Good news, everyone - after 11 months of featuring almost exclusively PNG format vector exports, we're starting to ask that vector SVG, PSD and AI files be provided too. (These are made in Inkscape, Photoshop and Illustrator respectively. For an in depth explanation, read epdtry's analysis of the different formats!). Don't worry, we won't require you to post all your original work, commissions and OCs, but we are pushing in a big way to get the community used to making real vector files available for everyone.
So what is the fuss about providing vector files? It's come up many times before: people want vector resources, but this group hasn't required artists to post them up until now. In retrospect, this is more than a little bit silly. The fact is, until our gallery is updated by the authors to include original SVG, PSD, and AI format vector files, it lacks the usefulness of these formats all our members already use. If someone has a ridiculous setup with a matrix of 20 or 200 HD monitors and wants a Rainbow Dash wallpaper, he can have it! Even if she was just a tiny speck in a group image that barely met our PNG resolution requirements (3kx3k+).
To give just a few examples for why vectors are preferable to rasters:
Not limited by pixels, any element can be resized as large as needed without hurting quality
Individual parts can be rotated, moved or manipulated, for things like different facial expressions
They fully support layering per object, relevant to backgrounds and objects such as clothing
Their file size is very tiny, ideal for archives
They preserve all of the image data and serve as a long term backup
They can be used in flash animations or other vector projects with your permission
Customizations can be made for personal use, eg. for users who need a CYMK or RGB version, or for night time and day time pics
Extra layers and objects are fully supported, giving you the ability to put alternative versions of different objects in different layers of your work
SVGs, FLAs and SWFs allow for animation without the use of GIFs or lossy video encoding, with unlimited resolution
They serve as an excellent guide to show others how to draw with vector lines (think Celestia and Rarity)
They are not limited by individual PC specs, so they can be exported at higher resolutions than your PC could handle
To be completely clear, PNGs themselves are not vectors, they are high resolution raster (aka bitmap) renders of vector images, useful in a great number of ways. Vector formats have even more advantages. With them, you can manipulate any part of the image, which are stored as digital objects that look like this. Correcting errors, changing colors, and resizing can be done to a vector without any quality loss whatsoever. Try to recolor a PNG and ugly lines will appear around the edges. Stretch a PNG and the pixels will be blurred. As many of you know, Friendship is Magic is created with a customized version of Flash 8, and that is what allows them to reuse materials and create an art style that successfully uses vector graphics, and the result is a show of stunning quality, with art to match.
In the past we've made a point when moderating incoming gallery submissions to ask for higher resolutions. That was an excellent start, and it made the gallery a better resource overall, as well as giving our members a better look at their own work which in turn improves their quality. Now we will be asking for vector artists to provide a link to their vector files in the description by uploading them to Sta.sh, or another file host if preferred (Here's a tutorial imgur.com/a/soFZ9 ) . Before now you would need to message the author to get a proper reusable file as our group's name suggests, but we've begun nagging our members already and you may have noticed more download links than usual in the past day or so. Go ahead and post your concerns in the comments.
We would also like to announce the administrative team is expanding!
They are helpful individuals from the vector community who have joined Contributors to help process gallery submissions, give critiques to submitters and generally help manage our group. We're looking forward greatly to working with them
One more plan we're going to push: since it's unclear to many if usage is allowed of your vectors, a standard badge system would be a massive help for the community. The icons to use are-
(iconYouArePlz and iconAllowedPlz)
(iconGoUsePlz and iconThisArtPlz)
(iconDoNotUsePlz and iconMyArtPlz)
(iconNonCommercial1Plz) and iconNonCommercial2Plz)
These are Plz accounts, so to use them type :icon followed by the account name, ending with plz:. They are typed out like this. If you have any better badges by all means suggest away.
Thanks for reading, watchers and interested folk, and we're looking forward to interacting with our community more. We have some other additions in the works we think you'll like.
Please remember to always release your source files in addition to PNG files. SVG, PSD and AI are all fine. You don't have to do it for OCs and original works.
We have new admins, please welcome them.
Please indicate in descriptions of your vectors whether people can use them or not. It's recommended to use badges shown above.
Members with PNG-only vectors in the group gallery should start updating them with any files they still have as soon as possible. Watchers, please help us get the word out by requesting vector files on deviations you like that are PNG-only!