- How do I merge vector layers and keep them vector?

Discussion in 'Photoshop' started by Morris, Aug 24, 2006.

  1. Morris

    Morris Guest


    I recreated an old logo via line art in Photoshop CS2 by using anchors. The
    thing is, each item of the logo was placed in a different layer.

    I would like to apply a gradient on the logo, but I'd like the gradient to
    be uniform across the WHOLE logo - not reset at the top of its individual
    parts (layers). For that to work the way I want it to, all of these layers
    need to be merged into one. But doing so converts it to pixels. I want it to
    remain vector-based.

    So I guess my question is... can I merge 4 line art layers into one and have
    it remain line art? Someone once mentioned copy-pasting the anchors but
    that's tedious if we're talking about 50+ layers of line art.

    Morris, Aug 24, 2006
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  2. Morris

    jdoe Guest

    Never tried anything like this myself but couldn't you use the layer
    effects to add a gradient with the same settings for each layer or,
    baring that, put a gradient layer over all the others and then mask it
    to fit? you should be able to created a vector based mask right?
    jdoe, Aug 24, 2006
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  3. Morris

    Morris Guest

    Imagine a word, any word, in bold letters and tilted diagonally.

    Apply a gradient filter on each letter. Then merge all the letters and apply
    the same gradient effect to the merged layer. Not quite the same effect, is
    it? The latter is a constant, fluid gradient... no stop-and-go. No "reset"
    of the gradient at the top of every letter.

    That's what I'm trying to do... except I want to keep my line art as line
    art. :( But I don't think Photoshop lets you merge line layers without
    converting them to pixels.
    Morris, Aug 24, 2006
  4. Morris

    tacit Guest

    No can do, sorry.

    You are using the wrong tool for the job, and inviting frustration,
    problems, and wasted effort. Why aren't you doing this in Illustrator?
    It's a piece of cake in the right program. :)
    tacit, Aug 25, 2006
  5. Morris

    Aaron Guest

    First of all, you should have used Illustrator.

    But, since you haven't, let's come up with a solution for you. If you
    have multiple shape layers and you want a gradient to fill the entire
    combined shape, do this:

    1. Create a new layer. Make sure this layer is the active (selected)

    2. Hold Command (PC: Control) and click the first shape layer's vector
    mask thumbnail (the one that looks like the shape).

    3. Hold Command (PC: Control) AND Shift, and click each of the other
    shape layers' vector mask thumbnails in turn. The selection will grow to
    include each new shape portion.

    4. Gradient to your heart's content.

    This is a compromise because 1) you keep your vector layers so you can
    edi them later, but 2) you'll have to repeat this process each time to
    create the gradient version.

    If you suspect you'll be doing many tweaks, I would suggest filling an
    entire new layer with the gradient and then performing the selection
    method I outlined above and using the selection to create a layer mask
    on the gradient layer. That way, if you re-do the process, you can
    delete the mask, re-select the layers, re-create the mask, and the
    gradient will be in its original orientation.

    Again, this is really a workaround for not having built the shape in
    Illustrator to begin with, or at least changing the shape layer mode to
    "union" before drawing the other shapes so that they would be combined
    on the same layer.

    Read the Photoshop CS help for more information on using union,
    intersect, subtract, etc., when drawing shapes in shape layers.


    "Mankind are greater gainers by suffering each other to live as seems
    good to themselves, than by compelling each to live as seems good to the
    rest." -- John Stuart Mill
    Aaron, Aug 25, 2006
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