In order to trace an initial to make a font, I need to simplify the original picture as much as possible. I’ve already vectorized it, but I wonder how I could clean it up a bit more to make it easier to trace in fontforge.
Here is the vectorized version:
There’s really no reason to make this a true font file. These are decorative initial caps and one doesn’t actually typeset full words with it.
As such, I’d leave it as vector illustrations in EPS formats and distribute it that way.
As a font, this will become a file so large that you’re likely going to run into performance issues on a lot of systems and within a lot of software.
Way back in the day I traced letterforms like this and it was very much a manual process. We tried all sorts of auto-tracing methods but found that the amount of time it took to clean up auto-traces of this level of detail far exceeded that of us just tracing these manually by hand.