This is a special way to create embroidery design by simple drawing rather than common node-by-node digitizing . It is much faster, the Freehand tool allows to create a sketch drawings with mouse or digitizing tablet within a few minutes.
It works like a painting tool. Result, however, is an embroidery design that can include various embroidery styles like fills, columns, sfumato objects and outlines as well as some new stitch styles like pressure-sensitive columns.
Unlike the other Studio tools , which are based on the precise manual placement of the nodes, curves and lines, Freehand tool allows to draw most of the Studio objects with a free hand. Strokes are automatically converted to chosen embroidery style. After conversion, strokes can be edited as other vector objects in Studio (node by node). When creating embroidery design, the Freehand tool can be combined with any other tools in the Studio.
Like other creation tools in Studio, Freehand tool can be used with various display modes (Normal, Vector, 3D, Flat ...) to display imported raster image behind the digitized design as a template for digitizing, or preview created design in 3D.
Freehand tool can work with any Microsoft Windows compatible mouse or digitizing tablet*. Its use is not restricted to any specific brand of tablet.
*Tablet pen pressure can be used in Studio only if tablet uses Wintab32.dll driver and this driver must be located in the Windows\System32 folder.
Before you start actual drawing with the Freehand tool, you should choose embroidery style you want to use. Click secondary mouse button or corresponding tablet pen button depressed on the Freehand icon (in the Tool Bar).
Panel with freehand styles will appear. This panel can be invoked also by holding the primary mouse button or tablet pen tip depressed about 1 second on the Freehand icon.
Each style is represented by its icon. Click icon of desired style and the freehand tool will be activated with selected style. You can also change active style later, between drawing the freehand strokes, with use of combo box in the main control panel.
Styles used in above example are:
When the Freehand tool is active, specific parameters of respective style are displayed on main control panel at the side of the Studio window. Some parameters like color of objects being drawn and After Stroke options are common to all styles.
Color is parameter that is used by all styles. It defines color of objects created by drawing of the freehand strokes.
After Stroke options allow to choose the way of how the Freehand tool behaves after each stroke. It is possible to define whether to generate stitches of each stroke immediately or not, whether to finish freehand mode after single stroke or reactivate the tool, whether to create connection to the previous stroke or let jumps between the strokes.
Meaning of the After Stroke options is as follows:
Only one of above options can be active at once.
Pop-up menu accessible via button in splitter panel contains Connect to previous object option. When this setting is turned ON, each new object (stroke) is connected to the previous one with a connection object.
Manual Stitches are used to create realistic fur, shading or other texture. Parameters that are adjustable during the use of the Freehand tool are: Minimum Length of Stitch and Maximum Length of Stitch.
There are several ways of how to change value of the stitch length controls. They are used in the same way as those in the Parameters window .
Outline-type styles include : Outline, Sketch Outline and Connection.
Parameters that are adjustable during the use of the Freehand tool are: Minimum Length of Stitch,Maximum Length of Stitch, Width of the Outline (not available for Connection) and Outline Sample (not available for Sketch Outline and Connection).
Column-type styles include : Column and Pressure-sensitive width column.
Parameters that are adjustable during the use of the Freehand tool are: Minimum Width of Column, Maximum Width of Column, Tablet pressure option to switch on/off tablet, and Simulated Width combo box.
If tablet is present, width of the pressure-sensitive column varies from minimum to maximum column width value, according to the real pen pressure. Simulated width combo box is disabled.
If tablet is not present (mouse is used for the drawing) or if tablet pen pressure is disabled by un-checking the Tablet pressure option, Width of the pressure-sensitive column is defined by selected stroke sample from the Simulated Width combo box.
Example of column with simulated pressure effect on its width.
Fill-type styles include : Fill, Sfumato and Opening. There is also Carving style, which is created like outline, but it serves to add texture lines to fill or sfumato objects. Both opening and carving objects must follow after the fill or sfumato objects. They are not a stand-alone objects.
The only parameter of Fill that are adjustable during the use of the Freehand tool is Angle . The rest of parameters can be accessed only after finishing the freehand mode, using the common Parameters window.
Note: When freehand drawing is finished, strokes are no longer available as a 'freehand objects'. They are automatically converted into respective vector objects like manual stitches, fill or column and their parameters are accessible via respective tabs in the Parameters window.