Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Q&A How do you make a JPEG or PNG a vector in Photoshop?

Originally Answered Jul 11, 2019

How do you make a JPEG or PNG a vector in Photoshop?

JPEG or PNG files are Pixels!

Pixels also called Raster Graphics are a digital image that is composed of tiny square or rectangular pictorial elements know as pixels. These pixel files all have fixed resolutions

Photoshop program can work with pixels files of many origins, and it has a native pixel file format .PSD, working with pixels that is Photoshop’s forte.

Vector files are made of postscript code that defines lines, and bézier curves, triangles, squares, rectangles, and other shapes and all these elements line weights or line thickness and the color of lines and the color of fills inside the many shapes. Vector files are resolution independent, you can make them scale up in size and not loose clarity of image.

These are completely separate file types Pixel and Vector.

A Vector file can be translated or converted to a Pixel file and a fixed resolution.

To go the other direction Pixel to Vector the outcome is often a very different looking image result. To make a vector file from a pixel file requires redrawing the pixel file as lines, and bézier curves, triangles, squares, rectangles, and then determining all these elements line weights or line thickness and the color of lines and the color of fills inside the many shapes. You are redrawing the original pixel image.

An application related to Photoshop called Illustrator in the hands of a practice and skilled artist can sometimes do this, however image results are going to vary when any pixel image file is reinterpreted or recreated as a vector file. Without the knowledge built from practice and training along with real world project experience a DIY or novice user of Illustrator might not get the image results they want or need when redrawing images starting from a pixel image file going to a vector image file. 

The industry demos supported by marketing materials lead the inexperienced, novice and DIY and unskilled to believe software can be used by them as an inexperienced user to achieve a "perfect" vector image copy from a pixel image. This is not so.

What is so; is that choosing to work with a professional visual communicator this need to make a vector file from a pixel file is not typically going to be done.

The professional art director, graphic designer plan the visual communication project and this results in creating the correct visual communication project deliverable. 

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