Picture of Drawing vector portraits on inkscape
This instructable should [hopefully] show you how to turn a photograph of someone into a smooth, vector graphic. It is a technique that i picked up from a tutorial walkthrough, and since i read it i have edited it to make it more my style. It takes al lot of time and effort, but it produces a great end result. Please read all of the captions, they will tell you what to do.

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Step 1: What you need

Picture of What you need
-Inkscape. I don't expect for you to know much about inkscape, i will explain the tools etc. as we go. If you don't have inkscape, you can download it for free.
- A computer
-A photo of a person. Try to make it a face photo for your first picture. If you can, crop it so that    it is a bust, with only a small amount of clothing showing. This will make it far easier.
- Time (a fair amount)
- Patience. Lots and LOTS of patience

Step 2: Begin

Picture of Begin
First of all you need to open your picture in inkscape. Make sure that your photo is not blurry, not too small, and properly lit so that you can see the features. Inkscape is a vector graphics program, you can read more about it here. For more about vector graphics in general, you can see it here. It is important to know that inkscape doesn't work like Paint. For example, you can't just use a paintbrush tool and draw a line. It uses mathematical equations to create simple 'objects' which are geometric. Inkscape also uses paths. I will mention paths quite a lot here, as we use them for most of the picture. 
I think it's important to note that when vectorizing a photo you should consider a face that is looking directly at the camera. Since you are taking away all the shading and detail it makes it difficult to tell that the face in your example is turned. As a result it looks like one side of the face is quite a bit larger than the other. Its easy to tell why in the photo version, but to me it looks awkward when vectorized.
unables1 year ago
Excellent instructions.
aduy2 years ago
I did this a while back, same Technic, lots of fun haha. i hate paul watson so i did him in my own eyes
paul swanson.jpg
aduy aduy2 years ago
I also did peter
nejo00174 years ago
really nice instructable. I've just followed your steps and it looks great within minutes. thanks for this technique.
Interesting. I'll have to try my "Animenize a photo" instructable this program. I like it!

I disagree about the file format to export in, however. .jpg is a lossy format, meaning that you lose some quality in the export. this is fine for desktop or web applications, however.

.png is a better format, because it is lossless. you retain all of your quality, making it perfect for photo and video production. It also saves an alpha channel, allowing you to make the background transparent.

If you want an example of this, create a small picture in paint. save two copies, one as a .jpg, one as a .bmp. I guarantee you will get some artifacting (blended pixels) in the .jpg file.
spectacular (author)  AlternateLives4 years ago
Cool, thanks for the advice
CrLz4 years ago
Nice transforms.
spectacular (author)  CrLz4 years ago