Vector Magic | Convert Bitmap to Vector | Logo Tracing
Ever need to convert from a bitmap image to vector art? Say a client gives you their logo as a BMP or JPG but you need it in EPS or SVG to do your job. For a long time now, there have been software tools to help in this process, but all of them have done such a poor job that most people prefer to just redraw the art themselves rather than clean up the messy result produced by the software.
That has changed with the release of Vector Magic. VM is a software product and online service that grew out of a Stanford University research project. Some guys in the artificial intelligence lab in the computer science department came up with this completely new way to vectorize images. It works much better than existing tools. To see how much better, check out:
It doesn't work on everything, and despite coming out of the artificial intelligence lab, it is not nearly as clever as a human. But it does work really well on medium- and high-resolution images without too much noise. In fact, on digitally rasterized bitmaps, I bet it does better than most humans would do in recovering the original vector image.
They have priced this as a professional tool, which makes sense considering that it is mostly professionals who have ever even heard of vectorization. But if you even need to vectorize a few images per month, I bet it is still profitable to sign up for a subscription or buy the desktop application.
One of the nicest things about VM from my perspective is the care they have taken in the design of the graphical user interface. It is clear that they have put a lot of time into distilling the interface down to the bare essentials.
Beyond the first two conversions, which are free, you can either buy a subscription at $7.95/month, or the desktop application at $295. Both the online and the desktop editions work on both Mac and PC.