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Old 02-26-2010, 05:43 PM   #1
May 2007
Concord, CA
Posts: 197
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I'm working on a logo and have hit the wall with Illustrator. Let me first say, I'm very new at Illustrator, with a ton of experience in either Illustrator or Photoshop other that hacking around until I discover what I need or settle with I'm capable of

I have a hand drawn sketch I plan to use a base. I've scanned the image and imported into Illustrator. I then used live paint to clean up the lines and define the paths. I've done further manual edits and have created a black and white sketch I'm very happy with.

Now I want to add color. I had planned to select areas with the magic wand and fill with color (my image sort of looks like a kid's coloring page right now, where I just need to fill shapes with color).

My issue is that I have all these paths....but I'm unable to select sections with the wand. I'm sure I'm missing something fundamental...but if anyone has some guidance, I would be most appreciative.

Adobe Illustrator CS4 on my Mac.
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Old 02-26-2010, 06:05 PM   #2
Feb 2010
Zurich, Ontario
Posts: 135
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Well, when using the live trace in Illustrator, it doesn't so much 'make shapes' rather than traces the outlines inside and out almost double-lining everything. Makes it rather difficult at times to select portions, and makes the wand not work very well.

Depending on the complexity of the image I would suggest a few routes to take...

1) Save it, import into Photoshop (just file-open actually) which has a delay, but eventually will ask how to open in. I would then pick CMYK for the colour and 300dpi for resolution. Then do all your colouring in Photoshop. Illustrator is great because vector based but unless you plan to use the design at various sizes like posters and business cards, Photoshop at 300dpi would be what designers work at commonly.

2) If wanting Illustrator, I would lock the traced layer. Keep it on top and create layers underneath. Then you can roughly trace out the shape with the pen or pencil of what you want to colour, colour it, and since it's under the nicely traced black outlines, it'll be fine. Make sure the outline of the shapes you draw is set to 0, and although not over accurate with drawing, the lines have to stay under the black outlines on the top layer.

3) Most designers don't use the auto tracer thing. What I do, which would mean starting over for you so likely not the best option... is I bring in the pencil drawing, lock it as the bottom layer. Then, i use the pen tool and trace everything manually into separate shapes. The you can select each shape on it own and add fills etc.

4) Again, if not resizing the label much, doing it all in Photoshop at 300dpi may be an option as well. The wand tool would work better selecting areas... but would require retracing everything.

Wow I write a lot...

Anyway, without seeing the image, or knowing if colouring with solid colours or gradients I'm not sure which would be the best method. I would lean towards the 1st one though... open the *.ai file in photoshop. Colour it. Then duplicate the first layer with the tracing and move the duplicate as a top layer, then set the blending mode to Multiply. This gets rid of the white and leaves the black outlines showing all the colouring you did underneath, usually makes it a bit sharper.

Hopefully that made sense...
Zurich, ON (Canada)

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Old 02-26-2010, 07:22 PM   #3
Feb 2010
Posts: 296

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