A bit of a long list of questions, I have difficulty finding specific answers. As much as I would appreciate specific answers, just giving broad advice on the topics is also very much appreciated.
I currently need to convert some of my tshirt designs to ai or esp format so they can be printed. I have discovered the trace tool as to fix the problem you get with the lines when you import a psd file to illustrator. What I am still struggling with is keeping transparency of the background.
I did manage to create a ai file from png with a transparent background, but now I cannot seem to replicate it. Also I find it difficult to see IF the BG is transparent since its always white (instead of the grey blocks). atm I check by adding a layer in illustrator and paint something to look if it shows under the original layer.. seems a bit silly.
I've read that importing the png files should solve the problem, but I can only manage to keep transparency when saving as a png, which is not what I need. btw (may be the reason of my failure) I import the psd file and select flatten, since the psd files often contain many layers and I couldnt get the trace tool to work.
So I have a few questions which you might be able to answer; I sort of know the difference between ai and eps, but I dont see any reason to save as eps, is this correct thinking (taking into account I can deliver them in both formats)?
What would be the easiest way to convert psd png files all with transparent BGs to ai? Is using the trace tool efficient and a good choice to fix the problems with the picture caused by importing psd to ai? should I 'always' use the "place" function to import? Is there anything else I should concern myself with?
Those are a lot of question, hopefully you are willing and able to answer some or point me in the right direction, if you have any idea what I am talking about, cause I only barely understand myself. I thought illustrator was much like photoshop, but it certainly isnt.
in any case thanks
PS I dont dare to ask anymore, and I did not research it yet myself, but what is meant with "text to curves" and "line thickness to paths"?
Depending on your artworks, quality is usually visibly better when tracing with the pen tool and not using autotrace.
When using autotrace, check "ignore white" (in CS5 or below) and expand afterwards to get rid of the background. In CS6, just expand and then delete the white parts.
save the artwork in the file format the service bureau demands from you. Which mostly is either EPS, PDF or AI.
Converting strokes to paths or text to paths is needed, because stroke thickness or live text usually can't be plotted
Text-to-Curves is usually referred to as Text Outlines. One thing you also have to take into consideration is the number of colors your design(s) will use in the silk screen process. If your artwork is a bitmap RGB image, it could be made up of a few hundred or more colors. You might want to minimize that amount of color in a posterization process in Photoshop, then trace it in Illustrator. You could posterize the artwork down to around 8 colors which would then have to be identified by some color name in Plastisol inks. Would be nice to see a screen shot of a sample. "Line thickness to paths" refers to the stroke thickness applied to a path. Who taught you these terms?
thank you all, I am now converting the images and it goes well. the terms are thrown at me by the printerstore that is going to sell my designs.
I do have a follow up question though. I have this one design which i want in 4 colors. it has white lines in it. If I enable ignore white, then those lines are removed after tracing (I dont want this), but if I do not enable ignore white, then illustrator will fill the background with white and lose transparent BG. How can I solve this? Plus when I use auto trace and select the number of colors, e.g. 4, then illustrator might still choose to only depict 3 colors, which seems really strange
sorry to bump this once more, but it seems 'difficult' to get image trace to work properly when white lines are in the picture. I cannot find anything online. ignore white removes white lines, no ignore white fills BG with white. A work around was to change the colors and then image trace, but with multiple colors I dont know how to change back at the original colors. Inverting is also no option when there is black in the picture (since it will turn white).
Actually it's kind of difficult to discuss problems without seeing them.
If you want to determine exactly how many colors the result should have, don't select the photo-option.
And yes: "no color" and "white" are treated the same. You'll have to prepare your bitmap accorbingly or edit the stuff after tracing.
There's a video on image trace somewhere on adobe.tv. You should watch it.