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How to exclude transparent areas in Image Trace

May 9, 2012 10:09 PM

Tags: #illustrator #transparency #cs6 #image_trace

I have a logo file, saved as PNG, that is black on transparent.  Very simple file, just stylized black lettering on a transparent background. In Illustrator CS5, I can place that file, do a "Live Trace" in "Lettering" mode, and Illustrator will correctly ignore the transparent areas when I expand the trace.  After expanding, I'm left with scalable paths and an easy way to change the fill color to have the logo work with my background.

 

Fast forward to Illustrator CS6.  I try to do the same thing but a) there is no "lettering" preset for Image Trace and b) there is no setting I have yet found to cause Illustrator to ignore the transparent areas when I expand.  If I then fill, everything inside the bounds of the placed image (the square containing the logo) is filled with that color.  The only way I've found to get similar results is to go through the layers panel after the Expand and deselect each piece of the image that should not be filled.  I have a hard time believing this is the desired approach.

 

I freely admit that I'm an Illustrator novice and I suspect that there is something one of you Illustrator experts thinks is obvious that I'm missing.  I'd sure appreciate some guidance in the right direction.

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 9, 2012 10:24 PM   in reply to Richard Critz

    Tip the arrow by advanced (you're no novice any more!) and check "ignore white".  That should do it.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 9, 2012 10:45 PM   in reply to Richard Critz

    In the Image Trace Panel click Advance marker to expand the advance setting then check ignore white.

     

    Chose Black and white Logo for type.

     

    Here is the panel

    Screen Shot 2012-05-10 at 1.36.07 AM.png

     

    Here is the result of a traced image of a type as a logo.

     

    This is excellent IMHO!

     

    What do you think.

     

    Read about the features it is always helpful.

     

    Screen Shot 2012-05-10 at 1.39.48 AM.png

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 9, 2012 10:58 PM   in reply to Richard Critz

    Here it is colored, I have to admit this is quite an improved feature which is a very different approach from the days when adobe added a feature and then did nothing about improving it.

     

    Screen Shot 2012-05-10 at 1.44.31 AM.png

     

    Before ypou go nuts when you fll the letter shapes after you expand the traced art they will fill as grayscale you have to make it a live color group or go tothe colro panel and select CMYK or RGB or HSB or Web to have your color show. there is a reason for that I am not going into it.

     

    Actually CS 5's live Trace did letteing pretty well also though many more anchor points.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 10, 2012 6:15 AM   in reply to Richard Critz

    I doubt that the Trace feature in CS 6 is a big improvement to CS 5

     

    Here look what might help you with this you might even be able to do a better job in Photoshop.

     

    I'm using your screen shot so the trace is not a good one but shows you the steps you can take to make this work better.

     

    Screen Shot 2012-05-10 at 8.48.31 AM.png

     

    Even though it is an image you can edit the colors some what here I went to Edit>Edit Colors>Adjust Color Balance ad turn the Cyan down to "0" and move the black slide a bit higher as well.

     

    The I did my trace and remove the clipping paths there are 2 clipping paths the way you remove the path and compund path for the square is to select one edge of the psth with the direct select tool, you need smark guides turned on to see the paths.

     

    the hit delete and the hit delete again and repeat for the second compound path as such path willpreven the sqaure to becoming a background filled path.

     

    Screen Shot 2012-05-10 at 8.54.21 AM.png

     

    Screen Shot 2012-05-10 at 9.03.06 AM.png

    Screen Shot 2012-05-10 at 9.03.17 AM.png

     

    It should be noproblem filling this without a Live Paint Group it is just that you are not familiar with what is happening to the art.

     

    Screen Shot 2012-05-10 at 8.53.56 AM.png

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 10, 2012 8:21 AM   in reply to Richard Critz

    In order to learn Illustrator you could start with the help files.

    If you don't like them, try Mordy Goldings "Real World Illustrator".

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 10, 2012 11:48 AM   in reply to Richard Critz

    You're welcome!

     

    Yes you could pick up Mordy's Book Real World Illustrator.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 10, 2012 12:13 PM   in reply to Wade_Zimmerman

    Wade_Zimmerman wrote:

     

    I doubt that the Trace feature in CS 6 is a big improvement to CS 5

     

     

    Not so. Vector Trace in CS6 is entirely new and not associated with Live Trace in CS5/5.5. Vector Trace smokes Live Trace in every instance here.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 31, 2012 12:48 AM   in reply to Richard Critz

    I've been having this same problem, and I don't know that any of these replies are actually solving it. Is there a way to stop live trace from creating the invisible 'ghost outline' in the first place to eliminate the annoying step of having to delete it. In previous versions of Illustrator this 'ghost' wasn't created (like you showed in your example) so why is it doing it now?!

     

    In the mean time an efficient way of getting rid of all the little ghosties is to use the magic wand to select the no fill/line shapes and then delete them instead of trying to select them in the layers panel or individually.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 18, 2012 7:50 AM   in reply to bth.hammer

    I second this – the actual problem was not addressed here.


    If I Image Trace a complex image with all the settings the same as I had them in CS5 -including ignore white- I still have the paths that white would have been. They have no fill, but they're still there. I can't change the colors of the jumble of vectors without going to either the Recolor Artwork tool (not necessarily the best way to do it in many cases) or Live Paint, both of which are overkill if I just want to change the artwork from black to red.

     

    The only option in CS6 right now is to go through the layer palette and delete every single path in that group that doesn't have a fill – a major pain.

     

    Is there a way to make "ignore white" actually IGNORE white?

     

    Thanks in advance...

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 18, 2012 7:57 AM   in reply to Richard Critz

    The way I've been working around the problem lately is after expanding the Image Trace double click on it with the Move Tool to go into isolation mode (so you don't select things from the rest of the file), and then use the Magic Wand to select all the objects with no line/fill and then delete them (or just don't do ignore white and they'll be a bit easier to grab)

     

    It's still a pain and it obviously DOESN'T FIX THE PROBLEM. But it's the fastest way to deal with it.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 18, 2012 8:04 AM   in reply to bth.hammer

    Thanks for the reply – that's definitely a faster way of doing it, but for really complex files it still doesn't beat how it was in CS5.


    Adobe – this is STILL A PROBLEM. It's not a feature, it's a bug. Please fix!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 23, 2013 6:40 PM   in reply to blicked

    I have found a solution to this problem.

     

    After you have Black & White live traced your image, with ignore white selected.

     

    Select the expanded image and go; Object > Path > Clean up...  Then make sure unpainted objects is ticked, click ok

     

    You're left with just a black vector and free to choose any swatch you like.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 5, 2013 4:44 AM   in reply to Philby29

    Obviously I've encountered simiar issues.. Otherwise I wouldn't be here. I don't understand why all these additional steps are even necessary.

     

    Philby29's solution definitely gets the thumbs up from me!

     

    Dearest Adobe, Are we all a bit dim? Or are missing a trick here??

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 13, 2013 3:27 AM   in reply to Meurig_H_Rees

    IGNORE WHITE setting in CS6 Live Trace.

    To all of you who have posted on this issue, I am very grateful to have found your suggested solutions to this problem, and to realise that I wasn't going nuts ! after all it worked before in CS5.

    Ideally I would like to see Adobe address this issue. Come on Adobe this needs a fix, many people use Live trace for rendering complex images suitable for conversion to other processes, that can go wrong if there are hidden transparent paths. Why leave 'ignore white' in the advanced settings palette, if it doesn't do what it says??

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 20, 2014 8:25 AM   in reply to Philby29

    Philby29: Thank You! I had a complex trace that was driving me nuts and this worked perfectly for me and is only one additonal simple step.

     
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