View Full Version : Streamline or similar for CS?

Apr 23, 2006, 11:34 AM
I haven't upgraded to CS2 (for both financial reasons, and because I've been pretty satisfied with CS to date). Recently, I've found myself needing something along the lines of Streamline/Live Trace.

Is Streamline still available? Does anyone make a plug-in for Illustrator CS that does something similar (preferably a free one)?

I can get by without it, but it would make life easier for this project I'm working on. Anyone have any recommendations?

Blue Velvet
Apr 23, 2006, 11:40 AM


Apr 23, 2006, 11:52 AM
Well, as you know Adobe discontinued the application because they put something else in CS2 (nice of them...not). But it seems that you might like Silhouette (http://www.silhouetteonline.com/). The biggest problem is that it is neither free nor cheap. I think this comes down to how badly do you want it and how much can you get back after charging your client (if you are working with one). I know that I had to take a family photo of 20 people and needed a new wide angle lens so I built some of their cost into the cost of the lens rental. That worked for me.

You can also use CorelTrace which is part of Corel Draw. $149 USD.
Finally, there is Magic Tracer (http://www.magictracer.com/). But...it is only $50 and it doesn't work with OSX at all. So that is probably useless to you.

Apr 23, 2006, 01:11 PM
Thanks. I noticed silohuette, but the price is a deterrent. I think I'll just have to get by without it until I upgrade creative suite (probably not until CS3 comes out).

Blue Velvet
Apr 23, 2006, 01:16 PM
Thanks. I noticed silohuette, but the price is a deterrent. I think I'll just have to get by without it until I upgrade creative suite (probably not until CS3 comes out).

Well, to be completely honest... the trial version is still running fine on my work Mac 6 months later. :o

I don't use it that often though, maybe only a couple of times in those 6 months.

All it seems to do is interject a countdown screen before executing the render. It may be crippled in other ways, but it seems to be still running OK. :confused:

Apr 23, 2006, 07:28 PM
The auto-trace tool works beautifully. Better then streamline ever did IMHO. A highrez bitmap tif placed and traced with Freehand's auto trace is indistinguishable from the original.

Apr 23, 2006, 10:10 PM
I was never that satisfied with Streamline. It always seemed to change the files too much or required lots of editing to fix. On the other-hand, I am much more satisfied with Illustrator CS2 auto-trace. It's a little strange with the LiveTrace/LivePaint combo, but it works really well. I was very happy with CS(1) and was unwilling to update. We had just upgraded to CS(1) when they announced CS2. I was very unhappy that Adobe didn't seem to give a flying bundle of sticks that we could have waited a month and got CS2 for the same price. I also was protesting the whole Activation thing. Regardless, some of our customers starting bringing us CS2 files, so we pretty much had to upgrade. Although, I still think it's crap about the upgrade thing, it's a much better set of programs.

Apr 24, 2006, 12:29 AM
I have used Flash tracing, but it was not a critical job. It did work to get a pencil drawing about 4 x 6" scanned first, massaged in PS, imported and traced in Flash, then blown up in Illustrator to a 24 x 36 print with no jaggies. Try it if you have Flash (cheap solution) or download the demo.

Good luck.

Apr 24, 2006, 03:09 PM
Well, I tried downloading the silohuette plugin, but it just dumped the file on my desktop. Doesn't allow me to unpack it or anything. Am I doing something wrong :confused: