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I was trying to get the symbol of the old Roman emblem (SPQR). I'm actually interested in the laurel leaves, and not so much in the banner per se.

What I would like to have is something like this (in Tikz, as oppose to simply \includegraphics). With the possibility to change the stylish A to any other simple roman letter.

enter image description here

I'm a complete newbie with TikZ, and even though I know this question sounds like do this for me, I would really appreciate if someone could at least throw in an sketch where to start.

share|improve this question
1  
This isn’t quite what you want, but it might give you some ideas: texblog.org/tag/laurel-leaves –  alexwlchan Apr 19 at 10:50
    
@alexwlchan This is a great starting point! :) –  Mario S. E. Apr 19 at 10:52
    
You can always draw it with Inkscape or throw this to potrace and get the TikZ code back. –  percusse Apr 19 at 12:57
    
@percusse Could you write an answer with an example? –  Mario S. E. Apr 19 at 13:05

1 Answer 1

up vote 9 down vote accepted

First you clean up the bitmap in even Paint and remove the unnecessary bits and save your file as a .bmp. Such as

enter image description here

Tracing with POTrace

Then download potrace and in the command window simply type

potrace <filename>.bmp

And that would give you a vector file format .eps, (I optionally convert it to PDF for ease). The quality of the trace is inverse proportional with the complexity of the figure. Sometimes it's amazing sometimes it gets confused.

Converting to TikZ code

Download and install Inkscape. Add Inkscape to TikZ exporter extension from this link. Download tikz_export.py, tikz_export_effect.inx, and tikz_export_output.inx from the External links on the bottom of the left panel. Put them in the share-->extension directory inside the Inkscape installation directory.

Export from the menu: Extension -> Export -> Export to TikZ path. An option window shows up. Choose your option and export from there (either into a file by specification, or in the clipboard).

So we get

enter image description here

Here is the resulting file I got.

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}
\usepackage{tikz}

\begin{document}


\begin{tikzpicture}[y=0.80pt,x=0.80pt,yscale=-1, inner sep=0pt, outer sep=0pt]
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I would like to rephrase;

TikZ ist kein Zeichenprogramm ;)

share|improve this answer
    
+1 for acronym! Made me smile :) couldn't this be made a little smaller though by saving one leaf and re-using it? –  Sean Allred Apr 19 at 14:57
3  
@SeanAllred It's the official recursion, you can seee it in the manual. I wish I was that smart :) –  percusse Apr 19 at 14:58
    
Nice answer! Now for the cherry on top: How would you write a letter in the middle to replace the A you just erased? –  Mario S. E. Apr 19 at 16:13
    
@percusse A litle side question: where does the file gets exported when export to tikz path is used? What is the difference between exporting it to tikz path or simply saving it as .tex? –  Mario S. E. Apr 23 at 10:16

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