Illustrator - Turning a Black & White Image Into a Vector, video

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Illustrator - Turning a Black & White Image Into a Vector, video

Video at the end of the tutorial

First we will adjust the image in Photoshop so that it is black and white. Open your image in Photoshop. Open the Adjustments Panel (Window->Adjustments). Add a black and white filter.

I've moved all the color arrows to the right, although for this example it's mostly the yellow one that is affecting the image.

Now I will add a Levels adjustment.

I've dragged both the dark and the light arrow towards the middle to make the image black and white.

Now I'm going to clean the image up a little using the eraser tool. Make sure your background color is set to white.

Now save the image and drag it into Illustrator. Open the Image Trace Panel (Window -> Image Trace). Click on "Trace".

You can adjust the threshold to make it darker or lighter.

Once you like what you have go to Object -> Image Trace -> Expand. Now your image will be vectorized.

I like to delete the white areas, and then using the smooth tool I will smooth out the edges.


Thank you for the tutorial. Still wary of working more in Illustrator, but these tutorials help.

Thank you! I am trying to learn how to use Illustrator and I realized what I did wrong on my last project after watching this! (Or at least one of the things I did wrong!)

@Jill: You're assuming I've done it the right way, and I'm by no means an Illustrator expert. I'm just sharing a few of the things I've figured out that I find most helpful for designing.

Let me know if you have any specific questions after watching a tutorial.

Nice tutorial Marisa! I use the image trace with a black & white setting or my own if I am working from a certain book. On problem graphics I will have to try fixing it for b&w in photoshop first, thats a good idea! And the smooth tool is something I have never tried! I'll have to try that sometime. This is most likely very basic but HOW do you delete the white areas? I know illustrator can do this but I have not yet figured out how. smiley I'm pretty new with illustrator. I have followed some tutorials that helped me make some things for the cozy kitchen kit but I still dont know my way round it much. I have a class waiting for me to watch but just finding the time!

Jessica, one way you can "erase" the white is to check the "ignore white" box on the trace menu when you originally trace.

Thanks Jill! I've seen that box but didn't know what it did...Ill have to pay attention to that next time and see what it does. smiley smiley

All the white bits will be on separate layers. Just delete them.