How to create vector graphics

How to create vector graphics

A while back we showed you how to turn SVG files into JPEG, but what about those times when you actually want to create vector graphics instead of simple raster images? While a bit more difficult to understand and make, vector graphics and more importantly scalable vector graphics (SVG files) are an invaluable asset for the web as well as graphical designers. In case you're interested, here's how you can create vector graphics:

Creating vector graphics from scratch

There are quite a few applications that specialize in creating vector graphics; Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop are the best ones available, but there's also a free tool called GIMP that can help with such tasks. Here's how one can create vector graphics in Photoshop:

Step 1

Install and launch Adobe Photoshop.

Step 2

Use the available drawing tools to create your project and remember that the vector path is displayed as a very thin blue line.

Step 3

Either save your project as PSD, PDF or EPS or export it into the AI format to continue working on it in Adobe Illustrator.


Converting raster images into vector graphics

Most people don't take the time to create vector graphics from scratch and instead require a quick solution to convert their regular raster images into a vector format. There are a lot of tools to help you do that including a web-based application called Online Image Vectorizer, but I got the best results using Adobe Illustrator.

Step 1

Install and launch Adobe Illustrator.

Step 2

Go to the Tracing workspace and add the raster image to your Artboard.

Step 3

Select the image and check the box marked as Preview from the bottom-left corner.

Step 4

Choose one of the five available presets or manually adjust the settings in the Image Trace panel.


Image Trace optionsImage Trace options

Step 5

Click the Trace button, wait for the process to complete, then hit Expand.

Step 6

Use the Save As menu to export your file and select either the PDF or the SVG file types from the File Format sub-menu. (Also save a copy of your project in the AI format in case you'll ever need to further modify the project.)

Conclusion

There you have it, friends, now you know how to create vector graphic files either from scratch or by converting them from regular images. However, what I'm curious to know is what's your favorite application for dealing with vector graphics? Let us know in the comments below.

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