Live trace on detailed sketch with fade effect?

STU9000

Member
Hi, I am trying to vectorise a very detailed sketch using live trace and I want it-

1. to appear less detailed, and
2. fade out radially,

as I would like it to appear inside a thought cloud.

I tried applying a radial gradient in photoshop, but then when I applied live trace in illustrator it did not accommodate the fade I applied and it just appeared as an irregular circle, so I'm guessing I need to pull some tricks, or tweak the settings?

Does anyone have any advice for me on how to do this?
 

@GCarlD

Well-Known Member
Hello, could you please post up an image of the sketch? There are usually different ways to skin a cat but it would help to see what you are working with. One thing I will say though is that live tracing isn't great for very detailed sketches.
 

STU9000

Member
ivorscotch.jpg
Hi it's this. Have to work, will pick this up later. Have tried reducing the file size and applying some filtering, photocopy, poster etc..
 

Wardy

Well-Known Member
Sounds a bit too advanced for Live Trace, It works best when neatening up existing linework. Try going over your sketch with a pen and doing
the outer lines thinner and thinner. I don't think you'll get any kind of automatic "fading out" in Live Trace.
 

Wardy

Well-Known Member
Have just seen the image - that's not a sketch, it's an illustration, and is far too detailed for Live Trace. Also, be wary of copyright, and scotch is a drink. :)
 

STU9000

Member
In process of hopefully gaining copyright permission, from the artist. I'm sure who that is though.

I'm pretty sure it's a photocopy of a drawing or something. This is a really old album cover. Is there nothing I can do in photoshop to filter out/reduce the fine details in some way and then live trace it in some way? I have played around with a lot of settings and it does seem quite hard to do.

What would be the best way to convert this into a printable form within a specific range of monotone colours in illustrator then? I'm sure i can work something out here. Curves?

I think Scotch is also, or used to be used to refer to Scottish people or things also, but it's probably considered racist or blasphemy these days to use it in this way.
 

@GCarlD

Well-Known Member
In process of hopefully gaining copyright permission, from the artist. I'm sure who that is though.

I'm pretty sure it's a photocopy of a drawing or something. This is a really old album cover. Is there nothing I can do in photoshop to filter out/reduce the fine details in some way and then live trace it in some way? I have played around with a lot of settings and it does seem quite hard to do.

What would be the best way to convert this into a printable form within a specific range of monotone colours in illustrator then? I'm sure i can work something out here. Curves?

I think Scotch is also, or used to be used to refer to Scottish people or things also, but it's probably considered racist or blasphemy these days to use it in this way.
If you just want a simpler version, I would probably pen tool it in illustrator mate. It will take some time but it is far too detailed (with all the background detail as well) for any 'auto' setting/tool in PS to give you something that would be neat and tidy enough to be usable.
 

STU9000

Member
Surely if I was creative with the auto settings and used multiple. I don't really have time to pen tool all that, that would take about three days! I will persevere. Maybe I don't need to vectorise it anyway.

I dunno, would the final print be taken of a raster anyway? It has to be quite big so yeah I will need to vectorise it because it will have to be enlarged. I mean, I have produced a vectorised version of it, it's just really detailed, but that should necessarily matter I think. The problem is assigning colours to it, and some fade.

I'll persevere.
 

Paul Murray

Ultimate Member
If you want to blow the image up so it's printable, you could possibly use the bitmap mode in Photoshop to convert the image to a 300dpi (or higher) 'mesh'. You'll have to play around with the settings a little bit to get a decent effect. I used it liberally on my final project for uni, mainly to give images a cool aesthetic, but it also enabled me to blow up smallish web images to A5 size and print them.

Here's a tutorial on converting an image to a bitmap - Photoshop Tutorial - Mini Hendrix Using Bitmap Mode | 8164.org
 

STU9000

Member
Cool thanks, I will look into that.

I assume then the final design would have to be in raster, I mean how do I combine this with vectors in illustrator? The final design has to be 2x3 metres.
 

Paul Murray

Ultimate Member
You could maybe select all the pixels and export the paths to Illustrator to convert it to a vector, then scale it up there. You'd need to get the bitmap right first though. I have no idea if it would work but it might be a step in the right direction.
 

STU9000

Member
This method appears to have achieved something reasonable close to the desired effect, thanks for the tip Paul.
 

STU9000

Member
The real test will be when it touches a printer I imagine. I've already had one major balls up this year, hoping not to repeat this again on an even more epic scale.
 
It is possible to vectorise it using the image trace tool, but you don't get too much detail. Here is what I came up with after having a quick play around:

test-pic.jpg

I applied a default image trace then ran it through a couple settings on the image trace panel, then, I selected the 'expand' button to turn it into paths. I made a clipping path over it and applied an inner glow to get the fade out.

Hope this helps :)
 

STU9000

Member
I already have something and the design is nearly finished, I can always redo this bit. Did you do this in PS or Ai?
 
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