Converting raster to vector is when raster files are manually recreated in vector format. This process can be automated, however, the results are typically not ideal. The best way to truly convert a raster to a vector file is to expertly recreate the original image by hand.
The difference between raster and vector
Raster files are defined by a series of pixels. Depending on the quality of the image, these pixels cause the image to lose some detail. However, this is generally only seen when the image is enlarged, making it look pixelated (sort of like an 8-bit video game).
Because raster files don’t have every detail, they are generally smaller in size. This makes them great for using on your website or online store. GIFs, PNGs and JPEGs are common raster file types.
Vector files are defined by a series of points that create straight and/or curved paths. This visual information is more mathematical — a series of points on a graph with an X and a Y axis. Because they’re not composed of pixels, vectors can be resized to ANY size without sacrificing quality — vectors are scalable.
EPS, PDF, SVG and AI files are common types of vector files. Vector files are great for many printed materials, including business cards, t-shirts and mugs. They’re also a good way to sharpen older, fuzzy graphics. And if you’re creating a new graphic or logo, it’ll avoid any distortion or quality loss when enlarged or printed.