April '18

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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Page 31 of 90

2 0 1 8 A P R I L P R I N T W E A R || 25 cal designs. Imagine the arms in a fire department's Maltese cross or even the wings on a stylized bird from a heraldic seal. It's often desirable to copy and paste for that internal consistency. Just make sure that you aren't spending more time in reworking elements or in resequencing for efficiency than you would in digitizing the repeated instances from scratch. BREAK LARGE/DETAILED DESIGNS INTO CHUNKS Excess movement and distortion in a large design can cause areas to become unregistered if you try to stitch over too wide an area in one color before you come back with outlines or overlying detail. This can force you to digitize and embroider in one area before moving on, but that's not the kind of division we are talking about here. This 'chunking' has more to do with how imposing a really large or detailed design can be, particularly to an inexperienced digitizer. Rather than trying to digitize the entire design at once, isolating an area or object and finishing elements to the best of your ability in that selection can help you to achieve a design a little at a time. This method gives you 'checkpoints' to assess the way the design is shap- ing up, rests your willpower, and lets you clear your mind of the earlier area as you move forward. Though you won't always embroi- der these areas separately and you may at times have to resequence a design done this way for efficiency's sake, the process of breaking up a difficult piece will help you attack daunting designs without be- ing overwhelmed. Remember, if there's something that you've never done before, or you are unsure of your technique, there's nothing wrong with exporting a partial file and testing just the element that gives you pause. UNDERSTAND THE PROPER USE OF AUTOMATION I can't envision a future in which I recommend any auto-digitizing or conversion above what a digitizer can choose to do when creat- ing a design. Even though I never want a piece of software choosing where to place stitch objects or the stitch types and angles that fill them, there is a place for automated tools even in high-quality digitizing. continued on page 79 Top: On small details, you will often have to do more manual work and carefully measure items as you will be working with fine tolerances to make such small elements stitch correctly and look as expected. Above: When analyzing art, some necessary changes will be obvious, but it can be helpful to measure potentially difficult elements before making changes. The easiest way to handle this is to bring the initial art into your digitizing software, size it to the expected finished design size, and start measuring elements with the built-in ruler tool.

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