Convert a Raster Image to Vector with Adobe Creative Suite

posted in: games, zombalamba game | 0

I’ve used Flash since 1999 and thought it would be around forever. The power of ActionScript made so many things possible with Flash from making SCORM compliant quizzes to very intricate software simulations to dynamic apps. Oh well . . .

One neat thing that many people have used Flash for was to take raster images and convert them into vector by importing the image into Flash and then tracing the bitmap. The result is a vector graphic that you can mess with in Flash.

However, I’ve never exported the vector image out from Flash for use in Illustrator. I never had the need to do that until yesterday nor did I know it was possible.

Indeed, it is possible with CS5 or above!

Import your raster image into Flash, trace the bitmap (there are several settings that affect the precision and time it takes to do the tracing), and then export that image to the FXG format. The FXG format is an Adobe XML format that can be opened in Illustrator.

So what was the need for this? A custom dice for our fledgling game.

Years ago I had drawn a hand print for use as part of a graphic and it was a small raster image done at 72 dpi for internet use. I needed a much larger 300 dpi image and ended up making one that’s 7.5 inches square – about 30 times larger than the original raster!

I sent over the Illustrator vector file and shortly after had the excellent proof below.


Here are the specifics on the dice – this is from Chessex Dice who are considered the gold standard for gaming dice (both casino and home gaming). The art department is very nice to work with and the cost for one custom side (the “ones” side) comes out to 75 cents per dice for a quantity of three dozen and they can do as few as 10.

Chessex has many colours available and can do very fine detail on as many sides as needed and also on varying sided dice (dodecahedrons, etc).