Wednesday, 14 August 2019

AI to SVG online conversion reviews

I needed to convert a single Adobe Illustrator (AI) file to a Scaleable Vector Graphics (SVG) file. Primarily I want to be able to reproduce it at any size with the minimum loss of quality.

AI and SVG are both vector graphics formats. AI is proprietary and SVG is open.

Good quality - finished result

I was surprised when I did the first conversion online that the result was a poor quality, apparently raster image, not a vector. I tried another site and got a much better result. That's when I decided I should write a quick review to remind me of which sites to use in the future.

Reviews

The process was very simple. I uploaded the same file to each site, as instructed by that site. I asked for it to be converted and then I downloaded the file when it was ready. I compared the results in Inkscape.

It was a friend's file, so there was no value for me to pay for the conversion. It was at no cost or not at all.

I did not do any thinking, I expected the online site to select the best output for me. That may not have been appropriate if I was testing raster graphics but for vector graphics, I would expect a perfect reproduction without any need for input from me.


CloudConvert
https://cloudconvert.com/ai-to-svg
Speed: Quick. The 2 meg file took only a few seconds.

CloudConvert

Output: Top quality vector graphic. Perfect. The black was blacker than the others and closer to my expectations.
I was able to ungroup components and re-position them.

Convertio
https://convertio.co/ai-svg/
Speed: Quick. The 2 meg file took only a few seconds.

Convertio

Output: Top quality vector graphic. Perfect. The black was a bit greyer than I expected.
I was able to ungroup components and re-position them.

Zamzar
https://www.zamzar.com/convert/ai-to-svg/
Speed: OK. Took less than a minute to convert.

Zamzar

Zamzar - close up of the tip of a petal - shows flaw

Output: Acceptable but slight flaws in the vector positions. The black was a bit greyer than I expected.
I was able to ungroup components and re-position them.

onlineconvertfree.com
https://onlineconvertfree.com/convert-format/ai-to-svg/
Speed: Quick. The 2 meg file took only a few seconds.

onlineconvertfree

Output: Raster graphic encapsulated in a vector file. That is not what I expected nor what I wanted. Poor result. No groups.

Scan

I used a scan of some finished artwork to confirm which of the vector conversions was closest to how the original designer intended.

Conclusion

CloudConvert and Convertio produced almost identical results except for a slight variation in colour. Both will be perfect for my needs.

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A bit about Vector Graphics

There are only a few applications whose main purpose it to create vector graphics. Adobe Illustrator is probably the most widely used professional application. It is very well known and liked. For those of us that are reluctant to invest that cost for the odd bit of casual drawing, it is more common to use the free Inkscape application.

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