I am fairly new to Inkscape and have thus far been able to convert images with flat colours (no gradients) to vector images without any difficulty. But I would like to know how to convert images with gradients to SVGs.

Multiple colour scans using the Trace Bitmap tool will naturally split the image into a number of sections divided by paths, each with a different colour. Now every forum I have seen tells me to trace the paths using the pen/Bezier tool and then apply a gradient. The problem is I do not know how to (a) not only manipulate those tracing tools, being a newcomer as I said, but (b) also apply gradients along the right paths without the awkward results that come from having only linear or radial gradients, and also the fact that the paths generated from the Trace Bitmap tool have not yet been saved as vector paths in the file.

Below is a logo that has thus far never been fully vectorised online due to its numerous gradients, so this presents a challenge to me to start converting images with gradients to vectors. I would like to know how to get started. The more challenging the task is, the more fulfilling the end result will be.

Logo with gradients.

  • 2
    I'd not use vectorization, but would redraw this (although, only if I do this by order of SAT.1). – Moini Feb 4 at 20:12
  • The purpose is to upload vector logos of TV channels to an online repository. Now, could you explain in detail how you would redraw the logo so that it can be vectorised? – ProximanovaMetropolis Feb 5 at 8:06
  • 1
    No, sorry, that explanation exceeds the amount of detail that is usually given on stackoverflow - you're basically asking that someone draws it for you. The things you will need to learn about are: drawing circles, boolean operations, gradients and shading techniques that imitate a 3D object, including reflections. You'll find info about the first at inkscape-manuals.readthedocs.io, and there's a nice tutorial for the shading at libregraphicsworld.org/blog/entry/… . – Moini Feb 6 at 2:36

Auto tracing a raster image is not a good way to do this. The result of auto tracing a complex image with gradients is usually rubbish. In my opinion, it would be better to recreate it manually, i.e. re-draw it from scratch. This is not a simple task.

This is not a tutorial, but here's a breakdown of some basic steps that could be taken to reproduce such a logo as an SVG vector in Inkscape

Here's the example which I made rather quickly, as a proof of concept. With more care and attention to detail it would be possible to create a very close version of the example image.

enter image description here

  1. Create a solid ball with shading, using ellipses/circles, blurs, and gradient fills, different opacities, etc, then group everything

  2. Using the source image as a guide, use the Bézier tool to draw the segment shapes over the ball.

  3. Copy the ball, then use the one of the segments as a clipping path for that piece. Paste in place, move to bottom, and repeat for the next segment. Use the Colorize filter to change each segment to the desired colour

  4. Finally, paste the ball in place again, send to the bottom, and use the Colorize filter to make it white with some shadows.

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