5 Replies Latest reply on Jun 30, 2012 7:51 AM by amygfx

    Is it possible to turn a .jpg into a vector file using Illustrator's Live Trace?

    SM66 Level 1



      So, what I have is a .jpg image of the Vitruvian Man. I paid for this image and obtained it through istockphoto.com

      I need to keep the black linework of the image but get rid of the gold background. I would like to turn the gold background into a transparent background.


      The final destination of this image will be for the cover of an e-book. So, I could probably "get away with" using a .jpg.

      However, what I've tried before is bringing the image into Photoshop and then using the magic wand tool set to a tolerance of about 45, then deleting the gold background. I then saved the selection.

      I also need the black linework to be changed to red. So I turned the selection back on, chose my fill color of red, and used the paint bucket tool. The first click of the paint bucket tool changed quite a bit of the black linework to red. However, there were still a lot of bits that were still black. So I zoomed into about 3200% and filled one bit at a time. Pretty monontonous and labor intensive work literally clicking on bit by bit.


      Despite all this work, when I placed the now red Vitruvian Man .jpg into my InDesign document, it showed up quite rough and pixelated compared to vector type and artwork I had also placed.


      So what I am trying to do is turn this Vitruvian Man .jpg into a vector image/file.

      When I opened this .jpg in Illustrator and used Live Trace set to Simple Trace, Illustrator did indeed get rid of the gold background. It also even made the now white background transparent. But when I tried to select the image with the Selection tool (black arrow) or the Direct Selection tool (white arrow) all I got is the image box the entire image sits in. I did not get individual anchor points as one would get with a vector graphic. The black linework did not become a bunch of paths. Thus, I guess there is nothing I can select to change the linework from black to red.


      So, with all that said, is it possible to change the .jpg to a vector with individual paths I can select?

      If yes, what is that method?

      Once the .jpg has been turned to a vector file, what is the best way (easiest and most effective) to change the black linework of the image to red?


      Thanks! : )


      Here is the image: