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Tracing in illustrator

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  • Tracing in illustrator

    Hello, so recently I have been working on my own illustrations and I have done some simple ones were I can use the pathfinder options whether is to unite, divide a shape and etc. But when it comes to a very detailed illustration I am not sure what is the best way to go. Of course, I am thinking to use the pen tool which I think is the best tool to trace. But when it comes to tracing shape by shape, side by side, how do I follow the path of the other shape so it can be exact. This is a tutorial that I found. I am assuming I can post this since this is free for anyone to see it. If not, sorry, I didn't mean to do it. anyway, this tutorial says to trace it but I don't know if whether everything is traced by doing shapes?? but if it was done with lines how was it colored afterwards?
    http://webdesignerwall.com/tutorials...of-the-phoenix

    The attached file is another example just to try to explain my question. Though this is a simple shape that the pathfinder tool can be used to created the shape aligning it exactly with the other shape.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    There are two or three options. Since the top shape will block out the shapes beneath it, you don't have to be especially careful. Just close the bottom shape with some quickly drawn lines that are beneath the top shape. If you're a neatness freak or if the top shape needs to be set to overprint, you can use the pathfinder tool, as you mentioned, to remove the portion of the shape that's beneath the other one. I'm not sure what your reluctance is in doing this. What I wouldn't do is draw one shape, then attempt to draw another beside it that precisely matched the shape that's just not necessary, and it's nearly impossible to get them the same.

    Before the pathfinder tool was added it Illustrator, to get the edges of shapes to match up precisely when needed, it was necessary to select the points along those edges, copy them to the clipboard, then paste them back into position, then draw the remainder of the adjacent shape from that copied and pasted shape segment. This is still an option, but there are faster ways to do it.

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    • #3
      I know this is for illustration but just gotta say Ugh, don't do logos the way <b> just described with messily stacked shapes. If a logo looks like a mess in Outline, it isn't a properly drawn logo.

      I use Pathfinder Minus Front and Minus Back a lot.
      And actually, if there aren't a lot of points on the line to be copied, as <b> mentioned, you can select the segments with the direct selection tool, command+C, and command+F to paste in place. Sometimes it's a lot quicker than working with the pathfinder. You may have to lock your first shape down to keep from selecting that when continuing on with your pasted line.

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      • #4
        I would draw the whole shape (yellow and black combined), then draw the dividing line between the colours and use the Pathfinder>divide tool to turn them into 2 shapes that butt up perfectly.

        Pathfinder is awesome. Learn it and make it your second best friend (best fiend is pen tool of course).
        It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like "What about lunch?" Winnie the Pooh

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        • #5
          LOL, Buda I like your typo.
          Pen tool can certainly be a fiend, as well as a friend.

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          • #6
            The pen tool is what you should be practicing with ... you can pretty much draw anything with it.
            sigpic

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            • #7
              lol. Oops.
              It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like "What about lunch?" Winnie the Pooh

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              • #8
                it's the live paint tool!

                ok, the shape I made maybe it was a too simple to explain my point. Anyway, I figure it what I need to do. It's the live paint tool I need! it was there the whole time. I just need to draw the outer shape with white fill and black stroke. Then all the shapes inside I just draw the lines forming the shape but without closing the path, just lines. Then I click on live paint, expand, and then divide using the divide tool. then color it. The example is just another simple shape but more detailed perhaps. Thanks anyway
                Attached Files

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                • #9
                  I've been playing around with the Live Paint tool a lot lately. It's fantastic and you can even change the gap sensitivity. Great when your lines don't make fully closed in shapes.
                  It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like "What about lunch?" Winnie the Pooh

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                  • #10
                    Looks like I'm now going to have to experiment with this Live Paint THING to make sure it still holds together when used for logos. You can never underestimate Mayhem in Adobe programs.
                    <yes, it's the same Mayhem from the insurance ads. Or maybe his more evil twin.>

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                    • #11
                      I haven't checked how it works with logos yet PD. Just complex illustrative work. I'm thinking it should expand ok though for clean up.
                      It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like "What about lunch?" Winnie the Pooh

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                      • #12
                        Perfect timing for this. I will have to read more in my book. I'm just getting my kids started on some stuff in this area.

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