How to Trace an Image in Krita for Creative Masterpieces

Table of Contents

Discover the fascinating world of image tracing in Krita and unlock your artistic potential!

Do you want to create stunning artworks by tracing images in Krita? Look no further! Whether you are a beginner or an experienced artist, this comprehensive guide will teach you how to trace images in Krita with ease and precision. Unleash your creativity and bring your ideas to life with this step-by-step tutorial.

Have you ever wondered how to transform a photo or a reference image into a beautiful digital artwork? With Krita’s powerful tracing tools, you can easily outline and recreate images, opening up a world of possibilities for your artistic endeavors. In this article, we will take you on an exciting journey, exploring the ins and outs of image tracing in Krita. Get ready to dive into a realm of creativity!

Introduction: Unleash Your Artistic Potential with Image Tracing in Krita

Welcome to the world of image tracing in Krita, where you can effortlessly transform any image into a stunning artwork. Whether you want to create a digital painting, illustrations, or concept art, image tracing in Krita offers an array of possibilities. This innovative feature allows artists to capture the essence of an image and recreate it on a digital canvas, while adding their unique touch.

By using image tracing, you can take a reference photo or sketch and seamlessly transform it into a work of art. Krita provides a variety of powerful tools and features that make the tracing process smooth and precise. From adjusting the settings to refining the traced lines, this guide will walk you through each step, helping you master the art of image tracing in Krita.

Why is Image Tracing Important for Artists?

Image tracing is a game-changer for artists, as it offers a quick and efficient way to create breathtaking artworks. It allows you to:

  • Transform reference images into digital paintings or illustrations
  • Save time by automatically generating outlines
  • Focus on the creative aspects rather than spending hours on manual tracing
  • Experiment with different styles and techniques

Image tracing enables artists to explore their creativity, experiment with different styles, and bring their ideas to life. With Krita’s image tracing capabilities, you can achieve professional-looking results, even if you’re just starting your artistic journey.

How Does Image Tracing Work in Krita?

Krita offers a powerful set of tools and features specifically designed for image tracing. When you trace an image in Krita, the software analyzes the colors and shapes in the reference image and creates outlines based on those elements. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of the image tracing process in Krita:

  1. Import or open the reference image you want to trace.
  2. Set up the tracing options, including color threshold, smoothing, and corner threshold.
  3. Adjust the tracing settings to fit your desired outcome.
  4. Start the automatic tracing process and let Krita generate the initial outline.
  5. Refine the traced lines by smoothing or adjusting individual nodes.
  6. Add details and artistic touches to the traced image using Krita’s extensive brush and layer features.
  7. Export or save your traced image in various formats for sharing or further editing.

Now that you have an overview of the image tracing process in Krita, let’s dive deeper into each step and explore the various tools and techniques at your disposal.

Preparing the Reference Image

To get started with image tracing in Krita, you need a reference image to trace. Whether it’s a photograph, a sketch, or an existing digital artwork, the reference image serves as the foundation for your tracing. Here’s how to prepare the reference image:

  1. Choose a high-resolution image: Select a reference image with a high resolution to ensure clarity and precision during the tracing process.
  2. Optimize the image: Adjust the brightness, contrast, and colors of the reference image, if needed, to enhance visibility during tracing.
  3. Crop or resize the image: Use Krita’s cropping or resizing tools to focus on the specific area you want to trace or adjust the dimensions of the reference image to fit your canvas size.

By properly preparing the reference image, you’ll have a solid foundation for your tracing, making the subsequent steps smoother and more enjoyable. Now that you have your reference image ready, it’s time to set up the tracing options in Krita.

Setting Up the Tracing Options

Krita provides various tracing options that allow you to customize the tracing process according to your desired outcome. These options include color threshold, smoothing, corner threshold, and more. Let’s explore each option:

Color Threshold

The color threshold determines how Krita identifies different colors in the reference image and creates outlines based on those colors. Adjusting the color threshold allows you to control the level of detail in the traced image. Lower values produce more detailed traces, while higher values simplify the outlines by grouping similar colors together.


The smoothing option helps eliminate small, unnecessary details from the traced image. By adjusting the smoothing value, you can achieve cleaner and more refined outlines. Lower smoothing values preserve more of the original image’s details, while higher values create smoother and simplified lines.

Corner Threshold

The corner threshold determines the level of detail for sharp corners and angles in the traced image. Higher values result in smoother corners, ideal for organic shapes and curved lines. Lower values retain sharper corners, perfect for architectural or geometric designs.

These tracing options provide remarkable flexibility, allowing you to adapt the tracing process to match your artistic vision. Consider experimenting with different settings to find the perfect balance for your desired outcome. Once you’ve set up the tracing options, you’re ready to start the automatic tracing process!

Starting the Automatic Tracing Process

With your reference image prepared and the tracing options set, it’s time to let Krita work its magic! The automatic tracing process generates the initial outline based on the selected settings. Here’s how to start the tracing process in Krita:

  1. Select the reference image: Import or open the reference image in Krita.
  2. Access the image tracing tool: In the toolbar, locate the image tracing tool icon and click on it.
  3. Adjust the settings if needed: If you want to make any last-minute changes to the tracing options, this is the time to do it.
  4. Start the automatic tracing: Click on the “Start Tracing” or similar button to initiate the tracing process.

Once you click the “Start Tracing” button, Krita will analyze the colors and shapes in the reference image, generating an initial outline based on your selected settings. The traced image will appear on a new layer, allowing you to easily manipulate and refine the lines. Now that you have the initial outline, it’s time to refine it to perfection.

Refining the Traced Lines

While the automatic tracing process provides a solid foundation, refining the traced lines ensures that your artwork reaches its full potential. Krita offers a variety of tools and techniques to refine and enhance the traced image. Here’s how to refine the traced lines in Krita:

  1. Select the traced layer: Locate the layer with the traced outline and make sure it’s selected for editing.
  2. Adjust individual nodes: Use Krita’s node editing tools to refine the shape and position of individual nodes along the traced lines.
  3. Smooth the lines: Utilize the smoothing tool to create more fluid and organic lines.
  4. Add or remove nodes: If necessary, add or remove nodes to adjust the level of detail and complexity in the traced image.
  5. Combine or split lines: Merge or separate lines to ensure accurate outlines and shapes.
  6. Experiment with brushes and textures: Enhance the traced image by using Krita’s expansive collection of brushes and textures to add depth and texture.
  7. Utilize layers for details: Use additional layers to add details, shading, or highlights to the traced image, creating a more dynamic and visually appealing artwork.

By refining the traced lines using these tools and techniques, you’ll achieve a more polished and professional-looking artwork. Take your time during this stage to fine-tune every aspect of the traced image and let your creativity flourish!

Adding Details and Artistic Touches

Now that you have a refined outline, it’s time to infuse your artwork with details and artistic touches. Krita offers an extensive array of brushes, layers, and effects that allow you to enhance your traced image and make it truly unique. Here are some ways to add details and artistic touches:

  1. Experiment with brush settings: Play around with brush size, opacity, and flow to achieve the desired effect and texture.
  2. Create new layers for details: Utilize separate layers to add intricate details, shadows, highlights, or textures to various parts of the traced image.
  3. Blend colors and gradients: Use Krita’s blending modes and gradient tools to create smooth transitions between colors, adding depth and dimension to your artwork.
  4. Apply filters and effects: Explore Krita’s vast range of filters and effects to further enhance your traced image. From simulated brushstrokes to textures, these effects can add an extra layer of creativity to your artwork.

Adding details and artistic touches is where your creativity can truly shine. Experiment with different techniques and styles, allowing your traced image to become a unique masterpiece that showcases your personal artistic vision.

Exporting or Saving Your Traced Image

Once you’re satisfied with the final result, it’s time to save or export your traced image. Krita supports various file formats, giving you the flexibility to share or further edit your artwork. Here’s how to export or save your traced image:

  1. Choose the appropriate file format: Select the file format that suits your intended use. Common formats include JPEG, PNG, and TIFF.
  2. Adjust the export settings: Depending on the file format, you may have the option to adjust compression, image quality, or other settings. Customize these options according to your preferences.
  3. Select the destination folder: Choose the folder on your computer where you want to save the traced image.
  4. Save or export the image: Click the “Save” or “Export” button to save your traced image in the desired format.

By saving or exporting your traced image, you can easily share it with others, print it, or continue working on it in other software. Congratulations on successfully tracing an image in Krita!

Mastering Image Tracing: Practice Makes Perfect

Mastering the art of image tracing in Krita takes time and practice. Don’t be discouraged if your first attempts don’t turn out as expected. The key is to keep experimenting, refining your techniques, and exploring new ways to push your artistic boundaries. Here are a few tips to help you on your journey:

  • Study reference images: Analyze and study different reference images to understand how shapes, colors, and details translate into digital artworks.
  • Take advantage of Krita’s community: Join online forums, communities, or social media groups where you can learn from experienced Krita users and get feedback on your work.
  • Embrace mistakes: Mistakes are an essential part of the learning process. Don’t be afraid to try new techniques or take risks. Learn from your mistakes, and they will ultimately lead to growth and improvement.
  • Seek inspiration: Explore various art styles and techniques from other artists to spark your creativity and find new approaches to image tracing in Krita.
  • Practice regularly: Dedicate time each day or week to practice image tracing in Krita. Consistency is key to honing your skills and developing your unique artistic style.

Remember, image tracing in Krita is a powerful tool that opens up a world of creative possibilities. Embrace the process, enjoy the journey, and let your imagination run wild!

How to Trace an Image in Krita – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. How can I import a reference image into Krita?

In Krita, you can import a reference image by going to the “File” menu, selecting “Open,” and choosing the image file from your computer.

Source: Krita User Manual

2. Can I adjust the transparency of the traced image in Krita?

Yes, you can adjust the transparency of the traced image by modifying the layer opacity. Lowering the opacity allows you to see the traced lines while still working on the details.

Source: Krita User Manual

3. Are there any keyboard shortcuts in Krita for image tracing?

Yes, Krita provides various keyboard shortcuts for image tracing, such as using the “+” and “-” keys to increase or decrease the brush size, or pressing “Ctrl+Z” to undo your last action.

Source: Krita User Manual

4. Can I trace an image directly on a photograph in Krita?

Yes, Krita allows you to trace an image directly on a photograph by creating a new layer above the photo and using it as a reference. This way, you can maintain the photo’s colors and details while tracing.

Source: Krita User Manual

5. Is it possible to change the color of the traced lines in Krita?

Yes, you can change the color of the traced lines in Krita by selecting the traced layer, choosing a new color from the colorpalette, and applying it to the lines.

6. Can I resize or scale the traced image in Krita?

Yes, you can resize or scale the traced image in Krita by selecting the layer with the traced image and using the transformation tools to adjust its size, ensuring it fits your desired dimensions.

Source: Krita User Manual

7. Is it possible to trace images with transparent backgrounds in Krita?

Yes, Krita allows you to trace images with transparent backgrounds. When saving or exporting your traced image, choose a file format that supports transparency, such as PNG or TIFF.

Source: Krita User Manual

8. How do I create smooth curves and lines while tracing in Krita?

To create smooth curves and lines while tracing in Krita, utilize the “Bezier Curve” tool. This tool allows you to control the curvature of lines by manipulating control points, resulting in precise and smooth curves.

Source: Krita User Manual

9. Is it possible to trace images in black and white or grayscale in Krita?

Yes, you can trace images in black and white or grayscale in Krita. Adjust the color threshold settings to simplify the traced lines and create monochromatic or grayscale images.

Source: Krita User Manual

10. What are some additional features in Krita that can enhance my traced image?

Krita offers a wide range of features that can enhance your traced image, including layer blending modes for unique effects, transformation tools for resizing or rotating, filters for adding textures or patterns, and various brush engines for more realistic or stylized brush strokes.

Source: Krita User Manual

11. Can I adjust the level of transparency of the traced lines in Krita?

Yes, you can adjust the transparency of the traced lines in Krita by modifying the opacity of the traced layer. Lowering the opacity allows you to create more subtle and transparent lines.

Source: Krita User Manual

12. Are there any shortcuts for toggling between different brush sizes while tracing in Krita?

Yes, Krita provides shortcuts for quickly toggling between different brush sizes. You can use the “[” and “]” keys to decrease or increase the brush size, respectively.

Source: Krita User Manual

13. Can I use image tracing in Krita for creating digital portraits?

Absolutely! Image tracing in Krita can be used to create digital portraits. By tracing a reference photo and then adding details, colors, and shading, you can transform a photograph into a stunning digital portrait with your unique artistic touch.

Source: Krita User Manual


Congratulations on completing this detailed guide on how to trace an image in Krita! By diving into the world of image tracing, you have unlocked a powerful tool that allows you to transform reference images into stunning digital artworks. With Krita’s user-friendly interface and comprehensive set of tools, you have the ability to unleash your creativity and take your artistic skills to new heights.

Throughout this guide, we explored each step of the image tracing process in Krita, from preparing the reference image to refining the traced lines and adding artistic touches. Remember, practice is key to mastering image tracing. Dedicate time to experiment with different techniques, explore various styles, and push your artistic boundaries.

As you continue your journey with image tracing in Krita, don’t hesitate to seek inspiration from other artists, engage with the Krita community, and explore the vast range of features and tools the software offers. Let your imagination run wild as you transform reference images into unique and breathtaking artworks that reflect your personal style.

Now it’s time to pick up your digital pen, open Krita, and start tracing your way to artistic excellence. Embrace the joy of creation and let your creative vision shine!

Disclaimer: The information in this article is sourced from the Krita User Manual. It is always recommended to refer to the official documentation and explore the software further to fully understand its features and capabilities.

Related video of How to Trace an Image in Krita for Creative Masterpieces

Check Also

How to Open Reference Image in Krita: A Step-by-Step Guide

Discover the Magic of Opening Reference Images in Krita Are you ready to dive into …