Photo Outline - To Curves

I have a customer who needs some CAD drawings for their customer, they don’t have a CAD representation of their logo, only a .png file. I can import this as a background bitmap, but I can see it getting a little tedious doing it for every drawing layout. Can I get the outline of a black and white .png file some how? (Photoshop, etc…) Any option other then trying to hand sketch it in Rhino.

Try Vector Magic here:

That certainly looks like the ticket, but I just finished tracing the whole thing.

Do you have this program? I downloaded the evaluation but without being able to see the results in Rhino, it doesn’t really help me. If you do, can I PM you the logo for a sample output?

Illustrator also has tracing, but it is not fantastic.

I don’t have the program, Don, but the link I posted has an online version for 2 free trials. It will generate a pdf that can be imported to Rhino.

any of these autotrace tools make rubbish curves in my opinion…Beware of what they give you for CAD modeling…Your best bet will be to use picture frame and draw them from scratch. It’s slow and tedious, but in the end will keep you from having to deal with all sorts of nonsense from using lousy curves…

Yep, I just needed a rough outline of their logo. I traced it to get what I needed.


One of the best vectorizing apps I’ve ever used is called Cutting Shop by Arbor Image. It makes the cleanest machinable vectors of all of the software I’ve tried in the past 15 years. The precursor app was called Draftsman and I used that for years before using cutting shop.
The pros:
-give it color, grey scale or black and white images and will pump out curves
-creates clean arc and line polyline curves, with different levels of optimization
-some robust optimizing and cleanup tools
-best for art work oriented drawings.

the cons:
-Its not cheap but still worth it if you bill for stuff like this all of the time.
-The interface is outdated and cumbersome but for just getting clean vectors from a scanned image it does the job.