Creating vector separations of raster images

We’re doing some large format fabric printing for one of our current projects, and I’m looking into ways of creating vector color separations from raster images (8-12 colors per image) to avoid having to digitally print (too expensive.) Live trace in Illustrator isn’t producing high enough quality results. I’ve found a program called Vectoraster that creates halftone vectors, but it doesn’t control the number of colors it uses when it outputs the vector art.

The only workaround I’ve found has been to change the original image to indexed color, separate each channel, run each of those through Vectoraster and recombine them in Illustrator. With the size of the artwork, this process is painstakingly slow.

Any suggestions for a better way to do this? Thanks.

Anyone remember Adobe Streamline?

Streamline is the backbone of Live Trace.


I use VectorMagic to quickly make photos into vectors for my vinyl cutter. You can control the color output by selecting ‘custom colors’.
I’m not sure if it’ll be accurate enough for your project, though.