Welcome! My name is Alan Shisko, and I'm a freelance motion graphics artist working out of Toronto, Canada. I've been very lucky in my career to have had many inspiring teachers, and decided to start this blog to give back to the community that has enriched me both technically and aesthetically. Perhaps my words and images will inspire you to do the same! If you wish, take a minute to view my demo reel at Shisko.com, or view a comprehensive gallery of my past work Here.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Vectorizing Bitmaps

Sometimes you'll find that you need to vectorize a bitmap image (the differences between vector and bitmap imagery are described HERE). The reasons for this are many: perhaps you want to be able to scale it waaay up and don't want the image pixellated. Perhaps it's a "look" that you're going for, or maybe you need imagery to edit and place in a Flash scene.

You can use the 'live trace' functionality in Adobe Illustrator (overview and tut's HERE, technical white paper HERE) but what to do if you don't have Illustrator?

I stumbled across VectorMagic, a research project that came out of the Stanford University Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. It's a very effective, easy-to-use web application that does a really nice job converting imagery to vector. Compare the results of VM to Illustrator and Corel HERE. I've played around with it with a few images and have been very impressed with the results (click on the header image on this post), and you certainly can't beat the price: Free!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Vector Magic tip, Alan... I used it heavily to process a collection of photos I took and then create a trailer for the Palm Springs Film Festival.

Here's a link...


I also included a page with before and after pix so you can see the process.

-- Rob Birnholz