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Overview of image tracing


From:

Illustrator CS6 New Features

with Justin Seeley

Video: Overview of image tracing

We've come to my favorite new Illustrator feature, the revamped Image Trace. You may laugh it off, thinking that Illustrator has had tracing capabilities for quite some time now, and well, technically, you're correct. Illustrator has been able to trace bitmap artwork and convert it to vector format for quite a while. But in previous incarnations of this feature, I found it difficult to get the results I was looking for. But in CS6, the Image Trace is both faster, and in my experience, more accurate as well. Image Trace is actually replacing the live trace feature in Illustrator CS6 and it works very differently.
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Watch the Online Video Course Illustrator CS6 New Features
56m 58s Intermediate Apr 23, 2012 Updated Oct 04, 2012

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With the CS6 release, Adobe Illustrator is turning 25 and has a new look and a few new features. In this course, Justin Seeley hosts a tour of the interface changes and the tools introduced in this version. The course covers Pattern Options for creating simple, repeatable patterns for web graphics, advanced tracing options with the Image Tracing tool, and the improved performance and file management features. Justin also discusses the exclusive features you get with the Creative Cloud subscription to Illustrator, like the ability to quickly unembed images and one-click file packaging.

This course was updated on 10/04/2012.

Topics include:
  • Adjusting the interface brightness
  • Understanding updates to panels and preferences
  • Creating a repeatable pattern
  • Performing a basic trace
  • Converting pixels to paths
  • Understanding what 64-bit support means for you
  • Introducing startup profiles
  • Understanding the Save for Web changes
  • Enhancing artwork with gradients on strokes
  • Working with the improved Gaussian Blur
Subject:
Design
Software:
Illustrator
Author:
Justin Seeley

Overview of image tracing

We've come to my favorite new Illustrator feature, the revamped Image Trace. You may laugh it off, thinking that Illustrator has had tracing capabilities for quite some time now, and well, technically, you're correct. Illustrator has been able to trace bitmap artwork and convert it to vector format for quite a while. But in previous incarnations of this feature, I found it difficult to get the results I was looking for. But in CS6, the Image Trace is both faster, and in my experience, more accurate as well. Image Trace is actually replacing the live trace feature in Illustrator CS6 and it works very differently.

As a matter of fact, it's an entirely new tool altogether. The main benefits of the Image Trace are cleaner paths, speed enhancements and in my experience, better color recognition, which is huge for us designers. For those of you who aren't familiar with tracing, let me break down exactly what I'm talking about. Let's say that you're working on a project for a client, and the client brings you a hand-drawn sketch of some artwork that they like for you to create. They want their artwork to match the sketch exactly. Well, it's your job to re-create that artwork in a usable vector format.

So your options are, A; draw it by hand in Illustrator and get as close as you can, or B; utilize the Trace feature and allow Illustrator to do the heavy lifting for you. Check out these examples of some artwork that I've been working on. Here you can see a photograph that I've instantly turned into a poster. I've also got another photograph that I've changed into a photographic representation. However, this is vector artwork. And finally, I have these flowers over here which were scanned in. They're all hand-drawn, and over on the right, a complete vector representation of those as well.

I'll cover exactly how to do this in another movie, but watch just how easy it is to convert a scanned piece of artwork into a vector object using this tool. I'll jump over here to this document and select this. It's just a JPEG that's been embedded into the file. If I click Image Trace, I now have a scalable vector object that I can use throughout any other projects for my client.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Illustrator CS6 New Features .


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Q: This course was updated on 10/04/12. What changed?
A: We added a new chapter to address the new features that come with Illustrator when you have an Adobe Creative Cloud membership. These include features like the ability to quickly unembed images and one-click file packaging.
 
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