Free Soft’s Silhouette is a powerful tool for quickly converting scanned art to clean, vector-based artwork. Tremendously valuable for converting logos into editable artwork, Silhouette squares up lines and corners, ensures that parallel lines are indeed parallel, and straightens crooked scans.
It sharpens corners, smoothes tangents, and converts “flat curves” into straight lines. Silhouette finds and removes unnecessary points, and provides efficient tools for fixing paths. In colored art, you can select paths by color for extraction and use.
It can batch-vectorize the content of an entire folder at once, and import many formats including QuickTime, GIF, JPEG, BMP, TGA and TIFF. It can also export in Flash format.
Silhouette is available as either a standalone application or as a plug-in for Illustrator. You can watch it in action at their website in an impressive QuickTime movie. Price ranges from €199 to €249.
Jeff Gamet is a contributing editor for Design Tools Monthly, the executive summary of graphic design news. He is also the morning editor and reviews editor for The Mac Observer and iPodObserver.com, and contributing writer for Layers Magazine and Photoshop User. He writes the InBrief column for InDesign Magazine, and is the author of “The Designer’s Guide to Mac OS X,” from Peachpit Press
When Jeff isn’t writing about the graphic design world, he’s talking about it on the Design Tools Weekly podcast with co-host Jay Nelson. He also talks about Apple and the Mac world every week on The Mac Observer’s Apple Weekly Report.
Jeff studies, tests and reviews new software and technologies for the Macintosh community as well as the design and print industries. He is a former Pre-press specialist, and has nearly 25 years experience with computer technology. Jeff trains, lectures and consults on techniques for more efficiently using Mac OS X in creative environments throughout the country.
In the rare moments when he can get away from his MacBook Pro, Jeff spends his time climbing and biking in the Colorado mountains.