Vectoraster by LostMinds
Designing with Shapes
By Ko Maruyama!-- AddToAny BEGIN -->
Designing with Shapes
Vectorizer for the Mac (and iOS) allows you to create fantastic shape based translations of raster artwork or photography with just a few clicks. The great part about this new software is that it is really easy to use. Like any good design software, it?s full of options that will allow you to create unique pieces, even when you?re starting from presets.
I started to use Vectoraster 6 right before my logic board on my Macbook Pro failed. And, during its brief time in the shop, I realized that one of the shortcomings of Vectoraster is that it?s for the Mac only. It isn?t available for Windows at this time. But for us Macheads, this is a really great, and fast way to get some new shape to your raster images.
As its name implies, you are actually creating vector work from raster images, but you can export the images in multiple formats, including raster or vector flavors (see below).
Here?s a simple walkthrough of some of the top features of the software. There are so many different values to dive into, it will take hours of use to scratch the surface of the variations that are possible with the software. Download the software which is free to try out, and only $12 to upgrade from earlier versions. If you don?t have it yet, it?s still only $32, which is cheaper than most plugins for any raster or vector design software you may be currently using.
As we go through the walkthrough, click on the images to see the larger version of the image (in most cases). The detail that is preserved in control is really fantastic.
I used a photo of my eye as a sample image, cuz really, we all need a vectorized eyeball at some point - you know it?s true.
Because this is a vector result, you can really easily change your document size to match whatever size you?re looking for. This is important if you?re saving this as a raster image, but I didn?t find much difference in the vector results.
One of the things I started out with was a simple circle over the top of the original image. In the lower right hand corner of the application, you can scale between source and result. It?s a little awkward that this sits on the application frame, and not inside the application alongside the background controls (which are just above the slider)
*I really wish this had a numeric percentage value in addition to the slider.
Pulling up the adjustments on the source image will change the process - which can make even a poor photo a good candidate for Vectoraster.
LET THE FUN BEGIN. Doesn?t matter what you?re using as an image. If it?s got enough contrast in it, pic a base shape and start in with the design. NOTE: You can create a custom shape as well (or use text)
If you?re using TypeKit from Adobe?s CreativeCloud, Vectorizer will recognize all of the fonts that you?ve sync?d to your desktop.
If you?re creating a custom shape from Adobe Illustrator, don?t attempt to import it as an .Ai file, as the newer ones are PDF based, and the entire document will be recognized as a bitmap image. Instead, save out an EPS, Adobe Illustrator 8 file, and Vectorizer will recognize it as a vector resource. You can use other .eps vector art as well.
I?ve landed on polygon sprite as my base for the following images. One thing to remember about polygonal shapes is that they are POLYGONAL, and Lost Minds has given you the option to choose the number of sides in your polygon. HOORAY.
As the number increases, you may consider that it?s just a circle. However, you?ll need to keep in mind that the vertices that are produced by the application can be transferred to Adobe Illustrator and then to other applications that can take advantage of each of those vertices or edges.