with the color picker.
The properties of vector layers can be changed as an alternative to rasterize in Photoshop so that the Paint Bucket tool can be used.
Instead of rasterizing, use a layer mask to use the eraser tool to hide parts of a vector layer.
First, select the vector layer in the Layers panel. Then click the Layer Mask icon to add a layer mask to the vector object.
Now use the brush to paint black on the layer mask. Painting with black hides these parts of the layer. If you paint with white, these parts of the layer will become visible.
How to Rasterize in Photoshop
- Press “F7” to show the Photoshop Layers panel.
- Click a vector layer in the Layers panel.
- Click “Layer” in the menu bar and click “Rasterize” to open a new pane of options.
- Click “Layer” to rasterize the layer.
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