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Creating Templates

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by MG247, May 3, 2007.

  1. MG247

    MG247 New Member

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    Apr 2, 2007
    Hi, I am COMPLETELY new to the business of vinyl decals, and signs. I am using Flexi and a Summa DC4. I need to know the best way to make templates for objects that are too large to place in a traditional flatbed scanner? I have some potential customers wanting vinyl decals for several machined metal plates. The plates are rectangular, but have lots of little cut-outs and and slots machined in them, and they are about 1' too wide for my scanner. Any suggestions of how I can create a template with the cut outs, and design on it in Flexi are GREATLY appreciated, thanks!

    -Mike
     
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  2. gvgraphics

    gvgraphics Very Active Member

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    Mar 23, 2006
    Take a digital picture of it, vectorize it and then scale to size. Now you have a template with all the cutouts in it.
     
  3. Kenny

    Kenny Member

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    Have them send you a DXF file from the machine drawings (one with dimensions and one without)...import the DXF file into Flexi and use the outlines as the cut-lines.
     
  4. MG247

    MG247 New Member

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    Apr 2, 2007
    Hey thanks guys for your tips! I do have one, what may seem as a stupid question....what does vectorize mean? And how do I vectorize it? As far as them sending me the files on them, I will find out if they can do that. Again, thank you, your help is greatly appreciated!

    -Mike
     
  5. gvgraphics

    gvgraphics Very Active Member

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    Mar 23, 2006
    I suck at explaining this but here I go:
    Vectorizing a picture is the process of "tracing" the image to make outline than are then in return cutable. If you have Coral X3 for example, import the picture, high lite it, select "trace bitmap". Now you have outlines. Save it as a EPS file and import into flexi. Most of the time EPS files come in "grouped" so you have to ungroup them to clean them up and get rid of unwanted lines and nodes. To do this, select the image and go to arrange, group, ungroup.

    Hope this helps. If not maybe some one can explain it better for you.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2007
  6. Ken

    Ken Major Contributor

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    BC
    Yes, I would typically take a high resolution digital photo of the subject.
    When taking the picture, you need to make sure that you are perfectly "square" or "flat" to the subject to prevent distortion of the image. You also need to avoid reflections from the lighting. You also need the best camera focus possible. That means using a tripod for your camera. ( Or at least, setting the camera and subject on a solid surface.)- not a hand-held shot.
    Sounds like we are dealing with a simple graphic image here, without any shading, gradients. Like Martha says..." That is a good thing..."
    If you are just dealing with basic shapes and text, you should be able to re-create the file within your design program.
    The easiest way to vectorize an image is to send it to one of our members here...vectordoctor.com. He is quick, inexpensive and proficient.
    I have been using the Trace feature in Corel X3 with some success.
    It converts a bitmap image to a vector file. Instead of pixels in a photo, you are now dealing with mathematical equations that draw lines to represent the image. ( You dont have to know or understand the math here..just be content that the computer is going to figure it out for you...sorry if I insulted anyone with that comment...lol)
    Nevertheless you should still familiarize yourself with the process of node editing. This is actually, a pretty deep topic, and I know there are volumes written about it.
    Welcome to the learning curve!
    I'm sure others will chime in here with better advice.
    Cheers!
    Ken
     
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