Illustrator CC Pixels to Vectors

Learn to use Illustrator’s powerful Image Trace features to convert pixel-based raster images, hand-drawn sketches, scans, and low-resolution logos into resolution-independent vector drawings that you can scale and manipulate with unfettered freedom.
Course info
Level
Intermediate
Updated
Jul 23, 2018
Duration
1h 15m
Table of contents
Description
Course info
Level
Intermediate
Updated
Jul 23, 2018
Duration
1h 15m
Description

Illustrator CC is the industry standard used by graphic designers, illustrators, and more to accomplish any vector-based graphic design task. In this course, Illustrator CC Pixels to Vectors, Pariah Burke will help you turn photographs and drawings into vector drawings and illustrations. First, you will learn the fundamentals of tracing in Illustrator CC. Then, you will explore how to convert full-color photographs into black and white drawings and posterized images. Finally, you will discover how to trace paper drawings and sketches into clean, fully-editable vector illustrations, and redraw low-resolution and scanned logos, including learning the tools and techniques for identifying the fonts used in the logos’ text! By the end of this course, you will be able to trace almost any type of photograph, drawing, or graphics with Illustrator CC. Software required: Illustrator CC.

About the author
About the author

As a freelance graphic designer with over 20 years' experience, Pariah sits on the Adobe Advisory Group, is an Adobe Freelancer, and is an Adobe Community Professional and a former trainer and technical lead for Adobe's technical support teams for InDesign, InCopy, Illustrator, and Photoshop.

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Section Introduction Transcripts
Section Introduction Transcripts

Course Overview
Hi, I'm Pariah Burke. Welcome to Illustrator CC Pixels to Vectors. I'm a Pluralsight author, book author, Illustrator trainer and and consultant, Adobe Community Professional, and frequent advisor to Adobe on Creative Cloud and users of Adobe's creative applications. In Illustrator CC Pixels to Vectors, you will learn how to use Illustrator's powerful Image Trace features to convert pixel-based raster images, hand-drawn sketches, scans, and low-resolution logos into resolution-independent vector drawings that you can scale and manipulate with unfettered freedom. Through fun, fast-paced instruction and projects, you will turn photographs into photo-realistic vector drawings, convert full-color photographs into black and white drawings and posterized images, trace paper drawings and sketches into clean, fully editable vector illustrations, and re-draw low-resolution and scanned logos to high-resolution print-ready and web-ready logos. You will even learn about tools and techniques for identifying the fonts used in logos text. Before beginning Illustrator CC Pixels to Vectors, you should be familiar with working in Adobe Illustrator CC, particularly with the basic drawing tools, creating documents, working with color swatches, and using the Layers panel. I'm Pariah Burke. I hope you'll join me on this fun and exciting journey to learn image tracing and re-creation with my Illustrator CC Pixels to Vectors course at Pluralsight.

Fundamentals of Trace
In the Fundamentals of Trace module, you'll get to know the process, tools, and environment for tracing raster, or pixel-based, images within Illustrator into fully editable resolution-independent vector drawings. You'll start at the beginning by looking at the two methods of getting pixel-based images into Illustrator so that they can be traced. I'll also explain to you the biggest reasons why one of those methods is much better than the other. Once an image is in Illustrator, it's available to be traced. In the Getting to Know Trace clip, you'll look at the panels and commands involved in working with and tracing images. Illustrator supplies a number of tracing settings saves as presets that you can quickly apply to trace different kinds of images for varying styles. In this clip, you'll learn the function of each preset and explore the results of using each on similar images. In addition to all of the other controls, the Image Trace panel gives you the ability to switch between five different ways of viewing the image and tracing, with which you're working. In this short clip, you'll examine those different views, as well as learn how each can be useful. Sometimes the tracing is all you want. You get a tracing result, and you're done. At other times, you'll want to edit the tracing result, either modifying the paths, changing the colors, or removing unwanted pieces. You can certainly do that, but not as long as the tracing is live. Before you can edit the paths in a tracing result, you have to expand and ungroup the image trace object. In this clip, you'll learn how to do that easily, as well as discover some important things to look for. Let's get started in the Fundamentals of Trace by getting images into Illustrator.

Project: Tracing a Photo
In this module, we'll work with the photograph of a person, and dive deeper into certain areas of image tracing, particularly working with color during and after trace and expansion. While the tracing presets can get you started with color, you'll want to know about the high precision the Image Trace panel gives you over color modes and color refinements for your tracing. In this clip, you'll learn about the different modes and their options, including how to increase or decrease the number of colors in Color tracings and shades of black in Grayscale tracings. You'll learn in this clip how to make Illustrator use specific colors for the tracing, whether those colors are part of the source image or not. You'll see that not only can you choose colors and groups of colors for aesthetics, but also for practical purposes, such as tracing only to colors supported by a specific output method or device. The paths that result from an image trace can be selected one at a time, but they don't have to be. As you'll learn in this clip, you can select one color at a time, selecting all the paths with the same color fill in one action. You can then easily delete or recolor them. In a higher color image, using the method of path selection we learned in the Selecting and Recoloring Traced Paths clip, would be too time-consuming and tedious. Instead, you'll learn about the fuzzy selection tool that lets you select all paths with the same attributes, and paths that are close to the same attributes within a distance you specify. Let's get started tracing a photo by taking control over the colors in the Image Trace result.

Project: Tracing a Paper Drawing or Sketch
Vectorizing hand-drawn artwork, technical drawings, and illustrations, is one of the most common uses of Adobe Illustrator's Image Trace feature. You'll do exactly that in this module. First, you'll employ Photoshop to get scans of printed artwork ready for the cleanest possible trace, learning some useful tricks in the process. Then, using the scan you cleaned up in Photoshop, you'll come to understand the real power of Image Trace by working with all the advanced options on the Image Trace panel to get a beautiful vector tracing from your scanned illustration. Switching gears to a hand-drawn sketch, you'll learn and employ common techniques to fix mistakes and problems in tracing results. Continuing with the same cartoon sketch, you'll go beyond fixing tracing problems and begin to enhance the traced results, creating a complete vector art character that began as a pen on paper sketch. Let's get started by preparing images in Photoshop.

Project: Tracing a Logo
Here's my 100 pixel by 100 pixel raster logo, please blow it up, is a directive too often given by clients who want you to take their logo and make it ready for use in many different sizes and media. Of course, you'll have to recreate the logo. Converting pixel-based raster logos into recolorable, scalable, high-resolution vector drawings is a daily task for Illustrator users around the world. In this module, you'll learn that process and the surprising directions and techniques it often entails. To trace or not to trace, that is the question. In this clip, you'll look at when to choose to trace, and when to choose to redraw. If redrawing makes more sense for the image you're working with, you'll learn how to do that easily by turning the original image into a template you can trace directly atop. When it is right to trace a logo, or if you're not comfortable drawing with the pen and other tools, you can use Image Trace on the logo. You already know how to trace, so you'll trace the logo in this clip, and you'll trace it using the special palette for the company's brand colors. Tracing type is often a futile exercise, so it's a last resort, when you have no other option. Instead, you want to replace the text with new text. To do that, you need to identify the type face, the font, that's in use. In this clip, you'll learn three methods for identifying fonts in a pixel image. Let's get started with that all-important question, to trace or not to trace.