How to create vector images: 5 online tools

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These online tools can help you turn pixelated raster images into smooth, scalable vector graphics.

Vector images are used more and more in graphic and illustration work due to their scalability. If you have an existing image that you want to convert to a vector file, there are a variety of online tools that you can use.

In this article, we will describe the free and paid online tools that can help you vectorize an image.

SEE AS ​​WELL: 10 best graphic design tools for non-designers

What is a vector image?

When dealing with photographs and digital images, you should be very familiar with “raster” images – shapes, colors and (ultimately) images created by groups of pixels. Typically, these are available in formats like JPEG, PNG, and TIFF, among others.

While the raster image is going nowhere for the foreseeable future, vector images are certainly used more and more. Rather than using pixels, vector graphics are made up of number paths.

Since vector images are based on the start and end of a path, they can be scaled up or down to core content.

If you blow up a small raster image on a billboard, all the pixels will be there for viewers to see. During this time, the vector images will remain smooth and defined. This makes them especially useful for logos and other graphics, which can then be printed on anything from a branded pen to a corporate jet.

How To Create Vector Images Online

You can have a logo or artwork that can take advantage of vector image scaling benefits. Converting your pixel-based raster file to a vector file is definitely an easier process than before, thanks to the growth of various online tools.

In the tools reviewed below, this raster logo of an airline will be converted to a vector.

The image above is a raster, so you’ll notice that the pixels are visible, especially at the edges. This creates a slight “jagged” effect which will only become visible if it is enlarged. Let’s see what these vectorization tools can do.

Supported image formats for conversion: JPG, PNG, BMP and GIF.

Output vector files: SVG, EPS and PDF

Price: A paid subscription is required to download files.

This online tool has a very elegant and easy to use interface. Just drag and drop your image into the tool and press the button Convert . You have a choice of three vector file formats to download: SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics), EPS (Encapsulated PostScript) and PDF (Portable Document File).

You also have the option of allowing the tool to automatically perform the vectorization process by fully automatic mode , or you can manually adjust the settings.

Unfortunately, it was not possible to download the full vector file without a subscription. But from the screenshot alone, you can see that the lines are smoother with no jagged edges – a sign that the logo has been vectorized.

However, the split color gradient on the tail is gone, probably because it was difficult to incorporate for the conversion. You can now detonate this logo without any loss of resolution.

Supported image formats for conversion: JPG, PNG, BMP, GIF, PSD.

Output vector files: SVG, PDF.

Price: Free and premium account options.

Photopea is primarily an online photo editor, but it also offers an option to convert your raster image file to a vector file. After loading your image, you can vectorize it by clicking on Image> Vectorize Bitmap .

You will then have a number of options to play with, including colors , the noise reduction and the segmentation .

Once again, the software was unable to implement the gradient, an element to consider when designing raster logos to be vectorized. However, the edges are smooth and crisp, although the red color of the aircraft is a bit more muted than the original.

Supported image formats for conversion: JPG, PNG, PDF, JPEG.

Output vector files: SVG, PDF, AI, DXF, EPS, SK, FIG.

Price: free, depends on user donations for financial support.

Autotracer has a no-nonsense approach to its user interface, with a simple array of settings. You can choose the number of colors in the final vector image, as well as adjust the settings for detail and of smoothing .

After playing around with the settings, the end result is smooth. However, the gradient has not yet been incorporated.

One cool feature in Autotracer is that it lets you set the final output to ignore a white background and use an alpha channel instead. This is very useful if you are creating a logo.

Supported image formats for conversion: JPG, PNG, PDF, JPEG.

Output vector files: SVG, PS, EPS, PDF, DXF.

Price: free, depends on user donations for financial support.

With the simplest interface of all the tools on this list, uses a fully automated process with no adjustable options. However, it is optimized for black and white images only , so the color logo had some conversion problems.

In this case, we used a black and white variant instead.

The lines are smoother and the shapes are still well defined, so this converted vector image can now be enlarged or reduced without loss of resolution or distortion.

Supported image formats for conversion: PNG, BMP, JPEG.

Output vector files: SVG, EPS, DXF.

Price: Limited free access and premium account options.

Vectorizer has a very comprehensive interface with an array of settings, including presets such as Clip art and Tattoo . After playing around with the settings, it was able to come close to replicating the gradient, even though it looked smoother when removed.

As you can see, the colors are true to the original, the lines are smooth, and the image is ready to be scaled.

READ ALSO: 7 free graphic design apps for Android and iOS

Take The Next Step With Vector Images

This is an overview of how to convert raster images to vector graphics, while using the range of tools available online. As you can see, there is a wide range of options available, each with their own customizable settings and features.

But if you want to create vector images from scratch, you might want to turn to professional design software instead.

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