1. Vexels- what are they?
Vexels are layered raster shapes of solid colour or gradients/ solid shapes/ raster shapes with look of vector.
The word 'vexel' is a mix of words 'vector' and 'pixel'.
2. The difference between vexels and vectors
The most important difference is that vexels are created using raster layers while vectors are created using vector layers.
Rasters are based on pixels (little squares) and each square is given a fixed colour. When you expand it you can see pixelation.
Shapes created using vector layers while expanding stay crisp and don't lose their quality.
Let me explain the difference on this example.
The image above is a vector. When expanding it to 300% it will still stay sharp:
If the same image was created on raster layers it would look blurry after expanding to 300%:
3. What is allowed and what's not when creating vexel art
vector layers are allowed in the creation as long as they are rasterized before saving the final JPG/PNG
no airbrushing or painting to blend is allowed
glows used to cheat blending, as opposed to using several layers or gradients, are not allowed
brushes allowed only if you are using the stroke path method
soft, feathered or photo brushes are not allowed
photos overlayed over your finished vexel (or behind it) are not allowed
photo textures, filters and layer styles (drop/inner shadows, inner/outer glows, bevels, satin etc.) are not allowed. The exceptions are gradient/colour overlays, stroke and patterns created using the pen tool or lasso tool
photo backgrounds are not allowed
no gradient mesh as this is not created using layered shapes
Is your piece a vector, vexel or mixed media?
Getting into vexelling and vectoring
The difference between Vector and Vexel Art
GIMP- a free program for creating vexels
Thank you to all who helped me with this