Learn how to use Image Trace to convert bitmap images into vector artwork that you can modify and use in Adobe Animate.

Image Trace lets you convert raster images (JPEG, PNG, PSD etc.) to vector artwork. Using this feature, you can easily create a new drawing on an existing piece of artwork by tracing it. 

For example, you can convert the image of a pencil sketch you've drawn on paper into vector artwork using Image Trace. You can choose from a set of tracing presets to get the desired result quickly.

Trace an image

  1. Open or place a raster image in your Animate document.

  2. With the placed image selected, do one of the following:

    • Choose Object > Trace Bitmap from the context menu.
    • Click the Bitmap button in the Properties panel and select Edit..
    • Choose Modify > Bitmap > Trace Bitmap.
      • Choose one of the default presets by clicking the icons on top of the panel. For details, see Specify tracing options | Preset.
      • Choose a preset from the Preset drop-down menu.
      • Specify the tracing options. For details, see Specify tracing options.

    Note:

    • In the Trace Bitmap panel, click Preview to see the results of your modifications. 
    • The resolution of your placed image determines the speed of the tracing.

Specify tracing options

When the image is selected, you can see that the options in the Trace Bitmap panel become available. Basic panel includes options such as Preset, Mode, Palette and Colors. Advanced panel includes options such as Paths, Corners, Noise, Method and so on.

Basic options

basic_options_trace
Specify the basic options in the Trace Bitmap panel to get the desired tracing result.

Preset

Specifies a tracing preset. The icons located across the top of the panel are shortcuts named according to popular workflows. Choosing one of these presets sets all the variables needed to produce that related tracing result.

Name of the preset Definition
Default Takes default settings
High Fidelity Photo Creates photorealistic artwork of high fidelity
Low Fidelity Photo Creates simplified photorealistic artwork
Shades of Gray Traces the artwork to shades of gray
Black and White Logo Simplifies the image to black-and-white artwork

Mode

Specifies a color mode for the tracing result. The available options define basic color versus grayscale modes for your traced artwork.

The following color settings appear based on the settings in the Mode option:

Specifies the number of colors to use in a color tracing result. If you have selected Document Library as the palette, you can choose a swatch. (This option is available only when Mode is set to Color.)

Specifies the number of grays to use in a grayscale tracing result. (This option is available only when Mode is set to Grayscale.)

Specifies a value for generating a black and white tracing result from the original image. All pixels lighter than the Threshold value are converted to white; all pixels darker than the Threshold value are converted to black.

Palette

Specifies a palette for generating a color or grayscale tracing from the original image. (This option is available only when Mode is set to Color.)

You can choose one of the following options:

Automatically switches between the limited palette and full tone for the tracing, depending on the input image. When you select Automatic for your palette, you can adjust the Colors slider to alter vector simplicity and accuracy in the tracing. The value 0 means simplified at the expense of accuracy and the value 100 means accurate or photorealistic at the expense of simplicity.

Uses a small set of colors for the tracing palette. You can use the Color slider to further reduce the colors selected.

Uses the entire set of colors for the tracing palette. This option is the best for tracing photos and creates photorealistic artwork. With this option selected, the Color slider determines the variability of the pixels that make up each of the fill regions. When the Color slider is to the right, the variability is smaller, resulting in more paths defined by smaller areas of color. On the other hand, when the slider is to the left, the fill areas are fewer and larger.

Advanced options

advanced_options_trace
Fine-tune your tracing result using advanced options in the Trace Bitmap panel.

Paths

Controls the distance between the traced shape and the original pixel shape. Lower values create a tighter path fitting; higher values create a looser path fitting.

Corners

Specifies the emphasis on corners and the likeliness that a sharp bend will turn into a corner point. A higher value results in more corners.

Noise

Specifies an area in pixels that is ignored while tracing. A higher value results in less noise.

Tip: For a high-resolution image, move the Noise slider to a higher value (for example in the 20–50 range) to have some effect. For a low-resolution image, set it lower (1–10).

Method

Specifies a method for tracing. You can choose one of the following options:

Name of the preset Definition
Abutting Creates cutout paths. The edge of one path is exactly the same as the edge of its neighboring path.
Overlapping Creates stacked paths. Each path slightly overlaps its neighbor.

Fills

Creates filled regions in the tracing result. This option is enabled only if the Mode is set to Black and White.    

Strokes

Specifies the maximum width of features in the original image that can be stroked. Features larger than the maximum width become outlined areas in the tracing result. This option is enabled only if Mode is set to Black and White.

Options

Specifies if slightly curved lines are replaced with straight lines and if lines near to 0 or 90 degrees are snapped to absolute 0 or 90 degrees.

Tip: You can choose this option for geometric artwork or if shapes in your source image are slightly rotated.

Specifies if white fills areas are replaced with no fills.

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