Converting Bitmap to Vector
by NeoDreamer : 3 June 2005

Instead of laboring many hours tracing a bitmap in Illustrator or Freehand, you can use a little known Flash tool to convert a bitmap into a vector - the Trace Bitmap Tool. There are two reasons you may prefer vector over bitmap in your flash movies. One: to achieve a cool look. Two: to lower your file size.

[ the original bitmap]

[ the vectorized version]

Here is How:

  1. Import your bitmap image into Flash by choosing: File > Import > Import to Stage

  2. The bitmap should already be selected.

  3. Now we will convert it into vectors by choosing: Modify > Bitmap > Trace Bitmap.

[ this window will pop up]

  1. I feel that these settings are are a good balance between optimizing your image for size and quality. If you want to cater to one side more than the other, then tweak the settings (explained below).

Tweaking the Settings
Color threshold
If the difference between the RGB values of the bitmap is less than this number, then Flash will consider them the same color in the final vector graphic. So high numbers will decrease color detail and file size.

Minimum area
This is the size of the block that Flash scans while converting. color threshold affects color detail whereas minimum area affects overall detail.

Curve fit:
This determines the smoothness of the color blocks' borders. A tighter fit will increase quality while a smoother fit will decrease file size.

Corner threshold:
This is almost the same as curve fit.

If you have any questions, feel free to post on the forums at



SUPPORTERS:'s fast and reliable hosting provided by Media Temple.