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Introduction When learning to digitize you need a good understanding of some of the basic tools including the select tool, understanding the beads and how to use them. Will help you when working with text to match a embroidery design. Text Tool bar and Digitizing When digitizing embroidery designs its very important to understand the different text tools and how to manipulate them , in this blog we will look at the tools, and options for kerning individual letters , this is required for matching your customer designs. Each of the above tools have a different use, Text Tool : This tool is great for text in multiple lines, text on straight or curved lines, and name stacking Vertical Tool : This tools is used for making stair case letters up or down. Arc Tool : This tool allows you to put text in an arc formation Circle Tool : This tool allows you to put text in and complete circle Monogram tool: Used for monograms only Line angle tool : Used for making straight line text. Work space setup You will need to familiarize your self with your work space to take advantage of some tools for embroidery digitizing. There are some buttons you should have features turned on.. The beads in version allow you to see the kerning points how you move them varies depending on how you set up your software. Here is how to check if your Beads are turned on they should be depress or yellow. Kerning Review When learning to digitize you need to know how to space and manipulate the text on the base line or within vertical or horizontal positions. This section we will review some terms and tools you will need to understand how to use them, The videos will also demonstrate using these tools. Kerning Definition Kerning is the process of adjusting the spacing between characters in a proportional font, usually to achieve a visually pleasing result. Kerning adjusts the space between individual letter forms, while tracking(letter-spacing) adjusts spacing uniformly over a range of characters. Horizontal Kerning Beads Using the horizontal Kerning bead allows you to slide the text left or right, You need to have your beads turned on for these to show up, See image below of this bead and example of it being moved, to make it easier to see Tajima Pulse has change the outline to PINK when moving or adjusting the kerning. Vertical Kerning Beads Using the vertical kerning beads give you a few more options, when you click on this bead a pink box will circle the letter with nodes on the corner and arm at the top with a circle. This is very similar to using the power edit feature in some levels of the software. Skew or Slanting Letters To the right by grabbing the top right most node you can skew a letter left or right. This will enable you to move in real time instead of guessing the slant or italicize the letter. This also know and skew, slant or italicize. The node should be pink in your software. Zoom in to make it easier to see. Vertical Height Adjustments To the left we show you how to adjust the height of a letter using the kerning tools, if you grab the top node on the box click and drag it up this will make the letter taller, if you need to make it proportional you need to use another tool. The node should be pink in your software , zoom in to make it easier to see. Proportional Size To the right you should see which node to grab to adjust the letter in proportion this means equally tall and wide as the original.The node should be pink in your embroidery digitizing software , zoom in to make it easier to see. Horizontal Width Adjustments To the right you will see how to grab the node to make your letters wider, or stretched without adjusting the height. Grab the pink node on the right side of the letter and move it to the left to make the letter thinner, or to the right to make the letter fatter. Vertical Kerning Adjustments To the left you will see how to grab the node to make your letters wider, or stretched without adjusting the height. Grab the small ring in the center of the letter this will allow you to move the letter lower or higher on the axis. Its great for working with script letters to get the letters to align. But it also can be used when making the first letter larger and re-positioning it on the line. Rotate Kerning Tool To the right you will see how to grab the top node on the stick pointing up and rotate the letter, you can rotate the letters upside down if you need to mirror text or match an angle, I use this in 5% of designs for editing text. Next blog we will look at the advanced tools for text. when using them to digitize lettering
In this blog we are going to introduce you to the basic digitizing tools, where they can be used and options you may have for the different tools depending on your level. Enhanced Column Tool This embroidery digitizing tool is very similar to the Satin tool except it the main difference between this tool is you place the angle lines by your nodes, where as a satin tool you choose where you want your angle lines. I first learned to digitize using this embroidery tool. This has the same range as a Satin Stitch .03 to .42 inch. See example on how to use below. Uses; borders, shapes, text Column Tool This tool is very similar to the Satin tool except it can only do straight sections, rectangles between .03 to .42 inch. It follows the same rules as Satin stitches. The main difference is the angle lines are defined by the placement on the nodes. You can use this tool to bend right angle around corners. See example above , Limitations it only uses straight lines no curves, some text and simple column stitches Manual Tool This tool is very unique in how it works, this tool where ever you click it places a point, it can be useful but you have to remember what your machine will do if you place too large of a stitch, I recommend stitch lengths between .02 and .15 of inch maximum. Uses; decorative stitches, fancy manual fills, manual underlay. placement stitches.. Run Tool This tool is very different then the manual tool although they can be used for the same uses, the approach is very different. Stitches are placed by specified distance, the stitches are even. All you need to do is draw your line and it will add the stitches accordingly. Uses; decorative stitches, fancy manual fills, manual underlay. placement stitches.. Complex Fill Tool This should be a tool you should become practiced at as you will use it in about seventy percent of your designs, it works in a wide range of sizes from .03 to infinite,. Great for filling in large areas, uniform stitches to cover and area. Draw your shape and complete the segment and it will fill the shape in , then you can select your fill pattern, density etc. Uses; Large text, text with borders, large areas, decorative patterns, Note With in the fill their are quite a few patterns, and options depending on your level, including the use of carved patterns, program fills and standard patterns. Steil Tool This tool is available in Tajima Illustrator Extreme and higher, this tool is a tight zig zag stitch, this can be used with some options like add border to fills on some levels, its great as a borders as the thickness is consistent. Its also can be changed on the fly. This tool works like a run tool , you draw your line and set the width and your done. Uses; borders, lines, out line shapes, applique, and more. Satin Tool This tool you draw the shape then close the shape and then place your angle lines. It can be very useful using this tool when digitizing text I use this tool, and use it fifty percent within designs. The stitch range is around .03 to .42 inch. The satin tool operates very differently , you place your out side shape and when you complete the segment it will prompt you for your start and stop points, and your angle lines then you can generate the stitches. Note: when you get above .38 in stitches will get loopy and you may want to convert them to a fill stitch. Uses; Text, borders, design elements Design Elements In the pictures below you will see some embroidery design elements based on these basic digitizing tools, with these tools and the Tajima Illustrator Extreme level you can punch 85% of the designs used in most shops. The higher levels have some additional tools and processes for speeding up the digitizing process including specialized digitizing tools for chenille, sequins, and boring, cording etc. In the embroidery design below you will see the original image on the left and the digitized file on the right , we have pointed out several of the different stitch types used. This machine embroidery design and similar can be made with the basic digitizing tools and the text tools we covered in other blogs. In the design below you can see that the steil tool was used to make a border around the design in a uniform circle this is perfect for the steil tool as it set to a width you choose, where the satin tool can very the width at any point allows you to customize the shape. The circle text tool was used to make circular text. The run tool added some fine detail to the clubs and ball. In this second design below you will see that the run tool was used as a primary stitch to add detail to the design. The fill tool was used to cover larger areas, and the steil tool was used around the tongue and the satin tool was used for the shapes as the width various. This design was made as a using a continuous pattern, their is only 1 trim in the whole design, 1 color and about 7769 stitches. It was made to illustrate smooth running embroidery designs. Both the embroidery designs illustrated were digitizing in Tajima DGML by Pulse software using the basic digitizing tools. The key to using these tools is to be able to Path your machine embroidery design ( PLAN IT ) Choose the right stitch that will create the element you want to make the image come to life.
We are going to take a look at some advanced tools that are available for Illustrator extreme and higher. In the above image I have high lighted the Tajima DGML by Pulse Illustrator Extreme level tools, The tool marked in red include , Cross Stitch Tool, The Cross Stitch Fill Tool, Star Tool, , Applique Tool, and Applique Cut Tool and symbols tool. The Tajima DGML by Pulse Maestro Level will have all the tools Cross Stitch Tool, Cross Stitch Fill Tool , Cascade Fill Tool, Fur Stitch Tool , Star Tool, Radial Fill Tool, Spiral Fill Tool, Applique Tool , Applique Cut Tool , Line Carving Tool , the Region Carving Tool, Symbol Tool, Manual Sequin Tool CROSS STITCH TOOL This tool is used for making border stitches or small sections utilizing a straight or curved line. This tool you can specify the grid spacing and some sew out dimensions, it acts similar to the programmed run tool. CROSS STITCH FILL TOOL This tool allows you to make filled in areas similar to a cross stitch pattern, it linear in the fill pattern, and can be used to simulate cross stitch designs and or when blending colors, I often use the cross stitch tool over top of a standard fill to simulate a grill on the front of a car, however it has many other uses as well. CASCADE FILL TOOL This tool allow you to fill any shape with a linear fill tool that fills in a shape with a run stitch with minimal overlaps produced. You can specify the spacing and type of run stitch used. FUR STITCH, This tool is basically a SATIN TOOL with some presents assigned to the design, this tool can be used to make some stunning embroidery designs if you take the time to plan your embroidery design out. The key using this tool is to make small grouped satin style stitches and layer them together. change the density and randomness of the fill tool for effect. In the design below the FUR STITCH was used hundreds of times, layered with different colors, and then topped off with a run stitch, this embroidery design is not for the faint at heart and with 22 colors 35 color changes, 101765 stitches, 6" W x 8" H it sews out great for those who have the patients. STAR TOOL this is a simple tool and it allows you to make simple star shapes or circular shapes with a fill change the density to get different embroidery effects. RADIAL FILL TOOL is great, its based on a SATIN TOOL so size is limited and you can offset the center point, I use this tool a lot for EYES on animals as you can easily make the eye appear to look in a direction. usually in combination wit the star tool. SPIRAL FILL TOOL the name explains it a spiral shaped fill using a run tool and you can set the gap distance and stitch length. see image above.. APPLIQUE TOOL this tool can be used to make any shape into an applique. This will automatically give you the option of the position stitch, the tack down stitch and the border stitch all from the drawing, you can import artwork and convert it to the applique and it will make all three layers. Can be used with easily applique from Stahls or if you have an ioline or similar cutter that you can cut twill on you can make your own applique designs. The border options can be any of the satin stitch, steil stitch a programmed run or e-stitch. APPLIQUE CUT TOOL, This is for exporting your applique drawings to a supported cutter. LINE CARVING TOOL this is a great tool when working with fills, I have used this a lot on designs where I need to change the grain or make the appear to be a cut in the design, works great across the fill , I use it for car doors, to simulate a break where the door opens, it divides the fill. see below. REGION CARVING , only works with carved tile fills and it basically allows you to put 2 fills in one area. See below. This tool can be tricky to use, draw your fill shape, make sure its on carved tile. Then draw your region fill.. press SHIFT G to force the software to generate, choose your pattern and press SHIFT G to generate again. SYMBOL TOOL this tool has a few hundred preset shapes usually basic in nature but readily available great for small detail that you need to add like stars, and leaves and similar designs , Click on the tool, choose your shape, size it and your done. MANUAL SEQUIN TOOL , This allows placement of sequins manually, To use this option you must have a sequin attachment for your embroidery machine. Doesn't work with embroidery portions. Author: Frank Prokator