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hi guys,
i'm a beginner and need to know a few things about illustrator. First of all i need to know what is a common size for a t-shirt print and how fine can i make my design, that it is later printable and visible (pixel). When i trace a picture into a vector, is it then a ready layer which comes out 1:1 as i see it? I ask, because i was tracing a very fine mashed (but dirty) 46mb immage and the vector result is good. But since i don't want to color this layer in black, when ever i change it in another color, it fills up everything trough the graphics in that color. Since 2 days i just try to change that vector black into another color....it doesnt't work without changing the shape, or loosing bits and pieces. Now i converted the color in photoshop to play around with the colors.

greetings
shido
 

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In illustrator, use your direct selection tool (white pointed arrow) and select the newly traced bit. It should show up as black on the color selection. Go up to "Select" tab and down to "Select same" and then to "Fill Color". That will obviously select everything that is black and you can alter the color of that.

With Illustrator, you have fills and strokes. When you have the program automatically trace an image, it will most of the time come out directly to fills with no strokes. It will most of the time take the original background bounding box (usually white fill) and trace that as well, so you sometimes have to delete that if you plan on mixing elements together.

Without seeing the file itself, I can't really comment of if this will work for you, but it is a very basic attempt at it. At the least, it will get you in the ballpark. Hope it helps you out. :)
 

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Also within Illustrator, you can zoom in and out of the image (ctrl +/ctrl -/ ctrl 0) so you can never use how the image shows on your screen as its actual size.

If you go to "View">"Actual Size", that will show it at its actual size (duh right :) ). For the most part, I try to design within a 12" x 12" area when it comes to screen printing. However, each printer has different specifications on what they can print and what works best for them, so just ask them. They are in the business of printing your stuff as best as possible, so they don't want to get something that doesn't work.

In regards to Photoshop, if you have a vector image, just leave Photoshop alone. All it will do is allow you to create an image at too low of a resolution and screw you up when it comes time to separate it for print.

It sounds like you are very very new to these programs and design in general. I would seriously think about subbing out your artwork needs for right now. You may be happy with the quality that you will put out, but you wont be limited by your abilities and you will be much happier in the end if you get a qualified designer to work with. Nothing quite like having 100+ shirts that the artwork isn't up to snuff to try and sell to people.
 
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