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GEOFFREY
06-12-2012, 02:07 PM
Hi, I am looking for some inexpensive software to convert scanned logos etc. into vector drawings. I purchased the latest version of serifs draw plus software after being assured that the auto trace would work, but it only seems to produce a poor sketch.

I would be very pleased for any advice.

Thanks,Geoff.

Shinobiwan
06-12-2012, 02:25 PM
I use CorelDraw for this and find it works well most of the time. Its entirely dependant upon the quality of the bitmap and the subject matter but it has a degree of adjustability that should see trickier images successfully converted. You might have to go in and hand tweak the nodes for best results.

I'm sure there's others out there too.

motoxy
06-12-2012, 03:48 PM
Inkscape is free and works well. You usually still have to tweak a bit but its better that serif.

open your bitmap and go to paths and then trace bitmaps, 3rd one down.

Bruce

ptjw7uk
06-12-2012, 05:15 PM
Autocad used to have the ability to import a bitmap image which you could then draw around, then output as dxf.
The one I used was Autocad light but that was some years ago so not sure if it still has the ability!!

Image2cad is a paid for package Img2CAD converts jpg to dxf,jpg to dwg,bmp to dxf,jpeg to dxf,jpeg to dwg,tiff to dwg,tif to dwg (http://www.img2cad.com/) that works well!

Peter

GEOFFREY
06-12-2012, 06:54 PM
Thanks Peter, I have visited the website and it does look quite good. Is it neccessary to do much " cleaning up" prior to putting on toolpaths?

Regards,Geoff.

njhussey
06-12-2012, 07:22 PM
Geoff, if they were previously digitally made logos then Inkscape is free and does a good job. I use it to convert PDFs of RC Plane Plans to DXF files, as long as they were originally drawn in a CAD program they convert fine. It's free so might be worth a punt?

ptjw7uk
06-12-2012, 07:32 PM
'As long as a piece of string' springs to mind as there are so many variables.
The main problem will be the production of 'open' entities which will not be of much use in cnc.

When I worked for a local authority the package was used to scan developement plans so as to enter them into Autocad, and as such 'open' areas didnt have much meaning.
The main criteria was the quality of what you were scanning, the worse case I ever saw was when someone tried a fax and that what can only be described as NBG.
The other problem area is the original drawing line thickness as this will lead to problems in translation. From memory I think the package tries to overcome this by a process of 'line thinning', but you could end up with 'open' areas.
Try the free version, it will give you a taste for it.

Peter

Chas
06-12-2012, 07:51 PM
I wish I had a £pound for every hour I've experimented/wasted with bitmap to vector software trying to get a usable result with a good workflow.

Then I discovered the Brands of the World free vector library.

If it's a popular & well known brand logo then it'll be on there, I'm really only interested in motorcycle related logo's & I've usually found what I'm looking for. If it works for bikes, then it should be vgood for everything else.

Musht
06-12-2012, 08:10 PM
Inkscape which is very well supported , incorporates Potrace to do the tracing

Peter Selinger: Potrace (http://potrace.sourceforge.net/)

Only problem is Inkscapes DXF export isnt good, the free Big Blue Saw DXF export plugin solves it

Big Blue Saw - Big Blue Saw's DXF Export For Inkscape (http://www.bigbluesaw.com/saw/big-blue-saw-blog/general-updates/big-blue-saws-dxf-export-for-inkscape.html)

Cheers
Adam

Ricardoco
07-12-2012, 12:05 PM
I wish I had a £pound for every hour I've experimented/wasted with bitmap to vector software trying to get a usable result with a good workflow.

Then I discovered the Brands of the World free vector library.

If it's a popular & well known brand logo then it'll be on there, I'm really only interested in motorcycle related logo's & I've usually found what I'm looking for. If it works for bikes, then it should be vgood for everything else.I also use a site called seeklogo.com that does the company logos and brand names.

I use V-carve pro and that does a really good job of importing & tracing BMP images to vectors. its easy and will do reasonably complex BMP's..

Rick

martin54
07-12-2012, 03:42 PM
What's available either free or what you pay for doesn't alter the fact that the original bitmap needs to be of a suitable quality to start with, there are ways to get a better vector copy of any bitmap but like most things in life it takes a bit of practice. Software I use does a pretty good job of auto tracing but like any package the default settings sometimes need to be altered to get the best results, that can only be done by learning how to use the program properly & can still require a certain amount of node editing if your looking for perfect results. Regardless of what software you end up using I am afraid that if you want to be able to do this on a regular basis you are going to have to learn to edit vectors properly, does take a bit of time but once you have the hang of it you would be surprised just how quick you can produce usable results.
Don't forget that if you are running a business then the customer should be paying for your time spent doing any kind of design work which includes editing artwork that is not supplied ready to cut. If your lifting Logos from logo websites don't forget that this doesn't give you the right to use them for any commercial gain & you still risk being chased by the Copyright holder, some companies protect their copyright more than others & I have individuals taken to court for selling copyright material. End of the day you pays your money you take your chance.

GEOFFREY
07-12-2012, 09:17 PM
Hi Martin,
thanks for your comments. I was beginning to suspect that most or all of the conversion software needs some work to obtain unbroken geometries. the method I have used to date is to trace manually and then stick the tracing paper on the screen and follow the lines, clicking about every 2-3mm. I then use splines to smooth out the trace. I realize that this is time consuming, but still much better than anything I have done with the auto trace in serif. The logos i use are not other peoples logos, are drawn specifically for a friend, obviously not in a vector format. copyright does not come into it, but thanks for the warning.

Musht
07-12-2012, 10:42 PM
Wow, literal tracing , reminds me of this:

HARDWARE FEATURE (http://www.worldofspectrum.org/hardware/feat16.html)

There was a nice demo of Inkscape and F-Engrave from a logo on here, but it was so nice the O.P. wanted th epictures removed once realised it was actually easily doable.

be honestly suprised if manually tracing with a mouse can do better than any of the freeware tracing options out there.

martin54
08-12-2012, 09:52 AM
Hi Martin,
thanks for your comments. I was beginning to suspect that most or all of the conversion software needs some work to obtain unbroken geometries. the method I have used to date is to trace manually and then stick the tracing paper on the screen and follow the lines, clicking about every 2-3mm. I then use splines to smooth out the trace. I realize that this is time consuming, but still much better than anything I have done with the auto trace in serif. The logos i use are not other peoples logos, are drawn specifically for a friend, obviously not in a vector format. copyright does not come into it, but thanks for the warning.

When you say unbroken geometries Geofrey do you mean open shapes as in not all the nodes are closed? If that is the case you should be able to close the shapes with a single mouse click but that involves knowing a bit about how the node edit mode works. As for tracing paper on the screen that's a very long winded way of doing things lol
Take a bit of time to learn how to node edit, can be a bit frustrating at times but worth the effort in the long run. Another option for you if you have to trace the logo anyway might be a tablet, wacom do a range of tablets & the prices vary enormously but I have heard that some find the wacom bamboo to be a usable tablet & it's reasonably priced. Another option would be to design the logos in a vector format to start with, it makes sense to me as a signmaker as it's just so much easier to start with. Anything done in vector is instantly re-scaelable to any size without loss of resolution, no horrible pixalation to try & sort out either lol. Another advantage I find is that it is much easier to produce a single colour logo for invoices which a lot of people prefer as printing is then cheaper.
As for copyright, well it still applies as copyright is held by the designer but in this case you have permission to use it. What is covered & what's not is actually a bit of a minefield & a lot of people don't realise they are doing anything wrong which is why I mentioned it. I use a few different sign forums so have read quite a bit about it over the years.

Christian Knuell
29-12-2012, 04:33 PM
Hi,

when I need to convert a bitmap I usually do it manually with a little trick:

First the picture is opened and scaled to fill almost the entire screen...
Then I start my CAD program and make its window half transparent (using a free program called "Glass2k")
This way I can see the bitmap through the CAD program window and easily trace it manually with lines, arcs and splines...


The output of most bitmap to vector conversion programs is basically unusable for CAM programs (due to gaps / overlapping lines etc.).
Only if the bitmap resolution is high, uses no color shades and all edges are sharp some programs are able to create reasonable results - but I've never seen e.g. a scanned drawing turned back into a usable .dxf file without doing a lot of rework first...


Christian

GEOFFREY
29-12-2012, 05:21 PM
Thanks Christian, that sounds a clever program, basically a more streamlined version of my tracing paper method. I'll give that a try. G

GEOFFREY
29-12-2012, 05:32 PM
Hi Martin, sorry for the delay in acknowledging your post. Yes I do mean open geometries, but also some lines were coming up double and in anyway the trace was very poor and the tracing method gave me the best result although long winded. I have asked the chap who commissions the logos to gat them done in vector format, but the "artist" does not have that facility at present.

Thanks. G.