Sign & Digital Graphics

February '19

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48 • February 2019 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S DIGITAL PRINTING AND FINISHING DIGITAL GRAPHICS Raster to Vector Reversing the process, converting an image com- posed of pixels to a group of vector objects is a more extensive operation requir- ing specific software. The pixels are assigned to objects based on their color, and that requires you to make a few informed decisions. Of course, you have to be in a program that supports vectors. Therefore, launch Illustrator or CorelDraw, which both have file conversion fea- tures. In Illustrator, Choose File > Place to place the image in an open document. In CorelDraw, choose Import and then Bitmap. CorelDraw's Power Trace fea- ture has controls similar to Illustrator's Image Trace (see Figure 9A, 9B). Both programs provide an extensive interface that controls conversion characteristics. You can choose the results to be in Black and White (as in Figure 10A) Grayscale or Color (see Figure 10B). If you choose the Color option you can control the number of colors, and if you expand the panel you have numerous path manipulation options. Be sure to check the preview box to see the changes as they happen. When the image is traced to your satisfaction you will need to Expand it (Illustrator) and Ungroup it (Illustrator and CorelDraw). Then you can select any of the vectors with the Direct Selection tool and manipulate them as you would any vector object. And So… File conversion is a critical process of the digital graphics workflow. How an image is formatted is determined by what programs will open it, how it can be manipulated and where it can be published. It's definitely worth knowing what specific formats are used for and how they might affect the quality of your images. Knowing the ropes of file con- version will save you time and enable you to determine the best possible outcome for your images. SDG Figure 9A, 9B: Both Adobe Illustrator's Image Trace (A) and CorrelDraw's Power Trace (B) feature can convert raster pixels to vectors. Figure 10A, 10B: The results of vectorizing a full- color image to black and white (A) and color (B). A B A B

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