Fast trace tutorial

The Live Trace feature is fun and simple to use, at the same time it returns some very nice and easy to work vector shapes that can make for some nicely stylized art work.

I am sharing this in case someone else want to play with it.
In the information below you’ll see I have used CS5, however It is pretty much the same (but better and faster in CS6. I’ll be jumping between one & the other. & Will also include Inkscape as not everyone has access to the Adobe line of products).

Select your image. and open your image in AI, In this case it was a photo I took a while back. Around December, of a local marina off the Columbia river.


With your image selected:
Object > Live Trace > Settings.


Tracing with default settings. selected color and six. In “view” vector = tracing results
Live Trace December marina


Tracing with default settings. selected color and six.In “view” vector = outlines
Live Trace December marina


Tracing with default settings.selected color and six. In “view” vector = outlines with tracing
Live Trace December marina


Once you have a tracing that you like (and you can check the preview box if you want to see the effects of your choices before committing). Select your traced image. From the menu go to: Object> Live trace > Expand. Your image will be broken into shapes and paths that once un-grouped you can edit and color to your liking.
I have added the files I used if you want to play with them or wish to use them. I am releasing these two files under the Creative Commons copyright.

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