Advantages of Vector Layer

How is the vector layer different from the bitmap layer and how can you use it to your advantage? Thanks :slight_smile:

@qwertqwerty Hi. Well in general Vector graphics are basically made of shapes that describe “borders” which contain “fills”. While bitmap images are made of small quadrangular containers of color called “pixels” which normally match your screen resolution.

In summary:


  • Pros:
    • Resolution Independent; Can work easily at any size in the graphics editor and change size easily for final output.
    • Efficient Color handling; Alter applied colors for all the animation drawings that share a color.
    • Image transformation (move, scale, rotate) do not degrade image quality.
    • The properties (width, color, etc) of each part (strokes, fills) can be changed through numerical parameters for quick editing.
    • Filesize of vector graphics can be pretty low as most of what we see is a representation of mathematical operations
  • Cons:
    • Creating complex images can be quite challenging.
    • Very difficult to achieve realistic color blending, to create painterly or photorealistic images.
    • Vector graphics editing can be less “artistic” as freehand editing requires specific tools that not all programs have. e.g drawing, modifying or erasing a shape is not as simple as it is in bitmap graphics.


  • Pros:
    • Can create very complex images in a fast and straightforward manner
    • Freehand editing of pixels requires simple tools e.g drawing, modifying or erasing content is very simple.
    • Can achieve realistic color blending to create painterly or photorealistic images.
  • Neutral
    • Depends on screen / canvas resolution; This is not inherently a bad thing but once you setup the initial work resolution size for the graphics editor it can be challenging to change its size during editing and for final output without damaging the quality if the result
    • The only way to edit a bitmap image is to replace the current pixels with new pixels i.e you have to draw / paint things again if you want to change it. Some artists prefer this as it “simplifies” a workflow.
  • Cons:
    • Filesize of individual graphics can become very large. This depends on resolution size (amount of pixels per image) and bitdepth (amount of color channels per image)
    • Can’t alter easily colors that have been applied on the canvas or for all the animation drawings that share a color.
    • Image transformation (move, scale, rotate) might degrade image quality after repeated uses.

Pencil2D Note: Right now the vector layer is being re-worked, and it’s in an unusable state, so we recommend that people use bitmap for now, however both layers are complementary for an animation production workflow where:
Bitmap is used for thumb-nailing, roughing, sketching and creating the layout of the animation, importing painted backgrounds or photorealostic images into the program, and Vector is used for the clean-up and ink & paint stages where you delineate the outlines of your sketches (lineart), apply solid colors to the lineart according to a color model, and it allows for exporting in any resolution within a certain aspect ratio (e.g 4:3 or 16:9).


Thank you so so much!!!