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Learn How To Use Live Trace and the Tracing Options Dialog Box in Illustrator
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Let us get or start on this project by creating a new logo and some graphic elements to link our design together. We are going to need this to set up that clean modern feel we are looking for and communicate the energy of our client’s custom car jobs.
At the same time, we need to set up these set up these pieces from maximum usability across all the product we are going to make, both web and print. For that reason, we are going to start with the Illustrator program. Our logo will be created as a vector object which will give us a small clean design that can be easily used on both screen and in print.
Now, I already got Illustrator started up here and we will get things going by creating a new document for our logo file. I will just go up to file. I will just go up to File and choose New and we will go ahead and give it a name. This is going to be our “Alien Auto logo”.
Now, I am not too concerned about the art board setup since we are not really going to be signing this for print. We are going to be using this on other applications. So, I am going to leave it set to the standard default letter size. As far as color mode goes, we do not really have much use for the CMYK color separations since the bulk of our work is going to be targeted towards the screen, so we are going to leave that on RGB color.
Now, we are going to get started with the sketch that has been prepared. This was hand drawn and scanned on in. So, we are going to use the Place option on the File menu to bring in to our Illustrator file and set it out. You will find the file we are looking for inside the Assets folder. There is a Lesson 2 folder in there and inside there is wheel_logo_small.jpeg. Let us place that right on the document. There we can see our designer sketch of what this concept logo should look like.
Now, we got a nice sketch started and we want to convert into a nice clean vectorized logo. Our emphasis for this is going to be on that clean portion. We want it simple but we still wanted to convey all the feel that we got out of the sketch here. We got the flaming tire with the very modern nice rim on it. We want to keep all that detail in our finished drawing.
Now, of course, if you are very adept to the Illustrator program, you may just want to go ahead and create this in Illustrator. But I wanted to take advantage of a couple of features that are new and improved in the CS2 version, and that is live trace. What live trace is going to do is it is going to take a look at the pixels that we have from the scanned image that we are using as reference and it is going to trace around those pixels and convert them into nice field vector shapes for us. This is really, really fast whenever you are setting up any kind of logo design and the results are always really nice and professional quality.
To access the live trace feature, all I need to do is make sure that my sketch is selected and I can use the live trace button right up here at the top. Now, you can see it is already taken some default settings and go on and converted this into a logo. Let me switch over to my normal selection tool. And actually, I am going to move it over here to the left hand side, so we can make some room for this.
I am just going to use my spacebar and that will access the hand tool for me. I can just push this over here to the left. Now, I did that because I want to take a look at the settings that used to trace this up. This is pretty much working at the live part of its name from and that is we can change how it is going to trace around those pixels and convert them into our vectors.
Now, we can see, it did a fairly decent job with the black and white version of this logo with the exception of this big cut off portion on the top here. But I move the file over so we would have room to take a look at all the options we can change and modify to get a little bit different trace out of our live trace feature. Now, all of our live trace options are up in the tracing bar here at the top but this does not give us access to all of the options.