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Illustrator CS6 New Features
Illustration by John Hersey

Performing a basic trace


From:

Illustrator CS6 New Features

with Justin Seeley

Video: Performing a basic trace

In order to convert a raster image into a vector object, you must use the Image Trace feature in Illustrator. In this movie I'll show you how to utilize this tool to create a simple tracing of a photograph. The first thing you need to do is get a photograph into Illustrator. You can do that by going to File place or simply opening up a photograph in Illustrator. I actually have a photograph already placed on my artboard and I simply select it in order to make it active. In order to perform a basic trace of this image, I have to first, like I said, make sure it's selected, and then go to the Control panel and find the button labeled Image Trace.

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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

Performing a basic trace

In order to convert a raster image into a vector object, you must use the Image Trace feature in Illustrator. In this movie I'll show you how to utilize this tool to create a simple tracing of a photograph. The first thing you need to do is get a photograph into Illustrator. You can do that by going to File place or simply opening up a photograph in Illustrator. I actually have a photograph already placed on my artboard and I simply select it in order to make it active. In order to perform a basic trace of this image, I have to first, like I said, make sure it's selected, and then go to the Control panel and find the button labeled Image Trace.

You'll notice when I hover over it, it tells me it converts an image into a tracing object. If I click Image Trace, it automatically converts my photo into some vector art. As you can see, the result isn't all that great right now. But there are ton of controls, which we'll explore later, that will help you refine this tracing and get it exactly like you need it. Of course, there's always the possibility that you're going for this look, and well, if that's the case, you're done. Once the image has been traced, you'll notice that you're able to move and scale the artwork without any problems.

You'll also notice that as you resize the image, the re-rendering time is much faster than in previous versions of Illustrator. That's the advantage of the new Image Trace, and it is probably my favorite part of the whole process. If you remember back in old versions of Illustrator, were we use Live Trace, the process of resizing a traced image could be a huge headache, and take a ton of time. Now, it's not so bad. Now that you've performed your basic trace here inside of Illustrator, it's time to explore the options even more and check out some of the tracing presets, or even the advanced options to help you refine your artwork and get it as good as possible.

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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