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For example I have 10×10px icon. I want to produce 100 squares with correspondent color and location each. Actually, the question is how to make exact pixel mosaic out of raster image.

I try Live trace but it add some distortions to squares.

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3 Answers

up vote 21 down vote accepted

This is actually really easy. Take a selected copied or placed (unlinked) raster image, then:

  • Object > Create Object Mosaic
    • Or, in older versions of Illustrator, it was Filter > Create > Mosaic
  • Input the exact width and height of the pixel image under "Number of tiles".
  • That's it!

Your vector pixel squares will be wrapped in two groups, so ungroup twice or double-click into isolation mode twice to get at the individual squares (or rectangles if your ratio is off...).


Two examples:

Quick example using a Yahoo emoticon borrowed from this question:

enter image description here

Detailed example, with polar bears:

http://garmahis.com/tutorials/how-to-create-mosaic-in-illustrator/

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This hits the spot! –  yakunins Sep 7 '12 at 13:17
    
this is nice, had no idea about this –  Flavius Frantz Sep 10 '12 at 14:50
    
I have been looking for a solution to this as well, Thanks a lot! SO far I only found "just use Flash". –  KMSTR Sep 21 '12 at 7:29
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If you have acces to Photoshop, there is a rather easy way:

  • reduce your image to your desired 'resolution' (say 30x30) with Image size;
  • re-enlarge it again (to, say, 600x600), with the 'resample image' setting on 'nearest neighbour';
  • copy the result to Illustrator;
  • LiveTrace;

If you use enough colours for the trace, this should yield squares.

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While not converting, here's a quick way to recreate. I don't believe any tracing will give adequate results.


Draw a rectangle the size of the entire image.

Choose Object > Path > Split into Grid...

Split into Grid

Grab the Live Paint Bucket Tool (Under the Shape Builder tool in Illustrator CS6)

Live Paint Bucket

Start Clicking sections to fill....

Filling

(editing note: this response was moved to the question and deleted from the original question. it simply fits better here.)

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Nice method. I'm still on CS3, going to upgrade soon. –  yakunins Sep 7 '12 at 13:12
1  
@utype this works in CS3 as well. The only difference is the location of the Live Paint Bucket Tool. –  Scott Sep 7 '12 at 17:07
    
Thanks Scott that helped solve another issue I was having with the rectangular grid tool not making evenly spaced lines when working with a lot of rows and columns. Snap to grid did the trick. –  Rob Feb 27 at 17:35
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