Live Trace and Resolution

As those of you following my special Halloween-inspired pirate flag video blog know, each and every one of this week’s videos hails from my upcoming Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced series for And yet, halfway into things, we have yet to even see, so much as use, Adobe Illustrator. That curious situation changes today. In this video, I save the pixel-based artwork at two resolutions: 72 ppi (which Illustrator insanely recommends) and 300 ppi (which works out much better). And then I launch Illustrator and apply the program’s Live Trace feature to both, with truly astounding results.

Here’s the official description:

In this exclusive preview of his upcoming Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced,  Deke McClelland shares six phases in the creation of an authentic   five-by-three-foot pirate flag. In today’s episode, Deke prepares the base artwork for tracing in Photoshop and auto-traces it in Illustrator. Look for the full course to be released in its entirety later this year.

Topics include:

  • Saving a piece of art for placement in Illustrator
  • Placing pixel-based images in Illustrator
  • Applying the Live Trace feature

Oh, and one more thrilling, spine-chilling, soul-filling piece of news: You can make your own flag starting today. To download the sample files used in this video—as well as the final pirate flag art—check out this post. You won’t be sad (although you will be very frightened!) that you did.

Next entry:Expanding and Separating Artwork

Previous entry:All Pirate Flag Files and Art


  • Tiff LZW

    Why Tiff and not PSD?
    Thanks for your response.

  • Pirate Flag


    Are you going to make the six movies available for download as well as the files.

    Great Flag!.

  • Live Trace and Resolution

    Since it’s a vector it won’t loose quality as you enlarge it. However when you paste into PS, it is no longer a vector. Therefore the quickest way would be to paste into a larger illustrator file and enlarge the image there, then “save as” jpeg…

  • Love Vectors

    I love vector images. I only design with vectors, I’ve been spoiled since getting the Adobe Suite. I had a project where I had to design the question ” how much is plan b at walmart  ” and make it look visually appealing. It was quite the task.

    Vector images made it possible!

  • Tiff is much better

    than .psd

  • not sure, but…

    if my memory serves me correctly, PSD and TIFF are actually one and the same. I think that Adobe modeled the PSD format to be a very close cousin (if not an identical twin) of the TIFF format. I think the PSD just contains more private data.

    In Deke’s example though, I can’t imagine there’d be any difference between the two—as all you’re doing is tracing the image—you’re not trying to import layers, transparency, or anything.

    Mordy Golding

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