11 Replies Latest reply: May 7, 2012 5:29 PM by Wade_Zimmerman RSS

    Basic questions about scanned image to AI vector

    TCarp Community Member

      A friend is an artist who does designs for clothing.  He's just started and was asking about the process to get the image to the company that will actually produce the garments.

       

      I've read from their site the basics.  They accept 300dpi raster (at final product image size) or vector (referring to Illustrator and Draw as the two biggies in the software world).  They express a preference for vector, which I assume gives them greater image manipulation latitude.

       

      I've never used AI to create vector from a scanned image.  Can it do it?  What are the limits?

       

      Any good tutorials on this step in the process out there?

       

      Thanks

       

      Tom

        • 1. Re: Basic questions about scanned image to AI vector
          Jacob Bugge MVP

          TCarp,

           

          For a task like clothing design the obvious choice is to redraw, using the Pen Tool.

           

          It is possible to use Live Trace, but nothing is really gained by that as compared to leaving it as raster (unless supplemented with so much cleanup that the Pen Tool would probably be easier as well as better).

           

          Why change it when the company accepts raster artwork?

          • 2. Re: Basic questions about scanned image to AI vector
            TCarp Community Member

            Thanks,

             

            And your question about leaving it raster is legit.  In fact, we discussed that this morning and concluded the same thing.

             

            Remember, I'm learning about his artwork while getting a better understanding of AI and the overall process he would follow.

             

            I think he may have both the kind of artwork that lends itself to raster but will also have some work that would probably be better if vector (i.e. logo).

             

            If he will end up drawing in AI does the Pen Tool in AI have some of the capabilities to like snap to a line or trace a line?  I'm asking assuming he will still want to do his original artwork on a piece of paper by hand.  Is he going to be better off to learn how to draw in AI?

             

            Tom

            • 3. Re: Basic questions about scanned image to AI vector
              JETalmage Community Member

              What are the limits?

              Misunderstanding about the assumed "automagic" of autotracing is one of the most commonly-repeated discussion topics in this forum. Do a search for "autotrace".

               

              JET

              • 4. Re: Basic questions about scanned image to AI vector
                Jacob Bugge MVP

                Tom,

                 

                Your friend may be happier with the present workflow.

                 

                But it is possible to make drawings more or less the same way in vector with a stylus on a tablet, such as a Wacom Intuous; drawing with the Pen Tool is completely different, as are creating shapes with the shape Tools and using live Type and other ways of creating more or less predetermined shapes.

                 

                You and he may have a look at the different options and choose the least worst.

                • 5. Re: Basic questions about scanned image to AI vector
                  TCarp Community Member

                  Thank you very much.

                   

                  As you and Jet may be able to tell, this is a learning journey for both me and my friend.  Talking this morning, he is currently comfortable with actually drawing on paper.  What this learning is doing is helping him understand (and create) a process he can use.

                   

                  And if he's going to stick with paper AND wants to get vector objects from the drawing, some sort of tablet or other tool may be best.

                   

                  As a non-artist myself, I find it interesting learning about how/when artists with vector imaging in mind (e.g. logos) makes the leap from paper to mouse.

                   

                  Tom

                  • 6. Re: Basic questions about scanned image to AI vector
                    TCarp Community Member

                    JET, thanks for the heads up.

                     

                    I use a mapping tool that allows for some tracing.  It's not all that sophisticated so my expectations are low for auto-tracing.

                     

                    Tom

                    • 7. Re: Basic questions about scanned image to AI vector
                      Jacob Bugge MVP

                      Tom,

                       

                      the leap from paper to mouse

                       

                      Actually, it is a leap from pen to stylus, from paper to screen (you draw on the tablet while looking at the screen, if you look at the tablet it is like using invisible ink). And it is possible to use the stylus instead of the mouse.

                      • 8. Re: Basic questions about scanned image to AI vector
                        JETalmage Community Member

                        Tom,

                         

                        I've been doing this since the Mac Plus. You don't need a stylus to manually trace a raster image in a vector drawing program. I very seldom ever use a stylus--and even then only in raster imaging programs--because I simply prefer any decent optical mouse. Tracing your sketches is about drawing paths. It's not about the pointing device; it's about developing an understanding of and acquaintance with the interface of drawing Bezier curves.

                         

                        JET

                        • 9. Re: Basic questions about scanned image to AI vector
                          TCarp Community Member

                          Thanks again to both of you.

                           

                          We learned today about the challenge of using a tablet looking at the screen.  My artist friend would prefer to have the image show on the media he's drawing on but understands this is a skill he may want to develop.

                           

                          And JET, I get it.  I use mapping software (ArcMap) and do some drawing in it, so I understand the general process that he'd use in AI.

                           

                          I have enough to turn to figuring out what AI skills he'll need.

                           

                          Thanks again

                           

                          Tom

                          • 10. Re: Basic questions about scanned image to AI vector
                            Jacob Bugge MVP

                            For my part you are welcome, Tom.

                            • 11. Re: Basic questions about scanned image to AI vector
                              Wade_Zimmerman Community Member

                              If you can wait a short while you will be amazed at the new Image Trace feature in Illustrator CS 6 or better yet since the C^ download is live and full operational download it and try it out.

                               

                              There may still be reasons to use the pentool for this purpose but the need for that has been great diminished

                               

                              Traced_Image.jpg

                               

                              Easy to recolor

                               

                              Screen Shot 2012-05-07 at 5.58.52 PM.png