How-To Video by Shawn Ingersoll
As a designer, I am constantly looking for new tricks. In that search I discovered a super easy way to take existing pixel based graphics and turn them into awesome vector graphics in just a few minutes.
Enter Vector Magic - A sweet Mac App that “Converts images offline to EPS, SVG, PDF, AI, DXF and EMF. Works seamlessly with Illustrator, Corel, and others.”
This a great way to improve the quality of existing images. Have a degraded JPEG logo? Lost the originally vector based file? Open it in Photoshop, remove the background, save as a PNG (keeps background transparent). Open PNG in Vector Magic, go through the steps and save to Illustrator. You now have a vector based graphic with a transparent background!
The image used was pulled from a Google search and is only 275 x 400 pixels. Now as a vector based graphic there is no size restriction.
Some tricks seen in the video (I love shortcuts):
- Make sure that when you copy and paste the shape from Illustrator to Photoshop you choose the Shape selection. From there you can quickly change the color of the pasted shape by using ‘Command+Delete’ on your keyboard. This fills the shape with whatever the background color is.
- Color Range: Great way to select the pixels of a certain color in the file. Quicker than using the wand over and over while holding ‘shift’.
- ‘x’ switches the foreground with the background color. So if you use the eyedropper, ‘i’, tool just hit ‘x’ and it will put that selected color in the background for you to then use to fill the shape with the ‘Command+Delete’ shortcut.
Side Note: As shown in the video, small text is poorly reconstructed so if you can, create a text element. Can’t figure out what the font is? Use ‘WhatTheFont!’
Music ‘Let Me In’ by Grouplove. Used Quicktime for Screen Capture and Final Cut to put Video together.
Get yourself a Double Mountain Vaporizer next time your at the store. Better yet, visit their Brewery in Hood River.