View Full Version : Help with inkscape

12-13-2009, 05:19 PM
Hi all, I am stuck ! I need to convert a raster image into SVG and I have inkscape.

I am using the path tool and its doing it just fine except that what I am after is the outline to some solid shapes. What I am getting is exactly that except that this outline seems to me to be composed of a very thin line but not a vector line. As in it has a left and a right side to this line as two separate vector paths which I can edit either side.

I have tried getting the input image down into a three color solid block shape image so theres no more antialiasing on the edges. And with its resulting vector thing I can set the line width and it changes both sides of the line to that thickness with a gap in the middle.

If it cant do this without putting in a thin solid shape as opposed to a true vector line then what else I can try to convert these shapes into vectors. I will have to try Xara and see if it does it better.

12-13-2009, 06:13 PM
I tried Xara and it was easier to use and also did not produce a line but did do the solid blocks so a double improvement but the two color shapes that butt together did not produce the same vectors for a common edge so it had gaps.

I just tried the online demo for vectormagic and its perfect. A very impressive conversion. Its not free - I think I get one or two free goes before I have to subscribe or buy the expensive bit of kit but it did give a darned good result so I can see the value of it.

So got past my issue for now.

12-13-2009, 06:44 PM
Serif Drawplus (the latest version) has a raster to vector (like autotrace in AI) converter which is just fantastic. I used to use vectormagic when it was in beta (loved it) and I have a feeling that the Serif autotrace IS vector magic but branded differently.

12-14-2009, 08:22 AM
Oh thanks Ravs this could be a killer bit of info cos I might be needing to do more of this sort of thing. I will check it out as soon as possible.

12-14-2009, 09:33 AM
Do you have a sample raster that I can run through it for you? Might save you a bit of ferreting around if it doesn't come up to snuff.

12-14-2009, 06:36 PM
That would be superb. I checked out the Serif DrawPlus. The freebie does not have it in and you have to get the pro version. I am a bit confused cos one site had it for 9.99 and the X3 type is 79.99 or something like that. Is there a difference between Serif DrawPlus and Serif DrawPlus X3 ?

I checked out AutoTrace today and it was no good. It seems that Inkscape has potrace in it so it seems all the open source ones don't work too well. People say that the true photo shop one is very good but I dont have that.

Someone who has is refurbing an old arcade box needs new side panels. I know you can buy them but its the wrong size or something so needs a vector version of it - raster no good but I thought for such a simple color shape it would have coped well but they dont. The vector magic does seem to get the two coloured bits into vector shapes that exactly butt together but all the rest make separate shapes for them which have gaps and overlap to them. I think he's planning to cut out a mask and spray it.

Would be cool to see what anyone can do with this sample of the art. I have culled it to exactly three color. If it works better with blends across the edges then feel free to up cols to 24 bit and soften before vectorizing.

As I said we already solved the problem this time around through the vector magic demo but Id like a more permanent solution to doing this.

Thanks Ravs !

12-15-2009, 04:51 PM
Here is running through inkscape, all defaults using 3 colour traces. Not sure what your difficulty was.

The only changes I did were to pad the image with its border colour by 5 pixels in each direction in order to intersect the vectors at the edges (with a 1000x1000 rectangle). After, I also duplicated the black and subtracted it from the red (otherwise the red is the red AND black areas combined).

There are two files, one from your image, and one from a 5px blurred version. Not much difference, but the blurred one might have tighter joins.

-Rob A>

12-15-2009, 06:07 PM
Here is a .pdf (downside of drawplus pdf is your only vector export apart from the native format) and a screenie of the options. The joins look seamless to me even zoomed in as close as I could get.



12-15-2009, 08:24 PM
Thanks guys.

This is all very odd ! I was on this persons machine doing this and whatever we tried it did not work out at all. Back here on my machine I have installed an old version I had lying around from a previous sample try of it (0.45) and using the image provided and the seeing what looks like the same menu item and dialog panel of options whatever I try to do I cant for the life of me *not* get it to work just fine.


The other day all the edges were all ragged with stray vectors & spikey bits all along the edges. Now they are all perfect almost with every option I try. I was using the linux version so had the free Xara to try too. Now I am on my usual WinXP so I wont be able to confirm the Xara again but I think this comes down to 'user error' that is 'I must have been a plonker' for some reason. I cant explain what went wrong but we tried loads of options to try to make it work.

I'm not very familiar with inkscape so just to check I am using the right params. I load in the image by dragging it in. Select it so that it has arrows on the corners, use Path, Trace Bitmap and select Colors and set the Scans to 3. Then when I ok it, I drag the vector image out of the way and delete the bitmap.

I can see what you mean Rob that you have to cut the red with the black to get just red as it starts by being the union of the two colors. No big deal there.

Although with the original attempt we used image magick to drop to three colors like I did to post the image. The image I posted was resampled so I thought it would fit nice on the guild thumbnail. I wonder if the different size made a difference. Perhaps the original one was too small. I dunno !

Ahh well, it seems that these apps can do a great job if you don't let people like me near them ;) This is all very good news cos I think I might be using this feature a lot more from now on.

12-16-2009, 02:57 PM
I can see what you mean Rob that you have to cut the red with the black to get just red as it starts by being the union of the two colors. No big deal there.

FYI - I did discover there is an option (in my .47 version - don't know if was there before) "Stack Scans" which if unchecked (the default is checked) will keep the colours as non-overlapping areas.

-Rob A>

12-16-2009, 04:21 PM
I got it. I tried it and it worked great. Thanks Rob. Rep to you and Ravs.