DrawPlus: Tracing Photos

Serif's DrawPlus is versatile drawing software that lets you create stunning designs, logos and cartoons. Among its many features, it also lets you trace out and select objects from photos. The following describes how a photo can be traced using DrawPlus.

Step 1: Open Photo in Auto Trace

Initialize DrawPlus and open the photo you need to trace. Select the image with the Select Tool, and then click on the "Auto Trace" button in the top menu bar. This will open the image in the Auto Trace window.

Step 2: Select Photo Image Trace

As the Auto Trace window opens, you have a choice of three presets. You need to click on the "Photo Image Trace" as you need a trace of a photo. In the window that opens, you will see the work area in the middle with your photo, a Help panel on the left and the control panel with a preview window on the right.

Step 3: Adjust the Slider Controls

The control panel on the left of the screen has various slider controls which gives you the opportunity to edit various aspects of the image. You can move the sliders and see the corresponding effects in the preview window. You will also find additional information about these slider values in the Help panel on the left. Initially, all the values will be at the default settings. You can make your adjustments and click on the "Reset" button under the slider controls. Then, click on the "Trace" button.

Step 4: Edit the Image

If you want to do further editing of the photo, click on the Adjust button at the bottom of the control panel. You will see that the slider controls are gone, and there are three tool buttons on the top menu bar which include Merge Tool, Fill Tool and Node Tool. The Merge Tool will enable you to merge areas of different color tones into one color. To make the process easier, you can click on the "Auto Merge" button in the right panel. You just need to click and drag on the areas you want to merge, with the appropriate brush size. The Node Tool will help you correct the shape and texture of areas in your photo. The Fill Tool will help you fill colors in selected areas of the photo. Depending on the tool you have chosen, the controls and tools in the right panel will change and you can select them to make your work easier.

Step 5: Finish the Trace

After you have done all the required editing with the various tools, you need to click on the "Accept" button to save the changes. Now your trace image is ready, and you will be back on the starting screen which has the workspace with your traced image. You can do a variety of things with it. You can add a background color or pattern to the traced photo or also import another photograph behind your traced image.