How to Vectorize an Image in Photoshop

By Tata Rossi 17 days ago, Photoshop Tips

Converting images to vector graphics makes it easier to resize them from the size of a business card to the size of a building without any loss in quality that happens with JPEG or PNG images. If you need an image that could be scaled to any size, follow this quick and easy tutorial on how to vectorize an image in Photoshop.

1. Open an Image in a New Layer

Free vector sites don’t have the vector you need? Don’t worry. Just drag and drop the desired image into the Photoshop window, or go to the File menu, click “Open”, and select the image.

how to vectorize an image in photoshop open the image

2. Make a Selection

Then, you need to make a selection in any way that is convenient to you. Depending on the complexity of your image, Photoshop has a whole range of tools you can use.

The Elliptical Marquee Tool and the Rectangular Marquee Tool cover the basic tasks and are perfect for dealing with simple, geometric shapes. For more complicated selections I recommend using the Lasso Tool, and Magnetic Lasso Tool.

how to vectorize an image in photoshop make a selection

3. Turn Your Selection into a Path

Now, we have to convert our selection into a path. In order to do it, select the Marquee Tool (M), right-click on the image, and choose "Make Work Path". After the conversion, any fuzzy edges become sharp and smooth.

A path can be transformed, just like the image layers. To select the whole vector, or only its part, use the "Path Selection". Go to the "Edit" menu, and click on "Transform Path". Next, you have to choose the desired transformation. You can even use Free Transform, Warp, and Rotate.

how to vectorize an image in photoshop make work path

4. Set a Tolerance Value

Tolerance defines how the traced path is allowed to deviate from the contours. It ranges from 0.5 to 10 pixels. The lower the value, the more closely your path is followed. If you select a value that is too low, it may result in too many anchor points.

If you select high value, your path is going to be too rounded. I recommend setting a tolerance value to 1,0.

how to vectorize an image in photoshop make work path tolerance

5. Use the Direct Selection Tool

Next, click on the Direct Selection Tool (A).

how to vectorize an image in photoshop direct selection tool

6. Create a Mask

Right-click on the image and select “Create Vector Mask”.

how to vectorize an image in photoshop create vector mask

7. Look for a New Layer Mask

At this point, you should see a new layer mask with your vector appear.

how to vectorize an image in photoshop layer mask

8. Done! Save the File

Now, you can save the file in the EPS file format and further edit it in any vector graphics software. With this file format, you won’t ever have to worry about where the vector will be placed or printed. Regardless of the size, it will always have the correct resolution.

how to vectorize an image in photoshop eps file

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