Home > Adobe, CS6, Illustrator > Illustrator CS6: Image Trace

Illustrator CS6: Image Trace

The King is dead. Long live the King. For CS6, Illustrator replaces Live Trace with Image Trace. Based on a whole new tracing engine, the new Image Trace works gives the user a lot more control in the tracing of raster images.

  • Image Trace gets its own panel! Window > Image Trace to view the window. Alternatively, got to Object > Image Trace.
  • Select image, then click on a setting in the Image Trace Panel. Or, select image, then choose Object > Image Trace > Make
  • A Traced Object consists of two parts, the Original Image, and the Tracing Result.
  • Like before, the trace is live, and takes time to generate. If you change the setting or scale the object, it will take some time to redraw.
  • Object  > Image Trace > Expand To expand the trace to vector paths.

Settings

  • Presets: Saved settings based on the Mode, Palette, Colors, etc. The most common presets are displayed as a set of icons on the top row. Additional presets are available from the dropdown menu.
  • View: Determines how the traced object is displayed.
    The traced object consists of the original image, and the tracing result. Show one or the other, or both.
    Since the trace is “live”, the image will automatically retrace when a setting is changed. Changing the view will allow you to check that the tracing result is what you want.
  • Mode: The most basic setting. Choose whether the tracing result is in color, grayscale, or black and white.
  • Palette: Specifies the Palette for the trace.  (Grayscale and Color Only)
    Limited and Full Tone changes the Settings for the Color Settings.
    Document Library will map the colors used to the Swatches.
  • Color Settings: Depending on the Mode and Palette setting, will display as Colors, Grays, or Threshold.
  • Preview/ Trace:  If Preview is turned on, Trace will be grayed out since it is tracing automatically. If preview is turned off, use Trace to generate a new view.

Advanced Settings

  • Paths: Low path setting means tighter path fitting
  • Corners: More or less emphasis on corners
  • Noise: Specifies an area in pixels that is ignored while tracing. High value means less noise.
  • Method: Creates Abutting (cutouts) or Overlaping (stacking) shapes
  • Create: Create traced object with fills, or also with strokes (strokes only available for black and white modes.
  • Stroke Width: determines maximum width. Stroke only tracing is basically the outline preset.
  • Snap Curves to Lines: Slightly curved lines are made into straight lines.

ImageTrace

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