Bitmap images: conversion to SVG
(Test report part 2)
In the first part I tested the conversion of bitmaps to the SVG format using the programmes KVEC 2.75, fds for SVGs, CR2V and Illustrator 10.
Latest update: 03.05.2004
This page is now about Vector Eye.
|| Vector Eye
On my first test report page the free CR2V has shown very good results. Since January 2003 there is now Vector Eye, the follow-up tool which is not free anymore, but offers some serious advantages.
Vector Eye is right now for Windows only, but the developers think about a possible Mac version.
Price: 59 US-Dollar
(for additional PS and EPS export the price is 69 US-Dollars)
2004: Note, there is a new version and new pricing (see below)!
One of the disadvantages of CR2V was the fact that you had to enter the parameters for conversion into the command line. The whole proceeding was somewhat awkward and it even did not let some of my readers succeed.
Vector Eye on the other hand now comes with a graphical user interface, which is very easy to use.
Vector Eye: Graphical user interface
On the left the original image, on the right the converted SVG version.
On the bottom you can see the operating elements for the setting of the various parameters for conversion.
You can also download various skins for the software. The screenshot shows
the default skin.
These formats can be converted with Vector Eye: BMP, JPG, PNG, TIFF.
With CR2V the GIF format was amongst these, too.
First test image (default parameters)
I begin my test with one of the originals from my first test page, the parrot, and place the results of the respective conversion with the default parameters of CR2V and Vector Eye side by side:
There is no big difference to be seen between the CR2V and the Vector Eye version.
Again, in this case I have used the default parameters. You can, however, make various changes to the parameters for conversion in both programmes in order to achieve a result which is closer to the original. This would, on the other hand, result in much higher filesizes.
This is why I have created a much less complex original for the following example.
Second test image (changed parameters)
For the next test I created a less complex image. In this example I wanted to achieve an exact conversion of the line drawing.
Conversion with the default parameters of Vector Eye:
Conversion after changing some parameters:
Here I have now changed the values for "Relative Curve" from 30 to 0 and for "High Color" from 180 to 35, in order to achieve a much bigger similarity to the original file.
Can you make out a difference? I can't.
The converted SVG files can now be further edited in all vector graphics tools, which support the SVG format. You can e.g. change single paths or replace single colours.
If you don't own such a software, you can at least change some colours in your favourite text editor:
In the image "Dinner" I have replaced the bright grey (#e2e2e2) of the bowl by orange (#f96446).
With CR2V, too, there was the possibility to change all those many parameters according to your wishes, however, playing around with those various options was quite awkward in CR2V, since you, first, had to work in the command line and, second, had to create a new SVG file each time and to open it in your browser, in order to see, whether the applied change has lead to the preferred result.
With Vector Eye, though, you only play around with those controllers and immediately see the result in the right window (the Adobe SVG Viewer 3 is embedded as ActiveX component into the software). Only in case you like the result you save it as SVG file.
Both programmes have a manual for the use of the various parameters for conversion, but the one from Vector Eye is much more comprehensive and provided with many graphic examples.
Another advantage: Vector Eye produces much smaller filesizes than CR2V.
Example: The conversion of the drawing "Dinner" using the respective default parameters results in the following file sizes:
Btw: Take a look at those beautiful examples in the gallery of the Vector Eye site.
Tiny little drop of bitterness for people who have a 15-inch-screen: The use of Vector Eye requires a screen resolution of at least 1025x768.
How sad that this software (up to now) only operates on a Windows platform.
NEWS December 2003: There is a 2nd version of Vector Eye now, offering some new features and also new prices:
Basic version: only 19 Euro (only export to SVG)
Classic version: 39 Euro (additional export to PS/EPS)
Pro version: 49 Euro (even more features)
Vector Eye, version 2
The new version does not only have a new look, but it also offers (from version Classic) the option to process the bitmap, e.g. change its colours, flip or rotate it, select a zone...
There are even more new features. As soon as I will have the time, I report about them.