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Thread: Vector Images

  1. #1

    Vector Images

    Hello,

    We have been given a great opportunity to have my artwork displayed on 7-foot high by 10-foot wide panels in a new hospital that is being built. They have chosen 36 of my images. My originals images are approximately 21"x16" at 300 dpi. This is all great except - they want them as vector files. We really don't know much about working with vector. We have learned that it allows an image to be enlarged as needed without loosing quality. We have already ran a couple of the images through some free online software such as Inkscape and VectorMagic.....the results were not acceptable. We have also learned that Illustrator and CorelDraw work in vector. Can anyone offer any guidance on the best methods convert the raster images to vector OR at least if we can bring them into a vector program (AI or CorelDraw) and trace or create a silhouette of the original, and work from there?

    Any help would be appreciated-
    Thanks!

  2. #2
    You could check out Mischief. It will allow you to export your artwork at any resolution. It sells itself on 'infinite scalability', 'infinite canvas', and 'infinite zoom'.

    There is a 14 day trial of it, which I just tried out and it is a very impressive piece of software which I will be investing in at some point. I wish Artrage had this ability as it would be incredibly handy.

    What you would need to do is import your Artrage jpg export as a layer, then trace your images within Mischief on another layer, colour, and then you are free to export them from Mischief at your desired resolution.

    It's a very simple and straight forward piece of software to use. The main draw back will be that it lacks the traditional medium emulation of paint and the blending tools of Artrage.

    Manga Studio 5 is also vector based and highly rated, but it is also much more complex and as a result, much less intuitive to use. Mischief is about as intuitive as Artrage, as in, you can just get to work without wondering how to do things.

    Hope that this is helpful to you. Congratulations on getting your work used.

  3. #3
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    Nice commission Sunnie, gratz

    Like Soap, I would have lent toward recommending mischief as a solution for someone that didn't have a vector background. However I noticed that you said the file must be a vector output and mischief only outputs jpeg, png or its own unique .art format.

    It would be helpful to know exactly what file types your printer will accept eg/ .ai, .eps

    If you could post an example of your image that will be scaled up it would be easier to point you in the right direction.

    Illustrator's live trace will most likely do the job, however it would be quite the undertaking to have a deadline while trying to learn the product. When you scale up really large like this any imperfections in the vector work will become exaggerated, so it can be quite fiddly cleaning up extraneous vector points. There would also be the associated cost of leasing Illustrator (think it's about 20 dollars per month for a single Adobe product). If you plug 'illustrator live trace' into youtube you can at least assess it's capabilities before deciding.

    You could do it manually with gradient meshes (an advanced illustrator technique which would give you the best and most accurate results), as in this example http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRf31Y7utcI to get a very photorealistic copy, with the understanding that it will take a bit of time to learn, and a LOT of time to complete.

    Here is another example of a gradient mesh vector image. As you can see the results are gorgeous and totally scalable.
    Last edited by Juz; 01-27-2014 at 01:55 PM.
    "I paint because I love to cut mats" (Arthur Alexander)

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    I don't know what kind of artwork you do, and as Juz said, an example here would be helpful, but that aside their request doesn't make any sense to me. Traditional paintings or digital art intended to mimic a traditional medium, is rarely if ever done as a vector graphic. Vector programs aren't generally designed to produce that kind of imagery. There are, as Juz mentioned, people doing some amazing things with gradient meshes but painted artwork is generally reproduced as raster files. There are artists using Photoshop and producing work larger than the 7 x 10 ft example you mention and they are not exporting vector files for reproduction.

    Just my 2 cents. Doesn't really help you I know.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Whilst I've never tried having anything printed at your intended sizes, I think jmac has made some valid points.
    Prior to the advent of computers and vector programs images were still reproduced at considerable sizes.
    A quick Google search also reveals numerous companies who can do wall sized enlargements from standard image files, i.e .jpg, .png, .pdf etc…
    Try searching with the words billboard printing or banner printing.
    Its probably best to get as much info and quotes from as many different companies as you can.
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  6. #6
    I just wanted to thank everyone for sharing your input and ideas. We have explored some of the ideas as suggested. As it turns out, because the artwork they have chosen to use does not contain a large amount of detail - we have found a graphics professional to help manually convert the images into vector files. I appreicate your thoughts and kind words!

  7. #7
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    Mischief looks awesome and would be a good compliment to ArtRage... Can you export an ArtRage image and than import it into Mischief?

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by kenmo View Post
    Mischief looks awesome and would be a good compliment to ArtRage... Can you export an ArtRage image and than import it into Mischief?
    You can import any jpg file into Mischief as a layer if that's what you mean. I am not sure about what file types Mischief supports. It might be best to ask on their facebook page (they don't have forums just yet).

    The main drawback that I have found with Mischief is that it currently does not have any blending tools.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunflowermmhg View Post
    I just wanted to thank everyone for sharing your input and ideas. We have explored some of the ideas as suggested. As it turns out, because the artwork they have chosen to use does not contain a large amount of detail - we have found a graphics professional to help manually convert the images into vector files. I appreicate your thoughts and kind words!
    So glad you've found a workable solution, I hope you will consider showing off some snaps of the finished works when installed

    If you are curious about learning vector art in your own time, Microsoft is no longer supporting Expression Design 4 and is currently giving away the product for free. You can grab yourself a copy here. They have removed all the extensive video training they used to have but the F1 help file contains everything you need to learn it. The pen tool in expression is a little more intuitive than most vector products and is a good one to start out on.

    @Kenmo, you can import any jpeg into mischief so as long as you export from artrage in jpeg format you can bring works into mischief. More likely though you'd work the other way around bringing your mischief work to the far more extensive artrage toolset. eg/ do lineart in mischief and import to artrage for colouring.
    "I paint because I love to cut mats" (Arthur Alexander)

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