Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Artful Research & Online Vectorizer Review (+ a cute dog!)

Every now and then I get obsessed with learning how to do something and I'll research it.  

Baby Bijou nestled himself into my crocheted hexagon bag project!

I find this process to be a lot of fun (yes! RESEARCH = FUN) and I thought I would share my findings today about designing a font.  The type of font I want to design is a symbol-based font, kind of like Wingdings.  Yet through the research process, I discovered an entirely different and new thing, vectorization.

I turned my handwriting into a Vectorized Image!


For this project, I began (where else?) on Google.  My search term was "design a font."  After sifting through the first three pages of results, I opened 10 base pages in tabs.  From my first base page, I opened up 12 secondary pages for review.  


After repeating this process a few times, I parced the following useful information about font design:

After reading through a few of these articles, I learned a new word - "vectortize."  

Vectorization is the process of turning a regular image (.jpg, .bmp, .png, etc) into a vector graphic.  The benefit of this is that if you scale the image up or down, the quality of the image will remain the same.  I like this.

The tutorial suggested I vectorize my image by using software I don't have and will not be able to buy, so I decided to see if there were any online tools for that.  So I googled "vectorize image" and repeated the above process.  Then I realized that maybe my current software, SnagIt could vectorize something, so I (yup) googled "vectorize snagit" and went from there.

As it turns out, I didn't learn anything new about SnagIt, but I did give a try and it worked fine with a black and white image.  For me, it turned a very small .jpg into a pdf, which I could then upsize and turn into a high-quality png.  Useful if not a bit convoluted. worked with the color merci.bmp image you see below. 
the original bmp image, with no changes
Before, when I scaled up the size, the edges of the font became pixelated.  

The original image at 150%. Blurry and Pixelated.

The vectorized image enlarged. Notice the edges.
Now, the pdf image has "chopped up" the edges of the font at 150% enlargement in PDF.  It's interesting, not clean, yet much crisper than the original bmp enlarged.  
I thought was really cool because it allows you to control the exact colors you include in your output file.  However, I can't open the files because they are only available as .svg files.

I was not a fan of Online Rapid Resizer.  It just didn't work that well for me.  I also found an online vectorizer called Vector Magic for $7.95/mo, but I haven't tried that yet because I don't need the service that much.  Right now, works fine for me!