5.4 How to Vectorize an Image in Illustrator
In this lesson, you’ll learn how to convert an image to a vector in Illustrator. This effect can be used to recreate “three-color prints” and stencil-style images.
- Vectors on Envato Elements
1.Introduction2 lessons, 07:41
2.How to Draw in Illustrator9 lessons, 1:51:08
3.Color2 lessons, 14:43
4.Type and Fonts1 lesson, 10:08
5.Effects and Patterns in Illustrator4 lessons, 40:43
6.Exporting1 lesson, 11:05
7.Conclusion1 lesson, 01:34
5.4 How to Vectorize an Image in Illustrator
Hi, there. This image we're going to create kind of a vector poster effect. We're gonna take regular old images like this guy. I'll zoom out a bit and turn them into cool stuff like that. Same with this. Took an image, made it kind of like a three-color screen-print style. And then we did this handsome man into a bit of a stencil and then we made it white and it get's all creepy. No matter what you wanna do, it's all pretty easy. Illustrator does all the hard work. Let me show you how to do it now. All right, to get started just create a blank document, okay, any old size. And lets go to file, and place and image. File place In your exercise files, grab the one called Live Trace and let's click place. Now, it's very easy just to click hold and drag this out so it fits within your page. Okay, it will just resize it if it comes in nice and big. So with it selected with your black arrow, head over here in your quick actions, there's this option called Live Trace. Kick back, relax, get ready. Actually, no. Click it and pick one of these. Let's pick three colors. Now, kick back and relax. Now, it depend on your machine. Mine's pretty good high core machine, in terms of a laptop. It's still gonna take quite a while, so I'll get the editor to speed this up. I'll see you in a sec. All right, we're back. That took maybe another 60 seconds or so. It's not very long. If you've got a hand-me-down laptop, and your computer starts making funny noises, and the fans come on, and it starts overheating, just know that's real common, it's quite a stressful thing it has to do. So you might have to just relax and let it do its thing, and come back after a cup of tea. But it's pretty cool it's gone through and turned this into a three-color document. It has used colors from the document to make them. Let's look at how to adjust the options. So hopefully you still got it selected. Over here where it says trace image. You can go through the presets. I'm not gonna go through them all because it says it takes a long time. We'll go through one or two more later in the class. But let's say you like this but we just wanna change it a little bit. See this little option here. Says open the trace panel. And this big old panel opens up. Actually, yours is probably looking a little bit more like that. So make sure preview is on. And what you can do you can see here I can adjust the colors, okay. I can decide whether it's black and white or gray scale. Along the top here are some other kind of presets you can click on. The trouble with them is that they do take a while once you do click on one of them. So, let's go through and pick one of the other presets. Let's go to six colors, and then we'll do one more before we go. We'll go fast. All right, so now pick six colors. It's quite cool, I love it. So there's some really cool stuff around here. Bike looks awesome. Okay, so couple of things I wanna show you before you go off and start practicing with all of these. Cuz there's gonna be a time where you're like, actually I wanna, cuz what happens with Live Trace it's this effect that always kinda running. And it can really stress your machine out when you try to adjust things. If I rescale it down now, it's gonna freak out, okay. So what we need to do, kind of like what we did with, remember the envelope distort, where we had just the straight lines? Okay, there were rectangles, then we had to eventually go up to object and go to expand appearance. There's a similar sort of process for this. The trouble is that you can't have all these presets anymore, so that's the kind of tradeoff. Let's close this down. With it selected is the word expand over here. We'll click on expand. Some more initial pixel clustering. Wait for that to finish. All right, so it hasn't made a blue outline just cuz it's selected, so click off from the background. And nothing really changed, except now what I can do is, remember black arrow moves everything around in one big go. Okay, a little bit slowly. And lets go to the white arrow and now we can say click on his shirt once and then drag it over. Move the white arrow it removes little pieces and I can delete it, or I'm gonna put it back, I'm gonna grab this chunk and check this out. Cool? What you also might do is let's say we've got this kind of accent color in his shirt, if you click on one of them. Say you wanna change all of the blue you'd be there for a long time, right? So what you can do is click on one of them with the wire. If it's not working just click off from the background first then back on it. Then go up to select, I would like Illustrator to select everything that has the same fill color, cool? It's a cool, little trick. And it will go through the whole document and find that color. Now I can go to my fill and I can say you are now pink. Click off from the background, it's a nice, quick way for doing that. Now, we've dome it for this Live Rrace, but that slick, same color I use quite a bit through Illustrator when I'm doing maybe a design, maybe it's a website design, or something like that. And you're like I wanna change this color, but it's been used throughout your huge design. You can do select same color. Okay, so do your Live Rrace, get it how you want, and then click expand. Then use the white arrow to mess about with it. One last thing I want to show you is, it's really cool to kinda do a stencil with this. We've done a kind of a full-color image. What I'm gonna do, is I'm just going to pull our mesh in, struggling with this, just cuz there's so many paths in here, those anchor points. If I selected over the white arrow, it kind of has a seizure, look at it. It doesn't even wanna select it, cuz there's just so many anchor points that make up this image that It's gonna look cool, but it's gonna stress your machine out a bit. [LAUGH] We'll fast forward this. All right, we're back, so many dots to select. Even clicking off brings up the bouncing ball of doom. All right, we're back, so we're gonna bring in another image, [LAUGH] once this ball's gone. All right, we have to fast forward that up, that took a little while. I'll leave it in there kind of just so you know if you're machine's gone really badly, don't worry I got a pretty good Mac here and it's still stressed. Maybe because I'm doing video recording, maybe even if it wasn't it's still pretty bad. So let's bring in another image file, let's go to place and let's say I wanna use me. My smiley face there. So the one called Daniel Walter Scott, we're gonna place that image in here. But I want it to be that stencil like you saw at the beginning. So I can go through and say actually, Live Trace it, let's go to a black and white logo. It's kind of half work but what I really wanted was kind of me by myself without the background. And the way to do it is we need to jump into Photoshop. Now I know not everyone has Photoshop skills. Probably a lot of people will. If you don't I have a Photoshop course here on Envato TutsPlus, go check that out. We'll just do some real basic stuff. So I'm gonna delete that and I'm gonna open that same image up in Photoshop. So in Photoshop, File > Open, where is me? Daniel Walter Scott. That's me with my microphone being in shot. Anyway, I wanna cut myself out. A really quick easy trick is Select and Subject. It's a really cool new feature in Photoshop. If you got an old version of Photoshop, you might have to use the Click selection tool and magic? It's a little hard to see often in these videos the marching ants around the outside but if you can see them it's done a pretty good job. And because this is a stencil I'm not worried, I just want a real basic selection. If you don't have that cool little Select subject option, just use this tool here. It's called the quick selection tool. And, just kind of work your way around. I may have lost a little bit of my hair. I can't lose any of my hair. I've lost too much. I need this tiny bit on the top. [LAUGH] Yeah, I need to go back in there. Okay, so, any which way you get a selection, I'm gonna use a real cheap trick. No, I won't. I'll do the proper way. With the background selected, see there's an option here, make a mask. It's this a little square with a circle in it, let's cut out the background. Don't worry that's it's all a bit chunky here. We should fix it but it's not gonna make any difference to our stencil. All right, let's go to file, let's go to save as, and I'm gonna save it on my desk top and my class files, Daniel Walter Scott. Click if everything's okay. Close down Photoshop. Back into Illustrator. So if you tidy it up first in Photoshop like that, just delete the background. If you are like, man, Photoshop's new to me and I'm not gonna go do the course, just use the eraser tool and just delete the background. Because the stencil doesn't need to have a perfect edge, you can do something simple like that. So file place, I'm gonna bring in the image that we put on our desktop. Okay, Daniel Walter Scott. There he is. Drag it out and because I'm all by my lonesome now, I can go through and do Live Trace, go black and white logo and just doesn't have any of the background. Cool,huh? Another weird thing is, I think it's because we brought in a PSD instead of that original jpeg but you notice the options have disappeared over here. Yours might not do this. Mine seems too. So, if you can't find that's cool options that we get to change it from remember three color to a six color. You can get through it the long way by going out to window and go to it's called trace image. And you'll get back into this little option. If you know why it's not happening, message me on social media. I'm not sure why. It doesn't matter if it's the black arrow or the white arrow. But anyway, we can get there the long way by going to window, trace image. And what we can do is, this is is quite important when we're doing stencils. Which is I lower it down and I can see a bit more detail. Okay, or at least you can kind of see what it's doing right, it's kind of lessening the dark areas. Okay, you can just kind of drag it up and down to where it looks good for your stencil. [LAUGH] That's pretty good. Anyway, I'm gonna go back to something. Can I see my eyes in any of these? There's not a real good balance, but you get the idea, right? You can tidy it up in Photoshop and then get this kinda nice, cool stencil thing. I want the glasses and eyes. That's close enough. Now remember, once you're finished, you need to expand this thing. Which is not over here anymore. So we're gonna have to use the long way. I'll leave this in the course because you might have the same problem. Normally, though, they're just over here. You can do the options and do the expand. But that's the long way. Expand these guys. And now I can grab my white arrow and because at the moment, I've got this black stuff and this white stuff in the background. I'm gonna click on white. What I mean by that is, watch this, if I drag the whole thing, can you see it's actually a white background? So I'm gonna move it over here to make it a bit easier. Grab my white arrow, click on it. I could delete it, but there's all these other white areas so remember our trick. I'm gonna undo, select any bit of white. Then, remember? Select Same > Fill Color. Look at us, then hit Delete. Now, we've just got my handsome stencil. All right, so that is how to victorize an image. We did kind of a stencil style plus, I guessm a color kind of victor redraw style here. Your homework is to do your own image. You have to go to Unsplash and find another cool image. Or, find a picture of yourself. It could be your dog, could be your kids. And yeah, make sure you share it with me. I'd love to see what you do. But, for now, that is us, we are going to jump into the next video where we look at exporting for print and for web. All right, see you in a bit.