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Trace Tool Tutorial
|This tutorial demonstrates the use of
trace tool to produce embroidery design from a raster image. For good
results, image must be sufficiently clean. Input image can be in any
file format supported by Studio. The most important factor is that edges
of color areas are smooth, i.e. not jagged, which may be result of enlarging raster
1. Import image. Do not scale image to
fit into the hoop, because if image is enlarged, it becomes more
pixelated and the autotracing will not work well. It is recommended to
resize the finished vector design, instead. In contrast to rasters,
resizing of vectors does not affect the quality.
||2. Let's start to digitize the Smiley
design. Large filled areas should be digitized first. Select the Trace tool (the magic
wand icon) from the tool bat at the left side of the screen with right
mouse button. Then select the Fill style.
|3. Studio switches to trace mode. We are
going to trace the large yellow area. The panel at the right side of the
screen contains trace controls and selection options. As this is fairly
simple object, set Simplicity to 10 to achieve lower number of
Each filled area with outline or
neighbouring area of other color should have some overlay to compensate
gaps between the areas of different colors and also pull effect of the fabric.
However, the yellow area of Smiley is somewhat specific because of the
thin black lines on the eyes and mouth. While leaving holes for main parts of
eyes and mouth, we will not leave holes under all thin black lines,
because it would split the yellow circle into too many regions and
complicate the sewing. Moreover, overlay would completely cover the holes
under the thin lines anyway. Therefore, we will leave Overlay=0 for
Selection is set to New.
As we are going to select just one area now (yellow), it doesn't matter
whether Selection is set to New or Add. Color Tolerance for
selection is default 30.
||4. Click anywhere on the yellow area.
Selection is indicated by flashing dots. Click Apply button on the
button bar at top of the screen to convert selected raster object into
vector objects. 5 vector objects are created: main fill and 4 holes.
If Ignore Openings option is
checked, program would create just the main fill. This option is usefull
for creation of overall filled area when small holes are not wanted or the
fill is used as an overall underlay. Anyway, this is not our case, so this
option is unchecked.
|5. Parts Object Inspector (the one
beneath the main Object Inspector) contains list of the 5 new
vector objects. Because of reasons mentioned above, we will eliminate some
holes that are too thin. Select object no. 5 (the hole under the chin) and
simply delete it. The holes under eyes and mouth are more complicated
because they contain both thin and thick parts. We want to preserve thick
parts and erase the thin ones.
||6. Select mouth hole in Parts Object
Inspector and use right mouse button click on the selected object to
open a pop-up menu. Select Edit from the pop-up menu to switch into
It is necessarry to use Parts Object
Inspector to select mouth objects, because openings (holes) cannot be
selected directly in the work area.
|7. Delete nodes on the thin parts of the
mouth to simplify the object. Select respective nodes one-by-one and hit DELETE
button on your keyboard for each of them.
You can also select multiple nodes at
once by holding SHIFT key depressed and draging selection box
around the nodes.
||Repeat steps 6 and 7 for eyes. When
finished, all three holes should contain only the thick parts and all thin
parts should be deleted.
||8. Now trace all grey and white areas on
the hat. Use the trace
tool as in step 2 with few changes: set Overlay to 0.3 mm (for
Selection options to Add. Then select one-by-one all three grey
areas and three white areas on the hat by clicking on them.
It doesn't matter that selected areas are
of different colors because Auto Color options is set on.
Therefore, each vector object will get proper color from the underlaying
If you happen to select wrong area, use Undo/Redo
commands from the main menu > Edit or CTRL+Z/CTRL+Y
||9. Use Apply button or Generate
Stitches button to convert selected objects to vector objects. All 6
new objects are simple objects and do not need any editing unless you want
to change the stitches direction or pattern. In such case, use the
Parameters window to set new parameters to the vector objects.
Please note overlay on all 6 objects that
covers part of the black outline. It will help to embroider design without
gaps between respective objects.
|10. Next step is to trace the white and
red areas on eyes and mouth. We have intentionally omitted white area on
eyes in step 8, because they will look better as columns than fills. Click
with right mouse button on the Trace tool icon. Then select the Column
||11. Select white areas on eyes and mouth.
Then select also the red area on the mouth. Use the Add selection
option all the time to add respective areas to selection. Click Generate
Stitches button to create vector objects and to fill them with
Please note that new objects are columns and
they also have an overlay.
||12. Now let's trace all black outlines at
once. Select Add Similar selection option to allow program select
all areas of the same (similar) color at once. Then click anywhere on the
black outline in the work area. Click Generate Stitches button to
create vector objects. As the column style was selected in step 10, new
objects are all of the column style. Actually, they are fill objects with Autocolumn
option set on.
Thin outlines expanded with overlay may
need little editing on some places. In this case, few nodes in the right
corner of the mouth were edited to remove intersecting edges.
||13. Design is finished. Please note the
difference between the the plain yellow fill and the column-style of eyes
and mouth. Previously made steps allowed us to create objects with an
overlay and appropriate openings (holes) where needed.
One more thing that needs to be checked
is sewing order of the objects to minimize the color changes. When
making grey, white and red objects, it is possible that newly created
vector objects are not sorted properly. Therefore, re-order these objects
in the Object Inspector window to minimize the color changes, while
leaving black outlines at the very top and yellow fill at the very bottom
of the design.
As all objects in our design are separate
areas, we do not need to insert connections between the objects. Trims are
automatically added between all objects. In other cases, however, it might
be suitable to insert connections between some objects (letters, for
example) to reduce the trims.
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