Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Adjusting Threshold and Min Area

From: Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: Advanced Techniques

Video: Adjusting Threshold and Min Area

All right. Over the course of the next three exercises, we are going to be examining every single one of the Live Trace settings that Illustrator makes available to us, because, believe it or not, to some extent or other they are all important to the outcome of our traced outwork. In this exercise, we are going to be visiting the two most important options, which are these guys here inside the Control palette, Threshold and Minimum Area. In the next exercise, we will bring up the Tracing Options dialog box and we will review the options on the left- hand side of the dialog box which control the image adjustments.

Adjusting Threshold and Min Area

All right. Over the course of the next three exercises, we are going to be examining every single one of the Live Trace settings that Illustrator makes available to us, because, believe it or not, to some extent or other they are all important to the outcome of our traced outwork. In this exercise, we are going to be visiting the two most important options, which are these guys here inside the Control palette, Threshold and Minimum Area. In the next exercise, we will bring up the Tracing Options dialog box and we will review the options on the left- hand side of the dialog box which control the image adjustments.

And then, in the third of this group of three exercises, we will be visiting the options on the right side of the Tracing Options dialog box, which determine the outcome of the Live Trace operation. All right, so if you are just joining me, open this illustration. It's called Default tracing.ai, so- called because it exhibits the default Trace settings, and we have gone ahead and traced a black and white version of those letters that I drew inside Photoshop with the Wacom Tablet. Go into your Layers palette. Twirl open the Image layer and meatball the tracing object to make sure that it's selected as mine is. All right.

We are looking at a handful of the big capital letters and a few other smaller capital letters as well. So in order to see what's going on with Threshold, I want you, for a moment, to go ahead and turn off your Tracing Result. So set this option here to No Tracing Result and then go over to the choppy pyramid and set it to Adjusted Image so we can see what Illustrator is doing to the image in order to figure out what the tracing should look like. Notice that it's converting the image to black and white, every pixel is either black or white.

This Threshold option determines the border between black and white pixels. And in order to understand how this value works, 128, you need to understand Luminance levels. They work like this. In the world of imagery, a luminance level of 0 means black and 255 means white. So right now, we are looking at 128, which is right down the middle. It's medium gray. So we are saying anything that's lighter than medium gray make it white. Anything that's darker than medium gray make it black. If you want to make your characters thinner, then you would reduce this value to make more of the background white.

So, in this case, if I press the Tab key to advance to the next option, which is something you need to do in order to invoke that setting and preview it on screen, you need to press the Tab key. Then you will see that the white pixels have encroached on the letters. They are taking over the gray pixels that exist along the edges of these character outlines. If we want to thicken up the characters, then you want to raise the Threshold value. I am going to take it up to 220 pixels and then press the Tab key, and you will see that these characters do indeed get thicker because we are saying more of the pixels ought to be black.

In fact, we are saying everything that has a Luminance level of 220 or darker becomes black, and that means only 220-255 are white. So, just a few of those gray pixels are left as white. Now, to see how that effects your tracing result, go ahead and turn on the Tracing Result option here from the smooth pyramid and you will see those thicker letters. Just again, so that you can see it in the vector world, this is the Threshold setting of one which is the lowest threshold that you can apply and the thinnest letters you can achieve, compared with 220, which are pretty darn thick letters, not quite the thickest, but thick enough for our purposes.

Now Minimum Area. Minimum Area, you are only going to see the results of this option when this item right here is set to Tracing Result. So make sure that it is. Minimum Area controls the smallest details that will get traced. So right now, we are saying 10 pixels, which means 3 pixels wide by 3 pixels tall plus an additional pixel, essentially. That would be the minimum area that would get traced, and that would basically rule out Noise inside of your digital image, noise being weird little particles. So things like dust and scratches would get ruled out.

Well, this image doesn't have any dust or scratches in it for the simple reason that I drew it directly inside Photoshop. I didn't scan it. I just drew it inside of Photoshop, so it's ultra-clean. But just to give you a sense of what this means, if I were to take this value up, let's say I raise it to 1000 pixels and press the Tab key and we are going to see how a lot stuff drops out of it, a ton of little letters drop out, a bunch of interiors of letters drop out as well because the area of those interiors is less than 1000 pixels. Somehow, when you take the width and height, they are less than 1000 pixels.

But really, you don't need to know that so much just as you are ruling out areas when you drag this value around. So you can always preview the effects here inside of the illustration window. So as I take that value down to even a pretty high value, 324, I bring back all my letters. I am still missing a few interiors. Fine. What I really want to do for this specific image, because it has no noise whatsoever, take this value down to 0 pixels, which means you are telling the Illustrator to trace everything inside of this document. And that's it.

Those are the values I want you to apply. We have now seen how Threshold and Minimum Area work. In the next exercise, we are going to take on the wider range of tracing options inside the Tracing Options dialog box.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: Advanced Techniques
Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: Advanced Techniques

99 video lessons · 27177 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1h 4m
    1. Welcome to Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: Advanced Techniques
      1m 25s
    2. Applying Live Effects to groups and layers
      6m 11s
    3. Making beveled text with offset strokes
      5m 51s
    4. Bending letterforms with Pucker & Bloat
      4m 30s
    5. Selecting text by its baseline
      2m 55s
    6. Warping text without an envelope
      5m 12s
    7. Adding dynamic attributes to type objects
      6m 25s
    8. Creating terraced beveled edges
      3m 30s
    9. Applying Pathfinders as Live Effects
      5m 30s
    10. The double drop shadow
      2m 59s
    11. Prioritizing Live Effects
      4m 32s
    12. Adding and adjusting live type attributes
      6m 31s
    13. Where live type breaks down
      3m 45s
    14. Copying effects from one object to another
      5m 20s
  2. 1h 11m
    1. Whatever happened to Streamline?
      2m 7s
    2. Working with a linked image
      6m 24s
    3. Four ways to trace
      4m 35s
    4. Tracing a black-and-white image
      5m 27s
    5. Adjusting Threshold and Min Area
      5m 19s
    6. Tracing options pt. 1: The Raster functions
      4m 59s
    7. Tracing options pt. 2: The vector functions
      8m 13s
    8. Expanding and editing traced artwork
      3m 48s
    9. Applying and amending a Live Trace preset
      4m 41s
    10. Tracing full-color artwork
      4m 45s
    11. Editing a traced color swatch
      3m 48s
    12. Recoloring traced details in Live Paint
      3m 59s
    13. Tracing portrait photography
      5m 48s
    14. Preparing a Live Trace color palette
      7m 15s
  3. 1h 6m
    1. Another way to fill, stroke, and color
      1m 51s
    2. Creating interactions with blend modes
      4m 14s
    3. Creating interactions with Live Paint
      5m 11s
    4. Stroking with the Live Paint Bucket
      5m 33s
    5. Using the Live Paint Selection tool
      5m 52s
    6. Adding a path to a Live Paint group
      5m 41s
    7. Drawing inside a Live Paint group
      4m 52s
    8. Combining Live Paint with a Live Effect
      6m 19s
    9. Coloring traced line art
      5m 55s
    10. Using automatic Gap Detection
      6m 43s
    11. Closing gaps manually
      6m 4s
    12. Filling multiple areas at one time
      3m 0s
    13. Selecting areas of similar color
      5m 8s
  4. 1h 5m
    1. The best new feature since transparency
      1m 58s
    2. Introducing Adobe Kuler
      9m 17s
    3. Accessing Kuler from inside Illustrator
      4m 46s
    4. Working with color groups
      6m 3s
    5. Using the Color Guide palette
      7m 9s
    6. Creating a custom harmony rule
      3m 43s
    7. Adding and deleting swatches in a group
      3m 28s
    8. Using the Live Color dialog box
      7m 34s
    9. Limiting Live Color to spot colors
      3m 8s
    10. Recoloring selected artwork
      7m 42s
    11. Reassigning colors in an illustration
      6m 47s
    12. Distilling the perfect two-color print job
      4m 21s
  5. 52m 9s
    1. Repeat, amend, amass
      1m 55s
    2. The power of symbols
      3m 28s
    3. Acquiring and previewing symbols
      5m 9s
    4. Replicating, editing, and updating symbols
      6m 56s
    5. Replacing instances with a different symbol
      2m 24s
    6. Exporting custom shapes from Photoshop
      7m 21s
    7. Making lots of symbols
      7m 12s
    8. Loading an illustration as a symbol library
      6m 32s
    9. Laying down a symbol set
      4m 7s
    10. Painting with the Symbolism tools
      7m 5s
  6. 1h 0m
    1. Probing the depths of 3D
      59s
    2. Introducing 3D in Illustrator
      5m 39s
    3. Applying the Extrude & Bevel effect
      7m 27s
    4. Adjusting lighting and shading
      8m 33s
    5. Creating symbols for mapped art
      5m 26s
    6. Mapping symbols onto a 3D object
      7m 44s
    7. Modifying mapped artwork
      6m 55s
    8. Establishing base objects for 3D Revolve
      4m 46s
    9. Applying the 3D Revolve effect
      6m 51s
    10. Roughing up your 3D art in Photoshop
      5m 56s
  7. 1h 14m
    1. Setting your illustration free
      1m 15s
    2. Type outlines and the CS3 format
      4m 9s
    3. Setting trim size and bleed
      4m 36s
    4. Imageable area and crop boundary
      5m 16s
    5. Setting the General Print options
      4m 12s
    6. The Setup, Marks, and Bleed options
      5m 49s
    7. PostScript-only output and graphics
      7m 20s
    8. Color Management, Advanced, and Summary panels
      7m 35s
    9. Setting the Raster Effects resolution
      4m 14s
    10. Conveying a graphic via the Clipboard
      8m 58s
    11. The Save As formats
      3m 46s
    12. Exporting a layered PSD image
      7m 46s
    13. Exporting for Microsoft Office
      1m 32s
    14. Working with Device Central
      7m 36s
  8. 56m 19s
    1. Illustrator's hidden animation feature
      1m 24s
    2. Animating dynamic type effects
      4m 21s
    3. Establishing animation-friendly effects
      5m 36s
    4. Blending and looping live text
      4m 39s
    5. Exporting a Flash SWF animation
      6m 8s
    6. Switching the color scheme and adding frames
      9m 9s
    7. Animating with symbols
      3m 21s
    8. Rotating symbols and releasing to layers
      7m 18s
    9. Exporting layers as SWF frames
      3m 50s
    10. Animating 3D Extrude & Bevel
      7m 11s
    11. Exporting the 3rd and 4th dimensions
      3m 22s
  9. 2m 34s
    1. See ya
      2m 34s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

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.


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.

Join now Already a member? Log in

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 Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: Advanced 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 preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
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.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

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
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.