Normally when I want to vectorize an image (if it's not overly complicated) I use the approach:

Object->Image Trace->Make and Expand

However that did not work for this particular image:

enter image description here

Put simply, there is too much going on; between all the gradients and negative space Image Trace is not cut out for this kind of task. I concede that my needs are vast, I know this is probably asking much of any design software. I'm beginning to fear that I might not have another choice other than painstakingly drawing hundreds of individual lines and points?


Is there a simple(ish) way to capture the yin-yang, teardrop shapes? Gradient is not a must.

  • 1
    If this is the highest resolution you have you can forget it. Maybe if you have the image in hires it's possible, but I wouldn't waste my time on it. Better to just redraw it from scratch. It's not really "hundreds of individual lines and points". It's a circle, a square, two identical curves and six lines. And then add the gradients.
    – Wolff
    Apr 10, 2020 at 12:38

1 Answer 1


Auto tracing doesn't work well for such small low resolution images, or images with gradients. You'd get much better results by recreating it manually. It doesn't look too complicated when you break it down a bit, you certainly don't need to draw hundreds of lines.

  1. Start with simple shapes (a square, 6 rectangles and 3 circles). In the example below I drew these on top of the original raster image.

  2. Use the Shape Builder tool to create the pieces you want, and subract the pieces you want to cut away. Then select and do Object > Compound Path > Make on the shapes on the left, so you will end up with three basic pieces you can then fill separately.

  3. Then apply a gradient to the left and right pieces, and a white fill for the square in the middle. Finally draw another circle underneath filled blue and blur it to create the shadow

Here's an example showing the various steps. I did this pretty roughly and quickly, and I'm sure you could take much more time and care.

enter image description here

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