MagicTracer™ is a raster-to-vector conversion program. The terms “raster” and “vector” may not mean a lot to some people, so let us explain a bit further.
Raster images are comprised of lots and lots of small colored dots called pixels. Lines and curves are represented in a raster image by coloring each pixel along the line or curve a certain color. If you want to change a line or curve in a raster image, you must erase all the pixels that make up the original line and draw a new one from scratch. Digital photographs, clip-art, scanned images, and most pictures you see on the internet are raster images.
Vector images are comprised of sets of points which define how each line or curve must be drawn. A simple line, for example, is defined by one point at each end, while a square has a point at each corner; the CAD program automatically fills in all the pixels between the points to display the line or square. To edit a vector line or curve, it is not necessary to erase the entire line or curve – you have only to move an incorrect point to the correct location, and the CAD program will redraw the line or curve to match the new point’s location.
MagicTracer converts raster images into vector drawings that can be edited in most CAD applications. MagicTracer reads most popular image formats, including BMP, GIF, JPG, PNG, TIFF, and Photoshop images. MagicTracer exports the vector data it generates to EPS, SVG, WMF, DXF, or DesignCAD drawing files.
Not all images are created equally – some are already well-suited to vector conversion, while others may require some preliminary cleanup. MagicTracer provides a handy selection of raster-based tools to help the user enhance the parts of the image he wants to convert to vectors and discard the parts that are of no interest.
Once the image has initially been traced into vector format, MagicTracer provides vector tools which allow the user to edit the traced vector objects, if desired, in order to more closely match the desired result. Unwanted lines can simply be erased; imperfectly traced lines and arcs can be tweaked as desired to better represent the desired shape, using the original raster image in the background for reference.
Construction managers or architects who want to import scanned blueprints or sketches into their favorite CAD program. Sign makers who want to convert an image file into shapes that they can cut out with their vinyl cutter. Anyone who has a graphic image that they want to edit as lines and curves rather than as pixels can use MagicTracer.