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AutoTrace (convert raster image to vector)


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  • 5 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

It has been 7 years, I don't think it's coming. I deinstalled Inkscape once I got this and was happy to say good riddance. But now I think I'm going to have to interrupt my usual workflows going back and forth between free programs to get the results I need. It would've been much more helpful if I didn't have to do that.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I just want to say that this feature is really missed, and I would advocate to implement this feature in Affinity Designer! Please, make this wonderful programs "complete" out of the box, without the need for extra tools... Is there at least a roadmap or a statement when / if the feature is coming? The community is longing for it...

Cheers!

edit.: I just registered to let the devs know that there is a strong desire in the community! ;):)

Edited by JustRegisteredForAutoTrace
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Hello everyone,

I recommend you take a look at the programme VectorMagic. The standalone version costs a bit more, but it's worth it if you have to vectorise a lot of images, as the programme also runs in batch mode if needed.

https://vectormagic.com

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I think there is enough want for this to make it a plugin with additional charge. I seriously wouldn't mind giving Affinity or anyone MORE MONEY just so I can avoid having to use a free program as terrible as Inkscape... or pay $295 for Vector Magic... or $636 a year for Adobe.

Like, why not support third party plugins if we want something more advanced?

  • Image tracing to vector w/options
  • Normal map sculpting and rendering
  • More filters/Fractals
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6 hours ago, Komatös said:

Hello everyone,

I recommend you take a look at the programme VectorMagic. The standalone version costs a bit more, but it's worth it if you have to vectorise a lot of images, as the programme also runs in batch mode if needed.

https://vectormagic.com

Yes, but there is nothing better than having this feature built into the affinity software like Adobe Illustrator has. 
I would pay extra for affinity to have it built in.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Having a way to automatically trace/convert bitmap images to vector is crucial. It should not be an extra cost, it should be baked into the software, and it really should have been there from day one. As a loyal user, who has both the desktop and iPad versions of multiple Serif applications, I truly hope to see this critical tool make it's way into Designer as soon as possible.

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  • 1 month later...

I've just discovered that my vector brushes are actually raster images along a vector line so I'm looking to auto-trace everything. 

What's the best PC based option for auto-trace, Inkscape?

I hope these issues get addressed at some point. I've used Designer for years for web design with no issue but I've recently started getting into Illustration and seem to be hitting some limitations.

Thanks

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 8/26/2021 at 12:51 AM, Sotalo said:

I think there is enough want for this to make it a plugin with additional charge. I seriously wouldn't mind giving Affinity or anyone MORE MONEY just so I can avoid having to use a free program as terrible as Inkscape... or pay $295 for Vector Magic... or $636 a year for Adobe.

Like, why not support third party plugins if we want something more advanced?

  • Image tracing to vector w/options
  • Normal map sculpting and rendering
  • More filters/Fractals

Agree on that! If they are not able or do not want to implement out of whatever reasons (mathematically too complicated? too many licenses which would have to be paid?), at least make it possible to add support for third party plugins..! :)

edit.: I'm a little disappointed for not having a reply from a dev on a possible roadmap / reason for not wanting to implement the feature. since August. :(

Edited by JustRegisteredForAutoTrace
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14 minutes ago, JustRegisteredForAutoTrace said:

reason for not wanting to implement the feature.

As far as I remember, it's not that they don't want, but that they are not satisfied with the resultd they were getting.

Best regards!

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1 minute ago, Mithferion said:

As far as I remember, it's not that they don't want, but that they are not satisfied with the resultd they were getting.

Best regards!

Thanks for clarification!

But still weird, that instead of postponing the work and keep improving so it can be released one day just abandoning it alltogether? =/

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2 minutes ago, JustRegisteredForAutoTrace said:

But still weird, that instead of postponing the work and keep improving so it can be released one day just abandoning it alltogether? =/

No one has claimed that it is abandoned.

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Affinity Designer 1.10.5 | Affinity Photo 1.10.5 | Affinity Publisher 1.10.5 | Beta versions as they appear.

I have never mastered color management, period, so I cannot help with that.

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On 11/12/2021 at 5:18 PM, Old Bruce said:

No one has claimed that it is abandoned.

True, but the fact that after seven years autotrace has not surfaced it certainly gives that impression.

I installed my old version of CorelDraw (X8) to use its tracing. I find that after tracing I then start editing in CorelDraw as well. I now have more .cdr files than I do .afdesign!

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On 11/12/2021 at 12:13 PM, Mithferion said:

As far as I remember, it's not that they don't want, but that they are not satisfied with the resultd they were getting.

 

In the meantime, we have nothing. They can release features in an alpha or beta state and iterate on it with future releases, but at the moment we have to do this:

16 hours ago, dpoulton said:

I installed my old version of CorelDraw (X8) to use its tracing. I find that after tracing I then start editing in CorelDraw as well. I now have more .cdr files than I do .afdesign!

This is entirely the problem. We need to use other programs to get this one feature that has become standard everywhere, including totally free programs. I hate Inkscape with a passion, but I have to use it for bitmap tracing. There are workflows where converting with color palettes could actually become useful: converting a base color layer from raster to vector and saving tons of space, for instance. But at the moment, this workflow is interrupted by needing to leverage another program. I'm just wondering what the dev team is doing if their time is not spent on features that have become industry standard. 7 years without a trace is kind of a lot.

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1 hour ago, Sotalo said:

In the meantime, we have nothing. They can release features in an alpha or beta state and iterate on it with future releases, but at the moment we have to do this:

I have mixed feelings. For example, the weird things that the Contour Tool does, rendering ir not as usable as one'd want it to be.

Best regards!

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Not a graphic design program, but Unreal Engine will release features in an alpha, beta, and experimental category with the promise of getting those features production-ready later. Raytracing released without support for foliage or instanced meshes and gained that support later on. They made a spreadsheet of what was supported in the latest version, and you saw more and more features go into production-ready status. If a feature is beta, you know it'll be production-ready soon. They're pretty consistent about that.

If Affinity adopted the same model, highlighting features in orange or something with a Beta tag and an option to include or exclude features in Beta, it could give us a chance to test new features before they become fully complete. For instance, people who need to make black and white tracings from solid color ink splotches shouldn't have to wait for years until the tool is able to perform a 256-color portrait of a photograph. The beta version might only have limited support and not function as optimized as a production-ready release. Having features released in beta would also push devs to work on those and get them production-ready before moving onto other tasks. It just feels frustrating having to wait so long with 0 support. There are no better options at a reasonable price point.

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I don't know if that's good for people who use the Products and don't even know what a Beta is. And with that, more problems and noise would be around. Also, What good is a feature if you can't be sure if it's going to fail or not because it's in Beta state?

I know what you mean, but I'm not sure that's the best for the vast majority.

Best regards!

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6 minutes ago, Mithferion said:

I don't know if that's good for people who use the Products and don't even know what a Beta is. And with that, more problems and noise would be around. Also, What good is a feature if you can't be sure if it's going to fail or not because it's in Beta state?

I know what you mean, but I'm not sure that's the best for the vast majority.

Best regards!

I agree with you on that - but I think the biggest issue on that matter is that we just do not know if the developers are working on the feature, which is the priority status, the roadmap etc... we just want a little transparency on a feature which is missed by a lot of people for 7 years already!:)

Even if it was just "Yeah you are right, we have abandoned the feature completely, do not expect it to come in the next few years."

Then at least we would know that we should consider Adobe illustrator or any other suite which does support autotrace features, if we want to work with only one software and do not switch between different suites/programs.

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So, features that just flat out cause crashes wouldn't be released for beta. They'd be in alpha/beta/experimental phase if they didn't support all of the functions they needed to. Say we got Autotrace black and white first. Then we got limited color palettes. Finally, the feature was radically improved to support multithreading and large color palettes with excellent results and it moved to a production-ready status with the beta label removed. Continued performance and quality improvements can be made as minor updates after the feature is still considered production-ready. This kind of development path means we get to see and test new features and workflows before they reach 100%. This can improve workflows for some people while we wait for completion. As of now I still have to resort to another program for this stuff, should I ever need it.

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5 minutes ago, JustRegisteredForAutoTrace said:

I agree with you on that - but I think the biggest issue on that matter is that we just do not know if the developers are working on the feature, which is the priority status, the roadmap etc... we just want a little transparency on a feature which is missed by a lot of people for 7 years already!:)

 

Of course, if they publicly confirm they're not going to work on it for the foreseeable future, they'll lose a lot of potential buyers. People who rely on it as part of their workflow, designers who constantly get logos as bitmaps and need to vectorize them, etc. will be forced back into Adobe. Anyone working in a professional capacity is stuck with Adobe because they monopolized the pro market. But people deserve good tools, not just the 10% of designers who can afford the Adobe tax. If this hasn't been prioritized in 7 years, will it ever?

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Adobe begin 3D vector with dimensions before intégrated to illustrator and since the beginning trace even only bitmap black and white was very sure.

I do not understand that almost one simple tool trace black and white was not in Designer

Cool to make one, please

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Well there are some good third party tracer tools out there (just as there is a lot of crap out there too). Some partly also in the OpenSource area, though those with better working algorithms in the open source area (Potrace, Autotrace) are mostly not freely (re)usable for comercial software purposes here! They have to be explicitely licencend for (re)usage in commercial apps. Beside that, writting some good working own new tracing algorithms is no trivial task here.

For example the Potrace algorithms are among the better ones, but those usually haven't been build-up initially for color tracing at all. Thus those have to be enhanced with color quantisation algorithms and the like, in order to be able to perform color bitmap tracing and color vector output with those (something the Inkscape project did over time). - Another thing is Centerline tracing, Potrace for example doesn't offer that algorithmically, but Autotrace does instead. AFAI recall it's something the Inkscape people added to their build-in tracing engine lately, which uses Potrace & Autotrace nowadays.

All in all, I think there hasn't been that much new inovation in tracing tools over the past years. Most tracing tools, also the newer ones, just reuse older, long time before developed algorithms here. Tools like VectorMagic, the tracers inside Inkscape (Potrace/Autotrace) and some other tools do mostly rely on old algorithms.

Related to Affinity, don't know and can't tell if they will ever add some bitmap to vector tracer for Designer. Of course it would be nice to have one build in, but somehow I doubt we will see one soon here. Similar as with free form vector distortions, which would be another maybe even urger point here. - So one have to wait and see what the future will bring and in the meantime we have to use other third party tools as workarounds!

☛ Affinity Designer 1.10.5 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.10.5 ◆ OSX El Capitan

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18 hours ago, JustRegisteredForAutoTrace said:

but I think the biggest issue on that matter is that we just do not know if the developers are working on the feature, which is the priority status, the roadmap etc... we just want a little transparency on a feature which is missed by a lot of people for 7 years already!:)

Mind if I ask what would you do if the answer is "we expect to have it 4 years in the future", for example?

 

18 hours ago, JustRegisteredForAutoTrace said:

Adobe illustrator or any other suite which does support autotrace features, if we want to work with only one software and do not switch between different suites/programs.

Sometimes it's not bad, working with Inkscape and Affinity Designer, for example. I used to work solely with Inkscape before and now I can use both. Maybe that's because I am used to work with different tools from different companies on a daily basis, sending data from Dremio, through Airflow, to land into an Oracle Database, to then be processed through IBM DataStage (along data coming from SQL Server, Teradata and some flat files) to finally show some fancy Dashboards in Tableau Server...

 

 

18 hours ago, Sotalo said:

So, features that just flat out cause crashes wouldn't be released for beta. They'd be in alpha/beta/experimental phase if they didn't support all of the functions they needed to. Say we got Autotrace black and white first.

Ah, when you say "Beta" you mean "stable but incomplete features"

18 hours ago, Sotalo said:

This kind of development path means we get to see and test new features and workflows before they reach 100%. This can improve workflows for some people while we wait for completion. As of now I still have to resort to another program for this stuff, should I ever need it.

Depending on how complex you'd expect a Feature to be in the end, when you get the one you want, expecto other people to complain why so much time is being dedicated to this feature they don't use.

 

We, as users, say that the Developers don't get us what we use and need, but don't realise that the demands other users make also affect us.

Best regards!

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