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Make a double path one path

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Harry Hoag
Make a double path one path
on Oct 21, 2009 at 10:59:22 am

Hi there, I don't use illustrator that much, so i need some help if possible. I need to convert a raster image into a single vector line it's easier if i show you:

In there is an .ai which contains a live trace of my raster image, the .tiff.

So it's just a wavy line, but i need to prepare this for laser cutting. So as you can see live trace gives me a lovely outline of my wave but i need it to be a single line.
Is there a quick way to merge the top and bottom of the trace into one line?

I say quick because i have to make 450 of these, by the end of the week!

thanks for you help

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Vincent Rosati
Re: Make a double path one path
on Oct 21, 2009 at 12:19:02 pm

I'm using an earlier version of AI, so I may not be seeing the file as you intended..
I'm seeing a single looped, closed path.


Maybe you could select the object, then press 'C' to enable the Scissor Tool, zoom into the left end of the object and click on the outermost point with the tool. Then, do the same on the right side.
You now have two paths, an upper and a lower, and can simply delete one.

This doesn't really merge or average any of the points, but it should give you a good cut path.


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Harry Hoag
Re: Make a double path one path
on Oct 21, 2009 at 12:38:55 pm


yeah that's what i've been doing, i was just wondering if there was an even quicker way, coz i have 450 of these to do.
Also is there a batch process in illustrator like in photoshop where you can record a few actions then apply it to lots of files?

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John Mensinger
Re: Make a double path one path
on Oct 21, 2009 at 12:42:32 pm

Using the Live Trace preset, "Hand Drawn Sketch" will get you the "centerline," (an old Adobe Streamline term), trace style you need, however you'll still get multiple paths to clean up. After tracing, use the Expand button, then with all selected, Object > Ungroup. You'll see now that any "fat" portion of the wave is simply an extra little path segment you can delete, and the main wave form will remain, though it too will be in segments you'll have to connect up using the Join command.

It's far from a one-click solution to your problem, but it gets you closer to the desired result than you were. Perhaps someone with more Live Trace experience will chime in. If I have any breakthroughs, I'll post 'em.

John M:
All of the vim with none of that annoying vigor.

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