Just how accurate is Illustrator's Live Trace?


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i find it to be pretty accurate, but i've only used it on high dpi scans.


Oh. in that case, why would anyone use the pen tool to manually trace when they can use Live Trace?

d3d profile pic Alumni

live trace is ok but it's not perfect. and if you turn up the accuracy and curve matching it will add thousands of points to a line resulting in huge files. whereas using the pen tool i could draw the same curve more neatly and smoothly with only two points.


i find that where it lacks accuracy, it is extremely precise.


It doesn't change pictures into perfect vectors if thats what you're asking. Pen tool is still the weapon of choice.


Death defyingly accurate!

gumbolimbo profile pic Alumni

More people that still use old fashioned Streamline instead of Illustrator livetrace? Streamline appears more simple and intuitive to me.

herky profile pic Alumni

True, Live trace isn't perfect. If I'm scanning my own artwork, I like to draw it at a larger size. I find that it does a better job of accurately tracing the line work of the drawing.

staffell profile pic Alumni

it's awful!


its useful for some things, but I hate when people live trace a low-res picture and include it in their artwork without any retouching

olie! profile pic Alumni

LiveTrace doesn't usually have a good outcome with low-res files, but if you use large enough files with enough precise detail I don't see a problem with it whatsoever. The outcome is usually pretty good then. I don't understand people who just blindly hate it and deny that there is anything good about it.

eskimokiss profile pic Alumni

It's not very Live at all. In fact, I think there's at least a 10 minute delay.


I use live trace for designs I can only do in photoshop. To be honest, a lot of my designs are drawn in illustrator, touched up in photoshop, then brought back into illustrator through live trace (not every element, but certain parts).

It's accurate for organic stuff, but it can mess up text pretty well if you dont have HUGE raster files.

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