You can face the task sometimes that you need a high resolution material from a particular image. Most probably when you’re a graphic designer (or even a tattoo artist), you might want to have a good quality result from a low resolution image that you can magnify no matter how much, it will give you smooth edges in high quality.
For this, you have the following possibility without a trace program: using a pixel graphic software like Gimp, you can resize the image with the best resampling method and apply a selective blur filter on it. Most of the times this doesn’t give the necessary quality.
There is a small but powerful utility called
potrace developed by Peter Selinger, a mathematics professor at the Dalhousie University.