Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Coming from Adobe Illustrator to Affinity Designer, I'm rather shocked to discover that you can't convert hand drawn sketches to vectors without drawing over them with the pen tool. My sketches are too detailed for this so I'm looking for the best tool to convert hand drawn sketches to outlines/vectors for editing in Affinity Designer on a Mac running Mojave.

I've seen mentioned the following... Inkscape, Super Vectorizer2, Vector Magic and Image Vectorizer - there are probably others... can anybody recommend one based on experience converting fairly detailed pen & ink sketches to vectors on a desktop Mac and then importing into Affinity Designer for further editing.

Thanks

Debbie

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have used them all at one time or another, even the Vectorizer tool within Corel Graphics Suite (long time ago).
They ALL have one thing in common : they all create a zillion nodes and NONE of them do a perfect job.
At the moment, I'm using Intaglio Vectorize. It does a pretty decent job.
It's free and available for download as a standalone. I think it's Mac only, though.
You can get it at the link below.

http://www.purgatorydesign.com/Intaglio/


That what you do not yet know is more important than what you already know-Jordan Peterson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use Image Vectorizer, but only rarely for scans of hand drawn work. It has a decent ability to improve contrast, sharpness, do de-speckling and set edge threshold. It also seems quick to me. For $5, it performs very well, and only adds maybe 15 seconds to getting a trace into AD.

If I need something w. multiple grey scales, I use (free) Inkscape's trace  tool. Inkscape runs poorly on Macs, so I don't use it often enough to be familiar w. the more complex settings. But after thrashing about some, I can usually get very good results.

FWIW, I've been using auto tracing to start works based on old decorative motifs for years, mostly w. Corel. To this day, I haven't come across a tool that gives me results that don't require lots and lots of adjustment. Often enough,  I spend more time fixing trace problems, than just re-doing w. a pen tool. W. the advent of resonabley priced tablets, for my own works, I no longer start w. scans from paper. 


iMac 27" Retina, c. 2015: OS X 10.11.5: 3.3 GHz I c-5: 32 Gb,  AMD Radeon R9 M290 2048 Mb

iPad 12.9" Retina, iOS 10, 512 Gb, Apple pencil

Huion WH1409 tablet

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are a bunch of tracing tools availabe, even online usable tools, most of these are based on some longer known tracing tools/libs here, namely potrace and autotrace, which are then slightly fine tuned and modified for ease of use.

Though there are also differences in how certain tools work or handle tracing here. For example potrace initially didn't support color tracing, but has been enhanced by some sources to also generate colored output. Here Inkscape for example, uses a modified potrace engine which can handle color images via color quantization or multiple scanning. Another thing is center line tracing, not all tracing tools support center line tracing, though those based on the autotrace engine do. - So it always also depends on what tracing capabilities one mostly needs.

On Macs I've used and tried out over the years a bunch of tracers with somehow mixed results. Those I use there mostly are the Dragpotrace GUI frontend to potrace (don't be fooled/chocked by the Japanese looking website, the tool itself is also fully english localized and works well) and Super Vectorizer. The later (SV) is an easy to use tool which offers quick turn arounds and can produce quite good results (even for color tracing) depending on used settings (see Tips and Tuts there).

However, another option is to use and try out some online tools here in order to see what those can produce out of certain bitmaps.

Online tracing tools:

 


☛ Affinity Designer 1.6.1 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.6.7 ◆ OSX El Capitan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I downloaded the free trial of super vectoriser 2 and it works nicely - thank you

I would like to achieve a black and white vector with no white background...
Using the Line tool does this... however it creates each pen stroke as an outline with no fill -see screenshot
Mode 1 & 2 produce a good result - ie solid black pen strokes - but with a white background - see screenshot
 
Can I get a visual result like Mode 1 or 2 but with a transparent background? How?

Screenshot 2019-03-18 at 16.20.05.png

Screenshot 2019-03-18 at 16.20.28.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

UPDATE

Just bought Image Vectorizer for £4.99 on the app store and that has given a very nice result... with transparent background

Perfect for black and white line drawings which is what I mainly need it for

Not so great for multicoloured... I think this is where Super Vectorizer 2 would come into its own though

Edited by DebbieK
added more info

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, DebbieK said:

UPDATE

Just bought Image Vectorizer for £4.99 on the app store and that has given a very nice result... with transparent background

Perfect for black and white line drawings which is what I mainly need it for

Not so great for multicoloured... I think this is where Super Vectorizer 2 would come into its own though

I have Super Vectoriser 2, Image2Vector and Image Vectorizer - 99% of the time I use Image Vectorizer Which is simple but I'd say is the best for my needs


Mac Pro Cheese-grater (Early 2009)
2.93 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon
48 GB 1333 MHz DDR3 ECC Ram
NVIDIA GeForce GT 630 - 2 GB
Ugee 19" Graphics Tablet Monitor
Mac OS 10.11.6 El Capitan

Mainly use Affinity Designer & Photo 1.6.1 + Designer, Photo, Publisher 1.7 latest Betas when available

Binger.jpg.1f81574106cc2dea8ae65d0a572b9ef9.jpg
www.bingercreative.co.uk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, DebbieK said:

Can I get a visual result like Mode 1 or 2 but with a transparent background? How?

Since I use an older SV and what you use is SV2, I guess here, maybe in Line mode with Skeletonization enabled. However, when you open in AD what SV2 Mode 1 or 2 do produces, just removing the white background layer in AD then should give you that result. You can look over the PDF manual there.


☛ Affinity Designer 1.6.1 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.6.7 ◆ OSX El Capitan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, catlover said:

I have used them all at one time or another, even the Vectorizer tool within Corel Graphics Suite (long time ago).
They ALL have one thing in common : they all create a zillion nodes and NONE of them do a perfect job.
At the moment, I'm using Intaglio Vectorize. It does a pretty decent job.
It's free and available for download as a standalone. I think it's Mac only, though.
You can get it at the link below.

http://www.purgatorydesign.com/Intaglio/

Just tried Intaglio Vectorise ---- brilliant and free ---- copy pastes straight into Affinity apps ---- I will use this on my next screen print T-shirt job


Mac Pro Cheese-grater (Early 2009)
2.93 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon
48 GB 1333 MHz DDR3 ECC Ram
NVIDIA GeForce GT 630 - 2 GB
Ugee 19" Graphics Tablet Monitor
Mac OS 10.11.6 El Capitan

Mainly use Affinity Designer & Photo 1.6.1 + Designer, Photo, Publisher 1.7 latest Betas when available

Binger.jpg.1f81574106cc2dea8ae65d0a572b9ef9.jpg
www.bingercreative.co.uk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Would be interesting to see the results from all of the apps on a specified image with a particular criteria and then post the results.

Ps. I like Vector Magic Its Mac and Windows. Its not cheap though.


iMac 27" Late 2015 Fully Loaded, iMac 27" Mid 2011 both running High Sierra 10.13.6 - Affinity Designer/Photo, Publisher Beta 1.7.0.140, Illustrator CC, Inkscape, Blender, Sketchup, Pepakura Designer, MTC, Pixelmator & Pixelmator Pro + more... XP-Pen Artist-22E, - iPad Pro 12.9 B|  

Affinity Help - Affinity Designer (ADe) Tutorials - Affinity Photo (APh) Tutorials Instagram & Flickr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Dazmondo77 said:

Just tried Intaglio Vectorise ---- brilliant and free

Then I wonder the site writes demo and purchase price $89 (USD) if it's free?


☛ Affinity Designer 1.6.1 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.6.7 ◆ OSX El Capitan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, firstdefence said:

Would be interesting to see the results from all of the apps on a specified image with a particular criteria and then post the results.

Ps. I like Vector Magic Its Mac and Windows. Its not cheap though.

Judging from the results shown here at bottom page it's a poor one for that money.


☛ Affinity Designer 1.6.1 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.6.7 ◆ OSX El Capitan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To be honest I wouldn't consider the image to be of any practical use and the resultant vectorised images are a reflection on the poor image quality and small file size, the image is full of jpeg artefacts and is blurry and low contrast, I doubt I could have picked a poorer example to vectorise, I'm not sure what the demonstration was supposed to show other than, to demo a poor vector from a poor image.

Hardly a fair test
1990965501_ScreenShot2019-03-18at22_34_38.png.977edf05300c355499ad378505ff0159.png


iMac 27" Late 2015 Fully Loaded, iMac 27" Mid 2011 both running High Sierra 10.13.6 - Affinity Designer/Photo, Publisher Beta 1.7.0.140, Illustrator CC, Inkscape, Blender, Sketchup, Pepakura Designer, MTC, Pixelmator & Pixelmator Pro + more... XP-Pen Artist-22E, - iPad Pro 12.9 B|  

Affinity Help - Affinity Designer (ADe) Tutorials - Affinity Photo (APh) Tutorials Instagram & Flickr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The other angle here is what is expected, what will the vector look like, is the point of the vectorisation of an image, to have a lot of detail or to create a minimalistic look like this
1289180620_ScreenShot2019-03-18at22_51_54.png.385ae9313350425c793202f2af8ff6d4.png
Silversmith.pdf


iMac 27" Late 2015 Fully Loaded, iMac 27" Mid 2011 both running High Sierra 10.13.6 - Affinity Designer/Photo, Publisher Beta 1.7.0.140, Illustrator CC, Inkscape, Blender, Sketchup, Pepakura Designer, MTC, Pixelmator & Pixelmator Pro + more... XP-Pen Artist-22E, - iPad Pro 12.9 B|  

Affinity Help - Affinity Designer (ADe) Tutorials - Affinity Photo (APh) Tutorials Instagram & Flickr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, firstdefence said:

To be honest I wouldn't consider the image to be of any practical use and the resultant vectorised images are a reflection on the poor image quality and small file size, the image is full of jpeg artefacts and is blurry and low contrast, I doubt I could have picked a poorer example to vectorise, I'm not sure what the demonstration was supposed to show other than, to demo a poor vector from a poor image.

Hardly a fair test
1990965501_ScreenShot2019-03-18at22_34_38.png.977edf05300c355499ad378505ff0159.png

best i could do in 3 minutes.

best I coulddo.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, >|< said:

Intaglio Vectorize is free: http://www.purgatorydesign.com/Vectorize/index.html

(You were given a link to the drawing app Intaglio.)

Ah Ok I see now, I followed instead the above shown link to that Intaglio drawing app and thus thought that one was meant here. - After a quick look I saw that this Vectorize tool internally also uses the potrace library for tracing. And due to build in layering and masking, it allows sort of a manual interactiv performed color quantization via multiple combined layers.


☛ Affinity Designer 1.6.1 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.6.7 ◆ OSX El Capitan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, firstdefence said:

The other angle here is what is expected, what will the vector look like, is the point of the vectorisation of an image, to have a lot of detail or to create a minimalistic look like this ...

With the old SV version it would look like this as gray/color vector...

  • Grey
    sv_grau.thumb.jpg.aa195f7250f15ed83f8c28bd38f41d62.jpg
     
  • Color
    sv_color.thumb.jpg.a2d375fc487f5db9a411244049656de6.jpg

 

With my potrace lib based trace tool, which doesn't handle color output, it looks in plain b/w instead more like this ...

potrace_lib.thumb.jpg.a8e248017bf66db021b6ca9da7bc70a0.jpg


☛ Affinity Designer 1.6.1 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.6.7 ◆ OSX El Capitan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Vectorise is okay, but a bit Shania Twain, I'll stick with Vector Magic, better controls, more controls, more choices for the end product, the only thing it doesn't have is the basic image sliders to increase contrast etc but that can be done with Affinity prior to vectorising, or just pick a better image.


iMac 27" Late 2015 Fully Loaded, iMac 27" Mid 2011 both running High Sierra 10.13.6 - Affinity Designer/Photo, Publisher Beta 1.7.0.140, Illustrator CC, Inkscape, Blender, Sketchup, Pepakura Designer, MTC, Pixelmator & Pixelmator Pro + more... XP-Pen Artist-22E, - iPad Pro 12.9 B|  

Affinity Help - Affinity Designer (ADe) Tutorials - Affinity Photo (APh) Tutorials Instagram & Flickr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok so now I'm getting frustrated... though I had it sorted yesterday

Image Vectorizer app gives a nice result for me... but when i export it (svg, pdf or eps) and drag the exported file onto my affinity designer project I can't see the vectors... ie no nodes or handles to modify... Im a newbie to Affinity Designer so it might be that I'm not getting it... when i click on the layer with the 'vectorised' drawing from Image Vectoriser, convert to curves is greyed out... so its not that... any ideas please

Then I tried just copy and paste the vector from Image Vectoriser into Affinity Designer and this time I could 'convert to curves' and 'expand stroke' but still can't see the nodes to edit

What am i doing wrong please? How do I get the vectorised result from Image Vectorizer into Affinity Designer and see handles/nodes to edit?

AFTER FURTHER INVESTIGATION... I realised that i need to select the imported file from Image Vectorizer and click on Edit Document which brings the image up in a new window where I can see the nodes/handles and can edit it!

A little confusing as when I tried Intaglio Vectorise and copy/pasted the vector output into affinity designer, I could see the vector with nodes/handles to edit without having to click on edit document!

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I use Image Vectorizer, I usually export the vector in .svg format into my AD design work folder. Then, in AD, I use File/Open, and select the .svg. A new document is made w. no more size than the original, so I often resize the document larger. The .svg file will appear as a singles layer, w. all the component curve(s) within.


iMac 27" Retina, c. 2015: OS X 10.11.5: 3.3 GHz I c-5: 32 Gb,  AMD Radeon R9 M290 2048 Mb

iPad 12.9" Retina, iOS 10, 512 Gb, Apple pencil

Huion WH1409 tablet

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, v_kyr said:

Then I wonder the site writes demo and purchase price $89 (USD) if it's free?

I think the $89 is for Intaglio which is a Vector editor similar to Designer and Illustrator - Vectorize is a stand alone convert to curves app - see link below  

http://www.purgatorydesign.com/Vectorize/index.html

 


Mac Pro Cheese-grater (Early 2009)
2.93 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon
48 GB 1333 MHz DDR3 ECC Ram
NVIDIA GeForce GT 630 - 2 GB
Ugee 19" Graphics Tablet Monitor
Mac OS 10.11.6 El Capitan

Mainly use Affinity Designer & Photo 1.6.1 + Designer, Photo, Publisher 1.7 latest Betas when available

Binger.jpg.1f81574106cc2dea8ae65d0a572b9ef9.jpg
www.bingercreative.co.uk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, DebbieK said:

Ok so now I'm getting frustrated... though I had it sorted yesterday

Image Vectorizer app gives a nice result for me... but when i export it (svg, pdf or eps) and drag the exported file onto my affinity designer project I can't see the vectors... ie no nodes or handles to modify... Im a newbie to Affinity Designer so it might be that I'm not getting it... when i click on the layer with the 'vectorised' drawing from Image Vectoriser, convert to curves is greyed out... so its not that... any ideas please

Then I tried just copy and paste the vector from Image Vectoriser into Affinity Designer and this time I could 'convert to curves' and 'expand stroke' but still can't see the nodes to edit

What am i doing wrong please? How do I get the vectorised result from Image Vectorizer into Affinity Designer and see handles/nodes to edit?

AFTER FURTHER INVESTIGATION... I realised that i need to select the imported file from Image Vectorizer and click on Edit Document which brings the image up in a new window where I can see the nodes/handles and can edit it!

A little confusing as when I tried Intaglio Vectorise and copy/pasted the vector output into affinity designer, I could see the vector with nodes/handles to edit without having to click on edit document!

Thanks

I just copy paste using the little copy icon in Image Vectorizer - although I have my defaults in Designer sweet to 300dpi so to get your artwork to paste the correct size you have to select 300dpi in the vector pane and update before copy paste - see attached grab 


Mac Pro Cheese-grater (Early 2009)
2.93 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon
48 GB 1333 MHz DDR3 ECC Ram
NVIDIA GeForce GT 630 - 2 GB
Ugee 19" Graphics Tablet Monitor
Mac OS 10.11.6 El Capitan

Mainly use Affinity Designer & Photo 1.6.1 + Designer, Photo, Publisher 1.7 latest Betas when available

Binger.jpg.1f81574106cc2dea8ae65d0a572b9ef9.jpg
www.bingercreative.co.uk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A few examples of Vector Magic on automatic

Original
Image by Alexandru Petre - Pixabay
hand-923436_1920.thumb.jpg.dc6b9237571d7985b10a1d2754db9c42.jpg

SVG
1133833845_ScreenShot2019-03-19at18_44_21.thumb.png.a710a886ba7a3728ce63746dc8848172.png
hand-923436_1920.svg


iMac 27" Late 2015 Fully Loaded, iMac 27" Mid 2011 both running High Sierra 10.13.6 - Affinity Designer/Photo, Publisher Beta 1.7.0.140, Illustrator CC, Inkscape, Blender, Sketchup, Pepakura Designer, MTC, Pixelmator & Pixelmator Pro + more... XP-Pen Artist-22E, - iPad Pro 12.9 B|  

Affinity Help - Affinity Designer (ADe) Tutorials - Affinity Photo (APh) Tutorials Instagram & Flickr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Umbrella Original
screen-913773_1920.thumb.jpg.768e3dd1cc5d8e5f55c5e2886bc3c2ab.jpg

Vector Magic SVG
1914119768_ScreenShot2019-03-19at18_46_04.png.40e241aa41274c88b2b931455f2eb5c1.png
Umbrella - Vector Magic.svg


iMac 27" Late 2015 Fully Loaded, iMac 27" Mid 2011 both running High Sierra 10.13.6 - Affinity Designer/Photo, Publisher Beta 1.7.0.140, Illustrator CC, Inkscape, Blender, Sketchup, Pepakura Designer, MTC, Pixelmator & Pixelmator Pro + more... XP-Pen Artist-22E, - iPad Pro 12.9 B|  

Affinity Help - Affinity Designer (ADe) Tutorials - Affinity Photo (APh) Tutorials Instagram & Flickr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×