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Illustrator 12 – Working with Images

Illustrator allows you to work with both raster images (such as JPEG or PNG) and vector images. Let’s explore how to place and embed raster images in Illustrator and use the Image Trace feature to trace images:

Placing and Embedding Raster Images

To place a raster image in Illustrator, go to “File” > “Place” or use the shortcut “Ctrl + Shift + P” (Windows) or “Cmd + Shift + P” (Mac).

Select the image file you want to place and click “Place.”

The cursor will turn into a loaded image icon. Click anywhere on the canvas to place the image.

By default, the image will be linked to the original file. If you want to embed the image into the Illustrator file, select the image and go to “Object” > “Embed.”

Embedded images become part of the Illustrator document, and you don’t need to keep the original image file linked.

To access the image options, you can double-click on the image or right-click and choose “Image Options.” Here, you can adjust the image’s opacity, dimensions, and other properties.

Tracing Images with the Image Trace Feature

The Image Trace feature in Illustrator allows you to convert raster images into vector artwork.

Select the placed image you want to trace.

Go to the “Image Trace” panel (Window > Image Trace). The panel will show several preset options to choose from, such as “Black and White,” “Color,” “High Fidelity Photo,” etc.

Select the desired preset, or you can also click on the “Expand” button to apply the default settings.

After expanding, the traced image will be converted into editable vector paths.

If needed, you can further adjust the tracing result using the “Image Trace” options at the top of the workspace.

To access more advanced tracing options, click on the “Advanced” button in the “Image Trace” panel.

Experiment with different presets and options to achieve the desired tracing result.

Keep in mind that complex images with a lot of detail may not trace perfectly, and manual adjustments may be needed.

Editing Traced Images

Once an image is traced, the resulting vector paths can be edited using Illustrator’s standard editing tools, such as the Direct Selection Tool (shortcut: A) and the Pen Tool (shortcut: P).

Adjust anchor points and paths as needed to fine-tune the traced artwork.

Tracing images provides a great way to convert hand-drawn sketches or raster images into editable vector graphics, allowing for more flexibility and scalability in your designs.

Working with images in Adobe Illustrator gives you the flexibility to combine raster and vector elements in your artwork and unleash your creativity with the Image Trace feature for converting raster images into vector graphics.



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