How hard is it to convert a JPG to a Vector image format?

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by [DWI], May 5, 2007.

  1. [DWI]

    [DWI] Master of Nothing

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    How hard is this and how would one go about doing it? any free programs out there for doing it? Thanks for any input.
     
  2. Wolf68k

    Wolf68k OT Supporter

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    Which format did you have in mind to change it to?
    IrfanView might be able to help.
     
  3. Penguin Man

    Penguin Man Protect Your Digital Liberties

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    You can't really convert it directly. However, you can import the JPEG into a vector graphics program like Illustrator or InkScape and then have it trace over the image. That's about as close as you'll get.
     
  4. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    yea, if the jpg lends itself well to vector (most dont) then you can import and trace.
     
  5. emorphien

    emorphien New Member

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    I don't know of any free programs for this but I have used Illustrator to do this. Works well on simple images but if they have a lot of gradations it falls apart.
     
  6. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    It's virtually impossible to convert a raster image (a grid of dots) into a vector image (a list of coordinates, line thicknesses, and colors), because it's virtually impossible for a computer to interpret the raster image and "see" shapes and edges and distinguish between the objects in the image the way that humans can.

    Such a program would be hellishly complex; even most animals don't possess this ability, but can only distinguish objects when they move against a background, and even those animals that CAN distinguish objects do so by subconsciously twitching their eyes and noticing changes in perspective. (Your eyes move 2-3 times per second, though it's so automated that you rarely ever notice. If you force yourself to stare at the exact same spot for more than a few seconds, you'll notice that your vision quickly becomes fuzzy and sparkly.)

    The problem with applying this same solution to an unmoving 2D image should be obvious -- there is no motion and no changes in perspective for any computer program to be able to identify and use to draw vectors with, so all it could possibly do is trace edges between bright and dark colors.

    If a few billion years of evolution only recently figured out how to invent a workaround for the problem, it's going to be a while before anyone writes a program to do it reliably.
     
  7. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    well, they can automate the process. Like the "magic wand" feature in products like Photoshop.
     
  8. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    All that detects is color edges, which I already said is possible, and which I myself have written code to do before. As one person pointed out, it's the smooth gradations and the similarly-colored objects next to each other that are effectively impossible to convert to vectors.
     
  9. Penguin Man

    Penguin Man Protect Your Digital Liberties

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    Inkscape does a reasonable job. It's not as featureful as Illustrator (from what I've heard anyway, I'm no graphics guy), but it's decent.
     
  10. [DWI]

    [DWI] Master of Nothing

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    I need to convert it to vector format for laser engraving. When I last spoke to them they said the cost was ~75 for any old image and ~35 for the image in vector format. I'll email them and see what they say the exact format is. As for the image to convert and the issues you guys mentioned I'll post up al link in .gif and .jpg format

    gif

    http://www.houseoftartan.co.uk/clan/badge/smline/cb047.gif

    jpg

    http://chrispatonscotland.tripod.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/graham.jpg

    as you can see relatively simple graphics with no colors, hopefully it is easy enough to convert for laser engraving.
     
  11. Penguin Man

    Penguin Man Protect Your Digital Liberties

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    Yeah, that should convert very well, since it's just line art. You'll probably want to tweak it a bit after using any automated tracing tool, but it shouldn't be too tough. If you can get a bigger copy, it'll probably work better, but even the small one should be fine with a bit of fiddling.
     

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