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Image Trace, is this possible in Designer?

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I often have to insert a (pdf) drawing into the Illustrator file, which then I have to convert it into a black and white logo (which then it is possible to make a screenprint for printing t-shirts - screenprints = only 1 color).

See attached file the way I do it now. Can I do this also in Designer, and if yes, can you explain how?


Kind regards,


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Hi iMac1943,


This topic has been covered a lot on these forums.  at the moment we don't have an auto trace feature, this could well change further down the line.


I know some users are doing the trace in say Inkscape and then bringing this into Affinity Designer.  If you do a search of the forums you should find all the topics covering this and also people's different recommendations for auto tracing software. 

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Agreed. I'm totally in love with the Affinity software, but I still need to have Illustrator open to do image traces. This feature is also a dealbreaker when it comes to convincing people like my boss who use that feature all the time... (I'm sure very soon he will start to get mad at me for all of these .afdesign files instead of .ai files... ;))

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  • 3 months later...

So Ill Ask the Question... Is and Image Trace, Live Trace, call it what you will, …The ability for us to bring in a jpg for instance, and have AD convert it to a vector image feature in the works? Is it at least being talked about, actively thought about, in development, coming soon, or hold on it will be in the next update. What is its status if any?


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  • 1 year later...

If you really need a tracing feature so badly, why not use third-party software as suggested here?

Alfred online2long.gif
Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher for Windows 1.9.2 • Windows 10 Home (4th gen Core i3 CPU)
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.9.2 • Designer for iPad 1.9.2 • iPadOS 14.4.2 (iPad Air 2)

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There are probably things more important. Personally, I think a vector mould or perspective tool is far more important.


It is dead easy to use Inkscape to trace something and import it. A lot harder to mould something when you are halfway through a design.



Windows PCs. Photo and Designer, latest non-beta versions.

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2 hours ago, iMac1943 said:

This is a possibility Alfred, but why is this feature now NOT included in the last version of AD. My question dated from June 2015...

The developers have indicated in a few older discussions that they are not interested in adding a "me too" auto-trace function to Designer that is no easier to use & does not produce any better results than existing ones like those based on the Potrace polygon-based tracing or similar algorithms. In one post one of the developers said he had "a few ideas" about how to implement a better algorithm but did not elaborate on what they were or what it could do better.


My own experience with existing auto-tracers suggests that all of them, even Vector Magic, require considerable user interaction of one kind or another to produce usable, high quality traces that do not include thousands of extraneous unneeded nodes or hundreds of layers that make editing so time consuming that it ends up being quicker to do a manual trace instead. I think this is because none of the algorithms take into account how humans perceive images as composed of separate objects.


It is pure speculation on my part, but I suspect some of those 'few ideas' involve exploring possible ways to do this, probably based on recent advances in machine learning like those Google is experimenting with to recognize objects in photographs. If so, it isn't likely we will see anything in AD for quite some time.

Affinity Photo 1.9.3, Affinity Designer 1.9.3, Affinity Publisher 1.9.3;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 32GB RAM; macOS 10.15.7
Affinity Photo 
1.92.236 & Affinity Designer 1.9.2 (showing 1.9.9) for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 14.4 (18D52)

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