Showing posts from 2012

Manual Vectorization vs Automated Vector Tracing

To vectorize a raster (bitmap) image into vector format you can either do it by manually drawing node by node using vector drawing software or you can use automated tracing tools within the vector editors. In Adobe Illustrator - which is what I use - the auto-trace tool is called "Live Trace".

Auto tracing is great and almost instant, just a couple of clicks and you are done, so you can save tons of time and money, but automated tracing doesn't work well with all images. It really depends on the original bitmap graphic; the quality, the contrast between colors, even the size. I think the perfect candidates for automated vectorization or auto-tracing are images that are:
Non-geometrical "free flowing" shapes - like the sample tree belowLarge, good quality originals that are black and white or high contrast colors with very clear distinction between each color.Photographs that do not need to be changed to simple line drawings 

The images that will most likely need…

Vector Conversion of Photographed Artwork

If you need a graphic vectorized but you do not have an electronic file of the graphic, even if all you have is a photograph of an item with the artwork printed on, embroidered on, or otherwise visible on the photograph, we can try to reproduce it in vector format. See samples below.

When photographing artwork that is on a 3 dimensional item like a coffee mug, a hat or even just a flat sign, the actual artwork will be somewhat distorted in the photograph so it is always better to reproduce a logo using an electronic file of the actual graphic such as a scan of a printed logo, but when this is not available we try to correct the vector file as much as possible. See sample below:

More info here.

What The Font?!

Do you spend countless hours trying to identify fonts?

If you work in the graphic industry like sign-making, specialty printing, screen printing, engraving, etc., you probably have had to re-create a graphic in vector format so that you could use it with your machinery.  I vectorize all day long (convert raster images into vector art) and I used to spend countless hours trying to figure out which font was used on the original graphic so that I didn't have to manually and painstakingly redraw each letter out. I had customers wonder why a simple plain text graphic would be quoted higher than let's say an image of a tree with no text. It used to take me an hour to go through my font catalogs only to find out that I did not have the font or that perhaps it wasn't even a font but custom-made text instead.

But that was before I discovered What the Font?! What a great website! You simply upload your image with the font you are looking for and it will try to guess what it is. Most…