I love the Live Tracing function in Illustrator CS2 and am eagerly exploring the possibilities of Live Tracing and expanding images into paths that I can copy and paste into AFTER EFFECTs on solid shapes as masks to animate.
However, this works fairly well with simple images but Live Trace/Expanded paths created from photos generally have more information-more paths and when Copied to AFTER EFFECTS, it seems to freeze causing me to force quit.
I am asking is there is a way to simplify all those paths into one path in ILLUSTRATOR so that After Effects doesn't have a brain hemmorage? Think of the cool possibilites!
One trick to cut down on the number of points generated from a photo using Live-Trace is to, after expanding, select one of the tiny fragments with the Group Selection Tool and Select/Select/Same Fill Color than Pathfinder/Alt(PC, Mac?)+Add To Shape Area. This will begin joining the fragments.
Repeat this process as much as necessary.
You'll likely have to still delete some stray points and objects with the Group Selection Tool, to continue to reduce the points in the illustration.
Reducing the number of used colors will help. This process can help to do that as well.
Or maybe, before going into Illustrator you can filter the raster in Photoshop in some creative way, to also help to reduce the amount of colors.