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How To

How to trace an image in illustrator

Shaun

Published

If you’re wanting to use another image for your own creation, you can trace it in Illustrator. It’s the easiest method for transforming a raster image into one that’s a vector. You can also edit it using layers and effects.
While it’s easy to perform, it may be challenging working out how to trace an image in Illustrator. We’ll show you the quickest way with the least difficulty.

How to trace an image in illustrator

  1. Import the source image

    How to trace an image in illustrator

    Firstly, you’ll need the original image that you want to trace in Illustrator. Open the program and select “Create a new document.” You can click on File > Open, and then locate it on your PC’s storage. There are many formats available, such as JPG, PNG, and TIFF. Another way you can do it is to click on File > Place to insert the image directly onto your project.

    How to trace an image in illustrator
  2. Trace the image

    How to trace an image in illustrator

    When you have the source image in your file, you need to have the selection tool active. Press the V button on your keyboard to ensure it’s selected. You should click on Object > Image Trace > Make in the main menu to start tracing the image in Illustrator. You’ll notice that it becomes a black and white vector.

    When you select the Properties panel, you’ll see all the options you have for image tracing. Feel free to play around with them to see which one suits you best.

  3. Advanced tracing options

    How to trace an image in illustrator

    Once you’re in the Image Tracing mode, you’ll find an Advanced drop-down section. Here, you can set several parameters to adjust how the lines and hues appear on your screen. There’s a preview box if you want a taste of what it will look like. When you’re done, select Trace to complete the task.

Other Illustrator guides

If you need to know how to perform other tasks in Adobe Illustrator, we have a few more guides you can look at:

Tracing a masterpiece

As you can see, learning how to trace an image in Illustrator is easy! It only takes a few steps before you can edit and draw over it as a vector. You can quickly create your own masterpieces, taking inspiration from the original.

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