Pixel art, known for its retro charm and simplicity, has seen a resurgence in popularity. However, when it comes to scalability, adaptability, and precision editing, vector graphics have the upper hand. Converting pixel art to vector format offers a solution, combining the nostalgic aesthetic of pixels with the versatility of vectors. This article explores the methods, advantages, and steps involved in converting pixel art to vector graphics.

Methods of Converting Pixel Art to Vector

  1. Manual Vector Tracing:
  • Open pixel art in vector-based software like Adobe Illustrator, Inkscape, or CorelDRAW.
  • Use vector drawing tools, such as the Pen tool, to manually trace pixel elements, creating vector paths.
  1. Automated Vectorization Tools:
  • Utilize vectorization tools like Adobe Illustrator’s Image Trace or online converters like Vector Magic.
  • These tools automatically analyze pixel art and generate vector paths, simplifying the conversion process.
  1. Specialized Pixel-to-Vector Software:
  • Some software is designed specifically for converting pixel art to vectors.
  • These tools often offer features tailored to pixel art, ensuring accurate conversion.

Steps for Converting Pixel Art to Vector

  1. Choose the Right Software:
  • Select a vector-based software that suits your preferences and skill level.
  1. Open or Import Pixel Art:
  • Open your pixel art file in the chosen vector software or import it into a new document.
  1. Select Vectorization Method:
  • Decide whether to manually trace pixel elements or use automated vectorization tools based on your preference and the complexity of the artwork.
  1. Manual Tracing (if applicable):
  • If manually tracing, use vector drawing tools to recreate pixel elements as smooth vector paths.
  1. Automated Vectorization (if applicable):
  • If using automated tools, adjust settings to achieve the desired level of detail and accuracy.
  1. Refine and Edit:
  • After vectorization, refine the vector paths, adjust shapes, and modify details using the editing tools available in the software.
  1. Save as Vector File:
  • Once satisfied with the vectorized result, save the file in a vector format such as SVG, AI, or EPS.

Advantages of Converting Pixel Art to Vector

  1. Scalability without Pixelation: Vectorized pixel art can be scaled to any size without losing the clarity and crispness associated with pixel art.
  2. Editing Flexibility: Vector graphics allow for precise editing of individual elements, colors, and shapes, providing greater flexibility compared to pixel-based editing.
  3. Versatility Across Platforms: Vectorized pixel art becomes compatible with various design software and platforms, enabling its use in a broader range of applications.
  4. Print and Web Use: Vector graphics are suitable for both high-quality prints and web graphics, ensuring adaptability in different media.


Converting pixel art to vector graphics opens up new possibilities for creators, allowing them to preserve the nostalgic aesthetic of pixels while benefiting from the scalability and precision of vectors. By choosing the right software and method, designers can successfully transform pixel art into versatile vector graphics, ensuring adaptability in various design applications.


Can any pixel art be converted into a vector format?
In most cases, pixel art can be successfully converted to vectors, but the level of detail and complexity may impact the conversion process.

Are there specific settings to consider when using automated vectorization tools?
Yes, adjusting settings such as level of detail, smoothing, and color options can significantly impact the outcome of automated vectorization.

Can vectorized pixel art retain the nostalgic charm of pixels?
Yes, vectorized pixel art can retain its nostalgic charm while gaining the advantages of vector graphics, such as scalability and precision.

Are there limitations to the size or complexity of pixel art suitable for efficient conversion to vectors?
Larger or highly detailed pixel art may require more processing power and manual adjustments during the conversion process.

This page was last edited on 19 January 2024, at 7:00 pm