Vector program advise

What software is good for a beginner to use, for creating your own vector image. I’ve had friends and family members want to add something to a cup or whatever. And the image appears to be good quality. Then I send it threw trace in lightburn… and it’s horrible… I have played a bit with inkscape.

So what do you guys use??

inkscape some great tutorials on youtube this series is quite good

Yeah that’s what I’ve been watching!

I seen to keep getting asked about images like this… Setting them to a vector for say a cut… They turn out horrible

That’s going to be pretty challenging to vector trace because of the shading, highlights, etc. When you say “they turn out horrible” that’s not much to go on - can you show a photo of a result so we have an idea of the kind of horrible you mean?

Like that!

Not all images lend themselves well to automatic vector tracing. Google is your friend:

The most common solutions are:

  • find a better image to start from with less shading, more resolution
  • find an actual vector version of it
  • have someone redraw it for you
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Yes, maybe i didn’t ask this correctly. I want to learn how to convert images to vector myself.
You know that give a man a fish vs teach a man to fish!

I’ve used a number of programs to convert images to vector format and the tools in LightBurn are exceptionally good and relatively easy to use. As Oz suggests, sometimes the image itself is the problem and you have to take another approach. There are usually a number of ways to improve the image before you start that help the process along (i.e. taking additional pictures with different lighting, exposure, etc. and/or using PhotoShop or similar tools). And then there are those images that just don’t lend themselves well to the process OR you simply don’t have time. When that happens, I usually turn to This is NOT an endorsement, but I can say that there are plenty of folks out there that will do the work for you for a little bit of money. Good luck!

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I second that comment. Time is money :bank:

I think learning to use a good Vector program will be very beneficial if you own a laser. I like Adobe Illustrator and I use a lot of the Creative Cloud everyday. If you don’t like the subscription model you should look at Affinity Designer. That’s a very good program for the money. If you just want to convert a bitmap to vector take a look at the website vectormagic. There is also skillsshare if you don’t find the tutorials you need on YouTube. I used to use for training but I haven’t since they sold to LinkedIn.


I appreciate the lead I had no idea this even existed.

I don’t like the nickel and dime models. I use to like the Adobe Products way back in the first Photoshop days when you paid a lot but got a lot and I owned the software .

Not a fan of being shut off from my cloud access when the internet is down. I could do without the Internet constantly having to be on.



From what I heard is the problem with Affinity Designer the tracing options.

With Illustrator tracing is super easy though, takes less effort then goto fiverr imho.

I own cs4 suite

I have had (am having) similar issues in learning vector editing.
I tend to use a few varied software packages.
l will list them below with my experiences as a linux user using virtualbox for windows applications.

Inkscape : free, all OS, I have not found it easy to use.
Vectric VCarve Pro: expensive, windows only, fortunately for me, a copy came with my CNC machine.
Rather costly especially if you do not need the “CNC” part of the package. MY FAVOURITE
Sure Cuts a Lot: around $60, windows and mac, I use this for tracing and simplifying (reducing node quantity). This package is used for the Brother ScanAndCut machine and is far more affordable, if a little restrictive with licensing one machine only.
Affinity Designer: affordable Mac and Windows, I did try this and the 30 license trial ran out the first day, My daughter uses it on the mac and sends us files to cut on our laser, the files seem to have TOO MANY NODES and much editing to do, when she is far more adept at editing that I am.

The two I tend to use most is Vectric for editing and some tracing(at least I get my money’s worth out of it) and SureCutsALot for simplifying nodes and some tracing.

I am using these tools with cutting wood veneer with a diode laser to create marquetry. Early stages yet, my first piece seemed a great start.

Just my thoughts on my uses, hope it helps someone.

Inkscape user here. Have been for nearly a decade. I like free & open source. I like that it runs on Linux & Windows. It’s a good powerful vector drawing program. Did I mention it’s free & open source? I can run it on as many machines as I please with no licensing issues, and it doesn’t care if my internet is down. (It goes down a lot here)
There’s lots of support available and TONS of good instructional videos on how to do just about anything.

I like free, so there’s my free opinion for you. :slight_smile:

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