Written by WebMaster | 12/30/2008
The great thing about Adobe Illustrator is that you can convert a raster image into vector paths. This basic tutorial will show you how to use the Illustrator "Live Trace" and "Live Paint" options. There are many different things you can do with these option. You can convert an image into Black and White, Grayscale, or color vectors ranging in 256 colors into Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG). This is a great way to cut your time down when making animated drawings. Traditionally, the artist would use combinations of the pen, shape, paint brush, and other tools to manually create a "digitized" version of a real image. "Live Trace" and "Live Paint" can make these for you. So here we will make a simple vector graphic out of an image. First we will create a new document. (See illustration below) We will make this in standard web resolution of 72, RGB mode, and 800x600. This is so the vector graphic will be suitable for the web. I named the file "vector_drawing"; however, you can name it whatever you want.
Once you have created your document, you can now find an image you would like to create into vector graphic. I choose a flower to make into vector graphic. (See illustration below) You can drag the image directly into Illustrator and you graphic will be automatically imported into the program. Or, you can go the long way and go to File/place and browse for your image. Then you can import the image into Illustrator.
Once you have you image imported into Illustrator, you can begin working on it. With the black arrow (selection tool), select the image that you imported. When the image is selected, the image will have blue lines crossing it out in the shape of an X. This shows that you have selected the image. Once you select the image, go to Object/Live Trace/ Tracing Options. (See Illustration Below)
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