MikeTX

What do you use?

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What software are you using to convert images to vector?

 

How much extra work after running the trace are you having to do?

 

Thanks in advance.

 

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I'm probably too picky to answer you because I almost never use the auto trace function. I run Adobe Illustrator and have inkscape and VM pro as well but have never been comfortable with the results and end up spending just as much time cleaning and fixing as just recreating it from scratch or hand tracing. Granted it took a few years to become proficient. There is a forum member (Skarekrow) who is super freaky fast with a Photo Shop clean-up and then auto trace in AI workflow that hands down cleans my clock on a time factor. I've seen him bust out some complicated designs in mere minutes that I would have spent an hour on. I can get around ok in PS but not good enough to make that work for me. I started into this craft doing vector conversions for a few of the shops in my area so I am a little extreme on the detail, maybe more than I should be but if I recreate a file I try to get it as exact as I can. Auto trace won't do that. Most of my clients had old logo's long forgotten and only an old business card or pic of the front of their store to go from. If the font is hard to find I generally ask them how close it needs to be to gauge how much time I have to spend on it. 

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Inkscape does a nice job, Vinyl Master is also quite good. As for work after, that depends on how good of an image you have to start with as well as various settingn in the vectoring software.

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I didn't really have luck with Inkscape.  It seemed no matter what I did it always had some sort of issue and you have taken a long time to get it cleaned up

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So far Vinyl Master has been the best auto trace software that I've used. It's just as good or better than Vector Magic and beats inkscape hands down.   

 

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Primarily inkscape, but I try to do what i can to clean up the image in PS before vectorizing it.

If I need it in colors, Vector Magic.

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I use CorelDraw and Inkscape.  CorelDraw it is easier to limit colors.  Draw has a different kind of fidelity for how detailed to attempt the trace and how much to smooth it out.  Inkscape has better brightness threshold settings.  It's stacking ability ins't all that great for making cut ready images, but good if your going for a more photo-realistic effect.  Inkscape's autotrace is complex, takes a great deal of dealing with the settings.  Draw is nice in that it has many bitmap tools built in, if your trying to tweak the bitmap before tracing.  It has a color mode to b/w that can make line art.  Works some times before an autotrace.  

It used to be that Inkscape could not do center-line traces and I only had Draw, but now there is an extension in Inkscape that allows it.  The Inkscape centerline trace has more options to fiddle with, making it more versatile and harder to use at the same time.  Draw's does reasonably well without all the settings.  But center line trace is needed rarely. 

Like others have said, the bezier pen is the most reliable.   Yes it is not push button easy, but it really does not take long to get good at the bezier tool.  At first it is awkward and unintuitive.  Sometimes it is a combination of both the autotrace and the pen.  Sometimes, a dark pen or marker, some tracing paper, (a lightbox if you have it,) and a scanner make an autotrace go much better.  Autotrace is not, and probably won't be unless some deep ai network is created, going to ever be more that 15%, manual trace is were it is for now.  I don't know I would call that extra work, just normal work.  Par for the course.

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I tried many different things and then finally just decided to go spend the money on illustrator and I’m super happy I did. I don’t do crazy volume but it makes my life so much easier and super easy to learn. I never used it up till the day I decided to buy & after a few hours and some you tube I was able to figure it out. I’m not the greatest with curving the nodes but it’s all trial and error. Won’t learn till you try. The trace tool works but sometimes it can be a super pain.

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