Live Trace silhouette image help needed in Adobe Illustrator Posted November 10, 2012 I have rarely been happy with any live trace images to try and cut. If it's something that I want to look good I usually maually trace the object. It's much more time consuming but the resuts for vinyl are far superior. Live trace on a black image on white background will yeid ok results but even then there are often weird little protrusions or rounded lines that should have been straight. If you are going for a colored item like the pic you uploaded there are just so many colors involved that live trace tries to take into account that it gets confused. All the gradients and shaddow effects throw it off. Where that is a vector you might try picking it apart by removing the gradients and changing the colors to the point your happy with it. Going to a raster then back just causes messy lines where you won't want them. With practice you will get faster. I would allocate about 30 minutes to that image. Also if you are using SignCut you might be having some input issues. I have to down-save everything to illustrator 8 to get good results in SC. I like the idea of live tracing the hands individualy to get them closer to how you like them. You should be able to merge them togother for a full image and maybe you can go through the nodes and clean the image up to be satisfactory. Good luck. I learned the hard way that there's really no easy button for a clean image. You might try using the plotter option with some butcher paper for the first time to avoid wasting vinyl. I am assuming your cutter has a pen attachment.