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Converting images, I'm stressed


New Member
I am having so much trouble with converting images.
I have a Creation 630 cutter/plotter and I use Artcut software.
I have been using Corel draw to convert images but am having a heap of trouble. I only have a demo and it will run out in 3 days. I don't want to buy expensive software and then it doesn't work.
I have even got them coverted through the internet. I import the graphics and sometimes they will import and cut and sometimes they don't work. Some eps files work and other don't and I don't know why. Same with PLT sometimes it works.
Please please someone help me with foolproof software that will work. Then my other problem is price. I am not rich and can't afford thousands of $$ for software.
I am going out of my mind trying to convert these images.


Just Me
You can't expect to do a professional job without buying professional software to do the job. There is no "foolproof software" that will work. If you won't buy the software, all I can suggest is...
very reasonably priced even if you are on a budget.

But really, you need to have the software to do the job. If you can't afford corel 13, buy an older version it will still work, but you need to put in the time learning how to use it.


New Member
In cutting with Corel - you have to make sure there is a cut path - or outline - to every line. Just because it's in Corel doesn't mean it's vector or has lines the cutter can "see" to cut. Also if it wasn't created to cut you will likely have overlapping lines or non continuous sections etc - there is more to it than opening a file and sending it to a cutter unless you have specific cut ready files like Fred has on his site, I've never had a problem cutting from Corel (or Illustrator more often) using vinyl (or cut) ready art.

Like Stacy said - get an older version of Corel and get comfortable with it - Old Paint has posted here several times on how to cut from Corel so search through his posts, very helpful and probably the least expensive route to go

sharon b

New Member
i saw a great demo on Imagaro Z. seemed like a pretty good program, around $600. gotta keep in mind, what's your sanity worth?
I assume by "converting images" you mean converting bitmaps to vector images so they will cut on your plotter. There is no magic program for this...CorelTrace works as well as anything I've tried. I've heard that the X3 trace works better than previous versions. It simply takes practice and patience to get good results. Corel doesn't cost thousands and will be a worthwhile investment.

Try converting your bitmaps to 1-bit black and white before you send to CorelTrace. It won't help on all bitmaps, but on some it will improve tracing dramatically.

Former member

New Member
Nothing beats learning the drawing tools in your vector design software well enough so you can re-draw or re-create the image you are working on. The Bezier tracing in Flexi is great but there is always some clean up. Practice - practice - practice with those tool- heck, thats how the logo was probably created in the first place. good luck.

Fred Weiss

Merchant Member
sharon b said:
i saw a great demo on Imagaro Z. seemed like a pretty good program, around $600. gotta keep in mind, what's your sanity worth?

According to the Imagaro people at the show, the only difference between Imagaro Z at $690 and Tracer at $247 is the text identification features. They do not, unfortunately, provide a trial version of the application so if it doesn't work very well you have no recourse. My opinion is that it probably does work decently but then so does Inkscape which if free open source software.

If money is your main concern, Corel X3 is likely the best overall compromise. Anyway you slice it though, you will not find any one complete solution and you will need to go through a learning curve involving different approaches to different artwork and lots of practice to get the issues you mention under control.


New Member
I can use the trace button on corel but it never works when I export it to my cutter. My cutter and artcut software don't like it.
I went into Inkscape and where do I download from. There is a list of these different things and I don't know what I am doing.

Arlo Kalon 2.0

New Member
bonniebraes said:
There is a list of these different things and I don't know what I am doing.

I'm still confused with your thread here. What exactly then are you trying to do? If you don't know what you're doing, how did you get in the position you now find yourself? I don't know why your questions have piqued my desire to help... but I believe your questions are an honest request. Elaborate some and let's see what happens.

Robert H. Bigart

New Member
Hi Guy

You will neet Inkscape


You will also need Ghostscript and GSview which are needed by pstoedit:


Here is link to software that works with Ghostscript, including pstoedit:


Here is a link to Potrace, which is a amazing bitmap tracer which produces super clean postscript output:


It takes a while to get setup but then you take Jpeg, Tif etc. files in Inktrace and trace them out PS load in Ghostview and Edit with convert to vector fomat as DXF file.

This takes a little time the 1st time but I know that you can do it.

Bob Bigart

Fred Weiss

Merchant Member
I downloaded it yesterday (just the Inkscape). It already has PoTrace in it. I traced a jpg image I had in a folder which was a clean image and the results were very nice. I then deleted the image and saved the traced vectors as an EPS which in turn was readable by two application I imported it into.

The EPS preserves the PostScript language and the bezier curves. There was no need that I saw for GhostScript to be installed. I am not familiar with GSView or PStoEdit so I'm not sure what, if anything they would add to the mix. InkTrace, for a free application, is fairly impressive. Good tracing and drawing tools, type setting and basic effects like outlining. The most troubling thing I couldn't resolve was how to turn off the preview to edit the vectors in wireframe view.

As with most open source products, the learning curve is usually worse because documentation is usually weak and people seem to expect you to be a code hacker or programmer before they will give you straightforward answers to questions. I have the same kinds of problems with the software that runs this site.

My point is that with free, open source software you should be prepared to really dig into it to learn it because it will be more difficult to learn than a commercial product like Illustrator or CorelDRAW.

Based on Bonnie's posts so far, I suspect that this may be a problem. CorelDRAW is widely used and liked. If she is unable to get useable results with CorelDRAW, it seems likely that InkScape will provide an easy solution either.

One final note, my experience using different file types for sign work places EPS and AI right up top and DXF very near the bottom. I'm not sure why you would choose DXF as your preferred path out of InkScape when a very good EPS 3.0 export in in the application.


New Member
I have given up. I just sent the images to the vector Dr.
My software is temperamental. Sometimes it will open up eps files and cut them, other times it won't. I will use Corel and trace. Save it as an eps and as a PLT file and my ARTCUT software doesn't recognise it and can't open it.
I got one artwork from the Dr and it open and cut fine. I got another image done and it wouldn't open. I had to go into corel and save it as a PLT file then it worked. I hope I am making sense.

Robert H. Bigart

New Member
The reason I use DXF files is because I drive my plotter with a program called PLANS 3.0 originally developed for the AMIGA over 15 years ago.
Then ported to the PC and MAC about 1995 it is a very basic drawing CAD program but also the easiest to draw, erase, extend or reshape a drawing to my knowledge.

I could not get Corel to Open or Import the EPS files so I have to Open it in Illustrator save it out in illustrator in EPS format then I could inport it in Corel
( this sounds complicated ) but I don't use Corel to drive my plotter so what is the use.


Bob Bigart

Ps. If you would like to E-Mail me


The Big Squeegee

Long Time Member
eps files

Some programes require the eps file to be converted to curves before being exported from Corel. This is more important if you have added text to the design.

Last edited:


New Member
Fred Weiss said:
According to the Imagaro people at the show, the only difference between Imagaro Z at $690 and Tracer at $247 is the text identification features.

I saw this, Imagaro Z, being demo'd at the ARA show in Vegas last month. Was a nice program but was wondering what the difference between the two was, now I know. Thanks!

I'm going to check out the other one you mentioned and see how it works.



New Member
make sure your not trying to cut a jpeg gif or bmp that was "saved as " a eps, my vcutter needs me to do an outline at .003mm then remove fill, easy way to test it is to hit view wireframe I think, someone cna correct me on that, it will show you what sort of image you have. That was my first problem with corel learning file types and that you have to have curves and paths ass previously said.

Hope that made sense.