Start learning with our library of video tutorials taught by experts. Get started

Deke's Techniques
Illustration by John Hersey
Watching:

271 Tracing a line drawing with uniform strokes


From:

Deke's Techniques

with Deke McClelland

Video: 271 Tracing a line drawing with uniform strokes

Hey gang, this is Dick McClellen. Welcome to Dick's Techniques. Alright here is the original pencil sketch.
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 29m 37s
    1. 305 Simulating hand lettering with art brushes
      20m 8s
    2. 306 Adding texture to your hand stamp
      3m 34s
    3. 307 Creating a black chop on red paper
      5m 55s
  2. 4h 53m
    1. 282 Ringing in the New Year with dynamic effects in Illustrator
      12m 59s
    2. 283 Dynamically transforming fills and strokes
      13m 41s
    3. 284 Tracing an avatar from a photograph in Photoshop
      12m 24s
    4. 285 Drawing a vector-based avatar in Illustrator
      19m 44s
    5. 286 Coloring and shading your avatar
      16m 0s
    6. 287 Exporting an illustration as a universally supported PNG file
      10m 54s
    7. 288 Upsampling a layered composition with great results
      13m 43s
    8. 289 Rebuilding a pattern at a higher resolution
      7m 29s
    9. 290 Painting happy little trees
      13m 46s
    10. 291 Shading and lighting the happy forest
      15m 15s
    11. 292 Enlarging a low-res photograph in Photoshop
      12m 20s
    12. 293 Enlarging a photo by tracing it in Illustrator
      13m 10s
    13. 294 Mastering Exposure in Camera Raw
      11m 40s
    14. 295 Super smooth and unflinchingly sharp
      10m 46s
    15. 296 Deleting an inadvertent photo bomber
      8m 13s
    16. 297 Correcting a distorted panorama
      17m 23s
    17. 298 Rebuilding bad stitching in a panorama
      14m 53s
    18. 299 Nondestructive dodge and burn
      8m 54s
    19. 300 Blending an object’s shadow into any background
      8m 37s
    20. 301 Saving a PNG image with a translucent shadow
      8m 45s
    21. 302 Cleaning up a smart phone photo
      11m 17s
    22. 303 Using Photoshop 1.0
      5m 45s
    23. 304 Creating your own Chinese seal (or chop)
      26m 4s
  3. 17h 21m
    1. 185 Creating a custom 2013 calendar in Illustrator
      11m 44s
    2. 186 Adding dates to a calendar using tables
      9m 50s
    3. 187 Branding your calendar with a field of logos
      10m 54s
    4. 188 Crafting an Infinity symbol to match a specific font
      12m 6s
    5. 189 Op art experiment 1a: Inflated checkers
      10m 49s
    6. 190 Op art experiment 1b: Rounded windows
      6m 39s
    7. 191 Building a universal ISOTYPE man with strokes
      15m 6s
    8. 192 Building a universal ISOTYPE woman with strokes
      11m 7s
    9. 193 Drawing an ISOTYPE couple in love
      12m 55s
    10. 194 Creating a Warhol-style silkscreen effect
      14m 43s
    11. 195 Creating a series of Warhol-style variations
      10m 43s
    12. 196 Adding Warhol-style background variations
      8m 20s
    13. 197 Creating opaque colored shadows
      5m 20s
    14. 198 Assembling multiple variations into a single comp
      5m 9s
    15. 199 Creating a pattern of unique inset circles
      9m 55s
    16. 200 Changing a static blended color scheme
      7m 16s
    17. 201 Op art experiment 2a: Undulating pattern
      20m 26s
    18. 202 Op art experiment 2b: Concentric rings
      9m 43s
    19. 203 Developing a dramatic castle in Camera Raw
      13m 21s
    20. 204 Artificially coloring a photo in Camera Raw
      9m 38s
    21. 205 Creating an antique photo effect in Camera Raw
      7m 53s
    22. 206 Adding a weathered old-photo frame effect
      12m 0s
    23. 207 Drawing an Angry Birds-like character
      16m 59s
    24. 208 Stroking an entire layer in Illustrator
      9m 21s
    25. 209 Drawing a classic snarling cartoon face
      11m 10s
    26. 210 Drawing a radiant, cheerful cartoon background
      18m 29s
    27. 211 Stroking any kind of type in Illustrator
      5m 0s
    28. 212 Creating synthetic water droplets
      9m 29s
    29. 213 Simulating liquid reflections with effect
      5m 19s
    30. 214 Simulating liquid refractions with a dmap
      5m 30s
    31. 215 Creating an eye-catching splatter effect
      9m 8s
    32. 216 Defringing purples and greens in Camera Raw 7
      10m 4s
    33. 217 Making a danger sign more dangerous
      15m 9s
    34. 218 Using texture and depth to add realism
      10m 22s
    35. 219 Precisely aligning artwork to the bleed
      7m 16s
    36. 220 Creating and importing a tracing template
      6m 50s
    37. 221 Drawing a distinctive 2D video game character
      18m 52s
    38. 222 Adding features to a 2D character’s face
      14m 3s
    39. 223 Creating a vivid aura around an entire character
      7m 25s
    40. 224 Adding variable-width strokes in Illustrator
      11m 23s
    41. 225 Animating bird wings with Puppet Warp
      12m 15s
    42. 226 Animating text by onion skinning in Photoshop
      8m 0s
    43. 227 Creating an animated movie in Photoshop
      9m 15s
    44. 228 Exporting an animation to QuickTime and GIF
      5m 44s
    45. 229 Correcting an underwater photograph
      10m 30s
    46. 230 Making a photo razor-sharp and porcelain-smooth
      7m 17s
    47. 231 Reducing noise in a high-ISO shot with Camera Raw
      8m 33s
    48. 232 Creating highly reflective sunglasses
      10m 43s
    49. 233 Adding drama to an outdoor portrait shot
      6m 35s
    50. 234 Creating volumetric forms with shape layers
      15m 52s
    51. 235 Creating a bloodshot eye effect
      7m 11s
    52. 236 Shading an image with shapes and layer masks
      13m 2s
    53. 237 Creating fabric textures with pattern layers
      7m 27s
    54. 238 Colorize any layer with Color Overlay
      3m 23s
    55. 239 Turning a portrait into a dot drawing
      7m 40s
    56. 240 Creating a full-color dot drawing
      3m 29s
    57. 241 Drawing an orthogonal cube with the line tool
      7m 9s
    58. 242 Creating a cube of differently colored cubes
      9m 27s
    59. 243 Recreating the Creative Cloud Logo in Illustrator
      16m 18s
    60. 244 Creating a psychedelic fabric texture
      9m 7s
    61. 245 Turning psychedelic fabric into rock letters
      5m 23s
    62. 246 Creating a more finely rendered dot drawing
      8m 29s
    63. 247 Converting from RGB to CMYK via Multichannel
      12m 31s
    64. 248 Creating printer-safe CMYK shadows
      6m 48s
    65. 249 Creating bright, golden motion trails
      12m 32s
    66. 250 Creating schematic art with Illustrator’s grid
      12m 41s
    67. 251 Drawing precisely aligned arrowhead
      12m 8s
    68. 252 Adding arrowheads around a closed path
      6m 1s
    69. 253 Drawing the Pen tool without touching the Pen tool
      17m 13s
    70. 254 Merging frames for the best possible UAV photo
      16m 40s
    71. 255 Retouching details in an aerial landscape
      12m 13s
    72. 256 Editing a video and adding transitions in Photoshop
      10m 57s
    73. 257 Importing the quadcopter crash sequences
      9m 4s
    74. 258 Color correcting a video and adding a soundtrack
      8m 56s
    75. 259 Adding precisely timed titles to your video
      11m 43s
    76. 260 Hand-painting an image with a Wacom Cintiq
      13m 11s
    77. 261 Blending the final false-color artwork
      8m 41s
    78. 262 Creating a honeycomb pattern in Illustrator
      12m 50s
    79. 263 Building up strokes to create 3D honeycomb
      9m 8s
    80. 264 Turning yourself into a zombie
      14m 0s
    81. 265 Enhancing an ambience environment for the undead
      9m 26s
    82. 266 Creating dripping, gooey ghost letters
      16m 43s
    83. 267 Turning type into gooey green slime
      11m 19s
    84. 268 Creating heavy metal type (updated for Photoshop CS6 and CC)
      12m 27s
    85. 269 Cleaning up a crummy product shot
      11m 3s
    86. 270 Scaling and rotating photographic objects
      10m 10s
    87. 271 Tracing a line drawing with uniform strokes
      11m 18s
    88. 272 Coloring line art using Live Paint Bucket
      18m 22s
    89. 273 Creating a pigture using shapes and letters
      18m 7s
    90. 274 Integrating a cartoon into a photograph
      7m 27s
    91. 275 Converting a photo into a Lichtenstein drawing
      16m 8s
    92. 276 Adding bring Ben-Day dots and a talk balloon
      15m 31s
    93. 277 Painting an eye using a custom brush
      11m 31s
    94. 278 Painting and smoothing straight-sided brushstrokes
      12m 0s
    95. 279 Simulating pressure with path outlines
      6m 3s
    96. 280 Developing a 32-bit HDR image in Camera Raw
      14m 42s
    97. 281 Converting from 32-bit to the more flexible 8-bit mode
      11m 15s
  4. 14h 31m
    1. 091 Removing people from a photo
      10m 44s
    2. 092 Masking people back into a photo
      10m 58s
    3. 093 Hand-painting a mask
      10m 5s
    4. 094 Masking a real-life shadow
      10m 40s
    5. 095 Turning a photo into line art
      7m 44s
    6. 096 Adding a crosshatch shading pattern
      6m 46s
    7. 097 Creating type that inverts anything behind it
      5m 32s
    8. 098 Creating auto-inverting line art
      5m 7s
    9. 099 Creating movie poster credits
      8m 10s
    10. 100 Creating a dual-focus hybrid image
      6m 24s
    11. 101 Adding text to a hybrid composition
      7m 24s
    12. 102 Drawing with the reshape tool
      10m 39s
    13. 103 Hand-drawing a really great letter
      10m 6s
    14. 104 Creating a vanity frame
      5m 28s
    15. 105 Adding a frame to a photograph
      5m 3s
    16. 106 Drawing a highly graphic explosion with Illustrator
      10m 3s
    17. 107 Drawing a Ninja Turtle nose
      10m 22s
    18. 108 Mapping a dog face onto a duck
      8m 20s
    19. 109 Putting a tongue on a duck
      7m 6s
    20. 110 Making synthetic lightning in Photoshop
      11m 3s
    21. 111 Creating a driving rain effect in Photoshop
      4m 57s
    22. 112 Designing a railroad track
      12m 18s
    23. 113 Bending the railroad track around curves
      7m 46s
    24. 114 Creating a Star Wars hologram effect
      9m 23s
    25. 115 Creating leafy letters
      6m 12s
    26. 116 Creating topiary type
      6m 22s
    27. 117 Creating type in grass
      9m 0s
    28. 118 Rendering type in smoke
      7m 30s
    29. 119 Rendering type in brushed metal
      9m 57s
    30. 120 Adding brushed copper effect
      4m 14s
    31. 121 Reflecting type in water
      10m 57s
    32. 122 Reflecting water back into type
      11m 14s
    33. 123 Joining type to a circle
      7m 14s
    34. 124 Making flared type on a circle
      7m 17s
    35. 125 Making a person emerge from water
      5m 32s
    36. 126 Creating progressive water ripples
      10m 17s
    37. 127 Creating an upside-down face effect
      10m 17s
    38. 128 Achieving silky smooth skin with retouching
      6m 33s
    39. 129 Pearly white teeth
      7m 28s
    40. 130 Head-shrinking
      8m 26s
    41. 131 Getting a big head
      5m 11s
    42. 132 Adding a photographic texture to vector type
      4m 28s
    43. 133 Adding strokes in back of photo type
      5m 9s
    44. 134 Adding a border to an image in Illustrator
      4m 17s
    45. 135 Two ways to crop in Illustrator
      7m 29s
    46. 136 Inventing a 3D temple with a depth map
      10m 0s
    47. 137 Drawing a 3D object with Curves
      11m 41s
    48. 138 Creating a superhero shield in Illustrator
      16m 28s
    49. 139 Turning Illustrator paths into Photoshop shapes
      11m 42s
    50. 140 Creating a photorealistic superhero shield
      12m 39s
    51. 141 Pimping your ride in Photoshop
      9m 59s
    52. 142 Masking and blackening a car
      10m 20s
    53. 143 Drawing a multi-part vector mask
      12m 46s
    54. 144 Masking and painting a shadow
      8m 26s
    55. 145 Integrating blades of grass into tires
      5m 34s
    56. 146 Making a (ridiculously) dramatic sky
      6m 2s
    57. 147 Adding flame stripes to a car
      8m 23s
    58. 148 Creating interlocking octagons in Illustrator
      7m 44s
    59. 149 Hand-coloring line art
      13m 9s
    60. 150 Creating a custom wave pattern
      9m 56s
    61. 151 Simulating a screen print
      8m 30s
    62. 152 Drawing a perfect linear spiral in Illustrator
      9m 42s
    63. 153 Drawing a spiraling nautilus shell
      11m 4s
    64. 154 Designing a hex pattern in Illustrator CS6
      11m 10s
    65. 155 Making a hex pattern in Illustrator CS5 and earlier
      7m 4s
    66. 156 Creating a Facebook cover in Photoshop
      9m 25s
    67. 157 Matching a profile picture to your cover
      6m 37s
    68. 158 Cloning yourself in Photoshop
      11m 16s
    69. 159 Lighting the clone party
      8m 29s
    70. 160 Hand-carving letters into wood
      8m 0s
    71. 161 Creating a Spirograph-like pattern
      7m 34s
    72. 162 Tracing scalloped gear teeth around a circle
      4m 55s
    73. 163 Applying custom carve and shadow styles to type
      8m 50s
    74. 164 Turning a pencil sketch into digital ink
      12m 55s
    75. 165 Adding a graph-paper background
      13m 42s
    76. 166 Creating a continuous single-line Spirograph
      13m 2s
    77. 167 Scaling circles into complex patterns
      7m 15s
    78. 168 Creating a money-like design
      8m 43s
    79. 169 Attack of the killer pumpkin
      14m 49s
    80. 170 Simulating a glowing Jack-o'-lantern
      12m 24s
    81. 171 The headless stranger in the mist
      12m 25s
    82. 172 Creating 3D punched letters
      13m 29s
    83. 173 Designing a double-wave line pattern
      11m 2s
    84. 174 Assembling a seamless pattern brush
      9m 53s
    85. 175 Creating a hand turkey in Photoshop
      18m 42s
    86. 176 Creating a depth-of-field cast shadow
      7m 29s
    87. 177 Creating a lustrous round jewel
      13m 56s
    88. 178 Cutting and brushing light on a gem
      8m 30s
    89. 179 Creating a shiny button with inset text
      11m 5s
    90. 180 Creating a jaunty six-sided star
      15m 1s
    91. 181 Interweaving star shapes and adding gradients
      8m 28s
    92. 182 Casting shadows between interwoven shapes
      9m 12s
    93. 183 Creating a Hobbit-like text effect
      15m 6s
    94. 184 Enhancing a landscape photo in Camera Raw 7
      9m 16s
  5. 13h 11m
    1. 001 Creating ice type
      8m 39s
    2. 002 Branding type on a texture
      7m 6s
    3. 003 Creating an image-branding machine
      7m 13s
    4. 004 Capturing effects with layer comps
      7m 35s
    5. 005 Rendering type in gold
      8m 9s
    6. 006 Creating a hammered metal background
      5m 48s
    7. 007 Creating heavy metal type
      8m 13s
    8. 008 Creating a molten letter effect
      6m 43s
    9. 009 Setting type on fire
      11m 20s
    10. 010 Using an anti-edge mask
      7m 20s
    11. 011 Blending textures onto a face
      9m 28s
    12. 012 Rendering a face as a cave painting
      7m 34s
    13. 013 Creating a reflection in shattered glass
      8m 32s
    14. 014 Creating a face in a tree
      11m 20s
    15. 015 Building a synthetic star field
      8m 21s
    16. 016 Making 3D type with Repoussé
      10m 14s
    17. 017 Casting 3D shadows and reflections
      9m 35s
    18. 018 Adjusting 3D light sources
      10m 51s
    19. 019 Masking highlights and shadows
      6m 27s
    20. 020 Masking glass
      10m 39s
    21. 021 High key high contrast
      8m 33s
    22. 022 Simulating sub-pixel rendering
      10m 58s
    23. 023 Fixing chromatic aberrations in Photoshop
      9m 41s
    24. 024 Fixing chromatic aberrations in Camera Raw
      8m 51s
    25. 025 Correcting red-eye like a pro
      11m 56s
    26. 026 Turning a photo into an ink drawing
      10m 42s
    27. 027 Turning a photo into a pencil sketch
      8m 43s
    28. 028 Creating a seamlessly repeating pattern
      10m 56s
    29. 029 Repairing seams in a repeating pattern
      10m 47s
    30. 030 Creating a 3D pie chart
      11m 9s
    31. 031 Splitting and modifying 3D meshes
      11m 52s
    32. 032 Using the Ground Plane Shadow Catcher
      6m 58s
    33. 033 Creating a talk show-style curtain
      7m 57s
    34. 034 Assembling a flawless panorama
      10m 5s
    35. 035 Removing people with image stacks
      11m 44s
    36. 036 Creative stacking with Maximum and Range
      11m 44s
    37. 037 Creating synthetic wood grain
      9m 23s
    38. 038 Making slats of uniquely textured wood
      10m 52s
    39. 039 Kerning within a single character
      10m 31s
    40. 040 Creating a raised bevel effect
      11m 49s
    41. 041 Putting wings on a horse
      10m 41s
    42. 042 Creating a classic heart in Illustrator
      7m 15s
    43. 043 Glossing up a heart in Photoshop
      8m 42s
    44. 044 Shooting and assembling a stereoscopic photo
      8m 15s
    45. 045 Extending 3D beyond the screen plane
      6m 13s
    46. 046 Adding stereo 3D text and shapes
      9m 9s
    47. 047 Tilting text and shapes toward the viewer
      8m 13s
    48. 048 Creating a shooting star in Illustrator
      6m 33s
    49. 049 Using blends to draw path outlines
      8m 8s
    50. 050 Inventing custom starbursts
      7m 33s
    51. 051 Making a fictional creature
      12m 5s
    52. 052 Transforming a creature into a monster
      6m 14s
    53. 053 Capturing a monster in motion
      11m 45s
    54. 054 Changing the color of a car
      7m 12s
    55. 055 Painting a colorful car black
      8m 16s
    56. 056 Coloring the stripes on a zebra
      10m 47s
    57. 057 Drawing trendy swirls in Illustrator
      10m 59s
    58. 058 Creating variable-width and brushed swirls
      10m 46s
    59. 059 Drawing trendy ornaments in Illustrator
      8m 49s
    60. 060 Designing a magically updating pattern
      8m 40s
    61. 061 Automatically collapsing a selection
      7m 43s
    62. 062 Adding a magnifying glass into a design
      7m 5s
    63. 063 Healing one eye onto another
      7m 15s
    64. 064 Creating a giant command key
      9m 15s
    65. 065 Drawing common symbols part 1
      6m 29s
    66. 066 Drawing common symbols part 2
      9m 26s
    67. 067 Filtering images with Camera Raw
      7m 52s
    68. 068 Creating a vivid HDR effect
      5m 29s
    69. 069 Creating an ambigram in Illustrator
      10m 45s
    70. 070 Making a two-word ambigram
      7m 47s
    71. 071 Drawing a Halloween scareflake
      10m 45s
    72. 072 Creating true clones in Illustrator
      11m 7s
    73. 073 Taking your scareflakes into Photoshop
      7m 20s
    74. 074 Making a faux HDR image in Lab
      8m 38s
    75. 075 Turning a guy into a zombie
      7m 3s
    76. 076 Miniaturizing the world in Photoshop
      6m 45s
    77. 077 Creating a synthetic rainbow
      8m 53s
    78. 078 Casting an artificial shadow from a layer
      7m 2s
    79. 079 Rendering a portrait in type
      8m 58s
    80. 080 Rendering a portrait in tile patterns
      7m 43s
    81. 081 Rotating a pattern layer in Photoshop
      4m 16s
    82. 082 Tracing an image with path outlines
      7m 50s
    83. 083 Turning path outlines into a vector mask
      6m 0s
    84. 084 Drawing rays of light in Photoshop
      5m 40s
    85. 085 Drawing concentric glow rings
      7m 24s
    86. 086 Designing an Indiana Jones-style logo
      8m 50s
    87. 087 Achieving mitered corners in Photoshop
      5m 43s
    88. 088 Masking with Photoshop's Blunt Instruments
      11m 8s
    89. 089 Creating a stained-glass ornament
      8m 26s
    90. 090 Designing a stained-glass window
      10m 23s

Watch this entire course now—plus get access to every course in the library. Each course includes high-quality videos taught by expert instructors.

Become a member
Please wait...
Deke's Techniques
50h 26m Intermediate Jan 11, 2011 Updated Apr 15, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Deke's Techniques is a collection of short Photoshop and Illustrator projects and creative effects that can be completed in ten minutes or less. The series is taught by computer graphics guru Deke McClelland, and presented in his signature step-by-step style. The intent is to reveal how various Photoshop and Illustrator features can be combined and leveraged in real-world examples so that they can be applied to creative projects right away.

Subjects:
Design Raw Processing Design Techniques
Software:
Illustrator Photoshop
Author:
Deke McClelland

271 Tracing a line drawing with uniform strokes

Hey gang, this is Dick McClellen. Welcome to Dick's Techniques. We're in Adobe Illustrator, and we're going to take this whimsical pencil sketch, that I created one Sunday morning with my youngest son, Sam, for what's that work. And we're going to apply the image trace feature, not to convert it to closed path outlines, which is the way things work by default, but instead we're going to trace it with open path outlines. All of which have uniform strokes in order to create this impeccable piece of vector based artwork.

Here, let me show you exactly how it works. Alright here is the original pencil sketch. Now it wasn't really this light, but the HP laser printer here in the office makes for a pretty poor scanner, and yet it is going to be good enough for our purposes. All we need to do is start things off by adding contrast to the image here inside Photoshop. So, I'll drop down to the black white icon down here at the bottom of the Layers panel. And, I'll press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and choose the Levels command. And, that way I can name the layer as I create it.

And, I'll call it contrast and click OK. And now I'm going to take this black point value up to 230, so that I'm turning those pencil lines black. But you can see that ends up bringing out a ton of JPEG artifacts, that were created by the printer when it scanned the artwork. And to help get rid of those, I'll take the white point value down to 245, but we've still got these random pixels here and there. And to get rid of those, we need to apply a couple of filters.

So, go ahead and double-click on the Background. And let's name this new layer, sketch. And click OK. And then, right-click inside the Image window with your rectangular Marquee tool, and choose Convert to Smart Object. Next, go up to the Filter menu choose Blur and then choose Gaussian Blur. And we want to enter the smallest value we can that still gets rid of those dots. So, I'm going to take the radius value down to a half a pixel. So, 0.5 pixel like so. And then click OK. And now I want to make the lines thinner, because thinner lines are going to work better inside of Illustrator.

And you do that by going up to the Filter menu, choosing Other and choosing Maximum. And the reasoning behind this filter, is that it expands the maximum luminous level which is white. So, I'll go ahead and choose the command. Now, notice by default we apply 1 pixel and that's way too much. So, that really makes the lines much, much thinner. And that's because preserve is set to squareness. Now, this is a new setting inside Photoshop CC. It's not available to you in CS6 and earlier. But if you have it, go ahead and change it to Roundness, and then take the radius value down to 0.5 pixel, like so.

And we end up with these thinner lines here. So, just to give you a sense of what we've been able to accomplish, I'll click OK, and then I'll turn off the eye in front of Smart Filters. And notice that we have a lot more junk inside the image. And we have thicker lines as well. And then, if I press Ctrl+Z or Cmd+Z on a Mac to reapply the filters, we have much smoother thinner lines. Now, I'll go ahead and zoom out, so we can take in more of the image at a time. And at this point, you'd want to go up to the File menu and choose the Save As, command.

And you can see that I've already saved this composition in advance as Alien Potentate Drawing, so I'll go and cancel out and switch over to Illustrator. Now the easiest way to get to the image from Illustrator, is to just go up to the File menu and choose the Open command. And then find the file called Alien Potentate Drawing.psd and click on the Open button. If you like, you can turn on the Show Preview checkbox, but you don't have to. You do want to make sure to set options to flatten layers into a single image. Because, there's no sense in trying to keep those layers.

Then, click OK. And you'll see the image here on screen. Alright, I'm going to go ahead and zoom In to the top portion of the image like so. And I also want larger thumbnails in my Layers panel, so I'll go and click on the Fly Out Menu icon and I'll choose Panel Options at the bottom of the list. Then select Other and change it to let's say 70 pixels and click OK. And I'll change the name of this layer to Tracing. And I'll go ahead and twirl it open like so. And we can see the image right there.

So, to select it, just go ahead and click on its circular, so-called meatball. And then notice, up here, in the Control panel, you'll see an Image Trace button. I want you to go ahead and click on it. The moment you do, Illustrator will give you an alert message, that's telling you that its very slow at tracing high resolution images. Which is fine. Thing is if you restorize to a lower resolution as it's suggesting, then you will end up with greatly diminished results. So, I don't suggest you do that at all. Just go ahead and suffer through the slowness by clicking OK, and a moment or two later you'll see a Progress bar or even two go by on screen.

You'll be met with this path rendering. So in other words, Illustrator is tracing around each and every black stroke, with black and white filled paths. That's not what we want however, we want uniform strokes and to make that happen, we want to go up here to the Control Panel and click on the Image Trace Panel icon. And then I'll bring up the Image Trace panel, as you can see here. Here's where things get really painful, so I'm just warning you up front. It's nothing to worry about. It's just going to take maybe a few minutes to pull this off.

But what you want to do is click on this final icon up here at the top, that says Outline. And that will go ahead and retrace the image. Now at first, it's going to seem as if nothing's happened. It's almost as if you've crashed the program. That's not what's really happening. You may even see some various scary stuff on screen. Your screen may turn black or things may just go haywire. Just wait through it. And in the fullness of time, we're going to fast forward, of course. You will end up seeing this uniform stroke version of the drawing.

Now what I'd like you to do, is click on the triangle in front of the word Advanced in order to expand this area. Now, notice now we no longer have any fills. The Fills checkbox is turned off. And Strokes is turned on. I don't want you to click on anything yet, because if you do, you'll have a big slow down once again. Now you may think that the thickness of these strokes have something to do with the stroke value being set to 50 pixels. In fact what that's really doing is setting the maximum width in pixels that will be recognized and converted to stroked paths. And, I'm telling you from experience, you want to leave this thing alone.

If you reduce the value, as you might think you should, then you'll end up tracing fewer lines inside of your artwork. These two values paths and corners don't have any effect when you're stroking paths, so the only thing we're going to change is the noise value, and I want you to take it down to five pixels. And then press the Enter key. And once again, it's going to take Illustrator quite a bit of time in order to pull this off. So what I'd recommend you do, is just take your hands off the keyboard, and wait for a few minutes. And the way you'll know that the program is done, is that the path value down here next to the little Info icon, will change from 750 to 754.

Now at this point we're done with the Image Trace panel, so just go ahead and close it. The next step is to expand our artwork, and modify the strokes and also simplify the lines. And you do that by expanding the trace. But what I recommend you do, is that you keep the original image trace just in case you need to come back to it. So, press Ctrl+C or Cmd+C on a Mac in order to copy it. Then go ahead and turn it off and press Ctrl+F or Cmd+F on a Mac in order to paste the copy at the front of the layer.

Now go up to the Control panel and click on the word Expand, and you'll see a bunch of static path outlines, complete with anchor points on screen. Now go ahead and click on the word Stroke, just to ensure that we have a round cap, and a round joint, which is the way it should be. And then, let's go ahead and change the line weight value to one point. Now, go up to the Object menu. Choose Path and choose Simplify. And the job of the simplified command is to automatically remove anchor points and smooth out your path outlines. But, you want to take it easy.

Notice that the curve precision value is set to 50% by default, which just makes an absolute mess of the art work. There's no way, I want my son looking like that in the Moon is totally unrecognizable at this point. This guy's face is melted. And so forth. So, what you want to do when you use this command, good way to work, is to start by setting it to 100%. Now, that's going to kick up the number of anchor points from 4400, in our case to 4600. Obviously, that's not what we want. So, click inside this value and press the down arrow key, until the image starts to look wrong, which in our case happens at 97%.

I end up making this guy's eyes sag too much. So, I'll press the up arrow key to make the curve precision value 98%, which ends up reducing the number of anchor points from 4,400 to just 3,100. So, we're doing a lot of simplification here without damaging the image. Then, go ahead and click OK. And, I'll call this new group here Simplified, let's just say so I can keep track of it. There's one more change I want to make, and that's to the color of the strokes.

And right now they're set to what's known as a weak black. That is to say, we've got 100% black, but no cyan, magenta or yellowing to back it up. So to switch it out for rich black, go ahead and switch to the Color panel. Make sure that the stroke is active. Then, I want you to click on the Fly Out Menu icon and choose CMYK. And now, change the cyan, magenta and yellow values to 50% a piece. Black should still be 100%. Now return to the Swatches panel, click on the little Page icon right there, and go ahead and call this New Swatch, rich black like so.

And that way, you'll get the most robust blacks you can possibly have. And that friends, is how convert hand-drawn line art, even a very light pencil sketch, to uniform strokes, here inside Illustrator. Now if I were you I'd take one look at what we've got so far and I'd say what this art work needs is color. Which is why if you're a member of the lynda.com training library, I'm going to show you how to color this artwork. Using the live paint bucket inside of Illustrator and as a result we'll come up with this cheerful piece of vector based artwork.

Bare in mind, it started as a pencil sketch and now it's totally a pro-quality vector based quality, because Illustrator is so awesome. In next weeks free movie, it's Thanksgiving. Normally, I show you how to draw a turkey, next week I'm going to show you how to make a ham. And, it's so simple that a child could do it. His tail, right here, is made up of a bunch of cursive Es for easy. Don't you know? These techniques, each and every week. Keep watching.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Deke's Techniques.


Expand all | Collapse all
Please wait...
Q: Why can't I earn a Certificate of Completion for this course?
A: We publish a new tutorial or tutorials for this course on a regular basis. We are unable to offer a Certificate of Completion because it is an ever-evolving course that is not designed to be completed. Check back often for new movies.
Share a link to this course
Please wait... Please wait...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.
Upgrade now


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Upgrade now

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Deke's Techniques.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Welcome to the redesigned course page.

We’ve moved some things around, and now you can



Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked