Nice Paper Toys

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When I'm making a new model and I've finalized the template, I build it in Photoshop as I'm much more proficient in it than Illustrator. But now that I'm learning Illustrator, I want to import my pshop generated templates into Illustrator so I can begin skinning them in what I feel is a much more paper toy friendly program.


I'm using CS2 for both programs, and have been led to believe that the Live Trace feature in Illustrator is the way to go. But I'm not happy with the results I'm getting. Does anyone have a tip or 2 on which settings to use to get a more exact replication of my photoshop template?


Thank you!



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I wish i did. I finally just broke down and re-worked all my templates in Illo. Time consuming...Yes. 

I converted some scanned templates to vector art using Illustrator.  Yeah, it's less than ideal.   


I think one of the things I did was to play with  settings to reduce colors and detail to reduce the number of tiny lines and dots.  Then some manual line drawing and connecting was needed.  It wasn't too bad; it helps if the source art is crisp and clean.

ai, I know what you want, but the best you can do is re-doing the templates in illustrator.


Trace is a very crude method, you lines will become crooked, colors will chance, and the filesize will become huge if you use the highest number of point/curves.


But there is a bright sight: you know how the design will look like (your photoshop file) so you can focus on how to get there. And once you know Illustrator you will never feel the need to do it in photoshop.

MCK knows!

Also...squares and pentool are your best friend.

Sorry to ressurect an old thread, although someone might relate. If you've got a template done up in PS, tracing it by hand in Illustrator is great practice for Illustrator! I started learning both pieces of software as a result of wanting to customise papertoys and after a couple of years I'm pretty proficient, although learning still every day. The Live Trace Tool is great for retaining a hand-drawn quality to line work, but not for the precise lines in papertoy templates.

To trace by hand, open your PS generated image in Illustrator, lock it to a layer, create a new one on top and trace it on this new layer using the Pen Tool or Shape Tools. Remember to use guides! Drag them out of the rulers (cmd/ctrl+R). I suggest using a a stroke colour different from your original lines to differentiate where you are on the design, you can always change it back later. Using the Pen Tool to draw curves is a frustrating process to begin with, but once it clicks you'll wonder what all the fuss was about. Remember that practice makes perfect, that shit's an age-old mantra for a reason.


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