Get a nice vector image from a hand-drawn image

January 12, 2013

Today i unleashed the mighty dragonpower of the beast that is called ‘free and open source software’ upon a hand-drawn image that my girlfriend made. The result: a nice SVG (Scalable Vector Graphic) or pdf. The quest wasn’t even that long. Here’s how i got there:

What you need:

  • ImageMagick (the ‘convert’ command on your cli)
  • Potrace

How to do it:

  1. Scan the image to a png, jpg or bmp file
  2. Drag the image through ImageMagick to get it in bitmap format:
    convert image.jpg image.bmp
    you don’t have to do this if your image is already a .bmp file.
  3. Let potrace do it’s magic and create a vector image out of it:
    potrace -b svg -r 300 -t 5 -o 0.4 b.bmp
    Or a pdf file:
    botrace -b pdf -r 300 -t 5 -o 0.4 b.bmp

When that’s done you can use Inkscape to edit the vector image, and Gimp to add some other awesomeness to it.



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