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Best tool? Pen? Pencil? or Curvature? to trace this signature???

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Nicholas Natteau
Best tool? Pen? Pencil? or Curvature? to trace this signature???
on Mar 31, 2015 at 3:18:53 pm

I'm trying to trace this complex signature in Illustrator and I'm having a tough time with it. I've tried different tools: Pen, Pencil, Curvature, but I'm still having trouble. But I'm actually not sure which tool would work best for this example: Pen, Curvature, or Pencil?



Fortunately, the image is an svg file. Although unfortunately the signature is not a simple stroke, but the stroke of an empty fill:





Given that the image is a vector file (svg), is there anyway the fill can be turned into a simple stroke? I know I could simply increase the thickness of the empty fill's outlying stroke until the edges become one, but that's not what I want. I tried that and the signature then looks too thick.

And my reason for wanting a single line stroke for this signature is that I plan to then bring the Illustrator file into After Effects and then simply apply AE's "stroke" effect to animate the signature. And as far as I know, AE's stroke effect only works with lines.

Thanks in advance for any help.

The original file can be found here:

Erwin Rommel signature


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Best tool? Pen? Pencil? or Curvature? to trace this signature???
on Apr 1, 2015 at 2:33:03 pm

I think the easiest way, short of paring down the "doubled" Illustrator paths in Illustrator, is to bring the signature in as an image to AE, and then use the Stroke effect, but draw your paths in AE, masking the signature, then revealing it:

http://layersmagazine.com/animated-handwriting-in-after-effects.html

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Jonathan Ziegler
Re: Best tool? Pen? Pencil? or Curvature? to trace this signature???
on Apr 1, 2015 at 3:51:15 pm

I would manually trace where the lines should be and then work on the overall style. Auto trace is really not gonna get this one for you without some manual work anyway. As a basis, you can start with some of the already-traced lines and move them to the middle.

Save early. Save often.

Jonathan Ziegler

http://www.electrictiger.com
520-360-8293


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Nicholas Natteau
Re: Best tool? Pen? Pencil? or Curvature? to trace this signature???
on Apr 2, 2015 at 12:12:36 am

Thank you Joseph and thank you Jonathan,

I discovered that I actually got the best results with Illustrator's Curvature Tool. I must say that Adobe's latest addition to Illustrator - the Curvature Tool - is fantastic. Tracing the signature with the Curvature Tool turned out to be just as accurate and considerably easier for me than using the traditional Pen Tool. I now have an exact replica of the svg signature with a single stroke. I then converted my vector signature to a vector shape in AE and applied a Trim Path, and done! Awesome!!!

Thank you both again for your help.


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