11 Replies Latest reply: Aug 26, 2009 9:50 AM by toomeyt92 RSS

    how to convert a jpg/tiff to AI files?

    Community Member
      a company wants to make jewelry from my photoshop files converted to AI
      ( illustrator ). I now own AI. I have saved a jpg as an AI. The generic icon
      sits on my desktop. If i click on it nothing happens . It doesnt open in AI.

      HOW do i convert jpg/tiff files to AI files the easiest way.
      thank you very much

      glenn
        • 1. Re: how to convert a jpg/tiff to AI files?
          Scott Falkner Community Member
          You can import a TIFF or JPG into Illustrator with File > Place, then save as an AI file. All that will do is link (or embed) the image into the Illustrator file. What these people really want (but are too stupid to say it clearly) are vector files. This means either using Illustrator's Live Trace feature to automatically convert the artwork into vectors, or re-tracing using the pen tool.

          Try to get a more thorough explanation of what they want. If I'm right (I am), try what I've said. If you are new to using Illustrator's pen tool and vector art in general you might do better to hire someone. It's a lot of basic training, especially when you're already in the trenches.
          • 2. Re: how to convert a jpg/tiff to AI files?
            Community Member
            I like to use this method while the image is in Photoshop
            (Photoshop CS3):

            File--> Scripts--> Export Layers to Files

            This way, you can choose which layers to export to Ai,
            whichever ones are checked visible in the layers palette,
            and not to mention some other options.

            It might give you a message that says you must have multiple layers, but that's silly because you can just put two layers and uncheck the eyeball icon for one layer.

            Then once it exports to your desktop, drag it into the Ai icon and it will open automatically at which point you want to do what the poster above me said.

            You can't do much with a raster image sitting in Illustrator..
            (or can you?) depends on your actual skill level i think.
            • 3. Re: how to convert a jpg/tiff to AI files?
              Wade S Zimmerman Community Member
              You can do somethings with raster image in Illustrator with a plug in called Phantasm.

              Like adjust curves etc.
              • 4. Re: how to convert a jpg/tiff to AI files?
                JETalmage Community Member
                > a company wants to make jewelry from my photoshop files converted to AI
                ( illustrator ).

                Glenn,

                You are misunderstanding something very very basic here: The difference between raster and vector artwork, and the difference between what I'll call "object formats" and "meta formats."

                By "object formats" I mean data formats that describe a specific kind of digital object. A raster image is an object. It's just an array of color values displayed as tiny rectangles arranged in a rectangular grid. There are several formats (think of them as "conventions") for recording those values (JPEG, TIFF, PNG, etc.) But they are all just different syntaxes, so to speak, for describing always the same kind of thing (object).

                By "meta formats" I mean data formats for files that can reference and/or contain a variety of different "object formats". Page layout programs and vector illustration programs are like that. They have certain object types that are native to them, but they can also either reference or contain other object types that they really don't understand. When they do that, those objects are still in their "object format"; they're just "wrapped up" inside the program's file format.

                An Illustrator file can contain a raster image along with its native vector paths. So you could import ("Place" or "Open") a raster image created in Photoshop into Illustrator, and the result would certainly be an Illustrator file. But it would be nothing more than an Illustrator file serving (rather pointlessly) as a "box" containing the raster image.

                There is no real "conversion" of a raster image into a vector graphic (unless you simply display each pixel as a vector rectangle--which would be the functional equivalent of a raster image, but less efficient). When people speak of "converting" a raster image to a vector graphic (utterly misleading language I wish they would just stop speaking), they are really talking about simulating or representing the raster image as a set of vector paths (i.e.; creating a new piece of vector artwork, i.e.; "tracing" the raster image.)

                That tracing is always better done deliberately with human intelligence drawing the paths. It can be automated, with almost always poorer results, by software algorithms that treat all images the same, and that know nothing about the actual content or meaning of the image. That's called auto-tracing.

                I don't know anything about jewelry making. But assuming your jewelry company does, they are saying they need vector paths, not raster pixels. When vector paths are needed for making anything they generally need to be well-drawn, not auto-traced.

                JET
                • 5. Re: how to convert a jpg/tiff to AI files?
                  Community Member
                  James, how do you know that he misunderstood that part?
                  Maybe his whole AI is whack!
                  • 6. Re: how to convert a jpg/tiff to AI files?
                    Wade S Zimmerman Community Member
                    That is correct he should be able to open the file.

                    a.mccormick is correct.
                    • 7. Re: how to convert a jpg/tiff to AI files?
                      Community Member
                      i took a jpg on desktop
                      launched AI
                      went to open got a big box and the jpg in the middle
                      then i saved as and AI
                      am i deluded here
                      • 8. Re: how to convert a jpg/tiff to AI files?
                        Community Member
                        Glenn,
                        This is like pulling teeth!

                        You might want to rewrite this...

                        "then i saved as and AI"? What does that mean?

                        What behavior is AI having, exactly? Is it just crashing?
                        Does it save the file but the file doesn't appear where you save it?
                        Or does it just not save in the proper file format?

                        Your JPEG is a raster image, not a vector. You can put it into AI to make it a vector image, because that's what AI deals in mostly, and it's likely that you will have to use Live Trace in AI in order to manipulate the image properly.
                        • 9. Re: how to convert a jpg/tiff to AI files?
                          JETalmage Community Member
                          > took a jpg on desktop launched AI
                          went to open got a big box and the jpg in the middle
                          then i saved as and AI
                          am i deluded here

                          You're being very cryptic, Glenn. What are you asking? Are you saying that because you performed those steps you now therefore have "converted" the JPEG to an Illustrator file, and have therefore done what the jewelry maker requires?

                          All you've done is "contain" (import) the JPEG inside the "wrapper" of an AI file. That does absolutely nothing of any functional significance toward your jewelry maker's requirement of "my photoshop files converted to AI".

                          It's still just a JPEG raster image. Go to the Links palette. You'll see the image listed there. DoubleClick its listing. Note that in the resulting Link Info window, it says "Kind: JPG."

                          Doing only the steps you have performed (Export from Photoshop to JPEG, import the JPEG into Illustrator)--and stopping there--is pointless. It won't do the jewelry maker any good beyond just giving him the JPEG in the first place. That's what I was explaining in Post 4.

                          JET
                          • 10. Re: how to convert a jpg/tiff to AI files?
                            Community Member
                            In response to the original posting:

                            It sounds like you need to make a vector image based on the jpg file you have. For me, the easiest way to do that is to trace over it with Illustrator using live trace. Adobe has a great tutorial for this at:

                            http://livedocs.adobe.com/en_US/Illustrator/13.0/help.html?content=WS714a382cdf7d304e7e07d 0100196cbc5f-6229.html.

                            I hope this helps!
                            • 11. Re: how to convert a jpg/tiff to AI files?
                              toomeyt92 Community Member

                              Hi Glenn,

                               

                              Let me take a crack at this for you...When you client asks for a .ai file, I assume they're asking you to submit the art as vector paths rather than a raster image (pixels). JPEGS and TIFFs are raster images.

                               

                              Simple answer: Can't be done unless you (a) redraw and recolor image using Illustrator's vector-drawing tools (Pen, Pencil, and shapes tools), OR (b) apply Live Trace.

                               

                              Live Trace literally traces groups of pixels, which gives you a mass of vector paths that, realistically, cannot be reshaped. Live Trace also creates huge files sizes. For these two reasons, I don't care to use Live Trace, but happily, I'm pretty good with the aforementioned tools, so I'm able to avoid Live Trace.

                               

                              To see how inaccurate Live Trace is, in Photoshop draw a black circle with a white fill. Save it as a JPEG or TIFF, place it in Illustrator, and apply Live Trace. Zoom way in on the image to see what you have. Positively makes you want to learn to use the vector-drawing tools.

                               

                              It's possible that the client is familiar with the types of vector files generated by Live Trace and may be satisfied with them.

                               

                              I would suggest that you place your JPEG or TIFF in Illustrator then apply Live Trace, and send a sample to the client to see if this is what they want. Of course, there are a raft of options when creating a Live Trace image. You'll probably just have to play with the options to figure out what you want. Don't look for thorough, exhaustive, detailed documentation on Live Trace options. It doesn't exist. It will require a lot of time playing with them to see what they do.

                               

                              Your time might be better spent learning how to use the drawing tools.

                               

                              PS: The only thing in Live Trace that I find indispensible and extremely cool is the option to create a Swatches palette from the raster image.

                               

                              Good luck.

                               

                              Toni