I am an absolute beginner in Illustrator, currently working on a Mac in CC. My first project is quite ambitious... I want to be able to trace (if that's the right method) childrens' drawings in order to have vector files that can be printed and used in promotional products. My main issues are that when I expand the trace, it results in losing most of the original colours. There are some pretty colourful masterpieces, and I need to maintain the original colours to get the effect. The other issue is the huge file size that results. I did a few searches and have touched on embedded files vs linked files, but need some pointers that may help me to accomplish what I'm trying to achieve.

Many thanks :-)

  • Which preset in autotrace did you use?
    – Welz
    Jan 18, 2018 at 12:50
  • Hi. I used some custom options in the trace, sketched art with full colour palette
    – Vicky B
    Jan 18, 2018 at 12:55
  • Try doing High fidelity option.
    – Welz
    Jan 18, 2018 at 12:56
  • Ok.. The trace result with high fidelity photo is pretty much the same, but when expanded it still loses most of the original colour and everything just looks blue!
    – Vicky B
    Jan 18, 2018 at 13:22
  • Well, I think I've tweaked it now to get it to have the result I need. Next step is to arrange for printing. Many thanks.
    – Vicky B
    Jan 18, 2018 at 13:39

1 Answer 1


Image trace works with better with higher resolution scans.

The lower the resolution the more image trace has to guess and the less accurate it will be.

Image tracing is a decent method for most simple Illustrations but it can produce mixed results. You have to play with all the settings and it still may not give you what you want.

If you need more colors increase the colors for image trace in the settings. Mess around with these settings here.

enter image description here

From reading your comments I should mention after image tracing you won't lose anything when you expand it. It's the exact same before and after expanding.

See this link for more details. http://blogs.adobe.com/adobeillustrator/2013/07/image-trace-in-illustrator-a-tutorial-and-guide.html

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