By Corrie Haffly

Vectorizing Graphics

By Corrie Haffly

Boston was great. It was extremely mild weather, and I got to see the Boston fireworks without overheating, camped out on the Esplanade with 500,000 other people. I was definitely museumed-out by the end, although not too much to still be impressed by some of the shadow art in one of the displays.

But I’m already digressing.

I recently tried out the Silhouette Illustrator plug-in, which takes a bitmap graphic and creates a “vectorized” version in Illustrator. It includes tools to “align” an image that wasn’t scanned in straight (pretty cool!) and tools to help you refine the shape. I used the Windows plug-in, but the Mac software has a few more features.


I found that it wasn’t very intuitive to use, so had to refer to their online help manual a lot, but was finally able to vectorize a simple scanned-in logo, and was in the end quite impressed with the software. (I have yet to challenge myself by comparing how quickly I could do it “by hand” instead of using the software. Maybe I’ll save that for a later blog.)

My upcoming article is going to most likely be a basic article about creating vector graphics in Illustrator (and Freehand, possibly), which I can then build on for future articles/blogs, and I think this software deserves a mention.

But before I do that, has anyone else seen a similar or better tool for vectorizing graphics that can be used with Illustrator or Freehand?

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