Illustrator place image

by Design Workshop Sydney

Placing images into Illustrator involves just a few simple steps. We show you how in our Adobe Illustrator training courses.Illustrator-place-image
Firstly, go to the File drop down menu on the top right of the interface, and choose Place. A dialog box will open with several options. Browse to where your image is stored – several file formats can be placed into Illustrator. But a common one is the JPEG format, for importing bitmap, pixel-based images. This can be for tracing around, as in the case of garment design. Or you may wish to convert the artwork easily to vector-based artwork via the Image Trace function.
The basic difference between bitmap and vector-based imagery is that the former is usually photographic in nature and the image is stored as a series of small coloured boxes, known as pixels. Each pixel has a number for colour and brightness and this is how the software stores the information. In the latter case of vector imagery, the data is made up of mathematically drawn lines or curves. These files are often used for illustrations or logos or text. While Photoshop primarily deals with pixel-based imagery Illustrator is primarily a vector program.
We can, however, import (or place) bitmap imagery into Illustrator. So, once we have located our image, we then have a couple of choices at the bottom of the Place box. If you wish to trace around the image tick the Template check box – this will bring in the image as a greyed-out layer and create a blank layer on top for drawing on. You can unlock and rescale the image layer if necessary.
If you wish to save the image as a Symbol for later use, untick the Link check box. It’s also best to embed the image if you intend to send the file to another user. Otherwise you have to remember to also send the linked image. Then hit OK – the image then appears at the centre of your artboard.
To cut away the image’s background choose the Pen tool and trace around the object, in this case a car. We can then select both the photograph and the new path, then go to the Object menu and choose Clipping Path, and Make. If you later need to adjust the clipping you can do s with the Direct Selection tool, or right-click and choose Release Clipping Path.
Whether you’re a complete beginner or self-taught, our courses will help you gain self-confidence in your Illustrator workflow, as well as adding to your professional skill-set. See many examples of our Illustrator clients’ work on our Facebook page.
Other related Illustrator Blog Posts:
Illustrator workspace
Illustrator basics
Illustrator clipping masks
Illustrator live trace
Illustrator brushes