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Thread: Hand drawn lineart to vectors

  1. #1
    NymTevlyn
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    Post Hand drawn lineart to vectors

    Is there a way to take a scan and turn it into a vector based lineart?

  2. #2

    Post Vectorizing applications

    You need a vectorizing application, a stand-alone like Adobe Streamline, or a built-in vectorizing app, as you would find in most vector drawing applications like CorelDraw, Illustrator or Xara Xtreme. I'm guessing Inkscape has a vectorizing function, but I don't really know.

    I use Xara Xtreme, my primary raster/vector app and there is an excellent vectorizing function built within. Even allows to remove unwanted points to better smooth an object to your needs. It can even handle a photograph converted to vector format, fairly well.

    Check your vector drawing app and see if one is built inside.

    GP
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  3. #3
    NymTevlyn
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    Cool. I just downloaded the Xara trial. Hopefully the vector stuff is part of it. Could you give me some tips for this vectorizing stuff?

  4. #4

    Post Xara Vectorizing

    One note, Xara's trial download is completely functional, despite being a trial, so at least for short term, you can vectorize to your heart's content and not worry about having to pay to do so.

    First import your scanned hand-drawn map (I'm assuming that's what you're starting with.) into Xara Xtreme, ideally the page should be larger than the scanned image. (Use the Page Options under the File Menu, to change the dimensions of your drawing area.)

    On the main menu at the top of the screen, the fourth item from the left is "Utilities" select that and select "Bitmap Tracer" the 7th item down.

    The Bitmap Tracer Menu appears. Being that your drawing is line art, you'll want to select "Monochrome" from the second drop down menu on the left side. You could play with the other settings to see what they do... grayscale, limited color and photographic. But monochrome should be the optimal setting for converting line art drawings to vector format.

    Once you select Monochrome tracer, the only available options to adjust are: Remove Noise (set to around 90), Minimum area (set around 5), Accuracy (set to 100), and Smoothing (I lower this to 5). Then hit "Trace".

    You will probably want to adjust these settings up and down, then tracing to get different vectorizations of your drawing. Experiment to see which is best.

    When complete, even if the vectorized version doesn't completely match your hand-drawing, you can always, ungroup the objects, select the specific object that failed to vectorize properly.

    On the leftside toolbar, the tool just beneath the line drawing tool, shows a red line with squares at points - this is the vector line adjustment tool. You can move points. If you have a straight line with many points on it, you can select all but the outermost points and "delete" them.

    Ideally, you'll need to do some vector adjustment, as the vectorizer isn't perfect, though I have to say its better than many apps with vectorizing I have used.

    Good luck using Xara, I love the application, personally!

    GP

    PS: keep asking questions if you have any. Perhaps I should make a tutorial on vectorizing in Xara
    Last edited by Gamerprinter; 10-01-2008 at 07:22 PM.
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  5. #5
    NymTevlyn
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    Thank you.

    ..

  6. #6
    Community Leader Gracious Donor ravells's Avatar
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    There is also a an online vector converter called vector magic which quite simply knocks the spots off everything else, including adobe and gives you a lot of control. It used to be free, but you have to pay for it now, but if you sign up you get a few free credits which should be enough for your map.

  7. #7
    Administrator RobA's Avatar
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    And inkscape does support bitmap tracing to vectors. It is pretty good but can require a fair bit of tweaking to work really well.

    The other question would be what you want to do with the vector art afterwards.

    -Rob A>

  8. #8
    NymTevlyn
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    I just want to be able to maintain the coast outline without pixel fuzziness at high zoom levels so I can create regional maps that have the same coastline as the world map.

  9. #9
    Software Dev/Rep Redrobes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NymTevlyn View Post
    I just want to be able to maintain the coast outline without pixel fuzziness at high zoom levels so I can create regional maps that have the same coastline as the world map.
    See
    http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=2596

    post #13

  10. #10
    Administrator RobA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NymTevlyn View Post
    I just want to be able to maintain the coast outline without pixel fuzziness at high zoom levels so I can create regional maps that have the same coastline as the world map.
    Here is another option that can be used in gimp or photoshop:

    http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=1397

    -Rob A>

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