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Learn How To Adjust the Trace Settings in Illustrator
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Let us make a few adjustments to the trace settings. Now, I should point out here at the top that we have a choice of including both fills and strokes in the trace if you want to. The black and white logo preset that we chose is already set to use only fills and that is actually good for our presentation. We do not want a whole lot of little stroke lines being added into this design which wants nice clean fills that are going to represent that. We align fire shape for us.
For path fitting this is going to control how tightly the vector matches exactly the pixels. The higher this number is, the more it is going to deviate from the shapes that you have. We got a limit value on this one. I think it only goes up to about 10 pixels but if I just push this up to the upper extreme, you can see what I mean there.
We can see that shape smoothes out quite a bit but we also loose a lot of the definition of some of those pixel shapes we have in there. Now, I want a little bit more than what we had originally but I am going to try a setting of let us say about three. Now, if we back this down, you can see that three kind of holds on to the shape but we get a little bit more smoothing around this edge, so we do not get all that little detailed jaggedness dropped into there.
So, that is going to be good for our setting as well. Minimum area can also help us really well because this logo might have a lot of little, tiny details that quite honestly, are not really contributing to the design. If we crank up the minimum area, we can actually go quite a bit and what we are really setting here--for a setting of 288, any vector that is tracing around the set of pixels that is smaller than that number 288 is going to be eliminated.
So, we are getting rid of small, little details. Now, that might be a little bit high but you can see I did not really lose any of the defining elements of our design with that setting. As I back off, you will see elements being dropped back in.
Now, I do want to keep some of these rim pieces here on the side and you will notice with the very high setting, they start to go away because they do not meet those minimum requirements. So, I am going to back this off and make sure that we have all the details we need and really nothing more. I think I got rim detail here that I am looking for. I am going to keep going down just a little bit, so I will see that one pop back and there we go. So, I am going to stick with that setting at 144 and you can see how the preview works.
Allow me to adjust that setting and really see what I am getting out of it. Let us do it quickly on the corner angles. Once again, this is going to be looking at all these spiky areas in the drawing and basically deciding where to round things out. I will do an extreme setting on this.
We are starting with an angle of 20 but if I increase that dramatically up to a very high number, you can see that some of these areas that were corners before are now being rounded out. So, you want to balance that for your particular drawing, how you want to see the details being pulled in there.
A middle setting on our corner angle is going to give us just enough spikes, so that our flames look nice and pointy at the ends. But it is also going to round out some of those unnecessary pointy features like what are here on the tire. So, I am going to leave that about 90.
Now, just in case we want to use these settings again, let us say, we have another sketch to bring in, we could as I said before save this preset and we will just give it a name like “alien auto tracing”. That when we come back, this will be included right there in the preset menu, right down there at the bottom and it will pull all these values right up for us.
Now, if you have a way to tracing, you can just click trace and your result on the screen will be a very nice trace vector object. Once again, a really fast way to convert a hand sketch into a nice vector object without going in and drawing everything yourself all over again.