View Full Version : What to do when you get a bitmap...

Scott Shepherd
02-27-2007, 3:03 PM
For a long time, with one customer, we have avoided doing a lot of logo work, since we didn't have the best setup for it with out rotary engraver and the legacy software it was running.

Well, that all changed when we got a laser, but now I'm dealing with all the fun of graphics being given to us in any number of formats. Up until now, I'm been pretty lucky and either able to create the logo on my own, or figure out a work around.

I'm a little stumped today with a bitmap of a logo. We're running Corel V12, and have Corel Trace. Either I'm an idiot (good chance on that) or the trace program isn't giving me what I need.

Can someone give me some ideas on how to take the following file and make it scaleable so I can burn it?


I've asked for a proper file, but it takes days or even weeks to get a response, since the people who are making the contacts are never the people who know anything about any of it and they have to contact other people.

Any ideas? Would the new Corel trace do a good job on it? (I'm looking for a reason to upgrade :) ).

Vicky Orsini
02-27-2007, 3:13 PM
I'm working with CD11, and I never could figure out how to get Trace to work properly, so I've come up with my own way of doing things. My way is probably the long way (since it's all self-taught through trial and error ... lots of error), but here it is nonetheless.

Leave a copy of the original bmp on your workspace for reference. Then, find the closest you can to the original text/font. Input your text to match the original copy. Convert your text to curves. Finally, edit your curves to copy the original artwork as closely as possible.

Hope this helps a little.

Joe Pelonio
02-27-2007, 3:46 PM
Corel X3 has a much better trace function, if you are going to do a lot of that it's worth upgrading for that.

Meanwhile, I have used Corel trace for many years, since I bought Corel 3, then 5, then 12. I also have a program no longer available called Adobe Streamline that works great. There are some tricks to it. You have to start out with a good quality high resolution copy to trace, or the program trace every smudge. Cleaning it up point by point can take a long time, if you have to do that charge for it, my price is $60/hour. Normally when you tell the customer that, they will find a way to get better art. On some loogs it's easier to use the Corel "Smart Draw" tool and hand trace it, especially if you just need the outline around the logo to cut it out. All of that takes time to learn, and practice.

Larry Bratton
02-27-2007, 4:03 PM
Although I am not doing any laser work yet, until my machine gets here, I looked at this logo. Vicki is right. I have used the same procedure over the years in working with low resolution graphics. I tried tracing it with the new version of trace in X3 and it's still not much. I have to say I have never been too impressed with Corel Trace (any version). The best tracing program I have ever used is with Enroute 3plus for CNC toolpaths.
Like she said, import it into Draw, get the closest font to it, type in the text, then convert it to curves and then edit the nodes until you get it where you need to be. It's a little slow, but you may not have munipulate all of it. It looks like ACCEPTANCE is a common font. Good luck with it.
(I hate customers that send you junk and then expect you to spend your time cleaning it up)

Tracy Anderson
02-27-2007, 4:11 PM
I use Pete Bertrand to change my images. He gets it back within 24 hours and only charges $12 to change it to a vector image. I have always been thrilled with his work. You can e-mail him at pbertrand@wi.rr.com

Good luck!

Scott Shepherd
02-27-2007, 4:28 PM
Thanks to all so far. I already tried mapping a close font to it and can't get anything very close yet. Of course, I have a billion fonts on my Corel CD's, but going through them one at a time without installing them is a pain.

I'll do it that way if I have to. It's all just a communication issue. I'm dealing with any one of about 8 people who can order from that company, and all of them are simply administrative people passing on information from one of their customers.

So, they tell all customers to provide camera ready artwork. Well, the person who normally gets that sent to them is also an administrative person, not a graphics person. Essentially, it's two office workers, talking back and forth. Neither of them know much (or anything) about file types.

Most of the time, I am able to do just as has been suggested.

I know someone's got the original, correct file type. Just getting to that person always seems to be a real challenge.

It's back on them at this point, but any time I can figure out a way to not stop the process for days or weeks, I try to do it. I'll wait to hear back from them. If it has to be recreated, then I'll do it (and charge accordingly).

Scott Shepherd
02-27-2007, 4:29 PM
Here's what I got with zero tinkering.

Did I miss something important?

Brian Robison
02-27-2007, 4:36 PM
Interesting. I tried playing with it (with my limited skills).
The bitmap is pretty clear until I import it into Corel. I tried several things to no avail.

Brian Robison
02-27-2007, 4:37 PM
Did I miss something important?
Yeah, I didn't figure out how to add the attachment on this sight!:eek:

Phil Sanders
02-27-2007, 4:59 PM

I don't know if this helps at all, but if you have a news reader program on your computer like Outlook Express or others:

- Point you news reader to Newsgroup alt.binaries.fonts
this newsgroup does a lot, and I mean a LOT of "what is this font?" questions; usually someone knows a close match.

-point your news reader to the news server: cnews.corel.com
the Corel news server hosts corel draw 12 and X3 newsgroups. The discussions there have several threads about converting a bitmap file to vector graphic files. Not simple, but can be done with enough effort. If nothing else, ask to be pointed to any (free) bitmap conversion training video. There may be some.


Bruce Volden
02-27-2007, 5:43 PM
I played around for a few minutes and came up with this. Sorry, I didn't go looking for a matching font:(


Mike Null
02-27-2007, 6:30 PM
I think Bruce has done a good job with his trace. The small font appears to be very close to Futura med. BT. Not exactly but close.

You can scan a document with a scanner which has OCR and send the file to one of your text editting programs and you may get lucky and find the font.

You can also go to http://www.myfonts.com/WhatTheFont/ and follow the instructions and they can tell you the names of most fonts free of charge.

I went through all the fonts in my CD version 8 book and could not find anything similar.

The easiest way short of getting a real file is to ask your customer to give you the font names. That doesn't always work either.

Dave Jones
02-27-2007, 6:39 PM
I have to agree with Tracy about Pete Bertrand. For $12 you don't have to worry about it. Just add that to the setup charges for the job. Here's a page on his site with some examples:


George M. Perzel
02-27-2007, 6:40 PM
Hi Scott;
Here's a quick trace using X3-needs a little cleanup. Hope it helps
Best regards;

Frank Corker
02-27-2007, 7:16 PM
OR you can be a smart ass and get it perfect like this one! :D :D

Scott Shepherd
02-27-2007, 7:40 PM
WOW! Thanks everyone. Thanks to everyone who posted solutions. I've asked that I be allowed to contact their customer directly (no conflict of interest, as everything HAS to be done through my customer), so hopefully I'll get the green light on that tomorrow and be able to start tracking down someone who has the original graphic.

If I can't, then I've got plenty of things to work with here. Several great solutions, including the $12 conversion. I'll be using that service in the future for sure.

Thanks everyone, it's greatly appreciated-

Frank Corker
02-27-2007, 8:10 PM
Scott check my last post again - I have re-uploaded a perfect one for you

Larry Bratton
02-27-2007, 8:27 PM
Well ain't you a CORKER!! LOL..very good Frank.:D You may become the Trace guru here..I guess you know that!

Dennis Kotlowski
02-27-2007, 9:17 PM
I agree with Tracy and Dave.....Pete Bertrand is the man. He just converted a logo for me from a business card and it was well worth the 12 bucks. I would have wasted a whole day working on it.

JD Laser Gifts

Jody Malinich
02-27-2007, 9:42 PM
Another one for Pete, He has done 20 or so conversions for us with outstanding results. Just recieved six back from him today.


Scott Shepherd
02-27-2007, 10:02 PM
Thanks Frank- I'm at home now, so I'll check it at work tomorrow.

I really appreciate it! I owe you one.


Scott Shepherd
02-28-2007, 10:02 AM
Amazing Frank! How'd you do it? Is that something I should easily be able to do with Corel Trace, or did you use something else?

That looks perfect.

Thanks a bunch!


Mike Null
02-28-2007, 11:48 AM

did you find the primary font or trace it? If you found the font what is the name?

Nice work!

Frank Corker
02-28-2007, 7:14 PM
Okay I'll cough to this, I used 'brain power', I do have a little you know! :eek:
Every big company like this has shareholders, as a result most of them have to put their yearly figures on the web for people to view how the company is doing. Companies being companies, never miss the oportunity to display their logos, after all, that's advertising. I searched for the company's name in google and added +pdf. Sure enough, having viewed about 20 pdf files, there was a pdf file and as I had anticipated, their logo. The vast majority of picture files in a pdf file are, eps. I downloaded the file, viewed it and made a note of the page number, imported that page, ungrouped all and deleted the dross. Voila, a perfect logo!

Who's a clever boy ????? :cool:

Bill Cunningham
03-01-2007, 7:44 PM
Well Damn!!!! Frank you da man!!!
I do a lot of google mining, but never considered looking for logos this way..

George M. Perzel
03-01-2007, 7:58 PM
That's cheating-you're supposed to do it the hard way! Great Job!!!
Best regards;

Thad Nickoley
03-15-2007, 12:32 AM
i am really new here, why are you tracing?? Why cant you laser the logo the way it is or photograve it?

I am missing something.

Scott Shepherd
03-15-2007, 8:33 AM
I was unable to use it as it was because it was not scaleable (sp?). They gave me an image where the actual image size was 1/3 of what it needed to be. Actually, after making the sign (per their instructions) and going to install it, I walk up to a glass front office with no place to mount the sign. They changed their mind and wanted it done on the window in vinyl. So I used the image to cut it out of Ultra Thin II material 35" long and applied it to their window.

So the image given was 1/10 the size it needed to be, and when scaled, it pixelated so badly that it lost all detail.