4 Easy Ways to Convert Photo to Vector Graphic in 2024

Last Updated on February 9, 2024 by Peter Wood


To start with, let’s figure out the differences between vector images and bitmap images. Well, you can also know what vector file is and why you should convert photo to vector.

Question 1: What is a Vector Photo?

Vector images are composed of mathematical equations, which make those vector graphics scalable. Thus vector images are considered resolution-independent and welcomed by graphic designers. Vector images look pretty artificial.

Question 2: Vector Photos VS Raster/Bitmap Photos.

Most pictures you found online are bitmap images, or you can say raster images, like JPEG, PNG, and more. Compares with vector photos, raster photos use square pixels to convey a picture. Thus, when you enlarge a bitmap image, its lines and curves will be jagged and blurry.

However, vector images can preserve the original resolution and shape without destroying it. Vector drawings are computer-generated.

Question 3: When should I vector my image?

Because of the clear lines and contours, vector graphics are for logos, recognizable photos, clipart, tattoos, decals, stickers, T-shirt designs, and more. In a word, if you want to get a lossless picture, then vector graphics can be your first choice.

Convert Photo to Vector Graphic

Part 1: Convert a JPG/PNG Image in Illustrator CC

Step 1: Add a photo to Illustrator CC

Launch the Adobe Illustrator CC program on your computer. Choose Tracing from the workplace in the top right corner. Later, you can get a panel named Image Trace. Click the File option on the top toolbar. Select Open… from its drop-down menu. Then you can import a photo in JPG, PNG, and other image formats.

Step 2: Manage vector photo settings

Use your mouse to draw an area on your artboard. Then head to the Image Trace panel. Tick the small box before Preview. You can get extra settings while operating. Well, it may lag the speed of Illustrator. The Preset list offers auto color, high color, low color, grayscale, and black and white. You can choose one preset you like. Moreover, Illustrator allows users to adjust color complexity and advanced sliders, including paths, corners, and noise. When you are satisfied, click Trace to move on.

Step 3: Convert photo to vector with Illustrator

Find and click Expand option on the top of the window. As a result, Illustrator will convert the photo to vector art and replace your original picture. Later, you can choose Save As from the File drop-down menu. Set SVG as the output vector format.

Blur Photo with Illustrator Win Download Mac Download

Part 2: Convert JPG Photo to Vector with Adobe Photoshop

Step 1: Run Adobe Photoshop

Open Adobe Photoshop on your Windows or Mac. Choose the File option on the top. Select Open… from its drop-down list, and then browse a photo to import into Photoshop. Click Open to confirm.

Step 2: Select a certain part of your imported photo

Click the Add to Selection option. It locates on the top toolbar with a plus and brush icon. If you are not sure, you can hover your mouse over those icons to find the correct one. Then draw the object you want to convert to vector Photoshop with a dotted line.

Step 3: Convert JPG to vector Photoshop

Click Paths from the Window drop-down menu. Click the Make work from the path button at the bottom of the Paths window. Well, this button looks like a dotted square surrounded by smaller squares. After that, Photoshop will start to convert photos to vector graphics.

Step 4: Export the vector image

Then choose Export from the File list. Select Paths to Illustrator from its submenu. In the Export Paths to File window, enter a new name and click OK. Browse a destination folder, then choose Save to confirm and export the vector photo to the hard drive.

Photoshop HDR Merge Win Download Mac Download

Part 3: Convert Photo to Vector Graphic Online for Free

Step 1: Open the online vector creator

Search and open Vectorizer in your web browser. When you enter its main interface, choose the Upload Image icon to add a photo. Be aware that its maximum photo size is 1MB. What’s more, the supported input formats are PNG, BMP, and JPEG.

Step 2: Vectorize an image to vector online

Wait for a while to complete the photo-to-vector conversion. You can get an auto-converted vector image under the Output section. If you are not satisfied with the result, you can adjust with Color Groups, Order, Grouping, Max Colors, and other features. Zoom in and zoom out the picture to get more details. Every time you make a new change, you can click the Vectorize button to preview. At last, click Download to convert photos to vectors online and save them on your computer.

Vectorizer Win Download Mac Download

Part 4: Convert Photo-to-Vector with GIMP and Inkscape

Step 1: Crop a picture in GIMP

Free download and install GIMP and Inkscape. Add your target picture to GIMP.

Choose one tool to draw the part of the image you want to convert to vector art. Then select Crop to selection from the Image drop-down list. Consequently, everything is removed except the selected part.

Step 2: Export the file from GIMP

Choose Autocrop Image from the Image menu. As a result, GIMP will tighten up your selection. Later, click the File option on the top of the screen. Choose Export As… from its list. Leave the settings as default and give it a new name to distinguish it from the original photo.

Step 3: Convert photo to vector Inkscape and GIMP

Now head to Inkscape and import that photo. Select it and then choose Trace Bitmap… from the Path list. A new window pops up. You can get several photo vector modes and preferences. Then click Update to save the change. Choose OK when the process ends. Later, you can use the Edit paths by nodes filter to adjust the vector image slightly. Finally, choose Save As… and save the photo in SVG format.

Inkscape Win Download Mac Download

Part 5: Best Photo to Vector Alternative to Upscale Photos

What should you do if you cannot convert photos to vector graphics with good quality? If you just need to enlarge some photos with better quality or need to upscale resolution before converting to vector graphics, WidsMob ImageConvert is a versatile choice you should try. It enables you to convert RAW, HEIC, AVIF, and more to compatible formats, upscale photo resolution with up to 4X the original file size, customize the presets to apply multiple editing processes in one click, and provide multiple editing features.

1. Convert AVIF, HEIC, WebP, and RAW file formats before converting photos to vector graphics.

2. Upscale photos to up to 4X the original photo size with an advanced AI Upscale resolution option.

3. Provide editing features to rotate, resize photos, rename, add text/image watermark, etc. in bulk.

4. Customize and apply presets to apply a series of editing processes to the photos within one click.

Win Download Mac Download

Step 1: Import Photos for Upscaling

Once you have installed WidsMob ImageConvert, you can launch the program and click the Import button to add the desired photos. Moreover, you can also drag-n-drop the desired photos into the program for a batch process. It enables you to convert most photo formats to JPEG, PNG, and other generic photo formats.

Import Photos to ImageConvert

Step 2: Edit Photos with Toolkits

Go to the editing window, you can resize the photos with 4 different modes, add both text and image watermarks with multiple parameters, rotate/flip photos with the desired orientation, and more. It also enables you to save the processes in a preset, which you can apply with one click when you choose the preset.

Edit Photos Before Conversion ImageConvert

Step 3: Upscale Photos before Conversion

When you need to upscale photos before conversion, you can choose the AI Super Resolution option to enhance the photos. After that, you can choose the 4X option from Scale Mode to enhance the photo quality with the advanced AI algorithm. Once you have done the conversion, you can click the Save button to export the photos with high quality.

Upscale Resolution AI ImageConvert Win Download Mac Download

Conclusion

That’s all for how to vectorize an image in Illustrator CC, Adobe Photoshop, Vectorizer, GIMP, and Inkscape. But if you cannot make photos to vector graphics with great quality or simply need to upscale resolution only, WidsMob ImageConvert is a versatile choice to convert file formats, upscale photo resolution, customize conversion presets, and more.