I recently discovered VectorMagic, a website tool that will convert almost any image into vector format in under 3 minutes. Vector format images allow you to increase the size of your image to any size without pixilating it.
Most image formats like JPEG and GIF are represented as pixels. Each pixel in the image stores digital numbers representing brightness and color. As you increase the size of the image, your software has to create new pixels and it estimates the color values of the new pixels based on the surrounding pixels…thus the image becomes pixilated.
Vector image formats contain a geometric description which can be rendered smoothly at ANY desired display size. Vector images are usually created in an application called Illustrator. To convert a JPEG image to a vector based image, one has to trace the image with a Pen tool in Illustrator. This takes a long time, depending on the details of your image.
That is why when I first came across VectorMagic, I was skeptical at first and decided to test it right away.
I picked an image of a girl (see below), which is part of the Webgrrls International logo. We lost the original artwork and the only size of the image that we had was 100×104 pixels. I increased the size of the logo to 300×304 pixels.
|Original Image Resized
Do you see how pixilated and grainy the resized image is? Lets see if VectorMagic does a better job.
The VectorMagic Test
The JPEG to Vector image conversion process consists of 4 steps:
Select your image using the “Browse” button and upload it to the Vector Magic server
The Configuration Process consists of you answering 4 questions below designed to help the application trace the image more accurately.
- What type of image is this?
- What is the quality of your image?
- Does your logo have only a few colors?
- Select the color palette
The vector image is created and you are presented with the original and the vector image side by side. On the right hand side you have troubleshooting options to tweak the image if necessary (see the screen by clicking here).
- Review & Download!
Once you are happy with the results, you can download the vectorized image as an EPS file, which you can open in Illustrator and tweak yourself if necessary.
Here is what my image looked like in Illustrator. The blue dots and lines represent the vector drawing. You can move the vector points to adjust the layout and drag the blue lines to resize the image to ANY size.
Here is the final image resized to 300×318 pixels. The outcome is almost PERFECT! The only adjustment that I will have to make is on the top of the W on the girl’s shirt to remove the gray fill.
Way to go VectorMagic!