How to Hack a BW Image into a T Shirt
The purpose of this post is to demonstrate how to take black & white images off the internet and pervert them to your own evil desires.
The image above is a 50x50 pixel JPG. PNG and JPG images are in a format called "raster" graphics. A raster image is composed of tiny points - (picture elements, or "pixels").
This image has been zoomed up in order to show what happens to pixellated images when zoomed. They do not hold up well because the size of the image is increased by increasing the individual pixels. Zoom up far enough, and the image will appear as only colored (or, in this case, black & white) blocks.
The image below is a vector graphic tracing of the above image, also zoomed up, but with superior staying power. Vector graphics files are not composed of individual pixels. Instead, the image is represented mathematically. When a vector graphic is zoomed, the program used to do the zooming recalculates all the lines and points, preserving the image's integrity.
So, let's get started.
Find an image somewhere on the web that you would like to manipulate. Right-click on it, and copy-save it to your machine.
There are several graphics software programs available for Macintosh and Windows (such as Photoshop and Corel Draw) which should be able transform a raster graphic to vector format.
I can't say for sure if Corel Draw or Photoshop can be used for this, because I run Linux and use Inkscape. Inkscape is also available for Windows and Mac, so if you can't get PS or CD to work, there's that.
There are several graphics software programs available for Macintosh and Windows (such as Photoshop and Corel Draw) which should be able transform a raster graphic to vector format. I can't say for sure if Corel Draw or Photoshop can be used for this, because I run Linux and use Inkscape. Inkscape is also available for Windows and Mac, so if you can't get PS or CD to work, there's that.
In Inkscape, highlight the image and then select Path | Trace Bitmap and then click on OK in the resulting pop-up box. Close the pop-up box and drag the top image out of the way. The original, pixellated image should be below. Delete that. Move the new image back into its place.
Click outside the image to remove the selection arrows. Now, select Layer | Add Layer from the top Menu bar. Give it a name - b, bg, background - whatever. Now, select the box symbol from the lefthand side of the main window. It's the one below the spyglass in the graphic below.
At the bottom of the main window, there's a graduated scale of colors. Real quick, click on the white square. Now, drag and draw a window which covers the image in white. You have just added a white layer on top of the image. On the top menu, select Layer | Layer to Bottom. The original image should reappear.
Congratulations! You're almost done.
This is the Money Shot. Now, you can rescale the image to any size you like and not lose resolution until you save it as a PNG or JPG. When you save in those formats, if you try to resize that image, you'll run into pixellation problems again.
You can also save it as an EPS, PDF or SVG file. These are vector file formats that most screen printers will want for shirts. (AI - Adobe Illustrator - is also popular)
In other words, you can take the tiniest little b&w graphic and blow it up into a t-shirt.
Cool, huh? Your mileage will vary in attempting to use this trick for color photos and other more complicated images. But try it. You'll definitely get some interesting results.
You can do this to any image here. I would prefer you buy t-shirts from me, but maybe you can't afford to right now. Maybe I don't offer that one little cut of a graphic that you find cute. Email me, if you like. If enough people express interest in an image, I will try to make available.
But God help you if you should try to sell my images. Eeeh.
Whatever, take this tip and run with it and more power to ya!
¡Viva la revolucion!,