Introduction: How to Make an Ink Drawing Into a Vector Graphic (Using InkScape)

This tutorial will show you how to take your very own drawings and turn them into Vector Graphics. This makes them "unsizeable" which means you can make it as BIG or as SMALL as you want, and it will still retain its clear appearance. ENJOY!

1. A simple ink drawing
2. Scanner
3. InkScape

Step 1: Scan the Image

First we must scan the image. I usually scan ink drawings using the Black & White setting. This helps eliminate the color of the paper in my sketchbooks. But this entirely based on your preference. ALWAYS scan your image at AT LEAST 300 dpi. This will ensure that your image and all of its fine details will translate well in Vector.

Step 2: Open the Scanned Image in InkScape

First, open your newly scanned image in InkScape. Make sure your image is rotated correctly. If it is not, you can fix this by going under OBJECT and scrolling down to ROTATE 90 CW. Click this option until the image is rotated to your liking.

Step 3: Trace Bitmap

To create your Vector Graphic, you must have your image selected.Once it is selected, you will see little arrows on every corner of your scanned image. Now you can go under PATH and select TRACE BITMAP.

Step 4: Trace Bitmap - Altering Your Settings

Once you click TRACE BITMAP, another small window will pop up. There will be three tabs , and tons of different settings. For this particular tutorial, we will not be altering these settings. Your image will also appear to the right in a small thumbnail above a button that reads UPDATE. Click this button. Now click OK. Once you have done this, you can now close the TRACE BITMAP window. Now if you look closely at you image, you can see that the new Vector version of your image is lying on top of the original. You can click and drag the Vector Graphic away from the original. If you select the original, you can now delete it.

Step 5: TAH DAH!

TAH DAH! You now have a high resolution Vector Graphic that can now be used for whatever creative purpose you desire. I personally like to scan in my own characters and digitally paint them, as you can see here.

Thanks for reading, and ENJOY!