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Tutorial 9

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Vectorizing (Tracing) in CorelDRAW 9 and 10

We've been saying all along that any sign maker with CorelDRAW 8 or less should -- absolutely -- upgrade to 9 or 10 for its much improved CorelTRACE feature. So it's probably high time that we show you what we mean.

In our example below, we've chosen a Washington Apple Commission logo, which was literally taken from the web in a GIF (non-vector / bitmap) format. The quality of the logo is fairly good, but it can't be cut without tracing it first. Thankfully, CorelDRAW 9 and 10 do a superb job of tracing imported or scanned images, whether multi-color or black-and-white.

Here's how:

  • With your right mouse button, click on your bitmap image to display the fly-out menu

  • From the fly-out menu, select Trace Bitmap, to bring the image into CorelTRACE

  • In CorelTRACE, your Original Image will appear on the lefthand side of two side-by-side windows; your Trace Results will appear on the right side:

  • From your CorelTRACE menu, choose Trace -> By Advanced Outline

  • Your first trace results will be based on Corel's default tracing settings, which are similar to those you'd get from CorelDRAW 8 or less ... not very good:

  • But, the Advanced Outline Trace feature in CorelDRAW 9 and 10 allow you to modify individual trace settings ... for much better results:

Here are the Advanced Outline Trace settings, which appear on the CorelTRACE properties bar (in the following order from left to right):
  • Noise Filter - set to None, Low or High depending on the amount of Noise (random pixels) in your Original Image

  • Complexity - slider bar that allows you to adjust the level of Complexity (number of vector elements) in your Trace Results

  • Max Colors - lets you choose the number of colors that are used in your Trace Results

  • Node Reduction - slider bar that allows you to adjust the level node reduction that will be used in your Trace Results

  • Node Type - set to Cusp or Smooth depending on the type of nodes you wish to be used in your Trace Results

  • Minimum Object Size - lets you specify the minimum object size to be used in your Trace Results

  • Apply - resamples your trace, which you can do over and over, until your desired results have been achieved

Finally ...
  • To take your Trace Results back into CorelDRAW, simply close CorelTRACE

  • In CorelDRAW, your Trace Results will be pasted exactly on top of your Original Image, so by viewing in Wireframe (Alt-VW) you can review and fine tune your vector graphic: