This is a small, poor-quality .jpg of a drawing I did of Lynda Barry last year. When my Powerbook crashed, I lost the original artwork forever. When I heard about Stanford’s VectorMagic online vectorization tool, I thought the Barry piece might be a good way to test it out. A bit of background for folks who aren’t familiar with the whole vector art thing:
Vectorization (aka tracing) is the process of converting a raster image to a vector image. Raster images are pixel-based, whereas vector images are represented by geometric shapes such as lines, circles and curves…This site converts bitmap images to vector art – it’s an online auto-tracer. Just upload your image and we will vectorize it for you. Vector art is useful because it allows you to scale an image without making it blurry or pixelated.
With about two minutes max of fiddling, this is what the program spit out:
Pretty decent results — you can tell a bit of detail on the lettering has been lost, but it’s pretty amazing what kind of detail it will retain based on just that “cruddy” jpeg:
You’ll notice that the vectorization simplifies all the curves and shapes, which almost makes the woodcut look even more convincing — definitely slicker. With a little cleanup on the lettering in Illustrator, I think it’s as good, if not better, than the original.
Another app you might want to try out is potrace.
Do you have Illustrator? There’s an auto-trace feature on the newer versions.
Austin Kleon says
Thanks, y’all. I do have Illustrator — I was just intrigued by VectorMagic — being totally free and so easy to use.
kt shorb says
thanks for this link. i’m gonna use this site!