Convert Pixel Art into Vector Graphics

Inkscape just added the new Trace Pixel Art feature that allows you to turn pixel art into a much smoother vector graphic. Let’s learn how to use Trace Pixel Art!

Step 1

First, you’re going to need an image to import. I found this terrific pixel art of a citrus tree that looked like a great fit. Go ahead and drag it into Inkscape and then open Path > Trace Pixel Art. I left the settings at default and just clicked OK.

inkscape trace pixel art

Step 2

Okay, so it looks alright, but what about those white lines in between everything? Well, A quick little trick for this is to select the tree and hit Control+D to duplicate it over itself, which also magically solves the line issue.

pixel trace in inkscape

Step 3

On the left is the regular trace, and the right is with it duplicated on itself. Much better, right?

trace pixel art white lines

Step 4

Finally, it’s time to compare the original pixel art to the vector trace at about 300%. While not perfect, the Trace Pixel Art feature did a great job and the vector version holds up much better when scaled.

pixel art vs vector

That’s It!

The Trace Pixel Art feature is a terrific addition to Inkscape and it’s sure to inspire a lot of cool projects. Even though most pixel art is great looking in its own category of design, it’s good to know that it’s now possible to bring some new life with scalable vector graphics. If you’re interesting in doing the opposite of this tutorial, check out how to convert vector graphics into pixel art. Thanks for reading!