Adobe Illustrator: Live Trace

July 7th, 2011 by Brian Leave a reply »

In an earlier post I mentioned random skills that librarians pick up (graphic design, video editing, archery). I’m helping a friend convert a bitmap into a vector. Bitmaps get all jagged and pixelly when you stretch them beyond their proportions. Vectors use math (it’s all about the rays and line segments) to stretch pictures without the pixellation. If you’ve ever drawn in Flash, you’ve drawn using vectors.

I was about to manually trace the bitmap in Adobe Illustrator and then save it as a vector when I noticed the Live Trace feature.

Note: This is using Adobe CS2.

How to use it:

  1. Click on the layer with your image.
  2. In the menu bar, click on ‘Object’, then ‘Live Trace’, then ‘Show Adjusted Image’.
  3. Click on your image and then click on the ‘Live Trace’ button.
  4. It will take a bit to trace automatically. You can then click on ‘Object’, then ‘Live Paint’, then ‘Make’ to make a new image using vectors. This allows you to edit the new image like any other Illustrator file.

Leave a Reply