Vectoraster Updated for Mac Pattern and Halftone Creation

Here at Graphics.com, we take particular pleasure in featuring applications from small developers but of late most of these seem to be of the tired add-a-wacky-photo-effect-and-send-to-friends variety. What a pleasure, then, to come across something like Vectoraster, which would seem to be unique in its approach to converting your bitmap images to vector-based raster patterns and halftones, with results that designers can actually put to use.

Once your image has been loaded, Vectoraster provides a good selection of point shape types, from circles to polygons, with the ability to also use custom shapes from imported EPS files adding unlimited possibilities. Also appreciated is the ability to use characters from any installed font as point shapes, employing specified text to define the characters. Users can tweak point parameters such as size, aspect or shape contraction to achieve different effects.

Multi Scale makes it possible to simultaneously scale multiple parameters, such as point size and raster spacing, using just one control. For example, color adjustment controls allow users to shift point color hue, saturation and brightness, as well as vary these changes across the raster. Popup menus allow for quickly switching to a number of built-in preset source images, such as radial and linear gradients. Notable is a point shape mode that makes it possible to render outlines, instead of filled point shapes, with an option to vary the stroke width with point weight to generate additional effects. Then there's a constant point size function to ensure that all points are the same size, which is said to be useful when varying other parameters.

Output options are flexible and include the ability to copy raster curves directly into most vector graphics applications. Vector export to EPS and PDF is supported, as well as bitmap image export to JPEG, PNG and TIFF.

While previous versions required the import of images to use as sources, version 7 makes it possible to simply define adjustable linear and radial gradients. Users also have the possibility to control additional different point aspects, such as shape, size and color, across the raster. Separate settings for point fill and stroke parameters that can be used individually or together have been added. It's now also possible to combine multiple distortions to a raster pattern (such as waves, twists or randomizations), each with improved individual control over position and scale.

Vectoraster 7 for Mac can be purchased for $39 on the lost minds site. A trial version is also available for download.