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I am trying to remake my old logo into vector but i get jagged, un-smooth paths with the trace tool

May 18, 2013 10:57 AM

Tags: #illustrator #photoshop #problem #help #color #adobe #mac #bug #art #eps #logo #paths #tool #vector #noob #stroke #cs6 #objects #logos #recreate #auto_trace_tool #graphic_design #image_trace #illustrator_cs6 #tracing #multiple_paths #combine_paths #trace_a_sketch #path_segments #graphic_designer #vectorization #vector_drawing #illustrator_preferences #pathfinder_effect #logo_help #illustrator_help #noobie #logo_design #logo_remake #logo_trace

I am using the Adobe Illustrator CS6  image trace tool to remake my old logo into vector but i get jagged not smooth paths. I have illustrator CS6 on Mac. I tried breaking my logo down into parts and then join them together to make the full logo. one of the parts is an alligator, and when i tried using the image trace tool, i got somwhat smooth lines but not as well rounded as i would like. I want to get a nice gator with close to the original color of the original .jpeg, with well rounded paths especially around the mid-section, tail, and jaw. I am not sure what to do? As far as the font used in the typigraphy in the full logo, i have that already. Please Help! Also, i do have photoshop CS6 if needed. ALL HELP IS DEEPLY APPRECIATED!


If you would like to help me directly, i can email you my .AI file as i have it now, and I would be VERY grateful for that too!. Leave your email in the comments below.

Screen Shot 2013-05-18 at 1.22.49 PM.pngScreen Shot 2013-05-18 at 1.24.04 PM.png

Screen Shot 2013-05-18 at 1.27.10 PM.pngScreen Shot 2013-05-18 at 1.26.13 PM.png

                                                                                                                                         (this is the lower jaw, and has a jagged path insted of a smooth                                                                                                                                              well slightly rounded one)

Screen Shot 2013-05-18 at 1.26.00 PM.pngGatorCaseLogo-1-1-2.jpg

(this is the jagged path by the tail)                                                                           (this is the logo I am trying to re-create)

  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 18, 2013 11:11 AM   in reply to BabosoMocoso

    Have a larger version? In any case, draw it using the pen tool. Should only take a few minutes and will come out better than tracing.



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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 18, 2013 11:23 AM   in reply to MW Design

    I second that, don't bother trying to trace automatically. Simply grab the pen tool and trace it manually. You'll end up with MUCH better objects.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 18, 2013 11:51 AM   in reply to BabosoMocoso

    There are 5 colors in the gator, 3 greens + black + white (in the eyes). Each one of those colors would be drawn separately.


    Practice with the pen tool, click + hold the mouse + click as you draw out the outlines. Worry about the fill colors later.


    Also, draw from the "back" hidden surfaces to the ones on top. Or, rearrange the drawn shapes in the layers palette once drawn. So, fo example, draw the dark green leg portions first, then the medium green of the body. Then the light green "underbelly" portion on top. That sort of thing.


    Take care, Mike

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 18, 2013 12:01 PM   in reply to BabosoMocoso

    Tips for the Pen Tool:


    • Use as few anchors as possible.
    • Try and think "symmetrically" It is often adventageous to place anchors in symmetrical positions around a shape. Think of an ellipse and how it only need 4, symmetrically placed, anchors to create the shape. You shouldn't need 16 anchor points to create a curve. Fewer anchors means a smoother curve.
    • LET GO! Many new to the Pen Tool have a habit of treating it like a brush and clicking for far too long or creating too many Bazier curves by dragging Bezier handles out too far. Remember you can always go back and edit or refine after you've drawn an object. It's better to be conservative then to go too far.
    • Think in sections if it helps. You don't need to draw entire obejcts in one pass of the Pen Tool. You can draw just a section, such as the tail, then the body, then the mouth, and then use Pathfinder to combine those shapes into a single object.
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 18, 2013 12:15 PM   in reply to BabosoMocoso



    In addition to what Scott and Mike said, you can:


    1) Draw the left legs first, as if there right legs were not there (just connect the parts you can see with less care on the invisible parts), you can use the fill;

    2) Draw the whole gator as one outer shape (over the left legs), you can use the fill;

    3) Draw a shape that follows the top of the pale belly and extends below the outer shape (the outside part can be drawn with less care;

    4) Draw the white in the eyes (the left eye may extend outside the outer shape);

    5) Draw the black in the eyes;

    6) Copy the outer shape in front, select this and the belly shape, and Pathfinder>Intersect shape areas or Crop;

    7) Do the same for the left eye.


    To give you a first impression of the way to drag with the Pen Tool, there should only be one Anchor Point at the corner of the mouth, two at the end of the lower jaw, and one where the jaw meets the neck.


    Edit: Hi Scott.


    In (another) addition, when you are struggling with the positioning of an Anchor Point, you can press the Spacebar and move it about while the Handles are locked, then let go and adjust the Handles further, then press it and move, and so on.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 19, 2013 3:19 PM   in reply to BabosoMocoso

    For my part you are welcome, BM. Back from a long day out.


    I believe the right legs should have a gentle curve from the body at the front so the left legs really appear as being behind rather than on top/in front of them.


    The snout holes are fine, but should they not be dark as on the original?


    You could make them more rounded, but there is nothing wrong with the more angular parts (tail, lower head and lower jaw.


    I think I prefer the overall shape of the After in post #10 to the one in post #11.


    But this all comfirms how redrawing gives you the freedom to change the logo according to how you see it now.

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