I’ve been asked by a friend to create a vector file from a .psd they have given me which only has one layer. I realize a .ai is a vector file by default, but I often see that an image needs traced, outlined, etc… to be a vector file a printer would be able to use. If I simply open the .psd file and save as an .ai, will she have what she needs to send to a printer?
I’m just trying to help out a friend as I have the software! Thank you so much in advance for any help!
No it is not.
While it will be openable the data will not be automatically converted to vector format just by saving it out as an Illustrator file.
You are correct, an image needs to be processed INSIDE Illustrator, either by manually tracing it out with shapes and the pen tool or trying to use the image trace function.
A printer can use it but it won’t be a vector file. It will still be a raster image just sitting in an Illustrator file.
As a further note, printers generally prefer CMYK pdfs as an output to print from. Most don’t want/need your native files unless they are the ones doing the design work and imposing.