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Author: Irene Thompson | Website: http://www.printplace.com

Vector art is easily scalable, and its style is undoubtedly popular these days because of the trends in web 2.0 digital art. That is why it comes to no surprise that some old style color booklets and catalog printing pieces are getting a revamp these days, turning old designs into sleek looking vector art. If you want to apply this to your objects, we can teach you how to trace your object and turn it into a vector graphic. Sidenote, pardon the tracing using the first method as it was done in haste but it should illustrate how to get started with tracing your object since the detail of your vector will depend to a degree on the amount of tracing you do.

1. Let us first start with our main picture. Simply open the file that you want to trace.



2. To begin our tracing, just add in a new layer.



3. Now, using the pen tool, trace the outlines of the thing that you want to create into a vector graphic cartoon.



4. This might take some time so be patient. While you can use the Live Trace feature to automatically trace your image, there is still something different when you trace it yourself. It all depends on you and our level of expertise.



5. Make sure that you separate each block of trace with a new layer so that you can easily manipulate each item. Now, once you have everything traced using the pen tool, select the selection tool. It is the top tool on the tool bar.



6. Next, just select each area you traced and start colouring them according to what you want.



7. For now, let us just colours them basic colours, use the colour palette to select your colours.



8. Remember that you can choose from different kinds of swatch sets that will fit your cartoon or graphic style. For our example, the foods palette is good.



9. After some effort, and colour matching we now have a cartoon type vector art for our traced graphic.



10. Of course, this is a rough trace but you do see the layers and cartoon elements in it. Remember that you can also actually use gradient colours instead of just plain colours. Just click on the Gradient panel to apply the colour gradients for each of your layers.



11. With some creative gradients, we can get this kind of result:



12. Now, you know how to trace and create a vector type art from a photograph, IN manual fashion. This is the preferred kind as this gives you total control of the spots where the vector art should have different lines and shades. However, for those who are a bit lazy, there is another procedure. Start with the basic picture again and look for the option “Live Trace”



13. This is a special tracing feature for Adobe Illustrator, now, click on the “drop down” arrow to choose from different sets of live trace techniques.



14. If you are after an almost sketched out vector graphic for your photograph , you can choose the black and white colour trace to get that logo like tracing with details.



15. If you want a color trace. Try using the color 6 trace. It results in this:

16. If you want it almost like the photograph though, but still with some vector elements, try the Photo Low fidelity trace:



Great! Now you know the easy and the hard techniques to trace your photo and make it into a vector style cartoon for your designs.

Author’s Bio: Irene Thompson is as graphic enthusiast, writer, and an avid fan of photography. She has been living in Houston, TX since 2004 and has been working at an online printing company - PrintPlace. Her design experience includes print graphic and illustration.

» Level Intermediate

Added: 2012-02-15
Rating: 1 Votes: 4
(10 being the highest)
» Author
Irene Thompson is a professional writer and a graphic enthusiast from ww.PrintPlace.com, an online printing company. She has been living in Houston, TX since 2004. Her design experience includes print graphic and illustration.
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Comments

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    Posted by Undencylymn on 11/06/2012 06:04am

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