4 Easy Ways to Convert Photo to Vector Graphic in 2021

Last Updated on November 15, 2021 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 on 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 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

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 the certain part on 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 on 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

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 photo to vector online and save into your computer.

Vectorizer

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 into 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 excepts 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 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

Recommendation: All Round Photo Converter with Batch Process

If you are looking for a batch photo editor, then WidsMob ImageConvert can be your smart choice. It has powerful features and easy-to-use editing tools, so novices can process photos in high quality with ease.

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  • Convert various photo formats include RAW with the 6x speed.
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  • Rotate, rename, add a border, insert text/image watermark with bulk photos.
  • Get an instant preview window to check the photo-editing result immediately.
Add Photo to ImageConvert

That’s all for how to vectorize an image in Illustrator CC, Adobe Photoshop, Vectorizer, GIMP, and Inkscape. If you have any method to convert photo to vector drawing free, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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