View Full Version : Adventures with our new Epilog Fusion 50W laser...Corel vs. Adobe Illustrator

Michelle Adams
09-04-2014, 1:40 PM
I promised pictures here and there...this is the job we ran yesterday. It took about 25 minutes to set it up (in AI instead of CD--more on this in a minute) to set up the job in the software, run on both sides. They are dog tags with a logo on one side and individual names on the other.


Okay...so software.

We did purchase CorelDraw 7 with our Fusion laser. We started off only using CD7, importing in all files (formats such as .jpg, .pdf, .eps etc) into CD and printing to the laser from there, many of them with marginal results. If we were working with native CD files (such as the templates that product manufacturers provided) then everything looks great, or if we created files from scratch in CD, those looked great too. Where we had problems with pixelation was with any files created in Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop etc. Most specifically with Adobe Illustrator (which all of our store and University logos/graphics are created in) which I expected to be just as sharp as the CD files because they are all vector images. Not so much. No matter what I tried to do to change file formats, resolution, (anything!!) when I would pull the non-native vector images into CD, they immediately pixelated and engraved poorly. Out of frustration I resorted to the internet to find that this seems to be a common issue between the two software giants...they don't play well together.

SO, I opened up AI, adjusted all my cut lines to be smaller than .0005 and made the adjustments I needed to make so that it would work the same way it would in CD and then ran the jobs. Viola!

We will probably use both software programs pretty equally. As I mentioned...the product templates tend to be CorelDraw native files...so we will always use CD with those templates. But if we are dealing with vector files (.jpgs, .pdfs, .gifs can pretty much go either way since they will be pixel based in whatever program we are using) that were created in Adobe Illustrator we will use that program.

I will say that I found AI to be superior in terms of setting up the large jig pictured in the photo above...It took less than two minutes. Slick. It might be just as fast in CD, but since I am less familiar with that program at this point, it was nice to be able to do this so quickly in AI.

That's our update for now...happy engraving!

Scott Shepherd
09-04-2014, 1:59 PM
Michelle, how about attaching one of the ai files (you might have to zip it to upload it here), and let us try to see the issue you are having. I've been using both for a while now and I tend to do a lot of artwork in Illustrator and then open it in CorelDraw to run the router or laser, so I'd like to see the issue you are having.

Doug Griffith
09-04-2014, 2:11 PM
If the imported .AI files pixelated when importing into Corel Draw then they obviously aren't importing as vector. If they have jagged edges on curves, then it sounds like the bezier curves are converting to polylines. It sounds to me like there's just a learning curve when importing into CD.

Gary Hair
09-04-2014, 2:45 PM
I'm with Doug on this. I import ai files many times a day and they import in just fine. Granted, I'm using X6 but I don't think I have seen any issues where X7 isn't importing the files properly. My guess is that there is something being missed in the save/export or a setting on the import. Post an ai file as Scott suggested and we can see what may be the problem.

Michelle Adams
09-04-2014, 3:14 PM
I attempted to upload the ai file and received an error message from the message board saying it was an invalid file type. It isn't huge even though it is a vector file, it is a small logo.

Are there other options available?

I did try to upload the eps file, but it does say it is too large...it is a little over 1 mb.

I would appreciate it if you guys can figure out what I did wrong! I tried exporting it as an eps file, a pdf file, and I tried importing as .ai and .eps--tried various settings both in the saving and the importing--all with the same results. You are probably right, probably something simple that I am missing.

Scott Shepherd
09-04-2014, 3:37 PM
Michelle, you need to zip the file and then upload it. They allow much large zip files than normal files on this forum.

Eric Claiborne
09-04-2014, 3:57 PM
I print directly from AI only. we just use AI and PS for everything. Mainly in AI, TIFF, or PDF formats.

Michelle Adams
09-04-2014, 4:39 PM

I didn't think about zipping! Sorry about that...too many things going at one time. I believe I Have attached them! One is eps the other is ai.

Gary Hair
09-04-2014, 7:44 PM
I opened it up in Illustrator CS/3 and also imported it into X6 - both looked identical to me. Neither looked good, the curves aren't very "curvy", but they are the same. It was created in a newer version of Illy than I have, that may cause the lines to look bad but I'm not sure.

Kevin Gregerson
09-04-2014, 8:09 PM
You had to setup the dig in the software? You couldn't do it in the control panel? Duplicate number x and y?

Scott Shepherd
09-05-2014, 8:28 AM
I'm seeing the same issue Michelle. I'll try and get some time today to look into it a little more and see what I can figure out, but it's smooth in Illustrator and jagged in Corel when it's imported.

Doug Griffith
09-05-2014, 9:20 AM
The Illustrator file looks fine to me besides a few simple design tweaks I might suggest. One thing I did notice is that many of the blacks are not 100%K. It looks like they've gone back and forth between RGB and CMYK. I'd convert the file to B/W and make sure all blacks are 100%.

Scott Shepherd
09-05-2014, 9:29 AM
Last night I opened it in Illustrator, saved it as an eps back to CS5 or something like that. I opened it, saw the jagged edges in Corel. Came in this morning, it was still on the screen in Corel, looked at it, still jagged. Went into Illustrator, saved it again, as the latest version in eps, imported it into Corel, then saved it as a PDF and imported that into Corel. Both the latest saved version (CC) and the PDF came through smooth.

My guess is it's a version issue. What version of Illustrator are you using and are you saving the ai file as an ai file, or an eps, pdf, or what? Try saving it as a pdf and see how that imports into Corel.

Doug Griffith
09-05-2014, 9:36 AM
When you say "jagged" do you mean pixelated or is it converting to polylines?

Scott Shepherd
09-05-2014, 9:53 AM
It's weird Doug, I've never seen anything like it before. It looks jagged. Not pixelated, but jagged, like trying to drag a straight line on an angle and it can't resolve it at that resolution, so it stair steps the graphic. Almost like it's aliasing it (did I say that right?).

If you look at it in wireframe, it looks smooth, look at it normally, and it's jagged.

Michelle Adams
09-05-2014, 10:20 AM
You had to setup the dig in the software? You couldn't do it in the control panel? Duplicate number x and y?
Hi Kevin,
There are a LOT of the tricks in my Epilog that I haven't learned yet! That is probably one of them...and I undoubtedly could have used this for one side that was all the same. The second side was individual names. I thought about trying data merge to do the names, but they all needed to be resized to fit (which is also possible I am sure...but again, still learning). So much knowledge, so little time. Our classes start in two weeks and while we are hoping to personalize items on the fly for incoming students during our rush days (about two weeks of mayhem where we have hundreds of people in the store at a time all day long) I am also the Custom Publishing Manager and we publish one hundred titles of customized textbooks during this same time period. I'm getting slammed. But the great thing is, I can come in here and learn something everytime I come in even for five minutes!

Thanks! I will look into this duplicate number x and y. I would love to use that.

Michelle Adams
09-05-2014, 10:23 AM
Hi Gary,
It looked fine to me too, until I printed it. Then I looked at my "View" settings and switched from enhanced to normal and could see the pixelation in the image. Wouldn't it be interesting if CS3 is able to save/export it better than CS6? You have me wondering. I should see if I can find someone who still runs CS3 on campus and have them export the file to an eps format for me and then pull that into CD. That could be really interesting...

Michelle Adams
09-05-2014, 10:29 AM
Thanks Scott. Weird, isn't it? But when I looked it up online in both Epilog and CorelDraw support/knowledgebase, it appears to be a very common issue. I will try to find the threads again later, but even CD tech support people answered and said that it is a compatiblity issue between the two software programs.

I think the only time this is going to be an issue for us is if someone brings in an ai image with tons of layers and hidden lines....and even then I know that as I become more familiar with the tricks of the trade, I will be able to go in and isolate lines we don't want/need and fix it up. I want to say this logo was created in CS3 or maybe even CS2 by someone who no longer works here. Which might be why it works better for Gary than for me. I did just realize that the logo has been around for quite some time. I haven't had problems with old CS files opening up for us correctly in CS6, but maybe that old of a file opening in a newer CorelDraw version is part of the problem...

Doug Griffith
09-05-2014, 10:31 AM
I looked all through the file and don't see anything odd. A quick fix should be to save as an earlier version in Illustrator before bringing into CD. Version CS4 should do the trick.

Scott Shepherd
09-05-2014, 10:38 AM
Michelle, try and save it as a PDF and see if that fixes it. I'm running Illustrator CC and Corel X5. I saved it back to CS4 as an ai file and it gave me the issue. When I saved it as the latest version in eps format, it came through fine. I didn't try opening the ai file directly in Corel because I don't think X5 (2 versions old) will open the latest ai file, but I could be wrong.

Try the PDF thing and let us know if that works.

John Noell
09-05-2014, 2:50 PM
Did you try "zip"ing the files?

Michelle Adams
09-05-2014, 3:15 PM
Hi John, yes...the zipped files are now attached to one of my previous posts! Thanks!

Kevin Gregerson
09-05-2014, 3:35 PM
We use it on Universal Laser Systems I assumed that epilog had a version of this.

Michelle Adams
09-05-2014, 3:41 PM
They very well might...I am a rank newby! I will definitely check it out!