How to Vectorize an Image in Adobe Illustrator

There are two sorts of digital photos: rasters and vectors.

Raster photos are made up of particular person pixels and include super quantities of element. Nevertheless, you may’t enlarge them with out dropping high quality.

A vector picture is constructed from strains and shapes. They’re normally much less detailed, however you can also make them as large as you want with out dropping something.

While you’ve bought a raster graphic that is too small in your wants, the answer is to transform the picture to a vector, and you are able to do this in Adobe Illustrator. It is a fast and easy course of and produces wonderful outcomes. This is tips on how to convert a picture to a vector utilizing Adobe Illustrator.

What Is a Vector Picture?

A vector picture is a scalable picture made up of values relatively than pixels.

Most photos discovered on-line are raster photos. Raster photos use sq. pixels (bits of shade) to convey a picture. Vector graphics convey shade utilizing scalable shade polygons. Since vector photos use dynamic shade sections as a substitute of static squares, they supply good strains and crisp colours.

The geometry which includes vector photos is formulaic, making them resolution-independent. Meaning photos do not lose high quality once they’re scaled up or down, because the shade polygons in a vector picture will all the time preserve their form. The identical just isn’t true for raster photos, because the shade data of those photos is stretched when scaled.


You’ll be able to simply inform the distinction between the 2 sorts of picture by way of their file format. Raster photos are frequent picture varieties like JPG and GIF, whereas vector photos usually have the SVG, EPS, or AI format.

As soon as you understand how to transform a JPG file to a vector in Adobe Illustrator, you can scale something you discover to the scale you need—with out dropping picture high quality. So let’s get began on turning a picture right into a vector.

Step 1: Choose an Picture to Convert to Vector

The picture you employ will not matter when utilizing the next course of, aside from the truth that bigger photos will take longer to edit. There are some photos, nevertheless, that work higher as vector photos than others.

It is higher to edit a single topic than a panorama or the like. Ideally, the picture ought to have a white or clear background and have a comparatively low decision. It will have to be in a format like JPG, GIF, or PNG.

how to convert images to vector in illustrator

We’ll be utilizing the picture of Ryu from the Avenue Fighter sequence above. It really works as an ideal instance for quite a lot of causes. For one, it is a single topic. It additionally lends itself to a vector picture format properly, as it is a recognizable character. The vector picture format is often used for logos, icons, or recognizable photos.

Step 2: Choose an Picture Hint Preset

Illustrator has a particular device that allows you to vectorize photos. It is known as Picture Hint and it comes with a variety of presets that do many of the work routinely.

Broadly talking, you must use the Picture Hint preset that the majority intently resembles the kind of picture you are changing, as each produces totally different outcomes.

Your choices are:

  • Excessive Constancy Picture and Low Constancy Picture. These produce very detailed, and barely much less detailed vector photos respectively. They’re ideally suited for images or advanced paintings, resembling the instance picture we’re utilizing.
  • 3 Colours, 6 Colours, and 16 Colours. These presets output vector photos with three, six, or 16 colours. They’re good for logos or paintings with a number of flat colours.
  • Shades of Gray. This preset produces an in depth grayscale picture.
  • Black and White Brand. This creates a easy emblem with two colours—black and white.
  • Sketched Artwork, Silhouettes, Line Artwork, and Technical Drawing. These are finest used for particular sorts of photos, and create black and white, predominantly line-based drawings.

To get began, open your picture in Illustrator and choose it to activate the picture choices. These choices ought to be current on the high of your Illustrator window.

how to convert images to vector in illustrator

Click on the dropdown arrow subsequent to Picture Hint to pick your Preset. We’ll be utilizing Low Constancy Picture. Click on it to start tracing.

Step 3: Vectorize the Picture With Picture Hint

When you click on the button, your picture will undergo the tracing course of routinely. You will discover a number of modifications to your picture, however general it ought to stay a lot the identical. For instance, the next is a closeup of our picture earlier than the tracing course of.

A close-up of an image pre-vectorization showing the pixels

Be aware the pixelation. Right here is the picture after the method:

A close-up of an image after the vectorization process

Whereas a lot of the element has been stripped from the unique picture, the traced model seems a lot sharper. You will be aware the colour shapes don’t pixelate regardless of how shut the picture is zoomed.

Zoomed out, the picture ought to look just about the identical. Right here is our general picture earlier than modifying:

An image before being vectored

Right here is our picture after modifying:

An image after being vectored

Whereas the highest picture might seem sharper in some cases, the standard of our vectorized picture continues to be fairly spectacular.

Step 4: Nice-Tune Your Traced Picture

As soon as you have traced the picture, open the Picture Hint panel from the Window menu to fine-tune the conversion.

Choose Mode to modify between shade, grayscale, and black and white. Additionally, drag the Colours slider left to simplify your vector picture, or proper so as to add extra element.

image trace options

In case you’re blissful together with your settings and need to reuse them, click on the Handle Presets button subsequent to the Presets possibility. Now you can save your settings as a brand new Preset.

Step 5: Ungroup Colours

Your picture has now been ordered into coloured shapes becoming the unique raster picture. With a purpose to end vectorizing your picture, you may have to separate these shade teams to edit them. To take action, choose your traced picture and click on on the Increase button on the highest of the window.

Click the Expand button

This can mean you can view the composite shapes which make up the vector picture. Every of the shapes is printed in blue. Subsequent, right-click the picture and choose Ungroup within the menu. This can mean you can separate your shade shapes into particular person components.

Click Ungroup on the right-click menu

In your Layers panel, you may see that your shade teams have been separated into layers.

Step 6: Edit Your Vector Picture

After changing a raster picture to a vector, you might have free vary to edit the picture.

Start by deleting no matter shade teams you need. You’ll be able to choose complete shade teams by clicking on a form and heading to Choose > Similar > Fill Colour. This can choose all teams with the identical shade because the one chosen utilizing your Direct Choice device (A).

Directly selecting a vector shape

Then hit Backspace in your keyboard to delete the shapes. If you would like to switch or broaden a specific shade group, you are able to do that as properly by deciding on a layer utilizing the Direct Choice device. After you have chosen a layer, fill in empty areas or add extra colours to your design utilizing the Pen or Brush instruments.

Step 7: Save Your Picture

Right here is the unique picture after deleting the pesky white background and modifying the picture barely utilizing the tactic offered above.

An image that has been vectorized with a different background color

Now we’re prepared for the ultimate step in changing a picture to a vector in Illustrator: saving the picture in a vector format to protect its high quality. There are a selection of vector picture codecs to decide on between: PDF, AI, EPS, SVG, and others. We’ll use the SVG format, which has broad help throughout all design packages and can be supported on the internet.

While you’re completed together with your picture, head to File > Export > Export As. Within the following window, title your file and choose SVG within the dropdown menu beside Save as kind.

save vectorized image as svg

That is it. Your scalable vector file ought to now be saved onto your laptop.

It is Simple to Study The way to Vectorize an Picture

Now you understand how to transform a picture to a vector in Illustrator. You’ll be able to scale your new creation to no matter dimension you would like, with none lack of high quality.

Vector image in multiple sizes

Remember the fact that advanced vector recordsdata may be considerably bigger than their raster counterparts. Meaning they might take longer to load and edit. However, your vector picture will preserve its high quality regardless of the size.

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