Join Tony Harmer for an in-depth discussion in this video Using the image trace panel, part of Illustrator CC 2018 Essential Training.
- [Instructor] One of the other things we can do with image content in Illustrator is trace it, and this movie is going to form your brief introduction to the Image Trace panel. I have a file open here. If you don't have this one, any one of your own will do, I'm sure. And I'm going to target the image that's placed inside this file. In the Quick Actions section of the Properties panel, we've got this 'Image Trace' button, and if I click that, I get to choose a preset from the range here.
I think what I'll do is, I'll try first of all for Black and White Logo. I don't think that's going to work terribly well with this piece of content, but I'll give it a go. So we'll try that. It'll tell me that it may proceed slowly with this large image, but we'll have to go with it. I'm sure it will be fine. And then we get some really, really fab words like "initial pixel clustering", and it takes next to no time at all to trace it. So here's the tracing at the moment by default. I think we could probably do better, and so I'm going to move myself back over to the new Image Trace section of the Properties panel.
Again, in context, it's just drawn the necessary panel there. I can access my presets from this drop down, and I can also access the wider tracing options via the Image Trace panel like so. Wind this open so we can see all of the options, and don't worry, we're not going through all of these. This is an essentials course, so we'll just gloss over the bits you actually need just now. So this isn't too difficult to understand. Threshold is the difference between what goes to white and what trips over to black.
You'll see if I move it over to 'Less' like so, it will start to trace again. Okay, and now there's less stuff moving to black and more stuff moving to white. I really like the shape I'm getting just there, by the way, and if I go the other way, then you're going to see the shape kind of fill up, really, with black. There you go, exactly as predicted. We can also change things about the number of paths that are generated and how close they are to the pixels, how many corners they have, and a little bit of noise sometimes helps with a trace.
That's actually really good just there. And the way that it traces it, and whether it creates fills and strokes or just fills, and if I turn on the 'Ignore White' option here, for example, it will remove any white. So I'll just end up with the black vector shapes like so. There are a bunch of different options. I can visit the presets here as well, and you can also save your own if you get a winning formula for you.
So you've got high fidelity and low fidelity photos, you've got some color reduction methods here, down to three, six, and sixteen, but you can change any of those. Shades of Gray and Sketched Art and Silhouettes and Line Art and Technical Drawing. These last two, you don't get exactly what you're expecting, I think, with those, but give them a go on your own image, and see how that works out. I'll try color reduction down here down to six colors. So it starts doing that, and it's evaluating the image, it's looking at the colors, and kind of posterizing it, in a way, creating blocks and then drawing all of those blocks.
It's still doing that pretty quickly. I do like the term "Initial Pixel Clustering". I don't actually know what it means, to be perfectly honest, but I do like it, and it makes us all sound very clever, so let's use that in day-to-day speech. "What are you doing, Tony?" "Oh, a bit of initial pixel clustering." "Okay, I'll leave you to it." See? Great. There you are, and that's the color reduction. Do you know, that's not half bad, actually. Again, I can select 'Ignore White' here. Now the disadvantage with that will be there's white in this color reduction is this area, so I'm going to be able to see through them.
So do you know what, I think I'll actually stop that at that point. I do want it to have the whole tracing available to me, and we'll just have a look at a couple of the other options that we've got here. And we can change the number of colors here and so on, and again tune everything to what we want. So I want to get rid of the white, but I want to leave it in these regions here, and for me, there's only one way to do that, and that's to turn it into vectors, which is what we're going to do in the next movie.
- What is Illustrator?
- Navigating documents
- Saving a custom workspace
- Working with multiple artboards
- Creating and deleting layers
- Drawing shapes
- Transforming objects
- Adding fills and strokes
- Working with color
- Creating complex shapes, such as compound shapes
- Working with type
- Editing graphics
- Adding content to CC Libraries
- Printing and exporting artwork
Skill Level Beginner
Q: This course was updated on 05/04/2018. What changed?
A: New videos were added that cover modifying Anchor Display and opening PDF files in Illustrator.