enter image description hereI am creating a series of illustrations for package design. I have had a few issues so far following Live Paint.

I created my image with the brush tool>expand>delete unwanted>Live paint Then I merge the image into one. This is where I get a problem, there appears to be a dotted white line around the outline of my image.

It appears worse on PDF export, see the image for reference.

chocolate with dotted outline

  • 1
    I think you could create a thin stroke with the same fill color before you export it. Or you could overlap some areas to avoid that gap. – LeoNas Jun 20 '18 at 16:13
  • That sounds quite tedious as I have a number with the same issue unfortunately, I also have the same problem if I do not merge the shapes it actually outlines the strokes on each side... – user122812 Jun 20 '18 at 16:19
  • How are you "merging the image into one"? This might be the issue. If you are using the pathfinder to create a compound path then that will cause problems. You'd be better off just grouping the elements. – Ovaryraptor Jun 20 '18 at 16:35

LeoNas is right in his comment, in printing this process is called Trapping. You can do it manually as LeoNas propose or automatically as Adobe indicates in this page:

If the document is in RGB mode, choose File > Document Color Mode > CMYK Color to convert it to CMYK Mode. Select two or more objects. Do one of the following:

To apply the command directly to the objects, choose Window > Pathfinder, and choose Trap from the panel menu.

To apply the command as an effect, choose Effect > Pathfinder >Trap. Select Preview if you want to preview the effect.

Set trap options, and click OK.

Anyway, I do not think that small gap will be visible when printing.

In vector illustration is better not to follow the traditional way of thinking when drawing:

vector drawing

A vector solution to your drawing would be selecting the whole chocolate piece > copy/paste in place > apply Unite from pathfinder > fill it with the darker color and send it back.


Added after the second image at the question: When drawing with a brush and filling it after, there's no possible way for these white lines to appear. I wonder about your drawing process:

brush drawing

  • Im merging via pathfinder and working in CMYK. Really appreciate the feedback, I'm quite new to illustrator and how it works and the point regarding vector drawing is spot on, my only issue is when I draw using the brush tool rather than the pen tool, when it gets to the stage of adding colour and expanding etc I am left with again these with lines where the fill meets. I have added another image to my topic post. – user122812 Jun 20 '18 at 18:38
  • Check the answer update – user120647 Jun 20 '18 at 18:53
  • My process is drawing my illustration just with lines using the brush tool. Then to refine it and delete any unwanted strokes etc I live paint > make >expand following this I go back to live paint and add colour to the areas I want. This is my process I learnt from youtube. – user122812 Jun 20 '18 at 20:14
  • youtube.com/watch?v=2Denw95BvQM This is the video I used. – user122812 Jun 20 '18 at 20:26
  • ok, the mistake is the expand, I followed your steps and when the brush stroke is expanded i've got the same white gaps. You don't need to do that, just fill the inside part of the brush drawing without expanding it. And better fill it selecting and applying a color, live the paint bucket for extreme complex illustrations. – user120647 Jun 20 '18 at 22:45

There is a problem when expanding such images, and exporting to PDF, because there is a rendering problem with Adobe Reader when two objects are butted together like that. There are several questions regarding these rendering issues with vectors here on GDSE - I can't find them right now, but if someone here can remember the questions, there may be answers that could help you.

Anyway, one solution is to offset each of the filled paths by a small amount, and unite the resulting offset with the original path. Basically the fix ensures a slight overlap of the filled pieces of the graphic.

Below is screenshot from Adobe Reader, showing the original unfixed graphic (left), and a fixed graphic using the offset and unite trick (left).

enter image description here

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