My personal journey to become a world famous albeit somewhat color blind graphic designer means I have more design tools on my Mac than I have jobs to pay for applications. That makes me a wannabe with a good collection of apps.
One aspect of graphic design that has troubled me most through the years– other than color– is vector graphics; more specific, Bézier curves which make much of it possible. Those buggers are tough to master, so imagine my pleasant surprise when I came across a Mac graphic design utility which actually traces images and creates a vector image.
This one is called Super Vectorizer because, well, first, it’s super easy to setup and use, and it takes almost any bitmap image from JPG to GIF to PNG and creates a scalable vector graphic image that can be saved as AI, SVG, even DXF file.
Take a look.
Photo, meet vector design. Pretty cool, right?
Getting setup to use Super Vectorizer is easy enough, but trial and error is your friend so you’ll appreciate the full feature trial version. What you get is automatic tracing of graphic files in dozens of file formats. My favorite is the skeletonization function which takes a drawing and turns it into a vector graphic.
I’ve used Super Vectorizer in the past but the latest version seems far more accurate and comes with tools for granular controls over smaller areas which are not as easy to vectorize. That means you can trace quickly and then add more concise changes as needed.
You also get options for vectorizing by edge, color, line, skeletonization, or even gray scale (more like gray color).
The onscreen tools are simple to use but don’t forget the trial and error effort; it takes some work to master the tools, particularly when you need a more concise fit between vectors. It even does transparency. No, this won’t take a photo with complex image and colors and instantly turn it into a vector graphic, but it works surprisingly well, hence the full feature try-before-you-buy option.
The list of files that can be imported and vectorized is remarkable, complete with some I’ve not seen in years, and others I’ve never heard of.
JPG, BMP, PNG, GIF, PDF, PSD, PNT, RGB, ARW, BMPF, CUR, CRW, CR2, DCR, DNG, EPSF, EPSI, EPI, EPS, EXR, EFX, ERF, FPX, FPIX, FAX, FFF, GIFF, G3, HDR, ICNS, ICO, JP2, JFX, JFAX, JPE, JFIF, JPF, MPO, MAC, MRW, MOS, NRW, NEF, ORF, PICT, PIC, PCT, PS, NTG, PNG, PEF, QTIF, QTI, RAW, RAF, RW2, RWL, SR2, SRF, SRW, SGI, TRIC, TIFF, TGA, TARGA, TIF, XBM, 3FR, 8BPS
The preview option lets you see how the image looks as a vector, and it seems to handle very large images (I tried a few of the Chicago skyline and while the change to vector wasn’t instant on an iPhone photo, the rendering was quick on my desktop iMac; less than a minute).