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I have Adobe CS2, and have a couple of 3-colour raster designs created in PhotoShop that I want to convert to vector. I haven't ever used Illustrator, but believe it can convert a PhotoShop raster design to vector. Anyone know how easy this is? If so, would it be possible to post a few easy steps that an Illustrator virgin could follow?

Thanks in advance.
 

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depending on the complexity of your raster art, you could place it in illustrator and try tracing it with the autotrace tool. an alternative would be to place the art on one layer and trace it by hand on another layer.
 

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Hi Ross,

It can definitely be done. As baumwolle suggested, you can import the photoshop image and use the autotrace tool in Illustrator. If the art is clean, it should trace fairly well with minimal clean-up.

If the art isn't very clean (lotsa fuzzy edges), the autotrace tool might not even be worth it. In this case, depending on the complexity of the art, it would just be easier to trace it by hand.

It might take a bit of practice, but this is how I would do it by hand:

Use the pen tool to create a closed shape by adding anchor points in key areas of the artwork. Then use the direct selection tool (white arrow) to manipulate each anchor point. It may require you to convert each anchor point by using the convert anchor point tool located within the pen tool to achieve the desired results.

Like I said though, it might take some practice, but definitely doable.

Unfortunately, there is no fool-proof, easy, quick way to convert rastor images to vector with a simple button click. Even the results from autotrace tool needs adjusting.
 

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Ross,

You're on the right track. As the other posters mentioned you can probably do this in Illustrator.

When I first started this process I had never used Photoshop or Illustrator and now feel pretty comfortable with both.

Import the graphic into Illustrator and try to Auto Trace and then Scale to your specifications.

If you aren't satisfied with the Auto Trace then I would suggest you open up the Tracing Options dialog box. Once inside, make sure Preview is checked and start looking over the sliders and reading what they do and then start adjusting until you are satisfied. I've found that 95% of the time using the Tracing Options will get me what I'm looking for.

Good luck.
 

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If doing this kind of convertion isnt something youre up to or time just doesnt allow for you to do it. There are a few site that do this kind of work for a really small fee. I myself can do it, but I do it by hand and only as a last resort, so I use a couple of the services. Depending on what you charge for design and graphics clean-up time, these sites are still low enough to still make a profit off the job. I get a good deal of work that the customer just wants his or her work vectored. I charge my graphics time per hour and send it out.
 

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If doing this kind of convertion isnt something youre up to or time just doesnt allow for you to do it. There are a few site that do this kind of work for a really small fee.
one service I've used a couple of times for raster to vector graphics conversion (before I figured out how to do it in CorelDraw X3) was www.ArtWorkSource.Com.
 

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Illustrator CS2 uses "Live Trace" and can do a very nice job tracing photos. You could also use Adobe Streamline and test the different levels of tracing.

Terry White has a good array of Podcasts for the whole creative suite and "live trace" is among them. Photoshop may be able to do some of this as well. I'd have to dig a little bit.

You'll need iTunes to see an Podcast or an iPod.
 

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I use CorelDraw 12 for any tracing. Have been able to do conversions pretty easily. The Corel X3 users are really loving trace in the newer version. I'm not a graphic designer or a whiz at any of the design programs. I have only AI9, and PS7. Maybe someone who has X3 can open your PS file and give the trace a try for you? Just sharing. Susan
 
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