User Guide > Drawing > About Vector and Bitmap Layers

About Vector and Bitmap Layers

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With Harmony, you have the choice to use vector or bitmap drawing tools. Vector drawing tools allow you to make drawings that can be scaled without losing quality, to easily tweak and fine tune your drawings and to use the whole suite of drawing tools available in Harmony, whereas bitmap drawing tools allow you to lay on brush strokes to make more traditional-looking artwork, and to tweak your drawing by the pixel rather than by their strokes and contours.

Drawing with Bitmap Brushes

When drawing, whether you can use vector or bitmap drawing tools is determined by whether the art layer you are drawing on is a vector or a bitmap layer. By default, each drawing layer has two art layers: Line Art and Colour Art, and each of these art layers can be a vector or a bitmap layer. This can be useful if, for example, you wish your line art to be done using bitmap drawing tools, and then to paint your drawings using vector drawing tools, or vice versa.

NOTE: Optionally, drawing layers can have two extra art layers, the Overlay Art layer, which appears over the other art layers, and the Underlay Art layers, which appears underneath. For more information, see Enabling Overlay and Underlay Art Layers .

Using bitmap layers may be preferable if you find that vector drawings are too limiting for the desired art style, or if your vector drawings are so complex that they affect software performance. However, bitmap layers have the following limitations which you should carefully consider before using them:

  • In vector drawings, each stroke is a separate drawing object by default, and each of these drawing objects, as well as each of their points, curves and outlines, can be manipulated independently. It is not possible to do that with bitmap layers, as they are always a single drawing object. They can be drawn, filled or erased over, and manipulated as a whole, but its individual elements cannot be manipulated independently.
  • By default, bitmap layers are created at the same pixel density as your scene's camera when it is in its default position. This means that your artwork will lose picture quality if you zoom in on it or scale it up. If you need bitmap drawings to be scaled up or zoomed on, you must set your bitmap artwork's pixel density higher before you start drawing.
  • Bitmap drawings may require more storage space than vector drawings. Note that this depends a lot on the amount of space in your drawing that is covered by artwork. Harmony does not store bitmap data for empty areas of your drawings.

When drawing on a bitmap layer, the following tools are unavailable, as they exploit the vector drawing capabilities of Harmony:

  • Pencil
  • Contour Editor
  • Pencil Editor
  • Smooth Editor
  • Perspective
  • Envelope
  • Ink
  • Stroke
  • Close Gap
  • Polyline