Convert an image into vectors using Live Trace in Illustrator and then paint it using Illustrator Live Paint feature.

The Complete text from this video:

Hello, I’m Helen Bradley. Welcome to this video tutorial. In this tutorial we’re taking an image that we already prepared inside Photoshop and we’re going to use it with the Live Paint tool in Illustrator to color the image. If you haven’t previously seen the Photoshop video and if you’re not sure how to isolate and prepare an image of the kind that we’re way using in this tutorial you may want to watch that one first. But here we’re going to open up our image in Illustrator, trace it and then use Live Paint. To work on the image that we’ve already pre-prepared in Photoshop I’ve created a brand new portrait size image. I’ll choose File and Place and we’re going to bring in the isolated bathing box image that we worked on in Photoshop and we’re going to trace this. But one of the things that you can do in earlier versions of Illustrator that you can’t to do in this version is actually blur the image at the same time as tracing it. And I think this image would be helped if I blurred it a little bit before I actually trace it so I’m going to choose Effect Blur and apply a Gaussian blur to it. And I’ve experimented and about a 3 pixel blur is pretty good for this image so I’m going to click Ok. And what this does is blur some of the noise so I’m going to get a chunkier tracing result. So I’m going to click Image Trace. The initial result is not very spectacular but I’m going to click here for the Image Trace Panel and I’m going to make some additional selections which is going to improve my tracing. But I’m going to start by turning off my preview. I’m going to select Color and I’m going to set this to, for example, six colors. I’m going to set up a low paths and corners setting so that we get chunkier pieces in our image and I’m going to increase the noise reduction to 100 pixels. I’m going to ask to ignore white. I’m going to click either preview or trace. Preview would let me see see these options in place to see if I like it. I know I’m going to like it so I’m just going to click Trace to get all the way there right now. And now we’re done. I’m going to expand this by clicking Expand and now we’ve got an expanded image. I’m also going to ungroup it with Object Ungroup. I’m going to make sure that there is no white in this image. And their actually is white behind it so I’ve actually now selected the white and I’m just going to press Delete to remove it. So now all that’s left in my image is not white so it’s all colored so I’m going to regroup it. And I’m going to convert this for Live Paint so I’m going to choose Object and then Live Paint Make And this converts the object so that I can use the Live Paint tool on it. So let’s go and get our tools. And this is the Live Paint tool here. It shares a toolbar position with the shape builder tool and its letter is K so that might help you to find it a little more easily in future. Now we need our swatches so I’m just going to make sure that my Swatches are visible here. Nope, they’re not, so let’s go and get. Here they are. And I would like to get a special swatch to use here so I’m going to go find some Kuler colors. I’ll choose Window Extensions and then choose Kuler. I already have some Kuler summer colors here so I’m going to select a color combination here that is reminiscent of summer and that will look good on my image. I’m going to choose something that’s quite a ways from the image we already have so let’s choose iGadgets. I’m going to click here and add it to the Swatches panel. That puts it in my swatches so I can now use it. With the Live Paint Bucket tool selected I can click on a color here in this Kuler swatch here and and now watch as I hold my mouse over the image. The areas that are colored in this salmon pink are the areas in which I’m going to be dropping that blue color in. This is my selected color and blue is over the cursor so if I click here we’re going to start painting in blue. The color purple is to one side of the blue and the color yellow is to the other side and you can see them here on the screen on my cursor. If I want to change to use the purple I can just use the left arrow key and start painting now with purple, dropping purple in wherever I want it to be. And if I want to change and paint with a different color such as that green then I can go back over with the right arrow key and drop that into a different position and then perhaps go to the orange and drop that in and even the red. So I can go all the way around this color swatch and if I go all the way around I’m just coming back to the exact same color. So let’s go to red. I’m just going to circle around these colors. Now in some cases you may want to go for something a little bit different so you may want to bring in a color that’s not in the current color scheme here. And we can do that too. So let’s go and get another color. Let’s say that we want to add to this particular color scheme a sort of well let’s go and get some color we don’t already have, say this green here. So I’m going to click on that green and now I’m working in this area of the palette. So now I can add that green to my image. And if I press the left and right arrow keys I’m going to move around the colors in this part of the swatch, no longer in this part. So I’m going to call this good for now so let’s just say that we’re going to use this image. So I’m going back to my Selection Tool. Now the fact that we’ve used Live Paint on this image doesn’t preclude us from doing other things that we’re used to being able to do. I’m going to select the image and I’m going to make a new color group from it. I’m going to choose Selected Artwork and I’m going to include swatches for tints. So these are all the colors that I’ve been using in this image so far. Now with this selected I can click the Edit or Apply Color Group option. I’m just going to move my image out of the way a little bit so that we can see it as we’re working. And the same options that are available to us when we’ve been in this dialog before are still available. I can use this option to rotate around the colors that we have so we’re remapping the colors. What was pink is now some other color within our fixed color scheme. We can also use this one to randomly change saturation and brightness, again within the same colors and we can use edit. And this allows us to move the colors around to make them more pastel, to make them more saturated. And we can even unlock the colors to then apply different colors to our image by just dragging these colors around. And if we get something that we like and that’s not what I’ve got here but let’s say that we like it I’m going to click to create a New Color Group from it and then click Ok. And this is the new swatch for my image. So there we’ve used Live Paint to paint a traced image in Illustrator and all of shapes remain vector objects in Illustrator.

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Helen Bradley