Sometimes, you not need to create the Artwork from scratch— creatives which are created in other applications can be imported in Illustrator, whether it is Vector drawing or bitmap (raster) image. Illustrator recognizes all the common graphic file formats. It is easy to move art from one application to another because of the tight integration between Adobe products and support for a wide variety of file formats. This can be done by importing, exporting, or copying and pasting files.
8.1 UNIT OBJECTIVES
After going through this unit, you will be able to:
• Know the concept of creation and import of artwork
• Understand the process of importing various types files into Illustrator
• Know the various formats in which the artwork can be saved
• Learn how to do trace artwork
8.2 IMPORT ART
(i) Import artwork from Photoshop
Artwork from Photoshop (PSD files) can be imported into Illustrator by using several features like the Open, the Place, Paste and drag-and-drop. Most Photoshop data is supported by the Illustrator which includes layer comps, layers, editable text and paths. This means, you can edit the artwork as well as, can transfer files between Photoshop and Illustrator. For simplifying the transfer of files between Photoshop and Illustrator, adjustment layers (that have visibility turned off, though inaccessible) are imported into Illustrator. They are restored when exported back to Photoshop.
Spot colors, up to 31 spot channels per file, are imported as raster images within a single NChannel. This image is placed over the processed color image. The spot colors that are imported, get separated correctly. With the same name as in Photoshop, the spot colors are added to the swatches panel as custom colors.
Duotone PSD files are imported as flat raster images with a 256-indexed color space and an NChannel color space. These contain all the inks of duotone. Blending mode interactions that are set in Photoshop may appear differently in Illustrator. This is because Illustrator uses an N-Channel. Ink colors from old color libraries are adjusted to grey. If Illustrator has to convert the photoshop data, you will get a warning message. For example, Illustrator warns you that the image will be imported as an 8-bit, flat composite, while importing a 16-bit Photoshop file.
(ii) Photoshop import options
The following options can be set while opening or placing a Photoshop file that contains multiple layers:
a. Layer Comp: If layer comps are contained in the Photoshop file, then they specify which version of the image to import. To display a preview of the selected layer comp, select Show Preview. From the Photoshop file, the Comments text box displays comments.
b. When Updating Link: While updating a linked Photoshop file that includes layer comps, this layer specifies how to handle layer visibility settings.
Keep Layer Visibility Overrides: Based on the level of visibility of the layer within the layer comp, this updates the linked image in the originally placed file.
Use Photoshop’s Layer Visibility: In the Photoshop file, this updates the linked image based on the current state of visibility of the layer.
c. Convert Photoshop Layers to Objects and Make Text Editable Where Possible:Without sacrificing the appearance of the text, this option tries to preserves as much layer structure and text as possible. However, If Illustrator does not support the feature of the file then it preserves the appearance of the artwork by merging and rasterizing layers. For instance:
i. All layers in clipping masks as well as layer sets that use the Dissolve Blending mode, get merged into single layers.
ii. Adjustment layers and layers that use a Knockout option are merged with the underlying layers. Layers that contain transparent pixels and use the Color Dodge, Color Burn, Linear Dodge, Vivid Light, Linear Burn, Linear Light, Difference or Pin Light blending mode, also merge in the same way.
iii. Layers that use layer effects may be merged though the specific merging behaviour depending on the presence of transparent pixels, the blending mode of the layer and the layer’s blending options.
iv. Hidden layers which demand merging are discarded.
d. Flatten Photoshop Layers to a Single Image and Preserve Text Appearance: The file is imported as a single bitmap image. Except for the document clipping path (if it exists), the converted file retains no individual objects. Opacity can not be edited but it will be retained as part of the main image.
e. Import Hidden Layers: All layers from the Photoshop file are imported, including hidden layers. However, this option is not available when linking to a Photoshop file.
f. Import Slices: Any slices that are included in the Photoshop file are preserved. This option is only available while opening or embedding a file that includes slices.
g. Move part of an image from Photoshop to Illustrator: Select the pixels you want to move from Photoshop (refer to Photoshop Help for more information). Then do either of the following:
i. Copy the selected area in Photoshop and paste it in Illustrator. While you choose the Copy command, if a layer mask is active rather than the main layer, Photoshop copies the mask.
ii. In Photoshop, select the Move tool and drag the selection to Illustrator. Transparent pixels are filled with white.
(iii) Move paths from Photoshop to Illustrator
Select the desired path in Photoshop with the help of the Direct Selection tool or the Path Component Selection tool. Any path or path segment that appears in the Paths panel and includes shape vector masks, work paths and saved paths, can be selected. You can refer to Photoshop Help for more information on selecting paths. You can either drag the path, or copy and paste into Illustrator.
Choose whether to paste the path as a compound shape or a compound path in the Paste Options dialog box. Pasting as a compound path may result in some loss of edited changes, but it is faster. Go to File > Export > Paths To Illustrator (in Photoshop), to import all paths (but no pixels) from a Photoshop document. Then you can open the resulting file in Illustrator.
8.3 IMPORTING ADOBE PDF FILES
Both vector and bitmap (raster) data can be represented by a versatile file format known as the Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). Artwork from PDF files can be brought into Illustrator by using the Open, Place, Paste and Drag-and-drop features. The functions can be used as listed below:
a. Select the Link option and use the Place command in order to import a PDF file (or if it is a multi-page document, one page of the PDF) as a single image. You cannot select and edit the linked image’s individual components, though it can be modified using transformation tools.
b. With the Link option deselected, use the Open command or the Place command to edit the contents of a PDF file. You can edit each component as a discrete object by recognizing individual components in the PDF artwork.
c. To import selected components from a PDF file, including vector objects, bitmap images and text, you can use the Paste command or the drag-and-drop feature.
(i) Adobe PDF placement options
While placing an Adobe PDF file, you need to specify which page is to be imported. By selecting a Crop To option, select the method, you want to crop the artwork.
a. Bounding Box. This option places the PDF page’s bounding box or page marks within the minimum area that encloses the objects on the page.
b. Art: This option places the PDF in the area which is defined by a rectangle that the author has created as artwork (e.g., clip art).
c. Crop: This option places the PDF only in the area that Adobe Acrobat displays or prints.
d. Trim: If trim marks are present, this option identifies the place where the final produced page will be physically cut in the production process.
e. Bleed: If a bleed area is present, this option places only the area where all page content should be clipped. This information is useful if the page is being output in a production environment. It is to be noted that the printed page may include page marks that fall outside the bleed area.
f. Media: This option places the area (including page marks) that represents the physical paper size of the original PDF document (e.g., the dimensions of an A4 sheet of paper).
(ii) Importing Monotone, Duotone and Tri-tone Images from Adobe PDF Files
Whenever an Adobe PDF file artwork is imported, it is always possible to introduce data which includes monotone, duotone and tri-tone images. These are also known as non-native art. By using the Flatten Transparency command to preserve spot colors, you can also generate non-native art within Illustrator. The ability of Illustrator to preserve non-native art is useful in many situations. For instance, whenever you output color separations, Illustrator maintains the spot color information in linked PDF files.
In the Layers and Appearance panels, non-native art is labeled . On non-native art, you can move, save, select and perform basic transformations (e.g., scaling, rotating or skewing). However, its individual components cannot be selected and edited. And, before editing it with the Liquify tools, you must rasterize non-native art.
Go to Object menu > Rasterize, this will convert non-native art to an Illustrator object.
(i) Saving artwork
Illustrator writes the artwork data to a file whenever you save or export artwork. The data structure is dependant upon the format of the file that you select. There are five basic file formats in which you can save artwork, i.e., AI, PDF, EPS, FXG and SVG. As they can preserve all Illustrator data including multiple artboards, these formats are called native formats.
You must select the Preserve Illustrator Editing Capabilities options for PDF and SVG formats, to preserve all Illustrator data. Individual artboards are saved as separate files in EPS and FXG. In SVG, only the active artboard is saved although the content from all artboards is displayed. For use external to Illustrator, you can also export artwork in a variety of file formats. Illustrator will not be able to retrieve all the data if you reopen the file using it. These formats are called non-native formats. For this reason, it is recommended that until you finish creating your artwork, save it in AI format. Once it’s finished, then you can export the artwork to the desired format.
Note: If the artwork files were saved in a binary format (e.g., in Photoshop’s default EPS format), you may receive an error message while saving artwork that includes linked EPS. files. In this case, save the artwork in AI or PDF format instead of EPS format. Resave the EPS files in ASCII format or embed the linked files into the Illustrator artwork.
(II) Tracing artwork with Live Trace
If you need a new drawing to be based on an existing piece of artwork then you can trace it. For example, by bringing any graphic into Illustrator and tracing over it, you can create a graphic which is based on a raster image saved in another graphics program. This is also possible on a pencil sketch drawn on paper (see Figure 8.1).
The easiest way to trace artwork is to trace the artwork with the Live Trace command, after opening or placing a file into Illustrator. You can control the level of detail and filling of tracing. You can convert the tracing to vector paths or a Live Paint object after you are satisfied with the tracing results.
a. Automatically trace artwork using Live Trace: To use as the source image, open or place a file for tracing. Perform one of the following steps after selecting the source image:
i. Click the Tracing Presets and Options button in the Control panel to trace the image using a tracing preset and select a preset.
ii. Click Live Trace in the Control panel to trace the image using the default tracing options, or go to Object menu > Live Trace > Make.
iii. Click the Tracing Presets and Options button in the Control panel to set tracing options, before you trace the image and choose Tracing Options. Otherwise, go to Object menu > Live Trace > Tracing Options. After setting the tracing options, click Trace.
You can adjust the results of the tracing or convert the tracing to a Live Paint object or to paths (optional feature).
b. Manually trace artwork using template layers: Template layers are defined as locked and non-printing layers that can be used to trace images manually. Template layers are dimmed by 50 per cent, enabling you to easily see any paths that you draw in front of the layer. Template layers can be created from existing layers or when you place an image.
In the beginning, follow one of the below steps:
i. Go to File menu > Place, to place an image as a template layer for tracing. Select the file you want to trace such as EPS, PDF or raster image. Select Template > click Place. In the panel a new template layer appears below the current layer.
ii. Make sure that the image is in its own layer before tracing a new image in the Layers panel. Double-click the layer, select Template and click OK; or select the layer and from the panel menu and choose Template.
The eye icon is replaced by the template icon and then the layer is locked.
Using the Pen tool or the Pencil tool, trace over the file. Choose View > Hide Template, to hide the template layer. To view it again, choose View > Show Template. Double-click the template layer in the Layers panel to turn it into a regular layer. Finally, deselect Template and click OK.
c. Tracing options: The following tracing options are available in Illustrator:
(i) Preset: specifies a tracing preset.
(ii) Mode: This option specifies a color mode for the tracing result.
(iii) Threshold: This option is available only when the Mode is set to Black and White. It specifies a value to generate a black and white tracing outcome from the original image. While tracing, all pixels lighter than the Threshold value are changed to white and all pixels darker than the Threshold value are changed to black.
(iv) Palette: This option is available only when the mode is set to Color or Greyscale. It specifies a palette for generating a greyscale or color from the original image. Select Automatic to let Illustrator decide the colors in tracing. Select a swatch library name to use a custom palette for the tracing. In order for it to appear in the Palette menu, the swatch library must be open.
(v) Max Colon: For using in color or greyscale, the tracing result specifies a maximum number of colors. This option is available only when the panel is set to Automatic and when Mode is set to Color or Greyscale.
(vi) Output to Swatches: For each color in the tracing result, this option creates a new swatch in the Swatches panel.
(vii) Blur: Before generating the tracing result this option blurs the original image. Select this option to reduce small artefacts and smooth jagged edges in the tracing result.
(viii) Resample: Before generating the tracing result, this option samples the original image again to the specified resolution. This option is useful for speeding up the tracing process for large images, but in those cases it can yield degraded results.
Note: Whenever you create a preset, the resample resolution is not saved.
(ix) Fills: This option creates filled regions in the tracing result.
(x) Strokes: This option creates stroked paths in the tracing result.
(xi) Max Stroke Weight: This option defines the maximum width of features in the original image that can be stroked. In the tracing result, features larger than the maximum width become outlined areas.
(xii) Min Stroke Length: This option defines the minimum length of features that can be stroked in the original image. In the tracing result, features smaller than the minimum length are omitted.
(xiii) Path Fitting: The distance between the traced shape and the original pixel shape is controlled by this option. Higher values create a looser fitting for the path while lower values create a tighter fitting for the path.
(xiv) Minimum Area: The smallest feature in the original image that will be traced is specified by this option. For instance, if a value of 4 is specified then the features smaller than and wider than 2 pixels will be eliminated from the tracing result.
(xv) Corner Angle: This option specifies the sharpness of a turn in the original image. It also specifies the same in the tracing result which becomes a corner anchor point.
(xvi) Raster: This specifies the manner to display the bitmap component of a tracing object. This setting can only be viewed and cannot be saved as part of the tracing preset.
(xvii) Vector: This option specifies the manner to display the tracing result. This setting can only be viewed and cannot be saved as part of the tracing preset.
d. Change the display of a tracing object: There are two components in a tracing object: (i) the original or source image and (ii) the tracing result (now which is the vector artwork). Only the tracing result is visible by default. However, the display of the original image and the tracing result can be changed to suit your requirement.
Select the tracing object. In the Layers panel by default, all tracing objects are named ‘Tracing’. Perform any of the below steps:
i. Click the Vector View button in the Control panel to change the display of the tracing result, or go to Object menu > Live Trace and select a display option from: Tracing Result, No Tracing Result, Outlines or Outlines With Tracing.
ii. In the Control panel click the Raster View button to change the display of the source image or go to Object menu > Live Trace and select a display option from: Original Image, No Image, Adjusted Image (the image is displayed with the adjustments applied during tracing) or Transparent Image.
Notes: You must first change the Vector View to No Tracing Result or Outlines in order to view the source image.
e. Adjust the results of tracing: You can adjust the results at any time after creating a tracing object. Select the tracing object and perform any of the following steps:
i. In the Control panel, set basic options.
ii. Go to Object menu > Live Trace > Tracing Options. Adjust the options and click Trace. Optionally, in the Control panel, click the Tracing Options Dialog button to view all tracing options.
f. Specify the colors used for tracing: A swatch library containing the colors you need to use in the tracing is to be created. Click the Tracing Options Dialog button in the Control panel, after making sure that the swatch library is open. Optionally, go to Object menu > Live Trace > Tracing Options. From the Palette menu select the swatch library name and click Trace.
g. Use a tracing preset: For specific type of artwork, tracing presets avails pre-specified tracing options. For example, if you need to trace an image that will be use as a technical drawing, choose the Technical Drawing preset. For optimal tracing of a technical drawing, all tracing options change.
h. Specify a preset
i. In the Control panel, select a tracing object and click the Tracing Options Dialog button. Optionally, choose Object > Live Trace > Tracing Options. Set tracing options for the preset and click Save Preset. Enter a name for the preset and click OK.
ii. Go to Edit menu > Tracing Presets. Click New > set tracing options for the preset > Done.
i. Edit or delete a preset: Go to Edit menu > Tracing Presets. Select the preset and click Edit or Delete.
Note: Default presets cannot be edited or delted (default presets appear in H brackets). However by selecting the preset and clicking New you can make an editable copy of a default preset.
j. Share presets with other users: Go to Edit menu > Tracing Presets. Perform one of the following functions:
i. To save your presets to a file, click Export.
ii. To load presets from a file, click Import.
iii. Convert a tracing object to a Live Paint object
You can convert the tracing object to paths or to a Live Paint object after getting the satisfactory result. With this final step you need to work with the tracing with the same method as you do with other vector artwork. Once the tracing object is converted, the tracing options can no longer be adjusted.
Select the tracing object and follow one of the below steps:
a. Click Expand in the Control panel to convert the tracing to paths or go to Object menu > Live Trace > Expand. If you want to work with the components of the traced artwork as individual objects, this method is to be used. The resulting paths are grouped together.
b. Go to Object menu > Live Trace > Expand As Viewed to convert the tracing to paths, while preserving the current display options. For instance, for the tracing result, if the display options are not to Outlines, then the expanded paths will only be outlines (and not filled and stroked). Moreover, Illustrator preserves a snapshot of the tracing with its current display options and groups with expanded paths. This method is to be used for preserving the tracing image as a guide for the expanded paths.
c. Click Live Paint in the Control panel to convert the tracing to a Live Paint object or go to Object menu > Live Trace > Convert To Live Paint. This method can be used to apply fills and strokes to the traced artwork using Live paint.
To create a tracing and convert the tracing object in one step go to Object menu > Live Trace > Make And Expand or Object > Live Trace > Make And Convert To Live Paint.
8.5 CHOOSE BETWEEN IMPORTING AND LINKING
(i) Linked and embedded artwork
When a graphic is placed, a screen-resolution version of the file can be seen in the layout. This helps in viewing and positioning it, but the actual graphic file has to be linked or embedded.
a. The linked artwork is attached to the document. As a result it is in the form of a smaller document. Linked artwork can be modified using transformation tools and effects. However, it cannot be selected and edited by individual components in the artwork. The linked graphic can be used many times. It will not increase the size of the document significantly.
All links can be updated at once. The original graphic can be restored by developing the final output from the full resolution of the originals, while exporting or printing it.
b. When the embedded artwork is transferred onto the document at full resolution, it results in a larger document. This document can be updated anytime and as long as the artwork is embedded, the document is complete and self-sufficient.
Use the Links panel in order to determine if the artwork is linked or embedded, or to change its status from one to the other. Embedded artwork containing multiple components can be edited discretely. For example, Illustrator converts the artwork contains vector data to paths, which can then be modified by using tools and commands. The object hierarchy (like groups and layers) is preserved in artwork embedded from some specific file formats.
(ii) Import (place) files
The primary method of importing is the Place command as it provides the highest level of support for file formats, placement options and color. Alter the file has been placed the Links panel can be used to identify, select, monitor and update. The steps to import files are mentioned below:
a. Open the Illustrator document where the artwork needs to be placed
b. Go to File menu > Place and choose the file that needs to be placed.
c. Choose Link to form a link to the file or deselect Link to embed the artwork in the Illustrator document.
d. Click Place.
e. If applicable, do either of the following
i. If an Adobe Photoshop file is embedded, you can choose to convert layers. If the file consists of layer comps, choose whichever version of the image to import.
ii. If a PDF file with multiple pages, choose the page that needs to be placed and the artwork to be cropped.
8.6 TRACE IMPORTED BITMAPS
(i) Bitmap Images
To represent images and bitmap images, technically called raster images, you can use a rectangular grid of picture elements (pixels). A specific location and color value is assigned to each pixel. When working with bitmap images, pixels can be edited, not the objects or shapes. For continuous tone images, bitmap images are the most familiar electronic medium, for example, photographs or digital paintings. This is because they can more effectively denote subtle gradations of shades and color.
Since bitmaps consist of a feed number of pixels, they are dependent on the resolution. This can result in loss of detail and the appearance might be jagged if they are scaled to higher magnifications on the screen, or if they are printed at a lower resolution than they were created for.
Bitmaps require large amount of storage space, hence they often have to be compressed to keep file sizes down, when used in some Creative Suite components. For instance, an image file can be compressed in its original application before importing it into a layout.
(ii) Image resolution guidelines for final output
Usually measured in pixels per inch (ppi), bitmap images consist of a fixed number of pixels. An image with a high resolution consists of more and smaller pixels than an image of the same printed dimensions with a low resolution. For example, a 1-inch-by-1-inch image with a resolution of 72 ppi contains a total of 5184 pixels (72 pixels wide x 72 pixels high — 5180). The same 1-inch-by-1-inch image with a resolution of 300 ppi would contain a total of 90,000 pixels.
Image resolution is ascertained by the source file for imported bitmap images. For bitmap effects, a custom resolution can be specified. To ascertain the image resolution, analyze the medium of final distribution for the image. To determine the requirements for image resolution, the following guidelines can be helpful:
a. Commercial printing: For commercial printing, 150 to 300 ppi (or more) images is necessary. This depends on the press (dpi) and screen frequency (IM) that is being used. Always consult the prepress service provider before making production decisions. Since for commercial printing, Large and high-resolution images are necessary which take more time to exhibit as compared to lowresolution versions.
In Illustrator and InDesign, low resolution versions can be used by using the Links panel. In InDesign either Typical or Fast Display can he selected from the View menu > Display Performance menu. In Illustrator View > Outline can be chosen or in Display Performances preferences, settings can be changed. Alternatively if the service provider supports, Open Prepress Interface (OPI), they may provide low-resolution images as well.
b. Desktop printing: Generally for desktop printing, images within the range of 72 ppi (for photographs printed on a 300 ppi printer) to 150 ppi (for photographs printed on devices up to 1000 ppi) are required. For line art (1-bit images), it needs to be ensured that the resohaion of the graphics corresponds with the resolution of the printer.
c. Web publishing: Since online publishing usually necessitates images with pixel dimensions that correspond to the intended monitor. These allow room for browser window controls or such layout elements as captions. The images are usually less than 500 pixels wide and 400 pixels tall. If an image is developed at screen resolution (Le., 96 ppi for Wmdows-based images and 72 ppi for Mac OS-based images), it will appear as seen from a typical web browser. These resolutions are only required when the viewers want to zoom m a PDF document.