The basic download of Embird software (Embird 2010) provides powerful file management and editing tools. Those who want to go the next step and begin to create their own designs from images or from their imagination, can then download and install the current build of Studio.(1) From our Tutorials page, you will soon be able to download and print instructions that will walk you through installing Embird software, including Studio, step-by-step.
The brief descriptions below tell some of the most important capabilities of each application. You can scroll down to read them, or jump to the description of a particular application by clicking the application's name in the description above.
Digitizing Tools is the primary application you will use to create your own designs from images or from your imagination. It helps you create shapes and lines, set the colors, stitch directions, fill patterns and all the other characteristics that create the appearance that you want for your embroidery design. Each area of color or line of stitching is called an “object”.
Studio stores the information about all the objects of your design in a file with the file extension .EOF (Embird Outline File). This file does not contain the actual stitches of the design, instead it has mathematical information about the size, shape, location and stitch characteristics to create the correct stitches for each object. Like other files that store mathematical descriptions of areas of an image, .EOF files are considered to be "vector" files.
Digitizing Tools will not automatically create embroidery designs from raster graphics files(2) but it will allow you to import those pictures into your workspace and use them as a template to create an embroidery design. Using a raster graphics file as a template is like putting tracing paper over a picture and using the picture as a guide to create a design on the tracing paper.
If you do purchase both Font Engine and Digitizing Tools, then you will be able to automatically digitize vector graphics files with Font Engine, and edit them with Digitizing Tools as if you had digitized it manually. (3) Digitizing Tools is what you need to create most design files like the ones you see sold on the Internet.
Sfumato helps digitizers to create "photorealistic" embroidery that emulates photographs or paintings.
Sfumato creates a pattern of stitches that looks random - it wanders around irregularly to fill up the area of an object. The most important thing about that wandering stitch is that Sfumato detects where the color is most intense in the picture you are using for a template, and it makes the stitches denser there. It detects where the color is less intense in the picture, and it makes the stitches less dense there. By changing the density of the stitches, Sfumato can make it appear that there are up to five different shades of color within that one object, even though it is using only one color of thread to do it.
By wandering around irregularly, the thread in the embroidered object will scatter light as an irregular surface such as skin or cloth will do, instead of scattering it in a more regular pattern as conventional embroidery will do. This way it can reproduce the appearance of shadowing and blending of colors such as you find in a photograph or painting. Like Digitizing Tools, Sfumato objects are stored in an .EOF file with all the information required to create the stitches, but it does not store the stitches themselves. Objects created in Sfumato and Digitizing Tools may be stored in the same file, and may be part of the same design.
Sfumato will automatically digitize raster graphics files.
(1) If you registered an older version Embird Studio and need to re-install it for some reason, older versions are available for download at http://www.embird.com/sw/embird/oldfiles.htm.
(2) Raster graphics files break images down into little rectangles of color called "pixels". The file stores the location and color of each pixel, and uses that information to build the image out of pixels. When you enlarge raster images, they get a saw-toothed, jagged look around the edges of curves. The most common formats of raster graphics files have the file extensions .GIF, .TIF, .JPG, and .PNG.
(3) Vector graphics files store mathematical descriptions of each line or shape of color in an image. When you re-size the image, the mathematical description is recalculated. This means the edges of shapes and lines remain sharp and clear, no matter how much you enlarge them. The most common formats of vector graphics files are .CDR, .WMF, .EMF.
* The following are property of the Embird company: the hummingbird logo, Embird® brand name, application names Manager®, Editor®, Iconizer®, Font Engine®, Alphabets® and Cross Stitch®. Stitched With Grace is an independent distributor of Embird ®software.
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