This past weekend, I received an email from a person who has worked on creating and developing a pretty nice raster-to-vector conversion program. This program is called MagicTracer.
I haven’t done much testing on it, but what I’ve seen is very impressive. The install went smoothly, and was very straightforward. Since I haven’t purchased the program, I can run it in a demo mode – this allows for 35 program uses, at a maximum of 12 hours per use (if I read it correctly). The interface is also pretty straightforward, and offers some very in-depth features. The program opens various raster image formats, although one negative that I saw was no Adobe PDF support. I get a LOT of drawings in PDF format that need to be converted to a vector format, so I’m wondering if this is something that could be added at a later time.
Just to have something to do with it, I opened a topographic survey in Civil 3D 2007. I isolated the surface layer and then used SnagIt to do a screen capture of the surface and saved it as a TIFF file. Then, I created a new project in MagicTracer and opened the image file that I had created. Using the Vector menu “Vector Convert” command gave me a TON of options, some of which I had no idea what to do with. The first thing I did was turn on “Enable Real-Time Preview” so that I could see what I was doing. After changing a few options, I came up with a very reasonable conversion that wasn’t too “out there”. Smoothing was something that I didn’t even attempt at this point.
I also saw some very nice Raster editing functions in another menu, as well as image enhancements. At first glance, this seems to be a VERY powerful program. Even better is the price – at $49.95, this offers some nice raster conversion tools that you can’t find in many other places. Try it out – I think you’ll like it.