How much time do you find yourself fixing and tracing artwork you get from customers? Do you trace bitmaps by hand? If you are in a business that produces logos and artwork on products using technologies such as engraving, sand etching, embroidery, screen printing or any other printing process you receive some graphics that won’t work well. Most of the logos or artwork I receive from customers are produced for the web and I need to fix the artwork by turning into vector art. You may be given modest quality bitmaps or even very poor graphics in that some portions are not readable or even identifiable. Some just won’t work regardless of the tools you use to try to clean them up or turn them into vector objects allowing you to clean them and enlarge them. I have always used CorelDraw or Corel PhotoPaint to clean up artwork and turn them into vectors. I love vector artwork that are high quality. I can turn vector art into black and white or gray scale art for sand etching or laser engraving and enlarge them without any loss of quality. I recently discovered a new software product that is designed specifically for cleaning up bitmap artwork and creating vectors out of them. It offers many more tools than the Adobe or Corel products for this purpose. I vectorized many bitmaps in half the time or better than previous attempts with CorelDraw. I also found in many cases you can make perfect copies of the original raster images. This new app is called Graphic Tracer Professional (GTP). As most of us use Adobe Illustrator or CorelDraw, GTP allows you to easily save or actually move your new vector image into your open vector art program with a simple click of a button. Graphic Tracer Professional also has a font engine that will check the fonts against a database of 100,000. About 20,000 are free fonts. You can choose the replace the text with the actual font if you want perfection. You can even make a database out of your own collection of fonts on your PC. Text that is arced will be replaced based upon the contour that exists and GTP allows you to easily adjust the arc. I also found tools to replace circles, ellipses, triangles, squares, and rectangles with perfect shapes in one click. I found these are the shapes that the eye focuses on and judges the quality of the graphic. Small details such as the center of a city seal is less important to be perfect., However, a circle that is not a circle is very noticeable. There are many other tools including the ability to duplicate shapes and parts, Extensive node editing tools includes automatic deletion of redundant nodes and insertion of new nodes where they belong. I could go on and on. Today, there is a Windows version (XP to Win 10) available. A Mac OS X 10 (Sierra) version will be available soon. You can import the following graphic file types: PICT, BMP, DIB, TIFF, GIF, JPEG, PBM, PCD, PCX, PGM, PNG, PPM, TGA, AI, EPS, DXF, CGC, IMZ & GT. You can export to file types: EPS, AI, SVG, HPGL (PLT), DXF, IMZ & GT.. As most of us use Adobe Illustrator or CorelDraw, GTP allows you to easily save or actually move your new vector image into your open vector art program with a simple click of a button. The best way to see all the tools GTP offers is to test drive it. Graphic Powers offers a one month free trial. The product sells on a subscription basis so all upgrades are included. You can pay $15 monthly or $120 annually which will be discounted to $99 if you use the discount code “quality”. The first month is a trial period and is free.Click here to check out Graphic Tracer Professional. To see Graphic Tracer in action there are two short videos below.
Most Recent Posts
About the Writer
Bob Hagel has been designing, engraving, sand etching and printing creatively for over 14 years. He also writes for Awards and Engraving Magazine (A&E).