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Old May 02, 2011, 12:12 PM
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raster to vector converter

I am looking for a free raster to vector converter that I think I saw somewhere on here. Used for enlarging plans without loss of detail.
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Old May 02, 2011, 12:21 PM
Dr John
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Old May 02, 2011, 04:48 PM
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You will usually get a lot of loss/error when you convert a raster drawing to vector. If the original raster drawing is especially clear and high resolution the conversion might be reasonably good (but if so it would blow up fine anyway). Older plans, especially those originally hand drawn don't vectorise very well at all. Invariably I've found that it's easier just to re-draw them in a vector program.

You best bet is simply to blow up the original raster drawing.. If the quality of the original drawing means that the larger version is lacking some 'crispness' then it would never have vectorised very well anyway.

Steve
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Old May 02, 2011, 09:43 PM
treefinder
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Steve's right, I tried wintopo on a threeview of an Otter. I finally gave up and imported the image into Sketchup then traced over it to get a clean vector image to work up templates.
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Old May 03, 2011, 06:42 AM
Dr John
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I find it much easier to trace over a vector image than a raster picture. "Snap to" commands work with a vector image and not with a raster pic. Snap to a point at each end of a line and you have a solid line. Snap to several points along a curve and you have the curve. A raster pic has no points to snap to.

John
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Old May 03, 2011, 07:30 AM
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John,
That's a good point.. The ability to 'snap' makes re-drawing in CAD easier but the big issue i would have if the vector you are tracing over was generated from a raster conversion then the points you are snapping to wont be placed accurately. You will end up with lines that arenít orthographic or parallel to one another (but should be), ribs and formers etc that are different thicknesses, etc etc.. Basically the final drawing won't be dimensionally precise, you will just end up duplicating the combined inaccuracy of the original drawing, scanning distortion, and vector conversion.

I'd rather just use the raster as a guide, generally tracing over it but placing my new lines accurately.

Steve
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Old May 03, 2011, 08:10 AM
Dr John
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There are many ways to skin a cat. Usually it is a combination of methods that works best. I draw to go to the Laser. The OP asked for a Raster to Vector converter ( free ). I sent him to WinTopo as I have used it with varying degrees of success depending on the quality of the original image. I made no statement as to the suitability of the software in regards to his specific needs. It is one of many tools in my bag that has come in handy for certain projects.

John
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Old May 03, 2011, 02:05 PM
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Ya tracing the raster plan in SU or Corel Draw is the way I do it. Even Corel's trace program does a terrible job of vectorizing and it is not free be any means.
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