Way, way back in the day, when vector-based graphics were just getting started on the Mac (can you say, ‘MacDraw?’) I would trace bitmapped images with vector tools to create a unique, distinct, yet highly flexible image for advertising clients. Those days of intense and highly manual labor are gone, thankfully, but vector-based tools still command a presence.
Enter Vectoraster, a Mac utility which creates vector-based raster patterns, including halftones, on bitmapped images. The end result is an image with endless flexibility.
Most of the tools to accomplish the vector transformation look familiar at first glance, but oddly different upon closer inspection.
Vectoraster is a single-window interface with tools that line the left and right sidebars. Included among the tools are a variety of point shape types with options to vary parameters; size, point aspect, rotation, outline width, even color.
Seven configurable raster pattern types are included; think radial and varied density distribution, alternating grid and the like. Four raster distortion modes include bulge, wave, split, and twist.
Finished raster images are easily exported as complete vectors to PDF or EPS files, or as images– JPG, TIFF, or PNG. Thankfully, Vectoraster is try-before-you-buy and if you know the benefits of vector graphics and find that getting similar results in Adobe Illustrator to be time-consuming and problematic, this is one app to enjoy. Hey, it even does CMYK (take that, Pixelmator).
Vectoraster has been around a few years and gets better with every release.