22 Replies Latest reply: Feb 25, 2015 3:10 AM by aspacepig RSS

    How to exclude transparent areas in Image Trace

    Richard Critz Community Member

      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.

        • 1. Re: How to exclude transparent areas in Image Trace
          Jesseham Community Member

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

          • 2. Re: How to exclude transparent areas in Image Trace
            Wade_Zimmerman Community Member

            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

            • 3. Re: How to exclude transparent areas in Image Trace
              Wade_Zimmerman Community Member

              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.

              • 4. Re: How to exclude transparent areas in Image Trace
                Richard Critz Community Member

                I appreciate both answers.  I did, of course, read the help and find the "Ignore White" checkbox.  Prior to expanding the trace, that appears to work.

                 

                Screen Shot 2012-05-10 at 7.16.03 AM.png

                 

                However, following my CS5 steps of clicking expand and then clicking a swatch, I get this for a result. 

                 

                Screen Shot 2012-05-10 at 7.16.19 AM.png

                 

                In CS5, it does it exactly what I wanted, which is this.

                 

                Screen Shot 2012-05-10 at 7.22.54 AM.png

                 

                Clearly, I'm missing something else. Any hints what?  (I'll freely admit that I'm enough of a novice that I have no clue what a live color group is. I'll try to find that in the help next.)

                • 5. Re: How to exclude transparent areas in Image Trace
                  Richard Critz Community Member

                  Ok, Live Paint was the hint I needed.  I still don't understand the change in behavior between CS5 and CS6. However, I found that in CS6 if I insert "Object > Live Paint > Make" between the "Expand" and the clicking of the color swatch, I get the CS5 behavior. And probably have a better, more flexible result (I don't know that for sure since I know just enough to be dangerous)

                  • 6. Re: How to exclude transparent areas in Image Trace
                    Wade_Zimmerman Community Member

                    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

                    • 7. Re: How to exclude transparent areas in Image Trace
                      Richard Critz Community Member

                      Thank you, Wade.  That's very helpful.  I would say it's an understatement to say that I'm not familiar with what is happening to the art!   I find that if I remove the outer compound path, I'm still left with trying to clean up what should be the holes in the letters. Going to Live Paint seems to deal with that for me but I'd be hard pressed to tell you that that will always work or is even the correct behavior!

                       

                      And, yes, it would be far easier to make the desired changes in Photoshop but the project I've got going doesn't really allow that as an option.  Your tips and pointers have done much to help me along.  Unfortunately, I have yet to find a text that teaches Illustrator in a way that makes sense to me so I'm bumbling along, trying things as I go, and trying my best to apply my Photoshop knowledge.  It only gets me so far, however, since Illustrator and Photoshop are vastly different in many respects!

                       

                      Thanks again for your help.  I'm unstuck from my current problem as a result.

                      • 8. Re: How to exclude transparent areas in Image Trace
                        Monika Gause CommunityMVP

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

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

                        • 9. Re: How to exclude transparent areas in Image Trace
                          Wade_Zimmerman Community Member

                          You're welcome!

                           

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

                          • 10. Re: How to exclude transparent areas in Image Trace
                            [scott] Community Member

                            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.

                            • 11. Re: How to exclude transparent areas in Image Trace
                              bth.hammer Community Member

                              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.

                              • 12. Re: How to exclude transparent areas in Image Trace
                                blicked Community Member

                                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...

                                • 13. Re: How to exclude transparent areas in Image Trace
                                  bth.hammer Community Member

                                  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.

                                  • 14. Re: How to exclude transparent areas in Image Trace
                                    blicked Community Member

                                    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!

                                    • 15. Re: How to exclude transparent areas in Image Trace
                                      Philby29 Community Member

                                      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.

                                      • 16. Re: How to exclude transparent areas in Image Trace
                                        Meurig_H_Rees Community Member

                                        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??

                                        • 17. Re: How to exclude transparent areas in Image Trace
                                          chrisee Community Member

                                          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??

                                          • 18. Re: How to exclude transparent areas in Image Trace
                                            gragg80 Community Member

                                            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.

                                            • 19. Re: How to exclude transparent areas in Image Trace
                                              Mojorocker1964 Community Member

                                              I believe they (Adobe) crippled this feature in CS6 and then fixed it in CC as a way to gently prod users to adopt the rent rather than own model of their software. If you want the full functionality of image trace back, please give up ownership of our software. Just rent it instead.

                                              • 20. Re: How to exclude transparent areas in Image Trace
                                                Ten20one2014 Community Member

                                                Hey guys I am new to illustrator. I am having trouble isolating and image I have scanned and traced. I wanna eliminate the negative space around it. How can I do this?

                                                • 21. Re: How to exclude transparent areas in Image Trace
                                                  Monika Gause CommunityMVP

                                                  Have you read the complete thread?

                                                   

                                                  Someone mentioned the checkbox "ignore white".

                                                  • 22. Re: How to exclude transparent areas in Image Trace
                                                    aspacepig Community Member

                                                    Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 7.07.00 pm.png

                                                     

                                                    Ignore white works a treat in CC. Fiddle with the settings in preview to see what you're getting.

                                                     

                                                    Thanks for the tip.