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Author Topic: VectorMagic: Convert Bitmaps into Vector Art (Free)  (Read 10903 times)

Ralf Maximus

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VectorMagic: Convert Bitmaps into Vector Art (Free)
« on: November 25, 2007, 05:44:23 PM »
VectorMagic is an online experiment of Stanford University's Artificial Intelligence lab, taking bitmaps you upload and converting them to vector graphic files while-u-wait.  Vectorization really excels at simple logos and line art, but this bad boy will take anything you throw at it and deliver interesting results.  It has a clean and simple interface, with a Wizard that walks you through the process and then back again if the results make you go "meh".

http://vectormagic.stanford.edu/
VectorG.jpg

They even include a brief tutorial for those new to vectorization, or why it's a Good Thing for certain applications.  Oh, and while the site has "Login" and "Signup" links in the upper right, rest assured you can vectorize all you want without registration.

I've included some before/after samples by way of demonstration.  Each took less than 4 minutes to process from beginning to end.  The first is an Audrey Maximus pencil sketch of the Mona Lisa:

Mona Lisa2.jpg

Not bad.  Kind of screams "Impressionist", but it's a nice effect.  It's not a 100% perfect conversion, but I intentionally chose something that would be a challenge, and it worked out well.

Next up, the president of the RIAA:

Darth2.jpg

Whoa!  It handles photographs well, don't you think? There's obvious problems with the reflection on his shoulder, but other than that most people wouldn't notice.  Note that while these samples are bitmaps (I converted them back again for posting) you can download your vector masterpiece in EPS format.

Vectors!  They're not just for making geometry students cry any more.

Deozaan

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Re: VectorMagic: Convert Bitmaps into Vector Art (Free)
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2007, 06:19:56 PM »
Yeah, pretty good looking. Especially if you reduce the image size after conversion.


f0dder

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Re: VectorMagic: Convert Bitmaps into Vector Art (Free)
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2007, 08:17:03 PM »
What hasn't been mentioned yet (probably because it's DUH DUH DUH DUH++!) is that Vector Graphics are wonderful if you need to scale things up or down; there isn't any pixelation or other extrapolation artifacts, things just look smoooooth (well, if the vector is done well - obviously vector graphics born that way rather than converted tend to do a bit better).

A decent Vector Graphics editor for your own computer would be InkScape, which can also do vectorisation (tracing) of bitmap images.
- carpe noctem

tinjaw

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Re: VectorMagic: Convert Bitmaps into Vector Art (Free)
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2007, 08:25:40 PM »
A decent Vector Graphics editor for your own computer would be InkScape, which can also do vectorisation (tracing) of bitmap images.

Does InkScape do as good (or better) of a job as Vector Magic appears to do?

f0dder

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Re: VectorMagic: Convert Bitmaps into Vector Art (Free)
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2007, 08:37:33 PM »
A decent Vector Graphics editor for your own computer would be InkScape, which can also do vectorisation (tracing) of bitmap images.

Does InkScape do as good (or better) of a job as Vector Magic appears to do?
Haven't tried Vector Magic and only played a little with InkScape, but it seemed to do a reasonable job, considering how complex a task this is. You do NOT want to do too much editing on the resulting vector graphics, though :)
- carpe noctem

Edvard

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Re: VectorMagic: Convert Bitmaps into Vector Art (Free)
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2007, 10:23:55 AM »
Inkscape uses Potrace as it's tracing engine, which is primarily useful for black and white images.
While it is VERY tunable (You can get it to trace the dots in a halftone...), Vectormagic's deal is way more robust. You can select different tracing 'schemes' to get the best results, and after it's traced, it also has a utility to edit the bitmap for better trace results.
Where I work, we use vector art for signs and things all the time and Vectormagic has turned out to be VERY useful for some things that Illustrator gave unsatisfactory results.

cranioscopical

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Re: VectorMagic: Convert Bitmaps into Vector Art (Free)
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2007, 01:14:36 PM »
Vectormagic has turned out to be VERY useful for some things that Illustrator gave unsatisfactory results.
Just to agree with your point -- I thought that IllusCS3 was doing quite well until I saw output from VectorMagic.
I ran a complex photograph through VM at the maximum allowed resolution (lots of leaves on trees in background, person and hairy dog in foreground) and I could see using the resulting vector image to create a very acceptable poster.

jgpaiva

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Re: VectorMagic: Convert Bitmaps into Vector Art (Free)
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2007, 05:34:14 AM »
This is VERY cool :D

Here's my test:
cody_for_jgpaiva_vectorized.png

mikiem

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Re: VectorMagic: Convert Bitmaps into Vector Art (Free)
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2007, 04:27:32 PM »
Definitely Very, VERY cool...  :Thmbsup:

FWIW haven't had a huge amount of luck with any of the tracing applets I'd guess you could call them in the vector graphics packages.

FWIW, I guess along the lines of when I was a kid I had to walk for X miles.... Remember back when vector graphics were the only way to get something like a full page ad to print, and then the poor 286 & laser printer would be chugging along for a couple three hours before spitting out the 1st proof copy -- then having to go back and find the source of any errors, correct them, and start over. Now-days you don't always have to use Vector graphics, so loads of folks have never had the pleasure of learning what a $#@%*!!! pain it can be to draw with using point handles.

Yeah, this site's tracing is VERY cool!

Renegade

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Re: VectorMagic: Convert Bitmaps into Vector Art (Free)
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2007, 05:59:08 PM »
Wow. That's some pretty good quality - especially for a web site.
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f0dder

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Re: VectorMagic: Convert Bitmaps into Vector Art (Free)
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2007, 06:23:31 PM »
Wow. That's some pretty good quality - especially for a web site.

Probably because the web site forks out to a "real program" in the background, dontcha think? 8)
- carpe noctem

Curt

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VectorMagic HDR
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2010, 04:51:02 PM »
Quote
Vector Magic have launched a new service:

http://www.YoHDR.com


YoHDR lets you upload three exposure bracketed photos and convert them into an HDR photo.

HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography is a technique used to create photographs of scenes with both very bright and very dark sections without the result becoming either washed out or too dark. Done right the results can be quite spectacular.

This is accomplished by taking multiple photos of the same scene with different exposure times. These separate photos are then combined in a smart way to create a result that has good exposure across the entire image.

Previously you had to download and install some pretty complicated software to accomplish this, but with YoHDR you can now do this easily online - just upload your photos and get your result right away.

Best,
James and Jacob

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This email was sent to you by Vector Magic, Inc.

mouser

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Re: VectorMagic: Convert Bitmaps into Vector Art (Free)
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2010, 05:05:23 PM »
Quote
Previously you had to download and install some pretty complicated software to accomplish this, but with YoHDR you can now do this easily online - just upload your photos and get your result right away.

I guess i've become one of those grumpy old people who hears BS like this and translates it to:

"In the past you used to be able to install a powerful, fast desktop application full of cool options -- now you can look forward to a world where every application is online, dumbed-down, slow, completely out of your control, and requires you to upload your files over the internet before you can work on them."

No thanks, i'll take the desktop application.

Stephen66515

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Re: VectorMagic: Convert Bitmaps into Vector Art (Free)
« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2010, 05:12:40 PM »
Quote
Previously you had to download and install some pretty complicated software to accomplish this, but with YoHDR you can now do this easily online - just upload your photos and get your result right away.

I guess i've become one of those grumpy old people who hears BS like this and translates it to:

"In the past you used to be able to install a powerful, fast desktop application full of cool options -- now you can look forward to a world where every application is online, dumbed-down, slow, completely out of your control, and requires you to upload your files over the internet before you can work on them."

No thanks, i'll take the desktop application.

I still prefer installing things do do any conversions I need as I am not fully trusting of how secure these sites are...like if i have a design i want to vector, and that design is a logo im doing for the tattoo studio, or an actual tattoo design that somebody wants as a desktop background as well as inked on them, id like to be sure this isnt going to be intercepted and distributed.

Old School ways work just fine for me :)

*Spits on dreamweaver and opens notepad*


**edit**

wtf? InkScape does conversions of BMP...HOW did I not know this?!?!  >:( Ive spent countless hours drawing over bmp files on InkScape...this could have been saved...NOT happy  :down:
« Last Edit: November 17, 2010, 05:15:23 PM by Stephen66515 »

f0dder

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Re: VectorMagic: Convert Bitmaps into Vector Art (Free)
« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2010, 05:57:25 AM »
wtf? InkScape does conversions of BMP...HOW did I not know this?!?!  >:( Ive spent countless hours drawing over bmp files on InkScape...this could have been saved...NOT happy  :down:
You didn't know about the vector tracing feature? :P

Yeah, it's a major timesaver - it's not perfect, though, so there's usually still plenty of hand-cleanup necessary.
- carpe noctem

Eóin

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Re: VectorMagic: Convert Bitmaps into Vector Art (Free)
« Reply #15 on: November 18, 2010, 09:00:46 AM »
Regarding web apps, I echo Mousers and Stephens position, especially the security/privacy side. But I don't see the growth of such these services as a bad thing.

Like the iPhone-esque app-based world, I think these web applications sell to a different and new demographic. I just don't see them replacing the serious user tools any time soon.