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stitch question when digitizing

Discussion in 'Embroidery' started by crny1, Oct 29, 2015.

  1. crny1

    crny1 Member

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    Hello all,
    First things first. We have a new machine that we just bought to play around with embroidery along with our vinyl company. At this point its a learning/hobby experience. We have Bernina software. The first couple images I digitized worked out fine (not fine as in stitch effects and such but overall ok). Now everything I have tried to digitize and sew out the machine does not cut between spaces. Like between words or letters that do not touch. I am not even sure what to call this in order to google it or search for answers. Can anyone help me with where this setting may be at or what to look for? Thanks in advance!
     
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  2. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    First off, do you have a single needle or multi-need? Bernina has both machine types. Software, I rarely advocate getting digitizing software made by the machine manufacturer unless you are talking about home machines. Don't go cheap on the digitizing software, anything less then a couple of grand is going to limit you, the cheaper it is, the more it relies on auto conversion, not good (what I use costs more then some RIPs out there, unless you play the trade up/exchange game). If it's a home machine, depending on how old it is, it may force jumps because it doesn't have in it's programming the ability to do trims while it's stitching out a design, only between color changes and at the end of the design. It might also be the case of your mid level and cheaper home machines as well.

    What you are describing is jump stitches, but you want trims. It all depends on the software, but you are either going to need to move the start/end points of the two connecting objects (that the jump stitch connects) further away, insert a trim function, and/or go into settings and decrease the space that the software uses to insert a trim function itself. All, portion, or none of those may be available in your software. If none are available and you are able to change stitch sequence, then move adjoining letters further away. Not good for production time, but if you just absolutely have to have trims in there, might be the only way to do it if other options aren't there.

    However, depending on how close they are together, you are going to want there to be jump stitches for production concerns. Every trim adds time on the machine, that costs money. You are adding anywhere between 6 to 20 seconds per trim. Now, if the space is big enough, you want to have a trim in there, without knowing the size of the space, I don't know if you really want to have a trim in there or not.



    I know you didn't ask this, but since you mentioned that this was a learning experience that I would imagine you might want to add later to your services, I would suggest getting your files first from a reputable place (either have patterns custom digitized or go to reputable stock design places). Study how those files sew, what stitch types they use, how they sequence the pattern etc and then try to copy that pattern in your digitizing software. Once you get good at that, then try to digitize on your own. Please, don't go by price alone, especially if getting custom digitizing done. I have seen files that cost $10 take 3 times as long, so while the file itself might be cheaper for that one time purchase, it's killing you on the production floor (and a lot of extra trims, bad sequencing etc will do that), costing you more money.

    Digitizing on your own without having something like the above to model off of, can also be costly as well. When to use what stitch type, how small you can go with lettering (and type of font used), when to use underlay, when not to. All of that can affect how things turn out visually (as well as production time). It's best to have something to model off of and not just jumping right on in.


    There is a lot of misinformation on digitizing, what is good and/or bad embroidery available on the web. More bad info then good unfortunately, couple that with people doing things either for free or unsightly cheap really has beaten down my industry (like the sign industry).

    Sorry for carrying on more then you wanted.
     
  3. crny1

    crny1 Member

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    Thank you WildWestDesigns!

    Please feel free to carry on. You seem to be a wealth of knowledge when it comes to this subject! I have read almost everyone of your posts so far in this sub forum. Needless to say its so much to take in that I am somewhat lost!

    The machine that my wife purchased is a babylock alliance. Its a single needle machine. The software is Bernina Embroidery Software 7. I know its far from commercial quality but like I said. This is more of a hobby/testing to see if we want to purchase a commercial machine and add to our company. If not my wife will enjoy making stuff with it as a hobby only.

    Is there any particular sites you recommend for buying designs? Any to stay away from? Because right now we dont know a good design from a bad one. I would hate to purchase some and be studying a bad design. I am not sure I can see or adjust endpoints and stuff like that in the software. I may very well be able too but just dont know where to look within it.
    Again thanks for taking the time to answer and I apologize in advance for any dumb questions I may ask along the way.

    Wes
     
  4. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    Just a quick question, how come you didn't go with PE Designs since this is essentially a Brother machine? I know PE Designs would be able to do a couple of the options that I mentioned (I keep a copy of that software for my Brother/Babylock customers that need special functions in a PES file format).

    By far the most well known is Dakota Collectibles. You also have Embroidery Library is fairly good as well. I've done a few stock designs from my own sketches as well, but they tend to be for a more niche crowd.

    Most of the time you want to stay away from Etsy sellers in this field, for a variety of reasons.


    Are you able to change stitch sequencing in that software? In other words, instead of stitching W....I....L....D, you sequence it so it stitches W....L....I.....D.

    I think I know a couple of customers that use Bernina software, I'll have to see if I can find out anything more specific to that suite. I use Wilcom EmbroideryStudio.
     
  5. Cadartist

    Cadartist New Member

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    The stitches that connect the letters are called "jump" stitches. Some companies prefer to just add tie-off stitches before and after the jump and have the machine operator trim them after the design is sewn out. To make the machine cut the thread between the letters you need to add a "trim" at the end of the letter and set the stitch type to a "floating" stitch between the trim and the start of the next letter. My husband and I bought an existing embroidery biz 8 years ago. I tried to use the Brother software that the previous owner used and found it to be cumbersome and limiting. Tried out several othersoftware packages and found them to be very difficult to learn and/or RIDICULOUSLY EXPENSIVE. (And I am a GEEK. I have had to learn and use DOZENS of software programs for my work. I have a 2-year degree in Industrial drafting, with an extra year of Industrial Illustration so I have done a bit of Illustrator and Photoshop, along with over 20 yrs. of Autocad. I even do a bit of programming.) Then I came across Embird. It is sold in modules. I bought the basic program ($165) and the design Studio (digitizing) module ($150). Later, I added the font conversion program ($145) but I started out by buying their pre-digitized alphabets (which cost $15 each and work with the Studio module). They have a Sfumato module which digitizes photos and a cross-stitch module. (I haven't used either of these yet.) They also have nice tutorials for free and a free forum.The other thing I did was to buy the book "Digitizing Made Easy" by John Deere. He is considered an expert digitizer and the book was very informative but an easy read. Next, I bought the tutorial book from Carolyn Keebler that was for the basic and the Studio modules for Embird. They are now sold as seperate tutorials along with other Embird tutorials and are available at secretsof.com . She is also a long-time professional acclaimed digitizer who used several of the "high end" digitizing program before finding Embird. She loves it.I have been complemented many times for logos that I have digitized for other embroidery shop owners that I have been acquainted with although I haven't pursued digitizing as the focus of my company. The most frequently used patterns are from Great Notions. Their designs are cheaper than Dakota Collectibles and the DC designs are actually very nice but the logos that most customers want are simpler designs with fewer stitches. Great Notions is often purchased ( and sometimes DC too) along with a new commercial embroidery machine. embroiderydesigns.com carries designs from MANY designers but my favorite is emblibrary.com because I love their designs, they have lots of new $1 (approximately) designs every week along with several free ones and their regular priced items are very reasonable.The problem with buying online embroidery designs is that you need to know whether they were digitized for HOME SEW embroidery machines or COMMERCIAL embroidery machines. Designs for home sew machines have stitching that is a lot less dense as compared to commercial machine designs. Most have some sample designs to download and try out before purchasing from them.When I need a design digitized (because I don't have the time or it is too complex for me to digitize for a short deadline), I use qdigitizing.com . He charges $25 for a shirt crest or hat logo and $75 for a jacket back. (He is a USA military veteran as well.) I have had NO problems with anything I have gotten from him and turnaround time is normally 24 hours unless it is a large, complex design. We have embroidered on just about every kind of fabric including leather for car seats, boat seats, an airplane interior and even embroidered music notes on a prom dress! We also do patches and I have done lots of 1/4" text. Don't get discouraged - just send stuff out for digitizing until you have enough practice to do it yourself. Start with text only, then start using stock designs and just add text to them and work your way into the more complex stuff. Hope this info is of some help to you. Feel free to contact me if I can help further. (And NO I don't work for or get any compensation from any of the companies mentioned, they are just my own personal preferences.)
     
  6. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    Any software written from a company that also makes the machines is going to be more focused on their machines then they are anything else. It's not as limiting as you would think though. It does require that you know a little bit more in order to "workaround" a few thing, but you can actually do effects that would have required the higher priced modules from 3rd party software to do.

    If the lower level programs give you enough tools to work with, you can do a lot of advanced digitizing with those less expensive programs, however, you do have have to think ahead and do it without the automation (which in my mind, people should learn to do first).

    I agree whole heartedly though with the cumbersome part. That does take a lot of getting used to. 2 tools to do what some software have as one tool (right or left mouse click is how you get the different action from the single tool) etc.

    There is a reason for that. Trust me, I have a small fortune invested in digitizing software over the years and have used everything from open source (I'm a huge Linux user here myself (some are probably rolling their eyes and tired of reading that out of me by now) to the full version of Wilcom (which is what I use currently as my main software). If you play the trade in - trade up game or wait for the discounts (which are quite a huge) you don't have to pay what they list for.


    Photorealism digitizing should be done manually and done to the size that you need it for. Every single module that tried to automate that process has yielded less then desirable results, if known how to do it manually. Some are better then others, but none are perfect. Post conversion cleanup is often worse then just flat out digitizing it from the start.

    DrawStitch (people that make the Creative DRAWings (home) and Wings Module (commercial) software has the best auto conversion TTF/OTF to stitch, however, I'm old school and it's best to use the semi auto digitizing tools.

    Now with regard to the "pre-digitized alphabets", this is probably going to show my digitizing age here. Fonts v. Alphabets with regard to embroidery. If you can use your keyboard and make changes on the fly, it's a font. If you have an embroidery file (DST etc) that just happens to look like a letter(s), then that's an alphabet. It drives me up the wall reading Monogram Wizards site all the time when they use those 2 terms interchangeable. They might be interchangeable by how people use the terms now, but they shouldn't be.

    That was right when John Deer made the jump from digitizing for the commercial operations to doing Adorable Ideas and doing more the classes for the home users. Not much difference in digitizing theory, just less focus on production digitizing. I have the old videos from the 90s to early 2000s that he did with Steve Wilson, very different in approach between pre Adorable Ideas and post Adorable Ideas.


    That's not quite true. I've never known a home machine that couldn't take commercially digitized file, even the cheap walmart special ones, unless the only version of it was in a DST file.

    If a file is overly dense for what it is, it's probably not going to be good for any machine. Some machines with higher tolerances, might be able to handle it (most of the time that is commercial machines), but no digitizer that knows what they are doing (and I've been a digitizer for a looooonnnnngggg time and started when I was really young) will consciously digitize a heavier stitch file for commercial machines and a less dense one for home machines (if they placate to both markets). A well made file will work on both without issue, if not a well made file, no bueno no matter what machine it goes on. I have seen cheap files ruin machines (even commercial ones), so be careful when going on price alone.

    Now, some differences you do have among home machines versus commercial are some don't have the wide availability to tweak tension settings (some can't tweak them at all) and satin stitch widths also seem to be less then commercial machines on your mid to lower end home machines. Both of these vary by brand as well though.

    Tension settings, or lack thereof, would make it harder for a home machine to compensate for an overlay dense design, but if you are creating a file that is going to have layering of what could be dense stitching, you vary your density settings or what stitch tools you use. Which is what you should do, rather or not you it's going on a commercial or home machine. I've attached a file that I digitized based on one of my pictures, not only is fairly heavy in stitches, but also small and that file has also worked on home machines. Although not fun to do, because of the extensive color changes (and that's where a file like this might get a home embroidery machine user not to get it, that doesn't have anything to do with rather a pattern is stitch heavy or not). That's actually an issue with going over the normal 15 colors that most commercial machines can do as well. Not fun having to set those up, remember what needle gets what after the stop function is used, but I've done 23 colors on a 15 needle (well technically 14, because one needle has a sequin pressure foot and that's not really good for regular embroidery, it can be done, just doesn't look good) and it's just about as "fun" as doing it on a home machine.

    I agree to start with text, but I'll add to that by not using the lettering module. I believe in using the semi-manual to manual tools first.

    Start with lettering and how to break down each individual component of a letter. Different sizes require you to break down (or not break down) depending on the font.

    Do outsource your digitizing from a quality source, but also watch how it stitches. Watch the path that it takes, try to digitize your version of that same logo and work you way on up from there.

    Once you know how to use the semi-manual and manual digitizing tools, it will make it a lot easier to know when and how to leverage the auto conversion aspects of software. You don't want to use it all the time. I actually very rarely use it, but it does have it's pros as well. To me, the cheaper software should be all about the old fashioned digitizing tools and as you get more expensive, you get into more of the automation. Unfortunately, it's the reverse that's true.
     

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