How to vectorize with Illustrator and create creative designs with just a few clicks?

Learning how to vectorize with Illustrator is a must for every graphic designer. has it ever happened to you that you need an image, but you only have it available on paper? Digital tools, such as the resources provided by Adobe Illustrator, are here to stay and to be the design salvation in many creative development opportunities.

Thus,incorporating new knowledge such as vectorizing an image with Illustrator and implementing the use of resources are actions that undoubtedly serve to enhance your art .

In the digital era, our canvas is the screen and images are usually vector or bitmapped. But how to make vectors with Illustrator? what are the steps to vectorize an image in Adobe Illustrator? how to make a vectorized logo in this design program?

A conceptual approach to vector design with Illustrator

To begin this discussion on how to vectorize with Illustrator, we will first talk about vectors. A vector is a line that is made up of thousands of points. Two or more vectors can build shapes and segments. unlike bitmaps, you can resize them without losing resolution quality, because the more you scale your vector drawing, the more the program will fill it with dots. This allows the size of your design to be large or small without alteration.

Most graphic designers and illustrators use vector drawings to create illustrations, logos, icons and many other graphics. Working with vectors is one of the main differences between Illustrator vs. Photoshop, so learning how to vectorize in Illustrator is very useful for printing, as you can alter the size without deforming the design. These are quite light in weight and are used in this famous software.

So, in this process of how to vectorize in Illustrator, once you have the idea ready, you can convert your drawings into vector images by locating their vertex points and modifying them to create curves. It is a time-consuming task, but afterwards, it will be much easier to manipulate the drawing with different tools to give it color, shadows, etc.

ilustradora digital trabajando en su escritorio con vectoresSource: Pexels

what is the importance of knowing the Bézier Curve?

When we vectorize an image in Adobe Illustrator, we define the points between which a stroke will be made. The Bézier curve consists of two or more control points that mark the size and shape of the lines. The first and last points mark the beginning and the end, while those in the middle define the size of the curvature.

Thus, there are several types of Bézier curves. do you know them? In this analysis on how to vectorize with Illustrator, we tell you about them:

Linear: straight lines defined by two points.
Quadratic: they have at least three points, a start point, an end point and a control point.
Higher order: they have two control points. the curve is given by joining the start and end points with the control points.

In Adobe Illustrator, we can draw bézier curves with the pen tool. But how to create them? Here, we detail this fundamental step in the process of vectorizing with Illustrator:

Select the Pen tool.
Position the Pen tool where you want the curve to start and hold down the mouse button. We will call this starting point “Point A”. this will be the anchor. You will see the Illustrator Pen tool turn into an arrow .
Click on another nearby point, B, to create a straight line.
Place a new point, C , and drag it to one of the sides to carry out the definition of the curved segment. Here, a curve will form between this point and B. Release the mouse button when you are satisfied with the curvature you have created.
Use the handles to manipulate the curvature.

can a tablet be used to make vectorized designs?

Keep in mind that you can obtain vectorized designs either with your computer mouse or with a drawing tablet .

In case you decide to use a tablet to vectorize withIllustrator, it is possible that certain errors may appear. Among the most common ones, when vectorizing designs, are the following:

Program crashes before or after you start using Adobe Illustrator with a tablet.
When using your tablet’s digital pen to vectorize with Illustrator, the degree of digital sensitivity is lost .
Problems with the operation of the design program. It may even stop working altogether, especially when using the digital pen .

diseñadora gráfica aprende a vectorizar con Illustrator en su tablet y laptopSource: Pexels

To solve these complications and be able to vectorize with Illustrator from your tablet without problems, perform the following actions:

Perform the tablet driver update .
Uninstall the tabletdrivers, if necessary.
To vectorize with Illustrator through your tablet, make sure that the device is enabled.
In case you are working with MacOS system, go to Illustrator > Preferences > Devices. then enable the Enable tablet checkbox.
If you have a Windows system, go to Edit > Preferences > Devices. click on the Enable Tablet checkbox.
and that’s it! You can now vectorize with Illustrator from the comfort of your tablet.

how to vectorize an image in Adobe Illustrator?

Now yes, in case you are looking to master this program and design successful graphic pieces, pay attention to this complete guide and you will know precisely what are the steps to take into account when vectorizing with Adobe Illustrator.

So, do you want to learn how to vectorize an image in Adobe Illustrator? The first thing you should have in mind is that it is a process that can be tedious at the beginning, but nothing that with practice, you can’t master. That’s why, in this post about vectorized designs, we will show you the ways in which you can perform this process like an expert.

how to vectorize in Illustrator using the pen tool?

Adobe Illustrator’s pen tool is the main resource when thinking about vectorizing an image. Here are the steps you should keep in mind when using the pen tool:

1. Digitize your drawing or image

If you plan to take one of your sketches to digital format to digital format, make sure you have it scanned or you can take a picture of it with your cell phone and email it to yourself. When vectorizing with Illustrator, avoid using communication services like Whatsapp or Facebook Messenger because they prioritize size over image quality.

joven diseñador gráfico pasa un dibujo en papel a digital con Illustrator en su laptop sobre escritorio de trabajoSource: Pexels

2. Importing your drawing or image into Adobe Illustrator

The second step to vectorize with Illustrator, is to import your image. so, once you have saved the image on your computer or laptop, to import it into your Adobe Illustrator Canvas, go to File > Place… Or you can also use the shortcut: Shift + Control + P.

Cómo importar imágenes a Illustrator 2020 para vectorizar

Source: Illustrator

Once you have the image you want to vectorize open on your Adobe Illustrator artboard, you can use the pen tool. You will find it in your tools panel on the right side, usually under the “Selection” tool. likewise, to vectorize with Illustrator, You can also use the letter P as a shortcut to activate it.

herramienta pluma para vectorizar en illustratorSource: Illustrator

3. Make sure the fill and stroke colors are right

In this process of learning how to vectorize with Illustrator and before you start using the tool, make sure that your fill color is transparent; and at the same time, that the stroke color makes a good contrast with your image. This way, it will be easier when the time comes to work with the pen.

4. Start vectorizing your image

Continuing with this analysis on how to vectorize with Illustrator, with the Adobe Illustrator pen, you must place a starting point and mark the outline of the image, stretching the lines from one point to another. The latter are called “anchor points”.

vectorización rápida en illustratorSource: Illustrator

As you create the points, you will notice that they are straight vectors. In order to give them a curve, you just have to hold the left click and move your mouse, so that the curve fits the curve of your drawing. Also, for this, in this step to vectorize with Illustrator, you can use the curve tool next to the pen.

Remember that if with the pen, you no longer want curved vectors to appear, just press “ALT + click ” at the starting point of your next stroke. Then, the vector following that point will be straight again. you can play with both shapes in order to finish outlining the contours of your drawing or sketch.

If your vision is difficult, you can use “CTRL + Plus Sign” or “CTRL + Minus Sign ” to play with the zoom of the screen and be able to see the most complex parts of the tracing. It is important to remember that to vectorize with Illustrator correctly, you must close the point with the pen in the same place where you started the vectorization.

5. Eyedropper to copy the colors of your image

Once you have the outline of your vector image, you can use the eyedropper tool to copy colors from the original image.

If your original image is made up of several parts of different colors, you can first border the overall image; then, element by element. In our case, to vectorize with Illustrator, we have a character, so we have used the pen to draw all the elements that this character is wearing.

Cuenta gotas en Illustrator Source: Illustrator

6. Use all the tools for the final result

You can help yourself with some of the shapes that Adobe Illustrator CC offers you to use them in your final drawing. Your sketch serves as a base, but you can use all the tools and your creativity to perfect the final work. It may take a little more time, but once you’re done vectorizing with Illustrator, you’ll see incredible results.

Cómo vectorizar una imagen o foto rápidamenteSource: Illustrator

vectorizar una imagen en illustratorSource: Illustrator

how to vectorize using image tracing?

Another faster and more agile way to speed up the vectorization process is the “Image tracing ” tool provided by Adobe Illustrator. This resource allows you to carry out many processes automatically and using artificial intelligence. Remember not to get used to this tool because the results you will obtain will depend a lot on the quality of your image.

In this section of our guide on how to vectorize with Illustrator, we explain step by step how you can vectorize an image with Adobe Illustrator’s Image Tracing tool:

1. Import the image to vectorize

As in the other way of vectorizing, you must have at hand an image of your drawing or the image of what you want to vectorize in jpg or png. Import it through the option “File > Place” or using “Ctrl + Shift + P”.

2. Activate the Image Tracing tool

where is this tool? There are two ways by which you can get to this option to vectorize with Illustrator. The first is that once you have imported your image into your Illustrator canvas. just select it; and in the top menu, you will have an option called ““Image Trace”.

hacer el calco de imagen en IlustratorSource: Illustrator

In case you can’t find this alternative to vectorize with Illustrator, you can go to the “Windows” menu and look for the tool. It is usually under “Trace Finder”. if you have the program in English, search for “Image Trace”.

calco de imagen Adobe IllustratorSource: Illustrator

3. Choose the Tracing mode

Adobe Illustrator’s Image Trace tool allows you to vectorize pixel images through different shapes. These alternatives give you color, black and white or grayscale vectors.

Calco de imagen en Adobe Illustrator Source: Illustrator

To vectorize with Illustrator with this tool, you can try different options to find the one you really need. Keep in mind that the larger the image, the longer the process can take to complete. If you have a lot of details, it can even accumulate a lot of your RAM memory .

In this process on how to vectorize with Illustrator, save your document before using the tool so you don’t lose your progress.

vectorizado de una foto con calco de imagenSource: Illustrator

4. Separate the elements

If you want to manipulate the vectors that make up your image, just select your vectorized image and activate the “Expandoption that you will find in the top tool. Once you click on it, you will see the elements grouped together. It is up to you to decide, in this procedure to vectorize with Illustrator, whether to work them as a group or ungroup them.

expandir un calco de imagen

Source: Illustrator

As you may have noticed in some cases, vectorization does not end up being 100% neat. Therefore, sometimes, you will have to do the tracing manually.

Adobe Illustrator is a software where you always discover new tricks. The most important thing is that you don’t stop practicing.

diseñadora gráfica crea un logo vectorizado en Adobe Illustrator en su laptopSource: Pexels

how to vectorize a logo with Illustrator?

One of the main advantages of making vectorized logos is to keep their quality no matter what size they are. This is quite useful, since it is a format used for both small and large pieces (from stickers and logos to signs on facades).

In relation to the creation of brand identity, according to a HubSpot analysis, the logo is one of the indispensable elements to effectively position yourself in the minds of potential consumers

And to achieve the desired effect on your audience, you must take into account not only the vector design of the logo, but also the choice of colors. In fact, according to a study by Forbes, the color palette chosen for a brand’s logo will directly affect the brand’s perception among consumers in the short, medium and long term.

Therefore, if you want to vectorize a logo and have the effect you are looking for in your target audience, we recommend the two options mentioned above (image tracing and pen tool).

And to deepen your knowledge even more, in this informative guide on how to vectorize with Illustrator, we detail how to vectorize a logo with this wonderful vector design program.

1. Vectorize a logo with tracing image

With this tool, you will be able to vectorize images quickly and easily. This is the most recommended option if you are going to work with black and white logos.

Below, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide so that you can vectorize logos with the image tracing option without any inconvenience. take note of all the details and learning how to vectorize logos in Adobe Illustrator will be a simple task!

Open the design program.
Create a new document to start vectorizing in Illustrator. When you do so, consider the size you want your vectorized logo to be.
Drag the logo onto the artboard.
Make your image selection.
Click on the “Image tracing” option. You can find this tool to vectorize with Illustrator in the menu, under “Object > Image tracing/Create”; or click on the button that you will see when you have selected your logo.

calco de imagen ejemplo Ilustrator

Source: Adobe

Then, in this step-by-step on how to vectorize with Illustrator, you will have at first glance, a preview of your vectorized logo .
If when vectorizing with Illustrator, you are not satisfied with your design, you can make several changes. To do this, click on the icon with two dots next to the “View” option.
You can also go to the “Image tracing ” tool panel and from there, you can make different adjustments: “Preset”, “Black and white logo”, “By colors” and “Silhouettes”.
Here, we detail the functionalities of each of the icons that you will see in your Image tracing panel so that you can vectorize with Illustrator more easily.

ajustes preestablecidos calco de imagen

Source: Adobe

To finish this step-by-step on how to vectorize with Illustrator using the image tracing tool, try the different options and visualize the changes in your vectorized logo until you are 100% satisfied with your design.

2. Use the pen tool

This option is a bit more complex and advanced. However, you will be able to achieve more detail. We advise you to use it if you want to vectorize a more elaborate and colorful logo.

So, if you need to vectorize a logo with Illustrator, using the pen tool, you should follow the steps below:

Create a workbench to start vectorizing with Illustrator.
Make an image tracing of the photo of your logo designed on paper. To do this, paste the image on your artboard.
Make a selection of the photo and make an “Image tracing”. Although this resource for vectorizing with Illustrator is not visible, you can easily find it under Window > Image tracing.
When you need to get vectorized logos, as we have mentioned, one of the most appropriate vectorizing tools is “Black and White Logo” .
Once you have your logo vectorized, you will need to edit it. To do this, go to Object > Expand > Direct Selection. As a result, in this process of how to vectorize with Illustrator, you will be able to edit the strokes of your vectorized logo, modify the color palette, delete strokes and make all kinds of corrections .
If your goal is to design a vectorized logo with a legend included, you can place the brand name. Try to choose a good typography for logos and that the content you incorporate, when vectorizing with Illustrator, is aligned. To do this, use the “Align” resource in the “Window” tab.
On the other hand, in case your goal is to keep some of the strokes of your handmade drawing, the process of vectorizing a logo with Illustrator should culminate in the previous step.
However, if your goal is to get a fully digital vectorized logo, you can use the pen tool. To do this, create a tracing image with the photograph of your logo on paper, paint it with a light tone; and with the pen tool, reproduce different strokes in your design, until you get the vectorized logo you want ready to use in the branding of your brand.

logotipo vectorizado IllustratorSource: YouTube

As you will see, learning how to vectorize in Illustrator is easy, as long as you have this complete informative guide at hand. Thus, you will be able to follow the steps to vectorize an image in Illustrator and achieve all your design goals in every creative project you have in your hands.

As a result, through these training instances, you will not only learn how to vectorize in Illustrator, but you will also acquire a series of design skills from an integral perspective. what will be the result? Undoubtedly, you will be closer to your goal: to become the graphic designer you dream of!

See you in the next article!

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