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AutoTrace (convert raster image to vector)

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  • Staff

Tracing will come in the future - but it will be a new 'Persona' (one of the main buttons along the top left of the window) so that it can have its own UI and tools. We have a fair few ideas for this - not just the obvious... :)  It's not coming any time soon though, I'm afraid to say...

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Silhouette was an outstanding tool for that. It was last available as AI plugin. Maybe the developers of that great thing can get involved ...

Thanks for reading.

macOS 12.7.5 | MacBookAir M2 | iPadPro 2020 | Affinity Suite V1 - V2+

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'd like to add a vote for this feature.


On the one hand it isn't a simple thing so getting it in an early release is a big ask. On the other hand, Serif's DrawPlus product has had such a function for about the last five years. Has anyone here tried using it? Would duplicating that functionality in Affinity be satisfactory? I'd guess it would be at least an excellent start and should be relatively quick. I see Serif provides Windows users with presets aide at tracing logos, fray scale images and colour photos; would those go down well with potential Affinity users?

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  • Staff

Serif's DrawPlus product has had such a function for about the last five years. Has anyone here tried using it? Would duplicating that functionality in Affinity be satisfactory? 


Short answer is no, the functionality wouldn't be satisfactory.

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  • 1 month later...

+1 for this feature.


I've just installed this package. Never before i've seen such a beautiful user interface for this type of software.


Maybe a bit strange to start requesting features only hours after installation. This feature however is what i've been looking for and which actually made me discover Affinity Designer. Would be nice to have it in a future version.

Affinity Photo - Affinity Designer - Affinity Publisher | macOS Sonoma (14.2) on 16GB MBP14 2021 with 2.4 versions

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You can always use a 3rd party tracing facility…


I have used Serif Draw for a very long time. The trace feature has always been useful, but kind of limited and very ungainly. I am glad the developers do not intend to use it in AD. 


Tracing is a very useful feature and should be part of the AD package, BUT it is available elsewhere and it seems to me that other things on the Road Map and which are integral to AD are more important. Tracing can be done on another app and the vector object dropped into AD.


I just installed Inkscape for the tracing feature (www.inkscape.org). I don't get all the techy stuff, but as I understand it it is not a native Mac application so it needs to use another system for running in a window. That system is X11. You can install it on your Mac by going to Finder/Applications/Utilities and selecting X11. Rather confusingly this will then tell you to install XQuartz which is, I think,  a version of X11.  Either way it does the job. 


When you open Inkscape for the first time it asks where X11 is. Just click on the (find the application) button and go to Finder/Applications/Utilities and select XQuartz. 


It takes a few moments to open in its own little window.  Once open you need to import the bitmap image you want to trace from the File/Import… menu. Choose 'Embed’  and select Path/TraceBitmap. There are a bunch of options at this point (see link to tutorial below).


Once you have traced the bit map you can save it as an SVG file which you can open or drop into Affinity Designer. You can then ungroup it and play with its bits (if you'll pardon the expression).


The thing that always gets me is that when I trace a bit map, the results are often not what I expected and sometimes, what looks like a very simple shape, which I expect to turn into a vector object is anything but simple... try it and see for yourself. There is a tutorial on using the trace facility here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=07-Vde5TxLQ

Better Than Nothing - Just

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I usually only trace things (mainly logos but not only) when the clients budget is so low that I don't feel that I should spend my time tracing things by hand.

Whenever I draw something, I like to do it from scratch, taking the most out of Bezier curves, making them as simple as possible and easier to edit. Also, I like to have superimposed "sheets" of color, not inset "sheets".

But if Affinity ever gets tracing abilities, I will welcome them :-)

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i know this has been said many times

(its just tedious and very time consuming to open another program [free or not] to allow us the unlimited vector world of our imaginations)

so im +1 on this trace / convert to vector

i would really like to see it take color gradients and such into vector as well as just the outline

and to be able to adjust the colors

also having an easy way to invert the colors (black to white and vise versa) would be fantastic

(there might be a way to do this i just havent figured it out yet)


i dont see how it would hurt to let the users in on the RoadMap

i would kinda be nice to have something to look forward to......

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

Just bought Designer with the hopes of phasing out of Illustrator. Love what I'm seeing so far, and wanted to add my 2 cents that a Live Trace option looks to be the only thing I've noticed so far that's keeping me from being able to use Designer exclusively.


Nothing fancy... I do a lot of black and white cartoon work that gets vector traced in order to bring into file prep for merchandise. I need a tight fidelity so that the hand-drawn roughness of the line quality is preserved. Black and white is necessary, though color options would be great to see.



Thanks so much for the program, and I look forward to seeing future updates!

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