We will learn how to digitize a company logo in this lesson. It is intended for beginners and all steps are commented.
Studio fills vector objects drawn by user or imported from vector file with stitches and finished design is uploaded into Embird Editor for final adjustments and save in desired format. When doing a real digitizing job, please note that if you do already have logo vectorized in some graphic program and saved in EMF, WMF, CMX or other format compatible with Studio, you can use the main menu/ design/ Import vector file function to convert vector graphics into design and avoid manual redrawing of objects. However, we will use manual digitizing in this lesson to learn how to do it in Studio, because lot of digitizing work must be done manually to achieve best result.
When digitizing design in Studio, user can import scanned picture or photo into the background of the work area to use it as a template for digitizing. Digitizing itself is drawing of vector objects on top of the image and filling them with stitches. To make vector objects more visible on the background, imported image can be brightened, darkened or otherwise filtered.
The first step in digitizing logo or other design is usually import of the scanned image. Scan is usually rotated, deformed or otherwise distorted.
Use the main menu/ Image/ Import command to load image into the background of the work area. Image 'Embird.JPG' used for this lesson can be found in the PATTERNS subfolder of the Studio. When importing image, Studio asks you whether you want to resize image so that it fits the current size of Hoop (Work Area) or not. Select No in this case. We will set the image size later.
Studio can import image up to 3000 pixels width and height.
Fig.1. Import of Image.
This image needs to be rotated to a horizontal position. Use the main menu/ Image/ Edit Image Window command to open window with image adjustment controls. There is a Rotate Image control on the first tab. Use it to rotate image to desired position. You can adjust angle in a several ways:
When adjusting the angle, wait a moment for Studio to rotate the image. Change the angle until image is rotated to desired position.
Do not click click Apply button yet. We will make more operations before closing this window.
Fig. 2. Rotated image.
Now we will crop the image and set required size of the image (which means also required size of embroidery design).
Move the crop lines close to edges of the logo. Crop lines have square handle in the middle to allow user to seize and move the crop line. You can use Transform and Zoom tools as well as the work area scroll bars to zoom in or out, and to scroll the work area in order place the crop lines precisely. Area that will be cut off is grayed.
Select the second tab (image size) and set required size of the image. The third tab allows you to set width of empty area border that will be added to the image after cropping and resizing. This empty border is useful for digitizing, because user does not have to work too close to work area edges.
Fig. 3. Logo bounded by crop lines.
Click Apply button. Image is rotated, cropped and resized. If you have skewed or otherwise deformed image, use Straighten Image tool from the main menu/ Image. We will not use it now as it is not needed in this case.
To make digitizing easier, we will brighten the image. All necessary image details will remain visible, but there will be higher contrast between digitized vector objects and background image. Use the main menu/ Image/ Background Filters to open the window for change of image brightness and color. Move the Brightness slider to 44%, approximately. Then click Apply button.
Fig. 4. Background Filters window and effect of increased brightness on the image.
Now we can start the actual digitizing. We will use the Fill objects for color areas like letters and nuts and we will add thin black outline (Outline objects) later. Fill objects are filled with long parallel stitches (if basic 'plain fill' is used ) that are split into shorter stitches to avoid too thread being too loose. Because of these split stitches and their constant angle, fill objects used for digitizing of large objects. They are not proper for digitizing of small lettering or narrow objects. If you use fill objects for lettering, it should be at least 1cm (1/2 inch) high to sew well.
Good embroidery design should have as low number of trims (jump stitches) as necessary, in order to speed-up the sewing process and to make embroidery nicer.If there are no trims or color changes, design is sewn in a single 'draft'. Sometimes it is not possible to avoid trim, but digitizer should minimize their number in the design. To avoid too many trims, it is necessary to place start and end point of areas which are close one to the other so that they could be connected with Connection objects. There should be minimum distance between end point of one object and start point of the other, so that connection is as short as possible ('nearest point connection).
Fig. 5. Nearest point connection between two fill objects.
Note: it is not necessary to use always only the nearest point connections. The gap between connected objects can be covered by object of another color. In such a case, connection should be hidden beneath this object, even if it is not a nearest point connection.
Click on the red color in the palette (top right corner of the screen) to select red color for objects that we are going to create.
Select the Fill tool and place the first node on a place of letter E that is nearest to the letter m. Now the Studio is in a 'creation/editing' mode. Letter E will have start point and fill end point on the same place, because it is a first letter in the word. Digitize whole letter by placing nodes around the letter. Rectangular node is end of the curve. Circular node is middle point of the curve. Move the middle points to the side to adjust the curves.
Fig. 6. Creation of letter E. This is an animated picture. You should view it on the computer screen.
To place the last node on top of the first, you have to create it a little bit aside and then move it on top of the first node. Otherwise, you will select the first node instead of creating a new node.
When whole object is drawn, click the right mouse button to invoke the pop-up menu. Choose Generate Stitches to end the digitizing of the letter. Notice other commands in this menu that allows you to convert curves to straight lines and vice versa, insert or delete elements and also change position of start and end point of the fill. Program fills the Fill object with thread beginning in the start point and finishing in the end point. Correct placement of these two points are very important if you want to connect several objects together and avoid trims.
Fig. 7. Draw curves along the contour of letter E, starting at the right side.
Then Click right mouse button to invoke the pop-up menu and select Generate Stitches. 3 lines sticking at various angles from the first node are indicators of zig-zag underlay 1, zig-zag underlay 2 and cover stitches angles.
Finished letter is filled with stitches all going at the same angle (0º, in this case). Studio automatically generates also the underlay stitches around the contour of the letter to prevent the cover stitches pull, and zig-zag underlay stitches to strengthen the fabric before sewing of the cover stitches. The outer red outline is only object boundary displayed on the screen, it is not stitches. Notice the tiny white dots on the horizontal stitches. They mark needle points - places where long horizontal stitches are split into smaller stitches. Needle points are arranged according to pattern. User can choose any of the predefined fill patterns from the parameters window or define her/his own patterns.
Notice that all finished objects are displayed in the object inspector (picture at right side).
Fig. 8. Finished letter E filled with underlay and cover stitches (left picture). Icon in the Object Inspector list (right picture).
Please note that character 'E' was digitized with plan fill tool. If you need to create satin stitch lettering, please read "Manual digitizing of lettering" tutorial.
Digitize all letters in the same way as the first letter E. Please note that start point of letter m is at the left size (picture below) and fill end point is at the right side. To achieve this, place the nodes around the letter starting and ending at the left side. Then select node at the right side, click right mouse button and choose Place Fill End Point Here command. Start and end points are placed this way because we want to create connection stitches between the letters later.
Fig. 9. Digitized letter m. Start point is at the left side. Though the last point of the objectis also at the left side (as the object is closed), the stitching will end on the right side of the letter, because Fill End Point has been assigned to the right-most node.
Letters b and d must be created in a little bit different way, because they have opening. Create the outer contour like on the previous letters (with fill tool) and then create opening with the Opening tool. Notice that opening is not displayed in the object inspector window. It is displayed in the parts inspector window where the parts of complex objects are displayed.
Fig. 10. Finished letter b. Opening is displayed in the Parts Inspector list.
Digitize the blue part of one of the nuts with the fill tool. We will create the rest of objects with duplicating and rotation. Select the object and click the main menu/ Transform/ Transformations Window.
Fig. 11. First object is digitized manually.
Set 120° to angle control on the Rotation Tab. Click two times on Apply to Duplicate button to create 2 new objects, each of them rotated 120° from the previous object. Click Close button to hide the window. Select new objects and move them to their position. Then select them all 3 objects by clicking on them while holding the shift key depressed. Click right mouse button to open a pop-up menu and select Generate Stitches command.
Fig. 12. Rest of the objects are duplicated, rotated and placed to their position.
Now all blue parts of the image are digitized and filled with red thread. We have used red thread because it is well visible on the background.
We will change color of all red objects to blue. Select all objects with use of any of the following methods:
Fig. 13. All blue areas on image are filled with red thread.
Depress left mouse button on the blue color cell in the palette and drag cursor to selected items in the Object Inspector list or to the selection box in the work area. Then release the left button to drop color on selected objects. Color of selected objects will change to blue.
Fig. 14. Color was changed from red to blue.
Now we will digitize the yellow parts of nuts. In fact, we should have done this before digitizing of the blue areas, because the yellow parts would look more natural if they are beneath of the blue areas.
Anyway, we can digitize the yellow areas now and change order of objects so that they will sew first. Select some color from the palette (orange, for example). Use the Fill tool to digitize yellow area of the first nut. There must be an overlay between yellow and blue area to prevent the fabric showing through the stitches, because tension in thread could pull edges of objects away and cause the gap between the objects.
Fig. 15. Yellow area should be digitized with slight overlay into the blue area.
We area going to swap the areas sewing order. The blue area will be on the top.
Generate stitches for the new object and then use the main menu/ Transform/ Transformations Window to create 2 duplicates of the object, rotated 120° (or -120°) each. Then close the Transformations window and move new objects to their place.
Fig. 16. Apply to Duplicate button used to duplicate and rotate objects.
The orange objects are still on top of the blue objects. To change order of objects, use the Object Inspector. Select the 3 orange objects in the Object Inspector list. Depress the right mouse button on the selection and drag cursor to the first object in the list (letter E). Then release the right mouse button and choose Insert Before command from the pop-up menu. The 3 orange objects will be moved to the top of the list, which means that they will be sewn before the blue objects.
Fig. 17. Use drag-and-drop operation with right mouse button to change sewing order of objects.
Picture at the right side shows the new order of objects.
We will change the angle of stitches in the orange objects, because they have the same angle as the blue objects. If two adjacent fill objects have same angle of stitches, stitches may interleave and the edge between the objects may be distorted.
Select the 3 orange objects, click right mouse button on the selection and choose Parameters command from the pop-up menu. When Parameters window appears, change the fill angle to 90°. Then click OK button to close the parameters window.
Fig. 18. Change of fill stitches angle.
As you may have noticed in fig. 17, there is a small red scissors icon displayed in the Object Inspector list next to each object that we have created so far. This means that object is not connected to the previous object by thread and the embroidery machine will insert trim on this place (it depends on the type of machine). On many places, the trims (or jump stitches) are not desirable. As the letters in the Embird logo are close one to the other, we could connect them with running stitch connections to avoid trims.
Fig. 19. Logo with all fill objects.
Select letters m b i r and d in the Object Inspector window. Do not select letter E, because we do not want to connect it to previous object. Click right mouse button on the selection and use the Create Connection command from the pop-up menu. Connection is created from each selected object to its preceding objects.
Fig. 20. Creation of connection for selected objects.
Program creates connection stitches between the objects. Notice tiny connections marked by orange arrows on the below picture. If you you get long stitches going through the objects, it means that you have not placed the start and end points of the fill objects correctly.
Connections created automatically by Studio are straight lines. In some cases, you may need to edit shape of connection by inserting new nodes.
Fig. 21. Nearest point connections between the letters.
For overview of outline methods click here.
Now we will add thin running stitch outlines to the logo. We will create outline that has two layers of stitches. We will draw the first layer and then use Studio functions to create the second layer of stitches automatically. Studio allows to use many creative types of outlines, but the simple thin running stitch outline is probably the most useful for the digitizing of company logos, because other types of outline (sample, border, sketch, etc.) require larger size to sew well.
Another type of outline that is frequently used is satin stitch outline. However, we do not need it for this logo.
Select the black color from the palette. Use the Outline tool to create first part of the nut outline. We will draw outline part by part, because we will use main menu/ Transform/ Arrange Outline Parts function to reorder outlines and add second layer of stitches (backward paths) automatically. This function requires the outline to be drawn by parts. Each part should have start and/or end point near to the start or end point of other part, so that program knows which parts to join together and where.
Notice that new outline object is displayed with red arrow icon in the Object Inspector list. This means that the outline object does not have the backward path (second layer of stitches).
Fig. 22. First part of the nut outline.
When creating the outline parts, we can use the main menu/ Nodes/ Snap to Nodes option. When moving the newly created nodes, they snap to existing nodes of blue and orange objects beneath. This way we can easily create outline running exactly around the fill objects.
Create the second outline part as a separate object. Place the start point on top or near the end point of previous outline object.
Fig. 23. Digitizing of second part of outline. Snap to Nodes option is on to simplify the nodes placement.
Now we have 2 separate outline parts and we will join them together and create the second layer of stitches. Select the 2 outline objects and use main menu/ Transform/ Arrange Outline Parts command. Notice that Studio creates object composed of 2 original parts and it adds 2 identical parts with reverse order of nodes (see the Parts Inspector). They are so called 'backward paths'. Studio automatically reorders all outline parts so that they are sewn in a single draft. Sewing starts in the start point of the first part and it ends in the same point. Program automatically creates path along all outline parts and back to the start point.
Arranged parts are joined into single item in the Object Inspector list (see the object no. 18 in fig. 24).
Fig. 24. Complete outline of nut composed of 2 original parts and 2 automatically created parts.
Select the whole nut outline and duplicate and rotate it for the rest of the nuts. Use the main menu/ Transform/ Transformations Window to accomplish this task. Then move rotated outlines to their position.
Fig. 25. Outlines on all 3 nuts.
Now we will create outlines for the lettering. As letters are close one to the other, the easiest way is to draw outline around whole word and then create backward path for it. The first picture shows outline drawn to the half of the lettering contour. The second picture shows the whole outline.
Fig. 26. Creation of outline around lettering.
Select the outline and use the main menu/ Transform/ Create Backward Path command to create object that is identical to the first outline, but it has reverse order of nodes. Notice that new object is displayed in the Object Inspector list with black arrow in the icon, which means that it is a backward path.
Fig. 27. Second layer of stitches (backward path) on lettering outline.
While there is only single layer of stitches on all letters in the original outline, there are already two layers on the short connections between the letters. When we create the backward path, there will be two layers on letters and four layers on connections. It should not harm the design, but if you want to create outline that has really only two layers of stitches on all parts, you should use other, little bit more complicated approach: draw the outline as many separate parts and then Arrange Outline Parts. Below picture illustrates how to draw separate outline parts in this case. There are gaps between the parts in order to show the separate parts. The parts should touch each other, in fact.
Fig. 28. Example of how to draw outline parts to use the Arrange Outline Parts function
It is also possible to create above outlines automatically. Click here to learn how.
Design is almost finished. However, we need to create outlines also for openings in letters b and d. Draw outline for opening in letter b (objects no. 23 in the Object Inspector) and then create the backward path for it (object no. 24). Do the same for letter d. Notice there is are trims between lettering outline and openings outlines, because there is no way of how to make connections between them so that they would be not visible.
Fig. 29. Digitized logo with fills and outlines.
Objects will be sewn in the order shown in the picture at the right side. There are 3 colors in this design and 13 trims. We could spare 6 trims if we create connections between parts of nuts that are of the same color.
Design will look better if we convert some fill areas to zig-zag areas. This will add design relief and more interesting look. Select the blue part of the nut, click right mouse button on selection and choose Parameters from the pop-up menu. Select Auto Column option in the Fill tab of the Parameters window. Then click OK button to close the window. Generate stitches for selected object anew. Object is now filled with stitches as if it was digitized as several Column objects connected with connections.
Fig. 30. Change of the plain fill to the Auto Column fill.
The fill of the orange area on the nut has default predefined pattern. You can choose other pattern, define your own pattern and/or add Carving objects on top of the fill object, which will cause additional needle points in the pattern and add texture to the fill. Select the orange fill object and use Carving Tool to add curves like in the below example.
Fig. 31. Adding Carving objects to enhance the texture of the fill.