You can't scan this
May 27, 2015 8:18 AM   Subscribe

I have a small (about 10x20cm) pencil drawing that I'd like in digital format. But this is not a job for a scanner per se - I think I need some kind of digital artist. What kind of service am I looking for?

It's a fairly simple line drawing with some text. It's just pencil on blank white paper, with no colour. I want to have the layout changed slightly and the lines tidied up. The idea is to make the design more printer-friendly and usable in things like messenger apps, while retaining the character of the original. I should be able to use the finished file to print a t-shirt, so I suppose I'm looking at getting an SVG made.

I don't have enough experience to do this myself, and since it's important to me that the style of the picture and text is retained as much as possible, I think I need some kind of digital artist to help me here.

Where do I go to find someone who can do this for me? Is there a particular kind of digital artist who specialises in converting drawings like this into digital "replicas"? And what kind of price can I expect for this kind of job?
posted by Juso No Thankyou to Grab Bag (8 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Convert a pencil drawing into a nice, clean vector graphic? That should be a fairly simple job. If you'd email me a high-resolution scan, I'd be happy to take a stab at it.
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:26 AM on May 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

Take on the offer by Faint of Butt or give it a shot yourself with inkscape, a free vector program. It is quite easy to use and I have (very amateurishly) used it to transform drawings into t-shirt printable vectors. Always worked fine for me and I can def recommend it.
posted by Fallbala at 8:29 AM on May 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

Try fiverr?
posted by onehundredand80 at 8:38 AM on May 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

There's a tool in Illustrator that basically does exactly what you describe. It's a quick job for anyone who knows their graphics software.
posted by the_blizz at 8:54 AM on May 27, 2015

You can try capturing it with the free Adobe Shape app - this is basically what the app is designed to do.
posted by mikepop at 11:03 AM on May 27, 2015

You could certainly do it yourself, but if you aren't already familiar with the tools you'd need then it would be something a learning curve to get a satisfying final product. It also sounds like you have something specific in mind, and that can be frustrating to achieve when you're trying to learn the tools and techniques at the same time.

Try searching Craigslist locally near you or on dribbble for a digital illustrator (maybe also in your area, if face-to-face is important). Any decent digital illustrator will have an online portfolio, so you'll be able to see if they have any work that's similar to what you need - some people call it line art illustration. It sounds like a couple of hours work for a skilled illustrator to scan, [digitally] trace your drawing into a vector and make the modifications you want.

As an alternative option, many tattoo artists also specialize in line art and could possibly help you.
posted by homesickness at 2:58 PM on May 27, 2015

If you want to try something for yourself and see if it turns out, the online tool at vectormagic is worth a try (especially for things with only one or two colors). If you get a good close-up photo with a good camera, you can get pretty good results. I just throw in a email address when it asks for it.
posted by that girl at 7:34 PM on May 27, 2015

this sounds like just the job for the Live Trace function (or Image Trace in newer versions) of Adobe Illustrator. It also looks like Inkscape has something similar with their Trace function. It's a pretty easy tool to play around with and see what works - Inkscape is free, and if you're affiliated with a university at all, you may have free access to Illustrator as well.
posted by taltalim at 7:42 AM on May 28, 2015

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