How to Vectorise a Raster Illustration


How to Vectorise a Raster Illustration


This process explains how to convert your raster illustration to a vector image. This also works for colour illustrations with solid block colour. Ultimately it is easier to colour your illustration in the vector program if you are drawing it yourself. This procedure also works for any kind of raster images or graphic. Ideally solid block colour converts the cleanest. Gradients or fades do convert but have issues when viewed on some monitors due to the amount of colour graduations necessary to complete a successful fade. It is recommended that fades and other effects be done directly in the Inkscape program by starting with a solid colour and using the special gradient tools available. When the effects are created directly in the program they are much cleaner.

For Illustrations

You should have already scanned your illustration and saved it as the correct file type. This will need to be either a .jpg or .png file.

Once your illustration is scanned and saved, it must then be converted from a raster file to a vector file. This is called VECTORIZATION. Once this simple procedure is complete, you can import it safely into your Inkscape program and then resize, edit, colour, manipulate and add special effects where desired. When you are happy with the finished graphic you can resave it ready to import into your book page when ready.

You must have access to the Vector Magic program to be able to convert your scanned raster illustration to the vectorised format. This is a subscription based service or you can purchase the full Desktop version if desired. However if you Create an Account, when you sign up with your email and a password, you can get a Free Conversion Download with a maximum of 2 images. If you only require a couple of images vectorised  for your publication, then this is an excellent free option. It is recommended that you click on the links below to view all of the information first. Then return here or leave your illustrations until further along in the process when you have familiarised yourself with everything.

For information and pricing on the program:

Go to Links and Resources

For the link to the Vector Magic website:

Go to Step 04 Programs / Applications

If you are ready to proceed, let’s do it!



Go to the Vector Magic website

Your opening screen will look something like this:



Click on Log in at the top right of the screen

The following navigation panel will appear:


Now you will need your newly created account details


Enter your Log in email and password

Click on Log in

VMpickimage.pngClick on Pick Image To Upload

Select your IMAGES folder

Locate the scanned illustration file

Click on the Image to hilight

Click on Open

Your image will automatically start to load up and this navigation panel will appear:


When your image is fully loaded the screen should show a second image:


The image on the right is the result of the scan. You can alter the settings and rescan if required.

When you are happy with the result, click on Download up in the top right corner:


Select and click on the SVG file option to use in the Inkscape program


Your file will then download and appear in the bottom left corner.

It will generate a title from the image file name and save as an SVG file.

You should be able to locate this in the Downloads section of your computer. Drag and drop it into your IMAGES file ready to use on your book page. You can edit and colour it before you import it into your book page or after, whatever suits. It can also be resized without incident as it is now a Scalable Vector Graphic, hence the SVG abbreviation.

Go to next stage How to Colour Your Illustration

<– Back to Step 03 IMAGES

<– Back to Step 05 BOOK LAYOUT