View Full Version : Discussion rip software

Mike Burroughs
03-24-2013, 1:27 PM
What is a good inexpensive rip software? The one that came with sign program is very basic and isn't cutting it anymore.. I was thinking about adobe Photoshop express..

William Adams
03-24-2013, 6:49 PM
Normally when people say ``RIP'' they mean Raster Image Processor, a PostScript or other interpreter to make device-specific bitmaps for final output on a device like a platemaker or imagesetter.

A free RIP is Ghostscript --- not sure what's prevalent in signage now though.

Adobe PhotoShop Express is a pixel / photo editor. Programs to look at in that vein:

- Paint.net --- free
- Pixia --- free
- ArtRage --- inexpensive --- natural media painting
- Autodesk Sketchbook --- inexpensive --- natural media sketching
- Corel Painter --- not cheap --- natural media painting

If you'd mention what you're using, what limits you've hit and what you'd like to do, it'd be easier to help.

Mike Burroughs
03-24-2013, 11:28 PM
What I'm looking to for is if a customer brings me a logo or design, I would need to scan or import it to the computer, then use the program to 'trace' the design and make it usable in my vinyl program. The program I currently use only recognizes bmp files and I don't get 'clean' edges due to piddling. When I cut it it cuts jagged edges.

Kevin Groenke
03-24-2013, 11:45 PM
VectorMagic (http://vectormagic.com/home) is the best/easiest that I've seen. Inkscape's tracing functionality is pretty good for free. Adobe Illustrator's live trace function is good if you are. There are also folks/services who do tracing or vectorization of bitmap images pretty reasonably. I'm sure somebody will chime in with links.


Joe Pelonio
03-24-2013, 11:51 PM
You can use Adobe Illustrator or Corel, which most of the people that frequent the Engraving section of the Creek are using. Search there for more information. I use Corel to trace but also my vinyl software does a great job, but was $10,000. See if you can find someone selling Adobe Streamline cheap on E-Bay, it was discontinued when they added tracing to Illustrator but it worked well. There are even free downloads of Streamline available but watch out for a catch.

You are looking for tracing, or Raster to Vector software, not RIP. None of them do a perfect job, you will have to spend some time doing failry tedious manipulation of points, curves and lines to make it look good enough to use. The services that people use on the engraving forum may be worth paying for until you learn enough to become fast at it.

William Adams
03-25-2013, 7:47 AM
One site which does this for a low membership fee is VectorMagic (also has a download).

Better though to learn how to re-draw such, esp. in vinyl which shows any imperfection along the edges and will cut faster w/ an elegant curve.

Talley Boatwright
04-02-2013, 6:13 PM
What is a good inexpensive rip software? The one that came with sign program is very basic and isn't cutting it anymore.. I was thinking about adobe Photoshop express..
CorelDraw X5 is the best for the money. you have a Vector and Raster program suite. If you go with Adobe, you would have to purchase Photoshop and Illustrator independently, unless you buy the Creative Suite. That is not worth it if you are only working out of two programs. CorelDraw Suite allows you to export your file out into Photopaint and import back in without closing the program. I personally run everything from Corel in my shop, the laser, sublimation printer, DTG printer, and plotter ( prefer FlexiSign Pro with the plotter due to more control over weedlines and registration marks). You will not outgrow CorelDraw Suite.