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Convert "Image Traced" Art to Path for "Text on a Path" Tool

Community Beginner ,
Nov 30, 2023 Nov 30, 2023

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Good morning everyone.  I hope someone can help me as I feel there has to be a simple answer!! Lol.

 

So I have some pen and ink art that I drew, scanned, and then converted to vector art by using the "Image Trace" option in Illustrator.  It's actually a drawing of a tree.

 

I am wanting to create some type that follows along the outside of the top of the tree.

 

How do I go about doing that?

When I expand the image tracing it creates a complex path and I do not know how to extract a path that is usable with the "Text on a Path" tool.

 

Any advice would be immensely appreciated!

 

Scott Gordon

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How-to , Tools , Type

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Community Expert ,
Nov 30, 2023 Nov 30, 2023

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Some images of your image, the resulting path, and an indication of the path you wish to use for type would be helpful here.

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 30, 2023 Nov 30, 2023

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Thanks for the suggestion.  I attached three files: the image by itself,  the image with it selected and the paths/anchor points created by the image tracing, and finally the third one where the blue line indicates that I would basically like the text to follow the outside of the tree on an offset path.

 

Hope its not too compliacted to do that!

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Community Expert ,
Nov 30, 2023 Nov 30, 2023

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What I might do in this scenario is:

 

1. Expand the trace.

2. In the Appearance panel, add a stroke to the tracing group

3. Give the stroke the effects Offset Path and Pathfinder > Add (in that order)

4. Adjust the offset until I am happy with the position.

5. Object menu > Expand appearance, then ungroup to separate the trace and the offset path.

6. Perhaps Object > Path > Simplify to smooth out some of the inevitable sharp corners and bumps

 

DougARoberts_0-1701360173922.png

 

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 30, 2023 Nov 30, 2023

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Something I am doing is not working correctly.  I have run through it a few times.  Not sure what I am doing.  Any thoughts on how I could relay this?

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Community Expert ,
Nov 30, 2023 Nov 30, 2023

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You could start by posting what's not working exactly.

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 30, 2023 Nov 30, 2023

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I created a screen recording.  I hope you can view it.  You can see at the end, it won't let me choose the path along the outside of the tree on the top...where I would like to put the text.  However, it will let me put text along the paths that make up the negative spaces inside.  

 

I appreciate your help!!

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Community Expert ,
Dec 01, 2023 Dec 01, 2023

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There is a path around the outside of the image area you should delete before expanding appearance:

DougARoberts_0-1701420413713.png

With it present, the path that would otherwise end up following the tree image just follows a rectangle around the artboard.

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New Here ,
Dec 01, 2023 Dec 01, 2023

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Good morning.  Yeah I saw that and wondered.  So that makes alot of sense and when I got rid of that, it got me closer to getting it right.  Nice. 

 

I am posting another video so you can see what is happening now.  It still says that the path is a compound path.  And it still lets me type on the path around the negative spaces.  Hope this is getting closer.  Your advice has been invaulable and I am learning in the process so I really appreciate it.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 01, 2023 Dec 01, 2023

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Because the offset path has joined up with itself in some places, it forms a compound path:

DougARoberts_0-1701442608624.png

You can just release it (Object > Compound Path > Release) and delete the bits you don't need.

 

Also it looks like some spiky elements ended up in your offset path. To avoid those, change to round joins in the offset options:

DougARoberts_0-1701443931331.png

 

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New Here ,
Dec 01, 2023 Dec 01, 2023

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Right on man.  I am pretty psyched at how willing you are to help.  I am pretty good with Photoshop and know enough to be dangerous with Illustrator.  It has always been the one app that I want to get better with using.

 

I am slamming at work today.  So I am going to play with the issues in your post above over the weekend and I will report back.

 

Again, much thanks!

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 05, 2023 Dec 05, 2023

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Hey Doug. I wanted to report back that everything you advised worked like a charm. Once I got the text typing on the path which followed the tree, I noticed that my computer was bogging down with such alarge file. The text could not type out without a time lag. So I ended up tracing the outline of the original artwork with a sharpie, scanning that, image traced it, then used your technique. After that I layered the curved text with the full art! Yes!!

Thanks again. It's super cool being able to reach out in these forums and someone actually helps.

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New Here ,
Dec 05, 2023 Dec 05, 2023

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Note: if you don't want round joins you can drop the miter to 1 or 2

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