How To Live Trace In Photoshop

If you work as a graphic designer or a digital artist, it’s likely that you are familiar with Adobe Photoshop’s Live Trace feature. This useful tool can transform a pixel-based image into a vector graphic, making it easier to manipulate and resize without compromising its quality. In this detailed tutorial, we will demonstrate how you can incorporate this feature into your design process to enhance your workflow.

Step 1: Open Your Image

First things first, you’ll need to open the image you want to work with in Photoshop. Navigate to the ‘File’ menu and select ‘Open’, then choose your file. Remember, the Live Trace function works best with high-resolution images.

Step 2: Convert the Image to Grayscale

Next, you’ll need to convert your image to grayscale. This allows Photoshop to more accurately trace the various shades within the image. Simply go to Image > Mode > Grayscale.

Step 3: Access the Live Trace Function

Now that your image is in grayscale, you can access the Live Trace function. However, please note that Photoshop doesn’t natively support the Live Trace function – it’s actually an Illustrator feature. Therefore, you’ll need to move your image to Adobe Illustrator to use this feature.

Step 4: Use Live Trace in Illustrator

To use Live Trace in Illustrator, you need to first copy your image in Photoshop (you can do this by selecting the image and hitting CTRL+C on your keyboard). Open a new Illustrator document and paste your image (CTRL+V). Now, select the image and click on ‘Live Trace’ button on the top or go to Object > Live Trace > Tracing Options.

In the Tracing Options panel, you can adjust a variety of settings to get the desired look. Once you’re satisfied with your settings, click ‘Trace’. Then, click ‘Expand’ to convert the trace into actual vector paths.

Step 5: Bring Your Vector Image Back into Photoshop

Once you’ve traced your image, you can bring it back into Photoshop for further editing. Simply copy your vector image (CTRL+C) in Illustrator and paste it into Photoshop (CTRL+V). You can choose to paste it as a Smart Object, a Path, a Shape Layer, or a Pixel.

There you have it! You’ve just successfully used the Live Trace feature to convert a pixel-based image into a vector graphic. Remember, practice makes perfect! The more you experiment with this tool, the better you’ll get.

Happy designing!