How to convert Rastors into Vectors using Photoshop

posted on 8th of february, 2011

I really want to start incorporating 'real' vectors into my portfolio. With research I am starting to understand the differences between rastor files and vectors.

1- "Raster files, or bitmaps, utilize pixels to create an image. This is good for image color but causes distortion when changing the file size of a graphic."

2-"Vector image files rely on paths to create an image. Since paths are numerically based, these files do not distort upon resizing and are ideal for text and other images in which precision is important."

If you have a bitmap image, is it possible to convert it into a vector image with Photoshop?

I dont own Abode Illustrator so I have been trying vector drawing with Photoshop CS3 by uses the pen tool. I also saw steps to creating vectors by using the "Magic Wand" tool first. then clicking on "Make Work Path from Selection." (This option is found on the "Paths" work palette and appears as a circle with lines emerging from each side. When you click this button, the tracing that you have done around each object will be turned into a path).

I find it then easier to export the paths I just created. (Click on the "File" menu then click on "Export" and choose the "Paths" option when it pops up. This will bring up a window for exporting.)

The file will save as an Adobe Illustrator (.ai) vector file, but I reopen it in Photoshop for corrections using the erase tool. Finally saving it back into a JPEG for DT download.

Note: Selecting each path is done using the "Path Selection Tool". Once a path is selected, the edges of the path can be moved. (this techniques was found on "ehow" website and seems to be the easiest I've discovered.)

By example of the picture above, have I been able to create a vector from photoshop? If I got my hands on Adobe Illustrator (my birthday is just around the corner) would creating vectors be easier? or....instead of converting to JPEG, can I download .ai files into the DT database? All opinions are welcome! Many thanks bloggers!

Comments (2)

Posted by Infotrontof on February 09, 2011
The Illustrator 'live trace' is pretty handy to vectorize rasters but I must admit I'm not using that a lot.
Posted by Mjak on February 09, 2011
Welcome to vector world! I don't like AI, but I use it. Some people say that the best is to combine Illustrator and CorelDRAW. Exactly this I do. To use Photoshop... I don't know. I think you will have problems with included rasters - it is not allowed in vector files. In any case you must have some vector editor to see what you've got. No bitmapping, no opened paths, no fonts and many other things... vector is not so easy to work! One thing more - vectors are just additional format on DT. In any case you must convert to raster. Good luck!

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Photo credits: MorganOliver.

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