Sparkol Help

Topic not covered?

Start a new topic

Inkscape trace bitmap - remove outline of line


When tracing a simple black line drawing in Inkscape (trace bitmap > export as optimized vector), the drawing action in videoscribe first outlines the lines, then fills them in.

Am I missing something in the trace bitmap setting, or the export/save as settings? 

I want videosribe to draw the completed lines in one pass, or one stroke, and not outline the lines and then come back to fill them in.

I'm attaching an example of the outlined lines as they're drawn in videoscribe.

Thank you.

1 person has this question

Sounds to me that the lines you have created in Inkscape have the paths of the SVG around the outline of your strokes rather than through the middle.  If you open inkscape and draw a line with the pen or pencil you will notice the path runs through the middle of the line rather than round the edge. 

You may find our Create your own images page useful and also this YouTube video which one of our customers has created to walk you through image creation. One of our regular customers also has a forum post on tips and settings needed with SVGs to make them draw well in the application. 

If you can't find the answer there then post the SVG file and we can take a look

I have the excact same issue and the answers provided don't seem practical. I don't want to manually trace the object.
When I go to "view-displace mode-outline" in inkscape it shows the outlines that are being drawn by videoscribe before filling them into a solid line (just as Lorcan shows in his image above). Is there a way to fill these outlines so videoscribe draws a solid line right away?


Denise, VideoScribe uses the vector path to draw your image so if you use a technique that puts that path around the edge of the line rather than through the middle then you are going to get that effect when you import it.

Hi Barry,
thanks for your answer. Unfortunately I don't know what you mean by "technique". Could you please let me know what I can do different.


By technique I mean auto-trace functions, the type of vector lines these generally produce will cause the effect you are experiencing in VideoScribe. VideoScribe uses the vector path to draw your image so if your SVG has a vector path around the edge of your strokes your image will be drawn in that way.

Hi Barry
Thanks for your reply! I now figured out what you mean by "path through the middle" but I was unable to find a way to select this path in Inkscape. Do you know if there is a way in Inkscape to do so? Which program do you use?
Thanks a bunch


(FYI: Autotraced images never draw as well as properly prepared SVG images in videoscribe)

In illustrator, the autotrace menu options include an option to create stroked paths (path in the middle of a color shape or line) instead of/in addition to filled paths (path around the outside edge of a color area)

If inkscape has similar options in the autotrace menu, that's where you would find them.

Otherwise you would probably have to:
1) start from scratch and manually trace your image using the pen or pencil tool to create basic stroked paths or
2) use the transparent stroke trick

If you are struggling, experiment with very small simple images like a smiley face or stick man until you understand how everything works.

related link with more information:
Making SVG Images Draw Well (2017 update)


-Mike (videoscribe user)

Hi Mike,
thanks so much for the answer! I couldn't find a way to autotrace through the middle in inkscape. Guess I have to get illustrator :(


You can download a free trial of illustrator to test it and see if the results are acceptable.

This forum thread seems to confirm that inkscape cannot current do a "center line trace":

There is a link in that thread to an online converter that can apparently do it for free ( I am not familiar with it and I have not tried it. disclaimer: use your own judgement when visiting unfamiliar websites).

Googling may provide you with more options.

-Mike (videoscribe user)

Login to post a comment