Video:Learn How to Use Live Trace in Adobe Illustratorwith Don Schechter
The live trace tool enables you to change photos into vector-based drawings, allowing you to resize any image without losing quality. Learn how to use live trace in Adobe Illustrator.See Transcript
Transcript:Learn How to Use Live Trace in Adobe IllustratorHi, I'm Don Schechter for About.com Computing. Today I'm going to show you how to use the live trace feature in Adobe Illustrator CS2.
Why Use the Trace Tool?Use the trace tool to change your bitmap photo files into vector based drawings. While Bitmaps are made up of pixels, vector images are composed of mathematical formulas that create curves and points. The best feature of vector based drawings is that you can resize any image without losing quality.
Choose a File to Live TraceLet's start by opening Adobe Illustrator CS2. Go to 'file' and create a new document. To get a photo file into your new document, go back to the file drop down menu and select 'place.' You can use a bmp, jpg, gif, png, tif, or even a psd file. I can browse my options by navigating files in the new window.
For now, Ill choose a Photoshop file from Adobe Photoshop CS2 samples folder called Ducky.tiff. He will appear directly onto the document.
Doing a live trace on Ducky is easy because the background is solid white and he can be easily isolated. For other photos you might need to remove the background.
Choose Live Trace PresetsAfter placing the duck in the document, a live trace button appears in the control palette at the top of your document. To choose several live trace presets, click on the black arrow to the right of the live trace button and select any option from the dropdown menu. I'll choose 'Low Fidelity Photo.' You can also click on 'Live Trace' and see what happens.
Edit the Photo With Live TraceNow click expand from the control palette. Your live trace file will convert to vector paths. After you do so, click on different sections of the file. Groups of vector paths will appear and you can easily edit them. I'll stretch the mouth by selecting it and then changing the dimension of the box.
Change Photo Colors With Live TraceGo back to your original live type image by undoing all of the changes. From here, you can click the live paint button, which makes it easier to change colors on your duck. To change a color the duck, select the paint can and then the color. Then drag your mouse over the image and each separate area will be highlighted in red. Click to change the color.
Adjust the Live Trace PresetsOnce you've got the hang of the presets, go back to the live trace dropdown menu and go to 'tracing options.' You can change any preset by clicking on the arrows to change color options, number of colors, blur and vector path fitting. When you're done you can either save preset or select 'trace' to live trace directly from your options.
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