Vector images are made of cursor-based draw operations which consist of shapes like circles, rectangles, lines and curves (or freeform), created by moving the cursor or drawing a line and curve to a point with some control, then stroking or filling them to create artwork.
However, there are times when you just want to convert a particular image into a vector image, and this is where the best software to vectorize images comes in handy.
A bitmap image already has a grid of pixels and color values, but you can draw the same image using different shapes and sequences of stroking and filling.
Depending on what you want to achieve, software that vectorize images is better than starting from scratch because it is more precise and cleaner, unless you’re a pro at it.
What are the best tools to vectorize images?
This best software to vectorize images converts raster images such as drawings or maps, and others like photo logos and illustrations to vector format.
The program saves the converted images to DXF, WMF, EMF, EPS, AI or SVG vector formats, all of which can be imported to popular vector graphics apps like Corel Draw, AutoCAD and Illustrator, among others.
It is a perfect replacement for traditional tracing and digitizing, saves you much time and is faster than tracing by hand, or using a digitizer.
It’s a simple and easy way to convert drawings from paper to CAD for further editing and usage, saving you hours of time and monotony when working.
Some of the features and tools include scaling, scrolling, color selection, TWAIN support for importing images, automatic recognition of lines and arcs or circels, conversion of color and black-and-white images for recognition, a built-in vector editor for editing vectorization results, Bezier splines for creating curves, and much more.
Professionals like the GIS ones use it for digitizing hardcopy maps, as it supports GIS formats like ArcInfo shape files and MapInfo MID/MIF, plus has georeferencing for raster images by points.
This is a free and open source vector graphics editor tool whose features include photo or image and text editing tools, and support for most graphic formats such as SVG, PNG, WMF, PDF, among so many others.
Whether you are an illustrator, designer, web designer or just need to create vector images, this is the best software to vectorize images.
It also features Bezier and Spiro curves, a powerful text tool, and broad file format compatibility.
This is a high quality software for converting image files in different formats such as JPG, PNG, BMP, GIF or TIF, and scanned images to useful vector image files suitable for CAD, GIS and CNC application.
It comes in two versions: Freeware, and Pro.
The former, WinTopo Freeware is completely free for all to use, but still delivers better results than most commercial alternatives that are pretty expensive, and has more than 10 million users globally.
On the other hand, WinTopo Pro, the professional version, comes with more processing options and finer control when converting images to vectors, or vectorizing images.
It includes pre-processing options which help deliver optimum results, plus a more advanced vectorization engine that’s been built over years of programming, engineering and image processing expertise.
Each of these versions come with one-touch vectorization, arc recognition, polyline smoothing and reduction, preview on options windows, automatic scaling, as well as different vector save formats.
The pro version has more features though, like georeferencing, batch processing, negative and brightness options, fill holes, despeckle, and prune, among others.
4. Vector Magic
This is one of the most popular image vectorizer software you can use to convert bitmaps to vectors quickly, and get your artwork ready for print, or embroider, cutting and more processes.
With this tool, you can automatically convert images to true SVG, EPS and PDF vectors online by uploading them, without having to install software, and you get instant results.
It also comes with a desktop stand-alone app to vectorize images, with support for file formats and AI or DXF output, plus it blends well with Illustrator, Corel and other programs.
The vectorization is automatic once Vector Magic detects your image, it analyzes and gives appropriate settings to vectorize with and then traces out the shapes in full color, after which you can review the result.
Other features include sub-pixel precision with which you can trace out every bit of information and slice edge pixels precisely to recreate the intention of the original image, the right number of nodes placed at excellent locations with makes work with the result easier, easy to use settings to edit the result online and on the desktop app, and image tracing to tease out the shapes and create a real vector image.
There are more services online that claim to vectorize images but in reality, they just embed pixels without tracing them to vectors leaving you with a blurry file when scaled.
Vector Magic always traces your bitmap, carefully teasing out the underlying shapes in it, and provides you with a real vector image with all of its benefits.
In contrast, there are numerous services available online that claim to convert bitmaps to vectors, but that in reality just embed the pixels without actually tracing them into vector shapes.
This image vectorizer converts raster images like PNG, BMP and JPEG to scalable vector graphics or SVG. In order to vectorize raster images, you convert pixel color information to simple geometric objects.
Vector graphics are not based on pixels but on points, lines, and curves, which are also known as primitives, represented by mathematical expressions.
Vectorizer converts these raster images without loss in quality graphics making them easily scalable and rotatable. Some examples include logos, tattoos, cliparts, decals, stickers, and t-shirt designs.
BoxySVG is a relatively simple tool to use. Unlike the tools listed above, this program doesn’t offer advanced features but it’s perfect for you if you’re a beginner.
Once you’ve got the hang of this tool and you learned how to create vector images, you can play with typography and geometry options. Once you’re satisfied with the results, you can export your SVGs in other formats.
You can use BoxySVG as a stand-alone tool or download the browser extension.
Have you tried any of these best software to vectorize images?
If so, let us know which one and how it turned out for you, or the tool you used, by leaving a comment in the section below.