As a beginner in the world of digital art, you might be wondering how to make your work stand out. One of the best ways to give your art that professional look is to vectorize your images. In this article, we’ll walk you through what vectorizing is, how it can transform your art, and the basic steps that you need to follow to get started.
What is Vectorizing?
Simply put, vectorizing is the process of converting a raster image (a.k.a. a bitmap image, such as a photograph or digital painting) into vector graphics made up of lines and shapes. These vector graphics can then be resized, recolored, and edited in any way without losing quality.
The advantage of vectorizing is that it can help turn a rough, pixelated raster image into a smooth, polished vector image that looks much more professional. Vector images may be used in print production, web design, and multimedia projects with ease.
Transforming Your Art with Vectorizing
Vectorizing your art offers several major benefits:
1. Cleaner lines: When you create digital art, the lines can often appear jagged and pixelated. Vectorizing your art can help to smooth out these lines and eliminate the pixelated appearance, resulting in a much cleaner image.
2. Unlimited scalability: When you create an image in a raster format, the resolution of the image determines its size. However, vectorized images retain their quality, no matter how much you resize them. Whether you’re making a tiny logo or a huge banner, the image will maintain its sharpness.
3. Digital editing: Vectorized images are entirely editable in digital format. You can change line thickness, fill color, the background, and everything else without difficulty.
How to Vectorize Your Images as a Beginner
Vectorizing may appear intimidating, but with the right tools and some practice, beginners can start easily. Here’s the basic guide to vectorizing your images:
Step 1: Choose the best software
You’ll need to choose the proper software to begin vectorizing your images. Adobe Illustrator, CorelDraw, and Inkscape are all examples of excellent vector software options. Adobe Illustrator is the popular choice for vectorizing images, but it is a paid tool. Inkscape, on the other hand, is a free option and a great starting point for beginners.
Step 2: Prepare the Image to be Vectorized
Choose an image that you want to vectorize. Preferably a simple image to begin with, because this process can be time-consuming depending on the complexity of the image.
Many software like CorelDRAW provide the feature called Live Trace. This feature converts the image into shapes, and the software does most of the work for you. You will still need to edit the resulting image, but this feature saves you a lot of time.
Step 3: Create a new document and open the image in it
Open the vector software you’ve chosen and create a new document.
Place the image you desire to work with in the document using the import feature.
Step 4: Trace the Image
Most vector graphics software have a “tracing” feature that simplifies this process. It enables the software to automatically transform your raster image into smooth lines and shapes. Each software package will differ, but we’ll walk you through the process in Adobe Illustrator.
To trace an image in Adobe Illustrator:
1. Select the image layer you import.
2. Go to the toolbar at the top and click on “Image Trace.”
3. Click on “Make” or select one of the presets recommended by the software.
4. The software will start the tracing procedure.
Step 5: Clean up the Vector
Once the tracing is complete, this is the moment where you start to fine-tune the artwork. The tracing software cannot always create a perfect vector image, and you’ll need to tidy up any excess lines.
Use the “Direct Selection Tool” and “Pen Tool” to clean up the vector. With these tools, you can remove any superfluous lines, combine shapes, and create paths where necessary.
Step 6: Edit the Vector
Now that you’ve tidied up and created an excellent vector image, you can further editing the entire vector. You may edit the stroke weight, fill color, gradients or add any creative effects.
Vectorized art can elevate your digital portfolio to a professional level. Vectorizing your images will give them the versatility to be utilized in numerous mediums without experiencing a reduction in quality. Vector art is more than merely creating outline shapes. It’s designing and transforming existing images into works of art, and once you get started, the possibilities are endless.