earth 2013 image trace

As Wendell Barry once said,

“The earth is what we all have in common.”

Here’s a tutorial explaining the Adobe Illustrator CS6 Image Trace tool. This tool is an improvement from the Live Trace tool of previous Adobe Illustrator versions, as it provides vector images with smooth lines and minimal use of anchor points. Here’s how to use the tool to create a black silhouette of an object.

image trace Button
Place a bitmap image in your document
Select the image and hit the Image Trace button


image trace Results
The results often leaves some areas unfilled


image trace Palette
For this tutorial, the Black and White preset is selected
To fill the entire image with black, increase the Threshold
Click “Ignore White” for a transparent background
Optional: Click the eye to view the source image
Hit the Trace button. Make sure the Preview button is unchecked.


image trace Expand
Hit the Expand button


image trace Vector

There you have it – a black, vector silhouette of your image, which you can use as a clipping mask for your original bitmap image. You can, then, place different backgrounds behind your bitmap image. What do you use the Image Trace tool for? Can you use this tool as web design inspiration? Experiment with the different preset modes. Color presets give interesting painterly-effect, vector results. Now, go create some earth shattering Image Trace effects.

PS – In honor of Earth Day, try doing one thing that will help the planet. Thanks!!!

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