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Working with Image Trace in Adobe Illustrator CS6

Contents

  1. Begin Tracing
  2. Editing the Tracing Options
  3. Advanced Tracing Options
  4. Final Thoughts

Article Description

Brian Wood, contributor to Adobe Illustrator CS6 Classroom in a Book, demonstrates how to trace raster images like the pros by using the Image Trace tool in Illustrator CS6.

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Editing the Tracing Options

Editing the Tracing Options

After choosing a starting preset to trace the image, you can then either accept the tracing results or adjust the tracing options to better suit your tracing needs.

  1. In the Image Trace panel, choose Tracing Result with Outlines from the View menu (see Figure 6).
  2. Showing the outlines can be helpful for seeing how many vector shapes will be created when you trace.

    Figure 6 The tracing result with outlines showing

  3. Choose Tracing Result from the View menu.
  4. Press and hold the Eye icon to the right of the View menu in the Image Trace panel to view the original image on the artboard. Release the mouse button to return to the tracing results (see Figure 7).
  5. Figure 7 View the source raster image

  6. Drag the Color slider to the left to decrease the number of colors in the Image Tracing object (see Figure 8).
  7. Figure 8 Decrease the number of colors

    If you look at the bottom of the Image Trace panel, you see a listing of the total number of paths, points, and colors. Notice that the number of colors listed there doesn’t match the number of colors listed in the Colors value (the slider). The Colors value refers to the color accuracy in percent of color. Less accurate means fewer colors (typically) and not depicting the color of the image as accurately.

  8. From the Palette menu in the Image Trace panel, choose Limited. Change the Colors value to 4 by dragging the slider (see Figure 9). After viewing the result, change the number colors to 16 or so.
  9. Figure 9 Limiting the number of colors in the tracing result

The Limited option limits the number of colors in the Image Tracing object to 30 by default. You can adjust the Colors value (the slider) or type a number into the field to the right directly to edit the number of colors. This value allows you to choose the actual number of colors in the object, rather than a percentage.

3. Advanced Tracing Options | Next Section Previous Section