Converting to vector from solid color shape or sketch
Convert a line drawing from raster to vector
I have a solid color shape. Is there an automatic way that Illustrator can detect its borders and convert it into a vector. I'm new to Illustrator and using the latest Illustrator CS5.1
I have the same question for scanned sketches that I drew by hand. Can Illustrator automatically vectorize them?
Sort of. Illustrator has a feature called "Live Trace". It works by analyzing the image for blocks of color hues that are similar, and then blending them into shape regions. There are settings that you can play around with to get a smoother/more accurate vector trace, but from my own personal experience, it can be flaky. Try it out though with what you have - it's entirely dependent upon the source image.
Here is a good tutorial on how to use it. It's very thorough, and will walk you through the whole process from start to finish :) Happy designing!