The Wessex Wyvern as SVG

I needed to find a good quality image of a Wyvern, the symbol of Wessex, ancient kingdom of the West Saxons. The best i could find was the image on the Wessex Flag, below, but it is poor quality and can’t be scaled up. So i had to learn a bit about path tracing and scalable vector graphics.

Wessex Wyvern (low quality)

Wessex Flag by Chrys Fear, found at fotw.net/flags/gb-wessx.html

I used a combination of the free open source graphics tools GIMP, Inkscape and Potrace to trace the shape into vector format. Even at the same size, it’s already much better, saved here in PNG format:

Wessex Wyvern (higher quality)

The SVG is infinitely scalable and you can download it here: wessex-wyvern.svg

Here you can see the quality improvement:

Before and after - close up

Here is a close up of the eye, which took a bit of work to get the paths just right:

Close up of the Wyvern's eye

I needed the Wyvern to form part of the Bi Wessex flag. Here is what we are affectionately calling the Bivern!

The Bivern (Bi Wessex Wyvern)

The Bi Wessex flag is also available as SVG, should you want it: bi-wessex-flag.svg

If you need to improve the quality of an image, i hope you will feel encouraged that it is possible, with a little bit of effort and experimentation.

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4 comments on “The Wessex Wyvern as SVG

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention A little place of calm - aimee's personal journal -- Topsy.com

  2. It's fantastic! Being a Wessex native, I feel all proud… :) I'm also really grateful for the tutorial as I've been wanting to find a way to change scanned images from old books into usable graphics.

  3. i'm glad you liked it! i can't tell you exactly how to do the vector tracing, but be encouraged to know it's not actually that difficult, and you can get some very good results.long live Wessex!! :D

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