How to Convert Image to Vector Illustrator

How to convert image to vector Illustrator

Table of Contents

Before we get into the tutorial, let’s have a quick sneak peek at what is a vector image. In simple words, a vector image is made of lines and shapes, unlike the raster images which are made of individual pixels. What makes vector images stand apart? You can stretch them to make them as big as you want without losing the quality because of their scalable nature.

So, it is appropriate to use on posters, billboards, websites, or wherever you need big-size images. Professional Image to Vector Conversion Service that you are probably looking for.

Using Adobe illustrator you can convert any image to a vector and here we are showing you how to do this.

Learn How To Convert Images to Vector Illustration

Step-1: Select the Image

In the first step, you need to choose the image that you want to convert to a vector. Here size does not matter. But remember that a larger image will take a longer time to load. The image format should be in JPG, PNG, or GIF. For practice, you can choose an image with a single subject with a white background so that it is recognizable and easy to work with.

select the presets in Image Trace

Step-2: Select the Presets in Image Trace

In Adobe illustrator, the Image Trace tool allows you to vectorize an image. It has some presets that work automatically to get your job done. So mindfully choose the presets and see what resembles your requirements the most.

There are some options in Illustrator like high fidelity and low fidelity photos which are most suitable for complex artworks and images. For logos, you can go for three colors or six colors or sixteen colors presets. Shades of Grey is for grayscale images. For creating a black and white logo, you can go for Black and White Logo presets. Lastly, for line-based drawings, it offers you Sketched Art, Silhouettes, Line Art, and Technical Drawing presets.

Depending on your need, you can choose the presets here.

Now is the time to drag your image, open it in Illustrator and select it to go forward. At the top of the Illustrator window, you are going to find these options.

start vectorizing
start vectorizing_2

As we are working with an image, we need to go for the Low Fidelity Photo preset. Click on it and the tracing will get started now.

Step-3: Start Vectorizing

When you click the button up there, the tracing process will begin automatically. It is not recognizable with naked eyes, yet you can see a lot of changes taking place. If you really want to track the difference, you can zoom in and see how sharp and less detailed it looks after the vectorization.

You can see the pixelation as well. The vectorized version will not look as detailed as a raster image but it is certainly much sharper than that. No matter how much you zoom in, the image will not pixelate and lose its quality.

Check the before and after versions of the image


go for Fine Tune


go for Fine Tune

As we have discussed earlier, you may feel that the raster image is looking a bit better because it is more detailed. But the thing is you cannot scale it to the size you want. With the vector version, you can make it as big as you want. And it is suitable for most of the platforms where the raster image is not appropriate.

Step-4: Go for Fine Tune

go for Fine Tune

When you are done tracing the image, you need to fine-tune the conversion. For that open the Image Trace panel and select Mode to change the color, grayscale, and black and white. Now drag the Colors slider on the left side to simplify the vector image. If you want to add more details to the image, drag the colors to the right side.

Pro tip: if you want to use the preset later for other images, you can save the Preset. For that go to Manage Presets right next to the Presets option and save it as a new Preset.

Step-5: Ungroup the Colors:

Ungroup the Colors

You are not still done with vectorizing your image completely. The vector image has colors that are fitting for the previous raster version. So to edit the image, you need to separate the colors in the first place. For that, select the image and go to Expand button on the top.


Now you will find blue outlines and all the composite shapes that have made the vector image. Certainly, you don’t want that. So right-click on the image and you will find the Ungroup option in the menu. This will separate the color shapes into individual parts.

Step-6: Edit the Image

edit the image

Once you are done with the conversion, you can edit the image. You may feel the need to delete the color groups. To do so, click on a shape and go for Select > Same > Fill Color. Now all the same color groups are selected. Press the Backspace of the keyboard to delete the existing shapes. You can use the Direct Selection tool to select a layer for modifying a specific color. After selecting a layer, use the Pen or Brush tool to add some more colors to simply fill the gaps.

Step-7: Complete the Conversion

Up to this step, you are pretty much done with the conversion. Now you need to save the freshly vectorized image for further usage. Before that, just a reminder that vector image formats are SVG, AI, PDF, EPS, and some others. It is better to choose the SVG format because maximum design programs and web pages support it. However, now go for File > Export > Export As. Give a title to the file, and select the SVG format from the menu.

And voila! Your vector conversion is successfully done. You can check its scalability by scaling it to the however bigger size you want. The image will not lose its quality and sharpness. The image we worked with was pretty simple and small in size. Depending on your file size and the complexity of the image, the conversion will take a bit longer time and effort.