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Thread: V Carve Question

  1. #1

    V Carve Question

    I have a piece I want to make a V Carve file for. I traced the piece on paper with a pen, scanned it as a bitmap, imported it and converted to a vector. When I zoom in, there are two lines and when I double click on either black line I get two pink dashed vector lines. Why did I get two lines instead of one line on the bitmap import? I know dashed vector lines mean something and solid vector lines something else. How do I make the lines solid and what is the difference?<br><br>Thanks for help. Just plodding through the learning curve.

  2. #2
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    If you traced with a pen, then your tracing line width is probably so wide that both sides of the lines are being vectorized. You could probably delete one of the sets of vectors. I'm not sure why the lines are dashed and not solid pink, and a single click should turn the path from black to pink. Perhaps you could post some screenshots so we can see exactly what you have. Also post your bitmap file and I will take a look to see if I can clean it up for you.
    David

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    Dashed is a single vector. Solid is a grouped set of two or more vectors.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  4. #4
    Thanks for the offer David. I created a zip file with both the bmp and crv files. I hope you can help.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  5. #5
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    Bitmap trace will rarely if ever leave you with single line vectors. As David said, it will detect the thickness in the line and generate a vector on either side of the line (which is normal.. "the line" is actually its own entity)

    Depending on the complexity of the drawing you may find that you have more post editing using bitmap trace than if you just loft lines around the sketch manually. On very complex traces it can save you a bit of time but even then you will more than likely still have a heavy amount of post processing/node editing after a bitmap trace. Where bitmap trace often shines is with thick line drawing that have well defined edges and very little noise in the source bitmap. Anything beyond that you will have a pretty hefty amount of cleanup.

    Only you can decide if your faster getting some initial vectors from bitmap trace and then editing or just vectorizing the job from scratch. Perhaps not wise to weave another hefty variable into the process but you can often times come out ahead using a free program like Inkscape to generate clean vectors to then import into Vcarve for final tweak.
    Sometimes I just want to look at pretty pictures,... Thats when I go to the Turners Forum

  6. #6
    Thanks Mark. I'll give Inkscape a try and see what I get.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vince mastrosimone View Post
    Thanks Mark. I'll give Inkscape a try and see what I get.

    Hi Mark,
    I have downloaded your file and it does indeed have the usual problems from a hand trace. I will get back later today with a clean file and let you know how I edited it.
    David

  8. #8
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    MarK, thanks for the Inkscape recommendation. I plan on trying that out to see how well it will work for me, too.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  9. #9
    Thanks for doing that David

  10. #10
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    Hi Vince,
    The bitmap from the scan of your hand tracing with pen would probably take many hours of node editing to clean up as a usable vector file. The easiest and quickest method to produce a usable vector file would be manual tracing in VCarve Pro. Here is how I would do it. It took me about 15 minutes to complete this process from start to finish.
    David

    Step 1 - Open your original bitmap file with Paint.net and invert colors. This will help with the visibility of the lines/curves while manually tracing.
    Step 1 - Invert colors with Paint.net.jpg

    The resulting file will look like this. I normally save from Paint.net in jpeg format.
    Joseph - inverted colors.jpg

    Step 2 - Import jpeg to Vcarve Pro.
    Import jpeg to Vcarve Pro.jpg

    Step 3 - Zoom in as shown, then use "Draw Curve" tool to manually trace around white path - trying to stay centered in the white path.
    Step 3 - Trace path with Draw Curve tool.jpg Joseph tracing curve.jpg

    Under Edit, Snap Options - I have my snaps set as shown. The main thing is that I want to snap to end of curve, and I don't want to snap to grid. I very seldom use this program, and I am sure there are probably other snap setting that the "experts" would recommend.
    Snap Options.jpg

    Here is the finished trace.
    Joseph - finished trace.jpg
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by David Buchhauser; 01-02-2021 at 2:49 AM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Bolton View Post
    Bitmap trace will rarely if ever leave you with single line vectors. As David said, it will detect the thickness in the line and generate a vector on either side of the line (which is normal.. "the line" is actually its own entity)

    Depending on the complexity of the drawing you may find that you have more post editing using bitmap trace than if you just loft lines around the sketch manually. On very complex traces it can save you a bit of time but even then you will more than likely still have a heavy amount of post processing/node editing after a bitmap trace. Where bitmap trace often shines is with thick line drawing that have well defined edges and very little noise in the source bitmap. Anything beyond that you will have a pretty hefty amount of cleanup.

    Only you can decide if your faster getting some initial vectors from bitmap trace and then editing or just vectorizing the job from scratch. Perhaps not wise to weave another hefty variable into the process but you can often times come out ahead using a free program like Inkscape to generate clean vectors to then import into Vcarve for final tweak.
    I use Inkscape quite often for auto-tracing of bitmap images. In general, I use a combination of Paint.net, Inkscape, and Design Edge (in that order). Design Edge is my go-to for vector editing - it is a very powerful program (and expensive) - but is only available for purchase by owners of PlasmaCAM cnc plasma cutting tables.
    David

    Here is Joseph in Design Edge. I could have manually traced the bitmap in about 1/3 the time with this program, but I wanted to use VCarve Pro to show Vince how to do it.
    Joseph in Design Edge.jpg
    Last edited by David Buchhauser; 01-02-2021 at 3:20 AM.

  12. #12
    David thank you for doing that for me. I appreciate your time and knowledge. It looks like the process is quite involved. I was hoping a quick scan would be all that is needed but alas that is not the case. I guess nothing worthwhile comes easy. It’s gonna take me some time to work through this. But thanks again for your help.

    do you think turning down the resolution on the scan would help any?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by vince mastrosimone View Post

    do you think turning down the resolution on the scan would help any?
    Other than a very bold, high contrast, sharp line reference image there is nothing thats going to give you a click and go option. You are likely just making it a bit more difficult than it actually is in your mind and hence shooting yourself in the foot. That image David processed for you is honestly about a 2-3 minute job straight in Vcarve using the draw curves and then a few seconds on node editing to smooth things up.

    Now you get into things that are a bit more complex and there is more time in the curves/node editing but its really just wash rinse repeat when your working 2D-2.5D

    Just give yourself some time and invest the time into figuring it out. Its not overly difficult.
    Sometimes I just want to look at pretty pictures,... Thats when I go to the Turners Forum

  14. #14
    Thanks for the encouragement.

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    One thing to remember from my experience is you learn/retain by doing. If things get to out of whack and you are frustrated you can always start over with a couple clicks. But what I use a lot if I don't like what I'm seeing is to just either use the undo arrow or click on edit(I think) and it will be right there as first drop down too. Undo create whatever you just did. Use the feature of cutting the tool path on the screen if you produce the toolpath(s) as well. It's in the toolpath menu and has "play" arrows. See if it looks right there. I don't know a lot but you retain it by doing it. That said there are a lot of YouTube videos out there and they can be very helpful as well. In fact I sometimes have toggled back and forth from video to program until it makes sense. It's so easy to back a video up and watch the steps again. Some of them move to fast. They click from one thing to another so fast that it's difficult to see what they just selected. Other's do it slow enough that it's easy to follow. I will tell you this as well because this was told to me when I started the job I currently have. "It's highly unlikely you will do anything that someone else hasn't already done" so don't worry about it if you make a mistake. I still always keep a finger ready to abort the operation until I'm comfortable everything looks good. The only people that never make a mistake are the ones who never do anything. Not sure this helps a lot but just the observations of another ameteur. Luckily there are many experts here that are willing to share their expertise.
    Last edited by Ronald Blue; 01-02-2021 at 3:57 PM.

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