Is there a way to convert a raster image to vector within Illustrator without redrawing it? Thanks, Ed...
Is there a way to convert a raster image to vector within Illustrator without redrawing it?
Stu gave you the short answer to your question. The long answer is:
No, there isn't.
Thanks Stu and Rob for the nonverbose reply.
I guess the next question is - Why not? and Does anyone recommend any of the third party plug-ins or apps out there that claim to do this?
"Tutorials for recreating logos/paths etc" 3/31/04 10:53pm </cgi-bin/webx?7.2cd0fb4a/2>
"Change Raster to Vector?" 3/10/04 7:28am </cgi-bin/webx?13.2cd08c77/0>
"Tracing" 3/6/04 12:21pm </cgi-bin/webx?13.2cd0774c/2>
If you have Photoshop check this action:
Mathias Vejerslev "*VECTORIZE - A Quick Tutorial" 4/19/04 12:16pm </cgi-bin/webx?13.2cd1373c/15>
There are two problems with programs that automatically convert rasters to vectors. Firstly, you don't get the smooth clear paths that you are generally looking for with vector art. You can see that in the examples Mathias provides in his tutorial. Secondly, and most importantly, the conversion program can't comprehend the logical parts of your image, so you end up with a mess that is difficult to manage and edit. Most of us would rather spend a couple of hours redrawing a raster as vector (and get it right) than a few minutes having a program do it for us (badly).
Well Rob, I use CorelTrace on a regular basis and it has enough controls to overcome the problems you posit.
I would rather spend 5 minutes getting a pretty good vector and 15 minutes polishing it in a vector based program (preferably CorelDraw), than wasting a 'couple of hours' in Illustrator not getting it any better than above. In a professional environment, time is a luxury one is not afforded.
Ditto goes for Mathias & Pierre's actions. If you don't like the result, export as paths to Illustrator and finish it to your liking.
"In a professional environment, time is a luxury one is not afforded."
Is an insulting inference really necessary, Id?
I acknowledge that in some workflow time is more critical than in others. Many of the projects I work on require a lot of image precision and editing flexibility, so I do take my time to get it right. I'm handy with the pen tool so I can trace quickly. If CorelTrace works for you, great. I am familiar with it and with Streamline, but even though I trace designs a lot (Oriental rug designs mostly), I don't use those programs.
Since I have both CorelTrace/Draw and Adobe Streamline I can honestly say there is very little difference between the two and manually tracing in Illustrator or CorelDraw is much prefered in all but the most basic designs and takes less time than Trace cleanups.
I've used Streamline extensively. Once you learn how to use it, it can do a lot with clear images.
There are also many tricks in Photoshop that do an excellent job. For complex jobs, I usually end up using a combination of programs and techniques, though I end up doing more tracing in Illustrator than any other technique.
There is a wonderful plug in called Silhouette that is very easy to use and does a great job. Unfortunately, it is only available for Illustrator 10 and below right now since they still working on an update for CS.
The website is [url]www.silhouetteonline.com[/url]
Hope this helps - I love it!
I'd agree with Bob and others. Manual tracing is best. Silhouette makes a bit cleaner autotrace than Streamline or Corel OCR-Trace, but has less options. I'd agree with Bob about Streamline and Corel OCR-Trace being fairly similar. I recently upgraded to CD 12, and I would have to say that Corel OCR-trace is quicker than Streamline, but still not better. There are certain types of artwork that the autotrace programs do well. A black and white Victorian era flourish gets converted pretty well. A photograph with continuous tones looks horrible. Typical clip art sometimes converts well, but manual tracing looks better.