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best tracing app

10 Best Image Tracing Apps: Best-Selling Lightbox Apps For State Of The Art Art

With developments in media and technology, professionals from the creative industry use the best tracing app for their drawings.

In the computer language, Image Tracing or Vectorization is the simple conversion of raster graphics into vector graphics. 

Raster graphics are defined by pixels while vector graphics by points and lines. 

Through the medium of vector graphics, an image is expressed using geometric features that save the shape of the image.

The most significant advantage for vector graphics is that they are not dependent on the image resolution.

This means that the high quality of a vector image will not be affected even if enlarged. 

Maps, clipart, technical drawings, logos, etc. are best suited for Image Tracing. 

Image Tracing can also be used to recover work that is lost or has become unavailable. 

Here is a look at the 10 options for best tracing app that you should check out: 


1. Tracer! Lightbox Tracing App

The operation of Tracer! Lightbox Tracing App is an illustration through the use of an actual paper.

All you have to do is place a paper on your device then start tracing or use it as a stencil. 

You can use the reference images from the device storage, download them from web links, or take pictures from the camera. 

Released in November 2018, the app enables users with maximized working space and color adjustment options to achieve better and improved contrasts. 

This app is suitable for people of all ages to engage themselves in the art spectrum. 

It has a default white screen with brightness control settings for smooth visuals. 

You can use it to relay calligraphic fonts and patterns onto images, paintings, posters, etc. 

It is an appropriate platform for young kids to be involved in coloring, artwork, and connect-the-dots for children learning the alphabet. 

You can download reference images to trace or illustrate through the built-in search option. 

This is one of the first apps that providea a professional yet entertaining interface for the users. 

Features include:

  • Rotate and pan options for an image 
  • Zoom on the reference image
  • On and off rotate buttons
  • Lock button to prevent the sleep mode on the device 
  • Continuous auto-save
  • Brightness control setting
  • Base template for underlaying
  • An easy UI 
  • Versatile fonts
  • A vast library of graphics
  • Gradients, effects, and adjustment
  • Color proofing

2. Morpholio’s Trace 

Morpholio’s Trace is a new and innovative software that upgrades the creative process for architects, engineers, photographers, and anybody who’s a part of the imaginative field. 

It is an award-winning iOS app specially designed for architects with software developed by architects. 

Developed by Architect Toru Hasegawa, the app has distinguishable features compared to a simple tracing sheet. 

It is named after the white or yellow-colored tracing sheets used extensively by architects for sketches, concepts, etc. 

The app is designed to help an architect’s creative vision from concept to design to renderings. 

Morpholio’s Trace is a combination of sketching enhanced with the precision and agility of Computer-Aided Design (CAD). 

Along with high-quality features, Morpholio’s Trace comprises a versatile library with the option of customization. 

Any user with an iPhone 6 or above can use it for DIY home renovations or professional projects. 

It has extensive features like scale, rotate, layers, and other tools to help the user achieve flawless outcomes. 

Features include:

  • Drawing tools, layers, and rulers
  • Versatile fonts
  • Color management and color proofing
  • Layer highlighting 
  • Custom stencils to make your furniture, landscapes, etc.
  • A vast library of graphics
  • A Smart Fill option to calculate areas and fill them while you draw 
  • An AR Sketchwalk for augmented reality in three-dimensional form 
  • An Instant Scale feature to set anything to scale like a person or a tree 
  • A unique set of brushes, pens, and pencils
  • A Perspective Finder to set vanishing points 
  • An easy user interface

3. Adobe Illustrator Draw

The Adobe Illustrator Draw is a drawing and editing software that can create vector images you can send to Adobe Illustrator or Adobe Photoshop. 

It consists of five built-in vector brushes to assist you in bringing your imagination to life. 

Additionally, it supports the latest drawing hardware like the Adobe Ink, Apple Pencil, Wacom Devices, etc. and has access to Adobe Creative Cloud Libraries

You can publish your work in progress on Behance for feedback within the Adobe Illustrator Draw. 

The Adobe Stock images can be licensed from within Illustrator Draw and used as references. 

The app comprises of built-in graphs to make it easy for the user to sketch 3D objects. 

You can also fine-tune your images on the tablet for later use on the computer. 

For a more flawless result, you can highlight or enhance your work in Adobe Photoshop through the effects. 

Features include:

  • High-quality drawing tools and accessories 
  • A set of custom stencils
  • Shape integration using Capture
  • Layer management with layer highlighting 
  • Color management 
  • Color proofing
  • An easy user interface
  • Zoom up to 64x
  • Multiple images and drawing layers
  • Represent with Adobe Stock
  • Access to shared libraries
  • Customizable toolbar. 
  • Well-built stylus use.

4. Procreate 

Procreate is a raster graphics app developed specifically for the iOS software to take advantage of the speed and high-quality that comes with it. 

The app intends to evolve the authenticity of a physical drawing with the enhancement from the digital software. 

It combines many of the compelling tools you’d expect to find in more advanced programs like the Adobe Photoshop Draw or Adobe Illustrator Draw.  

The app also offers versatile tools such as a vast brush library, layers, 4K resolution for videos, and other digital aids. 

It has a well-built user interface for an easy and efficient switch between recreational and professional portfolios. 

Images can be exported to formats like PNG, JPEG, TIFF, PDF, PSD, etc. 

The app can import all the files mentioned above types except PDF.

It is designed to work best with the Apple Pencil. 

Features include:

  • Continuous auto-save
  • More than 250 built-in brushes with a dual-textured system
  • Ability to import and export new brush presets 
  • Multiple layers selections
  • Well-built stylus use
  • Well adjusted file format compatibility 
  • 64-bit color
  • A set of custom stencils 
  • An efficient user interface
  • 2D and perspective guides
  • A variety of finishing effects
  • Color balance and quick color support 
  • Color management and color proofing

5. CorelDRAW

CorelDRAW is a vector graphics app supported on both Windows and iOS.

Different platforms like the fashion industry, engineering and manufacturing, and professional working in marketing and advertising can take advantage of the app to create imaginative outcomes. 

CorelDraw is an integrated app that provides functionality for design and layout. 

Its 2019 version consists of PowerTRACE, a bitmap to vector tracing program. 

The app is known in the business for the latest and upcoming updates so that the users always have something new and enhanced to work with. 

It has the same technology and tool that are available in other programs like Adobe Photoshop Draw. 

Also, it enables in-product learning. 

A vast plug-in library is another essential component of this app. 

The current version also comprises of CONNECT, CAPTURE, Corel PHOTO-PAINT, among many others. 

Features include:

  • Bitmap to vector tracing
  • Customized design space
  • Well built stylus use
  • A variety of finishing effects like gradients and adjustments 
  • 2D and perspective grids 
  • Multiple layer selection
  • An efficient user interface
  • Live sketch tool
  • Color management and color proofing
  • Improved vector computing
  • Custom shapes
  • Versatile fonts
  • Rulers and page guides for precision and symmetry

6. Krita

Krita is a vector graphics app designed for digital painting, drawing, and tracing. 

This painting app can be used to create texture and matte, art, illustrations, and comics. 

It is available for Linux, Windows, and macOS.

There are variations like the Krita Gemini developed for tablets and Krita Studio for movies and VFX.

Along with .KRA, the app can save other file formats, including PSD, PNG, GIF, JPEG, TIFF, PDF, QML, etc. 

The application supports G’MIC filters that is a framework for image processing. 

Its user interface is flexible and extensively comfortable. 

The layout is easy to work with and customizable. 

It application comes with pre-installed plug-ins and has the option of uploading new ones. 

Features include:

  • Customizable panels called Dockers
  • Color management and color proofing
  • Layer management with layer highlighting
  • Multiple layer selection
  • Mask features that apply to vector and raster layers
  • Drawing assistants
  • Well adjusted file format compatibility 
  • Various types of Brush Engines such as the Color Smudge engine, Shape engine, and a Filter engine
  • Brush bundles resource 
  • Built-in vector and text tools
  • A comfortable user interface
  • Perspective grids and guides
  • Versatile fonts

7. Affinity Designer

Affinity Designer is a vector graphics editor developed as part of the Affinity Trinity along with Affinity Photo and Affinity Publisher. 

The app is available for iOS and Windows and is compatible with file formats like PSD, AI, PDF, SVG, etc. 

It can manage bulky documents without lagging or losing the work during the processing or rendering. 

Also, it comes with a relaxed and comfortable switch between vector and raster workspaces. 

The app has an efficient vector toolset for achieving a high outcome. 

Affinity Designer comes with a vast library of pre-installed plug-ins. 

It has a list of isometric graphs and grids for easy and efficient line precision. 

Features include:

  • Vector to pixel export option
  • Vector pen and node tools
  • Well-built stylus use
  • Well adjusted file format compatibility
  • Built-in text tools 
  • Page guides
  • Isometric grid for line definition
  • Linked symbols 
  • Pixel alignment
  • Color management
  • Color proofing
  • Layer management
  • Versatile gradients, effects, and adjustments
  • A convenient user interface

8. Assembly

Assembly is a vector design app designed especially for vector graphics and logos for iOS devices. 

It has a touch-optimized bezier editing curve. 

The app’s library consists of a wide variety of shapes to be used as-is or modified. 

You can sync the projects across multiple devices through the cloud. 

It also enables the user to create customizable color palettes. 

The text engine has 25 in-built fonts, or you can import your own. 

Assembly is compatible with file formats like PSD, JPEG, PNG, and SVG up to 4096×4096 pixels. 

It has an extensive and convenient user interface. 

Lastly, it has an easy switch between the vector and raster workspace, which allows the software to “assemble” the input ideally. 

Features include: 

  • Pre-made color palettes
  • Well-built user interface
  • Well adjusted file format compatibility
  • A sharp snapping system for convenient shape replacement
  • Custom packs for shapes and projects
  • Essential elements like transparency, grouping, scaling, etc. 
  • Assembly Gallery for built-in tips
  • Color management
  • Multiple layer selection
  • Layer management
  • Gradients and effects
  • Sticker sharing for iMessage 
  • Page guides and rulers for exact line precision
  • Well adjusted file format compatibility

9. Inkscape

Released in 2003, Inkscape is one of the most popular vector graphics software programs in the digital image tracing market. 

It’s available in 90 languages and across platforms like OS and Linux. 

The most extensive feature is the image bitmap tracing that has made it one of the leading software in the Image Tracing business. 

One of the primary goals of this software is the user interface and convenience. 

It supports import and export in formats like SVG, JPEG, PNG, etc. 

Inkscape offers an in-built node palette and allows the addition of new ones as well. 

The switch and flow of work between the vector and raster workspace are incredibly proficient. 

This app offers free programs that are as good as any other paid vector app. 

Features include:

  • Bezier curves
  • Easy vector to raster workspace switch
  • Open-ended drawing tools
  • Well-adjusted file format compatibility
  • Canvas rotation.
  • Easy object manipulation
  • Operations on the path like tweak tool, path-inset, path offset, path conversion, etc. 
  • Coherent with Resource Description Framework (RDF) 
  • Node Tool to scale, rotate, and move elements 
  • Compelling text tool
  • Page guides and rulers for precision and symmetry 
  • Gradients and effects

10. Autodesk Sketchbook

Autodesk Sketchbook or Autodesk Sketchbook Pro is a raster and vector graphics software intended for sketching and tracing. 

The former has a pie-menu user interface where the selection depends on the direction. 

It uses touch-sensitive technology for easy user interface and compatibility. 

The drawing engine has a 100mpx working canvas. 

Autodesk Sketchbook Pro has over 200 customizable brushes for digital use. 

It has exclusive access to the Copic Color Library, renowned in the digital industry. 

For precision and detail, you can use the 16-sector Radial Symmetry option. 

The Pro version is extensively used by architects, product designers, and industrial designers to breathe life into their imagination. 

It forms the basic building block for architects while still in the conceptual design stages of their projects. making it convenient to switch to Autodesk AutoCAD in the drawing and drafting stages. 

The Autodesk Sketchbook Pro is compatible with PSD import and export with the layers fully preserved including, names, groups, and other effects. 

Features include:

  • It’s compatible with file formats like JPEG, PNG, BMP, and TIFF, etc. 
  • Predictive stroke option for smooth and precise lines
  • A versatile platform of pens, markers, and inks to choose from
  • It’s available on all devices 
  • Gradients and effects
  • Layer management and multiple layer selection
  • Well-built user interface
  • The software can also create animations
  • A screenshot tool is available for adding notes
  • The software is freeware for personal use 
  • It also consists of an ellipse tool and canvas rotation.
  • It has an easy vector to raster workspace switch.
  • Rulers and page guides for symmetry

Final Thoughts 

Now that you’ve browsed through the apps mentioned above for Image Tracing, you’ve understood which one’s best suited for you or your professional team. 

It’s quite clear that these Image Tracing applications excel in either vectorization, rasterization, or other graphic and digital enhancements for the best and most reasonable outcomes. 

The choice for selection is limitless.

So are the factors to base your decision.

Yet the deliverables of each option produce almost the same results with equal efficiency, quality, and profit.   

If you’re serious about digital sketching or drawing, consider these options for the best tracing app and download them today.

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