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Need a good vectorizing tutorial


mohelmets

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Hi,

I would like to know if anyone can point me in the direction of a good tutorial or two to vectorize my own graphics. I hate asking people for favors all the time and want to learn how to do this anyway, so I can vectorize my own high school helmet logos. I have Adobe Illustrator 9, so if there are any tutorials out there that use that particular program, I would be greateful to anyone who can point them out to me....thanks in advance...

Mike

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I think most people here would tell you that the way they learned is through practice.  Just opening up the program and starting to draw.  There are sites online that can give you pointers and ideas, but I don't think you are going to find a book on "how to create vector images".  There are so many different ways to go about it, that it would be hard to sum up in a book.  My advice is to get an image, open it in Illustrator, and trace it with the pen tool and go from there.  Search through some of the post here on the site, there are lots of pointers on vector images.  One good way to start learning how to use the pen tool, is to try to draw the suits of a card deck.  Good luck.
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I think most people here would tell you that the way they learned is through practice.

Exactly.  There is no way technically to "vectorize" or make raster graphics become vector graphics.

It basically comes down to recreating them in a vector program.......in other words....good ole-fashioned TRACING.

We really need a well written sticky on this with all the questions.  

Vector graphics are pretty much the parent file you can always refer back to and use at any size you need.  Teeny tiny or way billboard big.  It's mathematical and coordinate based I think...the X and Y on a graph stuff.  ONce you have that, you are golden.  You can do anything with it.  But it has to be created manually. There is no "save as vector" dropdown in the menu of any program.

Do what they say and import the best pic you have, and dabble with Illustrator.  There are plenty of good books on how to use AI.  Some decent internet tutorials too on how to use the various tools.

I suggest often that in a pinch you can trace the image in Macromedia Flash (as it is vector also) and paste that result into IA.  Its a wee bit easier to learn to draw in Flash....though not nearly as versatile as AI.

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Do any of you know where these online tutorials can be found? I haven't the foggiest clue as how to do any of this...too bad there isn't a way to take some graphic and "save as vector"...but I will take your advice and just try messing with it....one question I do have is how do you add different colors to a graphic? Sorry for the dumb questions, but this is something I would like to learn how to do....thanks for your help....

Mike

p.s......'Gator....have you been able to do anything with those "M" graphics I sent to you?

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mike, illustrator is a drawing program. what (i think) you want to do is get your logos in a vector format. how do you have them now? if it is a scan of hand drawn artwork, or an image of a photograph, what you want to do is re-draw (or re-build with the shape and text tools). in illustrator place your image into a new document. select the pen tool (looks like a fountain pen tip) and start re-drawing by clicking point to point to point. if you want to have curves instead of corner points click-drag to "pull the handlebars" (for lack of better term, but the proper name is bezier points). if you need to edit while drawing, use the keyboard shortcuts (alt, shift, ctrl, etc.) to cleanup while going (or wait and do cleanup all after basic shapes are drawn). once you've closed the shape, when it's selected use the color properties to fill, outline, gradient fade, etc. to your liking. to edit your paths use the empty (white) arrow pointer to move points/curves. also click-drag the pen tool from the toolbar to get the pen/add/remove/"curve-cracker" (proper name escapes me right now). play with these to familiarize yourself with what they do when editing. start out with simple projects until you feel comfortable using the pen tool for complicated work.

a google search brings up many relevant pages on using illustrator for drawing.

classroom in a book is an excellent choice.  i even see them in the bargin bins at the local bookstores. heck, get the book for an older version, since it's guiding you on getting started.

the closest program to "save as vector" is Adobe's Streamline.  it will convert a rastor file to vector, but it is not very accurate.  i've played with it off and on since it first came out, and all the time you spend setting up parameters for converting and adjusting, you could just retrace it easier.  usually from streamline you still need to clean it up, so it doesn't save lots of time.  if it needs to be clean for reproduction, this is not the best option.  if you need something fast to get started from it may be handy.

like everone has mentioned, you'll learn more and understand best how to control file editing by getting in your "seat time". experience by doing.

good luck, most here are willing to help out if you have problems.

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