Tracing a bitmap with Illustrator
- Step1 - Trace the bitmap
Illustrator CS3 has more sophisticated bitmaps tracing features. Here is a very short example that includes a shape tween:
- Open the picture in Illustrator
- Select it
- Now you will have a "Live Trace button" on the control panel on top
- Next to it is a little pulldown menu from which you can select various options, for a portrait you may choose "Color 16"
Once you hit the trace button, the controls on top will change and you can play with all sorts tracing methods and parameters
- Step2 - Import to Flash
- Copy/paste if from Illustrator with the options: Paste using AI File Importer preferences and untick maintain layers
- You may adjust the size of the stage to the size of the picture somewhat, I chose to add some big margins for a reason you will see later.
- Convert it to a symbol (so that you have a copy in the library)
- Step 3 - Break it Apart
- Then right-click->Break Apart
- You have to do this several times, since illustrator produced object groups within object groups (use ctrl-Z if you think you went too far).
- Step 4 - Create a new keyframe
- Right-click on frame 20 and hit F6 to create a new keyframe with the same picture.
- Step 5 - Distort the picture in keyframe 1
Try everything you can
- Select parts and change the color with the paint bucket. That's actually the only thing I did
- You also can move parts, but probably you then should start with a much simple ray trace.
- Distort parts with the Selection Tool, the Subselection tool and the Free Transform tool
- Step 6 - Add a shape tween between the two frames
- You also may at the very end (after the last keyframe) insert the original jpg picture. Tracing bitmaps is a very difficult issue, since there are many kinds of algorithms you can select from.
Basically the machine must be told how to group similar pixels together into a vector objects. For example, an algorithm can group together pixels with similar brightness, similar color, or try to find lines from similar pixels.
- In the HTML setting you probably want to take off the "loop" option
You can admire the result
- Files: flash-cs3-shape-picture-morphing.*)
- Directory: http://tecfa.unige.ch/guides/flash/ex/shape-tweening-intro/