Tracing An Image With Inkscape for Affinity Designer

Firstly, this material is largely and mostly from the InkScape How To pages. I need to save this part so I don’t lose it. All credit to them.

Ok, so I wanted to turn the first image into the second image. It seems that InkScape is the way to do it cleanly.

First Image. Image 1.

First Image.

Second Image. Image 2.

Inkscape tutorial: Tracing bitmaps

One of the features in Inkscape is a tool for tracing a bitmap image into a <path> element for your SVG drawing. These short notes should help you become acquainted with how it works.

Currently Inkscape employs the Potrace bitmap tracing engine ( by Peter Selinger. In the future we expect to allow alternate tracing programs; for now, however, this fine tool is more than sufficient for our needs.

Keep in mind that the Tracer’s purpose is not to reproduce an exact duplicate of the original image; nor is it intended to produce a final product. No autotracer can do that. What it does is give you a set of curves which you can use as a resource for your drawing.

Potrace interprets a black and white bitmap, and produces a set of curves. For Potrace, we currently have three types of input filters to convert from the raw image to something that Potrace can use.

Generally the more dark pixels in the intermediate bitmap, the more tracing that Potrace will perform. As the amount of tracing increases, more CPU time will be required, and the <path> element will become much larger. It is suggested that the user experiment with lighter intermediate images first, getting gradually darker to get the desired proportion and complexity of the output path.

To use the tracer, load or import an image, select it, and select the PathTrace Bitmap item, or Shift+Alt+B.

Make sure your loaded image is “selected” and click Update in the tracer.

Then, change the Edge Detection in the dropdown menu to 0.40 – at least that’s what I used. Experiment. Then click Update.

Presto, there’s your outline in the preview window.

Export the image to the file type of your choice.

There are a lot of options to this of course in InkScape, and you can spend a good part of your life learning them all.

I just wanted the outline as you see it here. A Trace of the object. InkScape has a good example on its own Help Page Here. InkScape.

The SVG version loaded into Affinity Designer. It could be loaded into Publisher or Photo equally easily.

Last Updated on April 21, 2020 by @R_A_Chalmers

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