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File Problem

Stroker Ace

New Member
I'm using a program called Pro DeSign, which is somebody's in-house version of Flexi. I have Level 3 if that's important. The manual says the EPS format is supported. I took a photo and had one of my friends convert the jpeg file to an EPS file using Paint Shop Pro. When I try to open the EPS file in Pro DeSign, I get a dialog box that says the file format is not supported. Does anyone have any idea what I might be doing wrong? Thanks.
 

Stroker Ace

New Member
The jpeg will open but for some reason I can't vecorize it. When I checked the supported file formats jpeg wasn't listed so I figured that was why I couldn't vectorize it.
 
Open it in any software that you have and either convert it, or save a bitmap, and see if that works.

OR if you have Corel or Illustrator - go that route.
 

Fred Weiss

Merchant Member
The Pro Design is expecting a vector EPS file with a header and content to match. The raster EPS generated by Photoshop is not the same animal at all and will not be recognized.

There is no reason why you should not be able to import and use a JPG file as either an image to be autotraced or as a template for drawing on with the Bezier pen. What you must realize is that autotracing has real limitations if you are working with a JPG or any other bitmapped file in full color. If you wish to autotrace that, you will need to become familiar and experiment with the effect know as "posterization".

With posterization, the number of colors in the file is adjustable and they are reduced from the original number of colors. Reducing the number of colors becomes a balancing act in preserving as much integrity of the image as possible while still ending up with a relatively small number of colors to autotrace.

The image below starting in the top left and traveling counter-clockwise shows the results using Photoshop CS2:
  • The original image
  • Full color posterized to 4 levels
  • Grayscale posterized to 4 levels
  • Black and White using the Threshhold Command
 

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Stroker Ace

New Member
Thank you for the replies. My interpretation of what you're telling me is that the photo won't autotrace because it's made up of colors other than black and white and to make it autotrace correctly I need to do away with the colors other than black and white using posterization?

I can't find any reference to posterization in the Pro Design manual so I'm wondering if I can do it using Pro DeSign or if I need something else? Thanks.
 

Fred Weiss

Merchant Member
I am not familiar with Pro Design but, if it is a private label version of FlexiSign, then is most likely will perform an autotrace of black and white, grayscale or color images. So, no, I am not saying that you must always be in a black an white color mode.

What I am saying is that you will, because of the need to posterize, get widely differing results at different levels of posterizing. This is where you, as the creative control, must exercise your judgment. In addition, you will also want to match what the software presents you with in an automated routine such as posterization or autotracing with what you and your client want in the finished graphic as well as how many colors the budget for the production will support. If, for example, you want to take a full color image and produce it in just two colors of vinyl, then you will not want to posterize to a level of six colors. You will have more colors than you have a budget to produce the job.

Often, in this area, we have seen unrealistic expectations as to what the "state of the art" actually is for modifying unsuitable artwork into usable vinyl-cut-ready artwork. The fact is there are no pat answers. Each image and each job presents a different challenge in how to get from where you are to where you want to be. That is where talent, experience and artistic judgment come into play.

From a different perspective, today's thermal and solvent printers are experiencing great success because of the fact that they reduce or eliminate the need to deal with these issues in many situations and for many people.
 

Stroker Ace

New Member
Thanks Fred. I guess I should have made myself clearer. What I'm trying to do is to make a vector image from a photograph so I can cut a paint mask for my radio controlled race car. The bodies are clear lexan and are painted from the inside.
 
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