How to Change Bitmaps into Vector Images

Vectorize Images
Aug 2, 2017 · 4 min read
1. Scaled Bitmap image

Bitmaps represent the natural state of images, sometimes called raster images that are rendered using columns and rows of pixels. This is much like what you see when viewing television screens from an up-close perspective. You can find bitmap-type images everywhere on the internet, which includes the ever-popular .PNG and .JPEG images.

However, if you want to change the size of a bitmap image, you will also affect its overall quality. This means that the smaller you make the image, the fewer columns and rows of pixels will be used and the result will be more jagged lines and less clarity. The good news is that you can solve this issue by changing your bitmaps to vector images.

2. Scaled Vector image

What are Vector Images

Instead of being pixel-based, vector images are created from mathematical equations and are path-based which means that you can change the scale without affecting the quality of the image itself. While you cannot achieve photo-realism with vector images, you can rescale images to different sizes while still maintaining a sharp, clear presentation.

This means that if you have a logo, simple drawing, or uncomplicated image that is in bitmap form, it can be changed to a vector image and retain its quality no matter the size. You can vectorize a bitmap image using two popular photo programs, Photoshop or Illustrator.

Photoshop Process of Vectorizing Images

If you have Adobe Photoshop, then changing your bitmaps to vector images is a straightforward process that starts when you open the program, select “Window” and hit “Paths” so that you can choose from one of two methods to vectorize the image.

3. Pen tool option
  1. ) Option 1: Select “Pen”, this allows you to draw lines over the image. Once completed, hit “Enter”
4. Make Work Path option

2.) Option 2: Choose Magic Wand or Lasso. Right click on drawn shapes and select “Make Work Path”.

For Pathways, set the tolerance level appropriate to the image. Both options are suited for logos or illustrations that are crafted from a single color. Once completed, you’ll need to export from Photoshop to Illustrator (File — Export - Paths to Illustrator ) so that your newly created image can be used by other programs.

5. Online vectorization service

Tip: If you do not have the time to learn how to change bitmaps to vector images, please order our manual vectorization service that will convert your image into the vector format.

Illustrator Process of Vectoring Images

Illustrator is another popular program that is designed to turn bitmaps into vector images using a simple process that is easy to follow. You start by opening Illustrator and loading the image.

6. Live trace option
  1. ) Select “Live Trace, Click “Tracing Presets & Options”
7. Expand

2.) Select “Expand” to create individual paths for each color

8. Image trace panel

3.) Select “Tracing Options” under “Tracing Presets & Options” to customize the path settings

9. Advanced tracing options

4.) Under “Tracing Options”, you can use “Blur”, “Threshold”, & “Mode” if you desire

When completed, you can click “Preview” to see the results and go back to make more changes if you want. Once you are done manipulating the image, you can save the image. Using Illustrator is not only easy, but you can even save the settings to further change the image.

Both Photoshop and Illustrator offer you a great way to change bitmaps to vector images so that they can be resized without losing quality. This makes it perfect for logos or single-color illustrations that you can use in a variety of ways.

Vectorize Images

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