How To Convert Image To Vector Art?

Every designer is always stuck between raster images and vector images, but it’s needless to say that vector images are the most preferred choices. The vector images are a combination of shapes and lines with less intricate details but higher quality. It can increase the image size without losing the quality, so if you have simple graphics available, we are sharing how you can convert image to vector art. With this article, we are sharing different ways of completing this conversion, so are you ready to move on? 

Vector Art – What Is It?

Vector art is defined as scalable images which is made with values instead of pixels. The majority of images we usually use are raster images and uses square pixels for conveying the images. On the other hand, vector images tend to convey colors through color polygons. The vector images are highly likely to use a combination of dynamic colors to create crisp designs and on-point lines. In addition, it uses formula-based geometry, which means there won’t be any impact on resolution if you zoom in or zoom out the images. 

Using Adobe Illustrator 

Choosing The Image 

It’s important to select the right image because you need to edit one subject rather than convert an entire landscape. It is better to choose the image with transparent or white background with low resolution. For this reason, PNG, GIF, and JPG images work better for vector conversion.

Choosing The Trace Preset 

With Adobe Illustrator, there is a special tool that allows the users to vectorize the images, known as image trace. This feature comes with an array of presets and tends to work automatically. So, choose the image trace that resembles the image type that you’ve selected (every trace preset shows different results, so be wise). Some of these presets include;
  • Low-Fidelity & High-Fidelity Photos – these will produce in-depth and detailed images. They are suitable for complicated graphics and photos. 
  • Shades Of Grey – it will create the grayscale-based images. 
  • 16 colors, 6 colors, 3 colors – this preset can create images with sixteen, six, or three colors which make them suitable for logos. In addition, if your graphics have flat colors, this preset is also suitable. 
  • Black & White Logo – as the name suggests, it creates the black and white logos.
  • Technical Drawing, Sketched Art, And Silhouettes – it is suitable for line-based pictures and drawings. 
To select the preset, you have to open the image in this software, choose image trace” from the dropdown menu, and tap on the preset button. In this section, you will be able to see all these presets, so select one. 

Vectorizing The Image 

When you select the preset, the tracing process will start on your images, and there will be multiple changes to the images. In various cases, it will strip away the details, and the resulting image will be sharper as compared to original photos. As a result, the color shapes won’t pixelate, irrespective of how much you zoom out.

Optimizing The Traced Images 

Now that the image has been traced, you can choose the image trace option and optimize the converted image and fine-tune the details. First of all, you should choose the mode option to switch between grayscale, black & white, and colors. You can also drag the color slider to simplify the vector images. Once you are done with these settings and would like to use them again, you can save the preset by tapping on the “manage presets” button.

Ungrouping The Colors

Now that the image is added to the colored shapes, you have to finish the vector. For this purpose, it’s important to separate the color groups for editing. You need to choose the traced image and tap on the expand option. As a result, you will be able to see composite shapes that integrate the vector image. Every shape will have a blue outline, so right-click on the image, and choose the ungroup option. As a result, the color shapes will be separated into single parts. You can also see which colors are separated into layers through the layers panel.

Editing The Vector Image 

Now that the vector image is complete, you can edit the image. First of all, you can delete the color groups and select other color groups through the “fill color” option. Consequently, all same-colored groups with direct selection features. Now, use the backspace button and delete the shape. You can also use the direct selection tool for modifying or expanding the color groups. Now that you’ve selected the layer, fill the shapes and spaces with brush or pen tools.

Saving The Images 

The last step is saving the vector image to preserve the quality. You will have image vector formats, such as SVG, PDF, EPS, and AI. SVG is one of the most used vector formats since it’s widely supported. For this purpose, open the file option, move to export, and choose the “export as” button. Now, choose SVG (or another format that you want to use), and it will be saved on the computer.

Using Adobe Photoshop 

If you are a beginner, Adobe Photoshop is the right choice since it has basic steps. Adobe Photoshop can be used for converting basic images like shapes, icons, and logos into vector art. However, it’s not suitable for vibrant and complicated images. Now, let’s check out the instructions;

Preparing The Image 

For preparing the image, press I + Alt + Control keys, and the image size pop-up will appear. You need to set the resolution to 300 and remove the background.

Making The Work Path 

When the image is separated from the background, choose the layer button while pressing the control button on the keyboard. As a result, you will have a wide range of images. Now, choose the marquee tool and move your cursor across the selection, and right-click. Then, choose the “make work path” option and set the tolerance at 1.0.

Creating The Vector Mask

Now, choose the direct selection tool and right-click on the image. Then, choose the “create vector mask” option, and the vector mask will be created right over the layer.

Exporting The File 

When the vector mask is complete, you only need to save the vector file. For this purpose, open the file option and tap on the “save as” button, and choose the EPS format. As a result, the vector image will be saved, and you will be able to scale the image without losing the resolution or quality.

Additional Features Offered By Adobe Photoshop 

The Adobe Photoshop actions are available for converting the images into vector graphics, and these include the following;

  • Tracer Plus – this action utilizes a similar vectorization technique as we have already mentioned, but it’s automatic, and you won’t have to do anything. 
  • Vector Art Action – it can create vector graphics from images as well as scalable formats. 
  • Vectorial Action – it has the capacity to convert the raster images into vector art, but the vector format might not be on point.
  • Image To Vector Action – it is suitable for creating the vector clips.

In addition to these Adobe software solutions, there are various websites online that help convert the raster image into vector art. However, these free websites are likely to have ads, but other functions will be automated. There are chances that it will create extra shapes, so you will need to fine-tune the details on your own. 

Tips To Converting Images To Vector Art

  • It is suggested to use clear and simple graphics that have limited colors 
  • With manual tracing, you need to zoom in closely to ensure accuracy 
  • Utilize the color picker feature for filling in the shapes and paths 
  • If you are using software, use the automatic tracing tools 

The Bottom Line 

If you have basic images lying around but want to make them crisp, you can convert them into vector art. This is because vector art promises infinite scalability and top-notch resolution (yup, no pixel loss). So, follow this guide and yield the benefits of vector art!