I have created a logo in Ps that uses the path blur effect. I would like to convert it into a vector in Ai as I would like to have a higher resolution print on a sublimated shirt. But once I image trace it, the blur effect is separated into individual paths which becomes really messy.

What should I do to maintain the path blur effect while convert it into a vector? I understand that Ai has a blur effect but it cannot be directional. Any guidance or materials will be appreciated, thanks! Ps created logo, PNG format opening the PNG file, image trace and expanding it lead to too many individual paths

  • Hi. Welcome to GDSE. What you want isn't possible with auto tracing. It will trace raster blurs or gradients as multiple filled shapes.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Sep 11, 2022 at 14:06
  • This would need to be manuallY constructed in vector form. Aligning various shapes and adding gradient fills to simulate the "blur". There is no quick, easy method.
    – Scott
    Commented Sep 11, 2022 at 20:22

2 Answers 2


Two parts here.

  1. You can use the blend tool.

Make two shapes, one for the inside and one for the outer color.

Blend them together. You need to play with the colors and transparency of the objects. https://helpx.adobe.com/illustrator/using/blending-objects.html

Add the shape of the white lightning.

enter image description here

Part two is that you probably just need to resize a bit your image.

Printing on a shirt does not need to be that high resolution, so you probably can just double the pixel count and use it. Make a test on paper and see if you like it.


Forget it. There's no commonly available way to vectorize automatically blurs nor gradients so that the result is either a path filled with a gradient or a path with blur effect. A human or some experimental AI program may be able to create good enough vector shapes with gradient fills or blur effects.

I would try to redraw the image as vector. But that can need a lot of work if the image uses some effect which is easy only in Photoshop or other bitmap image editor. Your directed blurs look possible to make as gradients, but surely they need more work.

Obviously a bitmap image could be printed if the resolution was high enough. Your 587 x 940 pixels image probably is too rough. If redrawing it as vector is out of question due the non-existent vector effects or you just want to use the low resolution version, because there something has succeeded over your expectations you still have options left.

If the drawing has different parts as separate layers, you may enlarge the layers separately to higher pixel dimensions. One possibility is to trace them to vectors in Illustrator. Trace the blurred shapes to vectors without the blur effect. (case no parts without the blur any more available is discussed later). The brush strokes look blurry and partially transparent, too. If possible, trace also them with no transparency nor blur effects.

You must export and place the parts as a PSD file to Illustrator to keep the parts as separate images and without spoiling the transparency. Pasting directly to Illustrator removes transparency.

Trace the parts and paste them back to Photoshop to a big enough (I guess you want at least a 2000 px wide image) empty bitmap image. Insert the blur effects.

I guess you have already tried scaling the image to a bigger size, say to 400% and noticed it makes all sharp borders muddy. You can try some image enlargening program - one which is clever enough to guess which edges and borders should be kept sharp and where a smooth color transition is needed. Smilla Enlargener is a well working and free one. Then there's many commercial programs, too. I have used ON1 Resize. It has been around for decades under changing brand names when a bigger company has bought a smaller one. It's not freeware, but it can process a multilayer PSD image. Smilla knows only one layer at a time.

There's one problem. You have partially transparent areas. The mentioned image enlargeners do not process it as wanted. There's a workaround. You can flatten the layer with blur effects to have a white background. If your printer works internally with CMYK colors (no matter you very likely must print a RGB image) white background doesn't affect. So, you can well enlarge the bottom layer as a flat image with a white backround.

The brush strokes look also transparent in many places and they have blurry edges. I would at least to try to redraw them in the higher resolution image. You cannot enlarge them with an own white background, so using an enlargener program is possible only by enlargening the full combined image as flattened with a white background.

LATE ADDITION: There's a comment (by user joojaa) which suggests that in Illustrator blending can make the blur shown in your example. That's worth trying! Unfortunately I cannot say straight away what's the right blend for the wanted result. But I'll return if I find something useful.

  • 1
    Howabout instead of a true graduent one would use a blend between 2 lightning bolts?
    – joojaa
    Commented Sep 12, 2022 at 6:12

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