Introduction: Vector Tools
Birthday Card Tutorial
Welcome Plaque Tutorial
The second tutorial demonstrates further functionality to create a Welcome Sign/Plaque as shown below. Additional tools shown include Offset Vectors, Weld Vectors and Mirror Vectors.
The main design features are generated using Imported Bitmaps. Reducing colours of an imported Bitmap and the powerful Bitmap to Vector will be utilized extensively.
Welcome Plaque Border Image
1 Select Open to open an existing model.
2 Change Files of type: to Bitmap Files.
3 Open the file plaque base.jpeg.
4 Enter a Width of 1220mm (48").
5 Set the Origin to the lower left corner of the model then OK.
The design can done from either 3D View or 2D View. To switch between views, click on the appropriate tab above the view.
A new model is generated from the Bitmap based on the dimensions. ArtCAM displays all the colours that make this Bitmap at the bottom of the screen. The number of colours will firstly be reduced to a manageable level.
The Bitmap To Vector feature calculates the vector boundary of the selected primary colour in the bitmap image. This will be utilized to generate the outside boundary of the plaque border.
Bitmap or image colours can be reduced using the stand alone function Reduce Colors or directly within the Bitmap To Vector function.
6Open Bitmap to Vector.
7Click on the Reduce Colors button.
This form allows the number of colors in the Bitmap to be reduced by entering the required number or moving the slider bar.
8 Change the Number of colours to 3 before selecting Apply.
The colour palette now shows the only three colours that represent the Bitmap.
9Click on the dark blue colour directly from the palette to assign it as the primary color.
10 With the default settings shown above, Select Create Vectors then close the panel.
A vector has been generated on the boundary of the selected primary color. The Bitmap is not required so will be hidden.
11 In In the Project tree, click the plus + next to Bitmaps to display the Bitmap Layers.
12Click on the lightbulbto hide the Bitmap Layers.
Welcome Plaque Vector Layers
The vector data is currently on the Default Layer. The visibility can be shown and hidden by selecting the light bulb adjacent to the Default Layer name.
Ideally Layers should be generated before vector creation so they can be placed into them. It is good practice to give the layer a sensible name. If a new layer is created and then made active (by selecting it), all newly created vectors are placed on this active layer.
However, a Vector Layer can also be created afterwards and the vector moved to the new layer.
13 Ensure the Default Layer is selected in the project panel
14 Select New Vector Layer in the lower panel
Vector Layer 1 has been created and added to the Vectors tree.
15 Select Vector Layer 1, and change the name in the lower panel to border then Apply
The new level is now named and visible (denoted by the light bulb icon).
The existing vector can now be moved to the new layer.
16Select the border vector and right click with the mouse.
17Select Move Vectors To...border
Welcome Plaque Border
1 Delete the outer rectangle vector and small cluster of vectors indicated.
The original Bitmap of the Plaque border is not symmetrical, so the above vectors will be modified to 'improve' the final design.
2 With the border vector selected, enter Node Editing.
3 Zoom into the area indicated with the number 1
4 Right mouse click over the left corner node and select Cut Vector.
5 Zoom into the area indicated as 2, and Cut the lowest corner node as shown below.
6 Pres Esc to exit node editing.
The lower left section of the initial plaque vector has been seperated at the node cut points.
7 Select and delete the large vector to leave only the bottom left vector.
The plaque vector will be recreated symetrically using this vector.
8 Highlight the remaining vector and open Mirror Vectors from the Vector Editing toolbar.
9 Ensure Copy the Original Vectors is checked, as well as Join mirrored vectors before selecting Right (Do not close the form).
The vector has been mirrored to its right hand side.
10 Select Top to mirror this new vector upwards.
11 Close the Mirror Vectors panel.
12 With the vector still selected,Select Center in Page or F9 on the keyboard.
The inner plaque design will now be completed.
Welcome Plaque Scroll
1 Select to highlight Bitmaps in the Project Tree, then Import Image from the associated lower panel.
2 Select file scroll single.jpeg and open.
The bitmap is loaded into the current model and listed in the Bitmaps Project tree.
3 Right click on Vector Layers in the Project Tree and select New
4 Right click the new Vector Layer 1 and choose Rename. Call this new layer scroll.
Scroll is the current active vector layer, any vectors created will be drawn on the Scroll layer.
The bold layer is the active layer
Next the colors will be reduced and traced.
5 Open Bitmap to Vector.
6 Click on the Reduce Colors button.
7 Change the Number of colours to 2 before selecting Apply.
8 Click on the dark blue color directly from the palette to assign it as the primary color.
9 Select Create Vectors and close the panel.
10 Hide the Bitmap Layers by clicking on the light bulb in the Project Tree.
11 Select the new scroll vector and then Open Transform Vectors.
12 Increase the scale to 150% and then Apply.
The vector has increased in scale by 50%. The smoothness of the curves can be improved even further by using Spline Vectors, but this is not necessary.
13 Highlight the scroll vector and then Open Spline Vectors (listed with the Arc Fit tool).
The Vectors information area summarizes the number of spans that represent the selected vector. Currently, the scroll vector is made up of 44 Bezier curves, 2 lines and 134 points.
By adjusting the tolerance, the spans will recalculate to produce the shape based on this new fitting tolerance. In this instance, the tolerance will be increased to smooth out the overall shape.
14 Enter a Tolerance 1 (0.05") and press Spline.
Total number of span has been reduced to 26 and points to 78. (slightly different if using imperial units). This also makes it easier to edit the shape in Node editing as the number of nodes are reduced.
15 With the same tolerance, select Spline again. The shape will improve slightly further as the points are redistributed.
16 Close the panel.
17 With this vector highlighted, Open Mirror vectors.
18 Ensure Copy the Original Vectors is checked, before selecting Right.
19 Close the panel.
The two vectors will be combined to create a single design.
20 Select the right hand side (mirrored) vector only and use the arrow key on your keyboard to nudge it left until they slightly overlap.
21 With both vectors selected,open Weld Vectors .
The overlap is removed to create a single closed vector. It will now be moved to a suitable position.
22 With the scroll selected press F9 to center it.
23 Hold the Alt key and drag it down towards the bottom as shown.
The Alt key will hold the vector straight while moving it.
24 Select the scroll vector and open Mirror Vectors from the Vector editing toolbar.
25 Select Over Model.
Welcome Plaque Design
1 From the Bitmap Layers in the Project Tree, Import the welcome bird.jpeg.
2 Click on the New Vector Layers plus sign in the Project Tree next to Vectors to create a new Layer
3 Do a slow double click on the new Vector Layer and Rename it to design
4 Open Bitmap to Vector.
5 Click on the Reduce Colors button.
6 Change the Number of colours to 2 before selecting Apply.
7 Click on the black from the palette to assign it as the primary color.
8 Select Create Vectors and close the panel.
9 Hide the Bitmap Layers by clicking on the light bulb in the Project Tree.
10 Select the vectorsas shown above open Transform Vectors.
11 Increase the scale to 120% and press Apply (Do not close the form).
12 The vectors have scaled relatively in both the X and Y direction. A scaling will be applied again but this time in the X direction only. This will result in the vectors 'stretching' to fill the available space better.
13 Unlock the option Maintain aspect ratio in the Scale and Size part of the form.
14 Change the scale to mm and increase the New Width to 900 mm (35.5").
The Vectors have rescaled but in the X axis (horizontally) only.
15 Click on the New Vector Layers plus sign in the Project Tree next to Vectors to create a new Layer
16 Do a slow double click on the new Vector Layer and Rename it to text
17 Open Create Vector Text.
18 Change to Font Showcard Gothic, Script Western, Size 90mm(3.5") and Character Spacing of 160%.
19 Type WELCOME
20 Drag to position the text block as shown.
21 Activate the borderVector Layer by clicking on it
22 Select the outer main border vector and then Offset Vectors from the Vector Creation toolbar.
23 Offset a distance 20mm (0.75") Outwards with Sharp corners.
The design is complete!