How To Convert Photos Into Vectors In Illustrator

Images appear in every corner of the internet. However, many of them are of very low quality. If you want to make low quality images sharper when zooming in or editing, here is a quick guide for you.

Step 1: Select an image to convert into Vector

The image you use will not matter when using the following process, except that the bigger the image, the longer it will take to edit.

It is best to select images that have a single subject and should not use landscape images, highly detailed images. Images with white or transparent backgrounds and relatively low resolution should be used.

 I will use Ryu’s image from Street Fighter for the above example.

Step 2: Trace images

Image Trace tool allows you to retrieve the color information of the image and create a copy to create a vector.

First, open your image in Illustrator. Select image to activate image option. These options must be displayed at the top of your Illustrator window. Then, click the drop-down menu next to Image Trace and select High Fidelity Photo or Low Fidelity Photo.

 In my experience, the low-fi option works best with very low quality JPG and PNG images, while hi-fi works best with high quality images and high resolution.

Your image will automatically undergo the Trace process. You will see the image has some changes, but in general it will still be the same. For example, the following is an image before the Trace process.

 This is the image after the process:

 Although many details were lost from the original image, it was much sharper. Here is the overall picture before editing.

 This is our image after editing:

 The overall image remains the same after the trace process even though some details have been lost.

Step 3: Group the colors Your

images are now arranged into colored shapes that match the original raster image. To make it more reasonable, you’ll need to separate these color groups to edit them. To do so, select the image after the trace and click the Expand button at the top of the window.

 This will allow you to see the synthetic shapes that make up your image. Now it will outline the lines for you to edit. Next, right click on the image and select Ungroup in the following menu. This will allow you to split your color shapes into separate parts.

 In the Layer panel, you’ll notice that your color groups have been split into separate layers.

Step 4: Edit your Vector image

After converting raster images into vectors, you can customize the image to your liking. Start by deleting any color group you want. You can select the entire color group by clicking Select> Same> Fill Color . This will select all groups of the same color as the selected group using your Direct Selection (A) tool.

 Then, press Backspace on your keyboard to delete the shapes. If you want to modify or expand a specific color group, you can also do that by selecting a class using the Direct Selection tool.

Step 5: Save your image

This is my original image after deleting the white background and modifying the image a bit using the method shown above.

 Good luck!


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