I have this image with lots of pixels even though it looks it looks pixely (It's actually 1362 x 574):

enter image description here

How can I make them "round" (before vectorizing, or when vectorizing, whatever works). I mean I don't want those piles of pixels to form a square, rather I want them to form something round.

  • 3
    The design looks fairly simple, and could easily be redrawn. Have you considered doing that?
    – Billy Kerr
    Jul 21, 2019 at 15:57
  • 2
    .. to add to Billy's comment.. you would only need to draw one corner, then duplicate and flip it 3 times.
    – Scott
    Jul 21, 2019 at 19:03
  • @Scott Yes, exactly what I did with the example in my answer below.
    – Billy Kerr
    Jul 21, 2019 at 20:25

3 Answers 3


If you have the necessary skills, I would consider redrawing the graphic manually. It's not exactly complicated, and the results will be better than any automatic tracing. You only really need to draw one of the corner sections, the rest are made by flipping and reflecting. Afterwards the strokes are outlined, then joined using Union, and finally a stroke applied.


enter image description here

It's also possible to create such designs using Inkscape's Mirror Symmetry path effect. The example below wass made using two mirror symmetry path effects, a horizontal and vertical page centre one. It's some pretty powerful functionality.

enter image description here


I checked some Arabic ornaments and frame images with Google. They had generally sharp corners and smooth curves. This obviously is an enlargened version of a pixelated shape which originally has also contained a few corners and smooth curves.

Unfortunately no automate can decide which corners should be smoothed and which should stay, the only possibility for proper recreation without having the original is drawing. The draughtsman should have either some ingenuity or style knowledge.

I suggest you search some clipart and try to find a stylistically acceptable frame, if you cannot draw it. If you know what you exactly want to draw (=know well the right style), this should be done in a hour if you are a beginner or 10 minutes, if you have played a while with vector drawing software.

BTW. Here is one shape separated from your image (=black), a couple of different tracing attempts (=blue) and an attempt to draw it without actual knowledge of the wanted result (=red).

enter image description here

I'm afraid they all are useless. My drawing has a shortcut through all stairs plus some random deviation here and there due the inaccurate hand and eye. One should see in half a second it hasn't any actual visio of style.

Photoshop is as wise about the style, but it can make the shortcuts much better (=systematically in the same way). Try it, if you can accept the result. Do this:

Fill the frame with some color to keep it different from black and white:

enter image description here

select the fill color area and smooth the selection with Refine Edge:

enter image description here

Fill with the smoothed selection in a new layer:

enter image description here

You can copy and paste this to Inkscape or Illustrator for tracing and restoring the thickness by adding a stroke. I tried the stroke in Photoshop as a Layer Style:

enter image description here

The result is as crap as the preceding ones, I would say. Proper result is not possible otherwise than by having a style idea and then drawing that idea, not trying to force the parts to fit your staircase version. Here's an attempt to draw it as single stroke and without having any reference under the drawing at the same time:

enter image description here


Vector Magic recognizes each pixel as a face/surface/line and creates a vector nearly exactly like the image provided. I had hoped for some smoothing to take effect, but no such luck.

The same thing happens with Inkscape's Trace Bitmap feature.

This leaves manual adjustment or manual editing. One approach would be to use the node edit tool and remove all the nodes between the start and middle of a curve and between the middle and end of a curve. If the nodes do not automatically change to smooth, use Control Click to convert them, to enable handle adjustment of the curve.

I was able to reduce the number of nodes/pixel transitions by reducing the size of the image to 40% and using Trace Bitmap. This provided more curves, fewer nodes, but still a mess of sorts. It's possible you could achieve your goal by reducing to an even smaller figure prior to the trace.

As your objective is to create a vector image, reducing the original would not cause as much damage as if it was a more detailed graphic.

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