Step-by-Step Guide for Vectorize Images using Adobe

Vectorizing images is a valuable skill that allows you to convert photos into scalable vector graphics using software like Adobe Illustrator. In this article, we will explore an alternative method to achieve more control over the colors and create a stylistic look in your vectorized images. We will walk you through the process step by step, so let’s dive in.

I. Removing the Background

Before starting the vectorization process, it is essential to remove the background from your photo. Using tools like Adobe Photoshop or Affinity Photo, eliminate any unnecessary elements and noise, ensuring a clean and focused subject for the vectorization process. This step significantly simplifies the subsequent stages in Adobe Illustrator.

II. Applying Initial Effects

After isolating the subject, you can enhance the image further to prepare it for vectorization. Consider adding a stroke to the image to create a clear distinction between the subject and the background. Additionally, applying a Camera Raw filter can bring out more detail in the image, aiding the color separation process in Adobe Illustrator.

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III. Copying and Modifying Layers

To achieve a multi-color effect, it is essential to create duplicate copies of the image in Adobe Illustrator. Each copy will represent a different color or shade in the final vectorized image. By adjusting the intensity and balance of the light and dark areas in each layer using effects like grain and stamp, you can create contrast and depth between the colors.

IV. Image Tracing and Background Removal

With the layers prepared, it’s time to apply the Image Trace function in Adobe Illustrator. Adjust the settings to maintain fine details by setting the noise level to one pixel. Once the Image Trace is complete, delete the backgrounds of each layer to isolate the color separations. The stroke applied earlier helps distinguish the white areas from the background, making the selection process easier.

V. Adding Colors

Now that you have color-separated layers, it’s time to add colors to each layer. Choose the desired colors or experiment with different combinations to achieve the desired effect. Stack the layers on top of each other, ensuring proper alignment, and enjoy the vibrant and fully vectorized image.

VI. Benefits of Vectorization

By vectorizing your images, you gain the advantage of scalability without losing quality. Vector graphics can be resized to any dimension without pixelation, making them ideal for various applications, including t-shirt designing, signage, and more.

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1. Can I apply this method to images with complex backgrounds?

Yes, this method works best when the subject is isolated from the background. If the image has a complex background, it is recommended to remove it or simplify it before proceeding with the vectorization process.

2. Can I adjust the colors after the vectorization process?

Absolutely! Since the image is vectorized, you can easily modify the colors by selecting the corresponding layers and adjusting the color properties in Adobe Illustrator.

3. How can IDigitizing assist with vectorization services?

IDigitizing offers professional vectorization services, ensuring precise and high-quality conversions from raster images to scalable vector graphics. Their expertise and software capabilities enable accurate color separations and vibrant vectorized designs.


Mastering the vectorization process opens up a world of creative possibilities. By converting photos into scalable vector graphics, you gain the flexibility to use them in various applications, from graphic design to print materials and beyond. The control over colors, shades, and stylistic effects allows you to create unique and captivating visuals that truly stand out. With IDigitizing’s professional vector art conversion services, you can confidently entrust your images to experts who will ensure precise conversions and vibrant results. Whether you’re a designer, artist, or business owner, harnessing the power of vectorization will elevate your projects and leave a lasting impression. Experience the transformative potential of vector graphics with IDigitizing’s comprehensive services today.