Converting Rasters to Vectors Using Live Trace in IllustratorVootie (1482 pencils) | Fri, 2010-11-05 17:12
Excerpted from Real World Adobe Illustrator CS5 (Peachpit Press)
By Mordy Golding
Certain Illustrator features, such as Pathfinder, are incredibly useful and, as a result, are used many times a day. Features such as 3D are also extremely cool, but they aren’t used as often. Every once in a while, a feature comes along in Illustrator that is cool and fun to use but that is also practical enough that you use it on a regular basis. Live Trace is such a feature.
The concept is simple enough: Take a raster-based image, and convert it into a vector-based image. You would want to do this to get around the limitations of a raster-based file. For example, if you want to scale artwork up in size or if you want to edit the artwork easily and use spot colors, you want to work with a vector-based file.
Separate applications (such as Adobe Streamline) and Illustrator plug-ins (such as Free Soft’s Silhouette) have the ability to convert raster content into vectors, but Live Trace is a step far above and beyond what those tools are capable of doing. One of the main reasons for this is because of how Live Trace works.
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