6 Replies Latest reply on Nov 20, 2009 7:41 AM by Isolder

    Creating vector paths from hand drawings

    Roxy_Silver

      I'm sorry if this is a bit of a basic question - i am an illustrator novice.  I have always used photoshop and now i have to move over to illustrator to create vector based drawings/files for my new job (fashion print designer).

      I do a lot of hand drawing (i am a print designer) and scan them in to manipulate on the computer.  Is there any way to trace these drawings (they are black and white print designs), so that all of the black images become editable vector paths/outlines?

      OR do i need to trace them all by hand (again) on the computer??  I'd really appreciate any advice as otherwise i need to rethink my working methods quickly!!

        • 1. Re: Creating vector paths from hand drawings
          Jacob Bugge MVP & Adobe Community Professional

          Roxy silver,

           

          Presuming you have one of the later versions, you may use Live Trace (Tool) which performs automatic tracing. You may find it lacking in cleanness.

           

          The consensus is to recommend tracing by hand over a locked image, using the Pen Tool which is the basic tool in Illy. Another option is redrawing it using one of the other tools such as the Paintbrush or Pencil Tool; you may use a Wacom tablet for that, in this process, you would be redrawing on top of the scanned image, looking at the monitor rather than the tablet you are working on.

           

          The former option would make you accustomed the main tool. The latter option may be a way to bring your hitherto way of drawing into Illy. A combination would do both.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Creating vector paths from hand drawings
            Roxy_Silver Level 1

            Thank you for this, but i was just wondering if when you use the live trace (i have CS4)  the certain areas are editable rather than just the whole image.  It's just because i now need to go and edit individual parts of the composition and put it into repeat, adding and taking away some of the drawing.

            I do have a graphics pad - just got to get the hang of it first.

             

            Thank you though.  If i can't edit some of the particular areas from a scan then i think that i will just have to learn to draw straight into illustrator to save time, as you suggested.

            • 3. Re: Creating vector paths from hand drawings
              Jacob Bugge MVP & Adobe Community Professional

              Roxy Silver,

               

              ... i was just wondering if when you use the live trace (i have CS4)  the certain areas are editable rather than just the whole image.  It's just because i now need to go and edit individual parts of the composition and put it into repeat, adding and taking away some of the drawing.
              The Live Trace creates editable vector paths following the borders of/between differently coloured pixels areas, and they can be edited down to the individual Anchor Points, and their Handles, used to define the paths. So parts can be edited freely.

               

              Thank you though.  If i can't edit some of the particular areas from a scan then i think that i will just have to learn to draw straight into illustrator to save time, as you suggested.

              Ths combination may be good, maybe as a transition effort, even if you end up using the Pen Tool. You may use and compare Live Trace, Pen Tool, and Paintbrush/Pencil Tool.

               

              • 4. Re: Creating vector paths from hand drawings
                Roxy_Silver Level 1

                Oh right.  When i went to manipulate the image there weren't any points to work with.  I presume that i am using the wrong tools....i will definitely give your suggestions a shot though. 

                Thank you very much for your help.

                • 5. Re: Creating vector paths from hand drawings
                  Jacob Bugge MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                  You are welcome, Roxy Silver.

                   

                  Oh right.  When i went to manipulate the image there weren't any points to work with.  I presume that i am using the wrong tools....i will definitely give your suggestions a shot though. 

                   

                  You are creating the points by applying the Live Trace Tool to the image. I am still with 10, with the earlier and simpler Auto Trace Tool, where you are supposed to click somewhere on one of the external/internal borders of/between different colours, and the tool follows the border, creating the path.

                   

                  I far as I have understood, you are able to set options by DoubleClicking the Live Trace Tool, and to trace the whole image by ClickDragging over it. I believe you can still follow individual borders.

                   

                  I am not sure how much help you can get from Help, but it should outline the basic properties and options.

                  1 person found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: Creating vector paths from hand drawings
                    Isolder Level 2

                    After you do Live Trace be sure to expand it.