Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Tracing bitmap in Inkscape

During BOF session in MyGOSSCON 2009, Nuhaa a.k.a cawanpink representing FOSSchix.my, was presenting on how to use Inkscape to produce graphic images. After her presentation, I inform her that Inkscape has the capability to trace bitmap into vector graphic, so that if you want to scale the image, it will not become blur (when scale down) or become boxy (when scale up). I guide her the step to produce the vector image. I believe a lot of Inkscape user also did not know much about this capability. This post will explain the step.

  1. Search Google Images for the image that you want to trace. Usually you would like to trace logo to be use somewhere else. When you search for image, try to find big or medium size image. In this example, I want to search for 1Malaysia logo.

  2. Download the logo to your computer. Here is the logo that I got.

  3. Open the bitmap image in Inkscape.

  4. Press Ctrl+A to select all the image. Then select the menu Path > Trace Bitmaps

  5. Dialog option will be displayed. Select the option Colors, Stack scans and Remove background. After that, click the Update button. You will see a preview of the trace. If you are happy with the preview, click OK

  6. The vector image will be available on top of the bitmap image. If you select the logo, you can move it around. In the picture below, I move the vector image to the right.

  7. You can delete the bitmap image then move back the vector image to the canvas. After that you can do anything with the vector image. Here, I made a clone of the image, then scale it down. The image is still sharp because it is a vector.

That's all. You can save the vector image to SVG format if you want to edit it again in the future.

Happy drawing! :)