Sunday, September 30, 2012

Raster to Vector Services: Both Have Pros and Cons

Raster and vector are two variants of image type. Both have their own pros and cons and win over the other is their respective strengths as most editors learn when they start this service.

The selection of a particular data model, vector or raster, is dependent on the source and type of data. Importantly the decision is based on intended use of the data. Certain analytical procedure requires raster data while others are better suited to vector data.

Before starting with the raster to vector services, let’s check out some of the features of raster and Vector images types:

Pros of Raster file types:

1.      It is a simple data structure.
2.      Overlaying operation is easily and efficiently implemented.
3.      Scanning technologies can supply huge quantities of data.
4.      Area and polygon analysis is simple.
5.      The technology is cheap and very futuristic.

Pros of Vector file types:

1.      It has relatively compact data structure which makes storage cheap.
2.      Features can be exactly located. It makes searching easier.
3.      Small features can be shown with large details.
4.      Linear type analysis can be done effortlessly.
5.      Accurate location of the data is maintained.

A raster data structure is a matrix where the pixel coordinate of a cell be calculated if the origin point is known and the size of the grid cells is known. This makes them pixel oriented. The raster images are made out of a lot of pixels. Such images when expanded will show up the tiny square objects i.e. the pixel and there by the image get distorted. The details will not get added when the size is manipulated.

The merit of raster data – it provides the basis for measurable analysis methods. This is often mentioned to as raster algebra. The usage of raster data structures enables for enhanced mathematical modeling processes.

Let’s see one of the many methods to provide raster to vector service :

Tracing is one of the technique in which a raster image is converted into a vector image.

Step 1: Open the image in illustrator. Select Object and choose Live Trace to find Make in the sub menu.

Step 2: Use one of the many pre-defined preset.  There are about 14 tracing preset in Illustrator.

Step 3: Choose the live trace preset to have a free hand in selecting the image.

Step 4: Once the image is traced, illustrator offers the editor to view both the traced image and the original raster image.

Once the trace is done, select one of the many option to get the right effect. Fills, Strokes, Max stroke weight, Min stroke length, Path fitting, minimum area, Corner angle, Ignore white are the options which will make the traces look vibrant.

Step 5: Use the right option to make the lines out of the raster and create the vector image. Fill the lines with desired colors, gradients or even contours to make the image look striking.

Raster to vector services provides many uses to the end product. Considering styling of images, vector will be a great choice to make the photo look stunning with lines and colors.

Vector graphics break down images into geometric figures like lines, points and polygons. While enlarged vector images proportionately enlarges with each other thereby preserving the details with them.

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