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Raster to Vector question for Autocad users

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Raster to Vector question for Autocad users

Old 09-18-2006, 06:36 PM
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1/2Aandbeyond
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Default Raster to Vector question for Autocad users

Hey guys I got a question about CAD. I have Autocad2002 and thats all the software I want for now. I understand that a raster image (jpeg, bmp, tiff etc.) can be imported and traced in Cad , or vector format, depending on what software you have. Does anyone know if it's done in Autocad with w/o plugin? How?

I have been digging around in my version of Autocad and haven't found a thing to help me.
Old 09-18-2006, 07:42 PM
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CoosBayLumber
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Default RE: Raster to Vector question for Autocad users

There is a default visual program for looking at images within Autocad. However, if you also have a photo altering software upon your computer, then Acad will bring in the image in that native format first. Before loading up Acad onto your P.C. first load up the image software like Micrografx or Adobe. Then when Acad is installed it will do a look through your system trying to find certain file types, and ask at installation time, if you want to associate any file brought into Acad with a certain software.

If Acad is installed first, and you then install one of the photo altering programs, quite often it will ignore looking for them. I understand, there is a system to which you can make the association, but I have never done it once I under stood the proper order of installation.

When the image comes into Acad, you get one chance and one chance only to rotate it, resize it, or somehow alter it. Then next time you open up that drawing and turn on the image, it will be as last left.

And bad thing to haul in a JPG type image. Is better to convert it over to something scaleable like a TIF or BMP. The JPG image will first try and fit or adjust to your screen area, and alter the X-Y ratio just so it looks good. That is the nature of it. Whereas a BMP or TIF will only get larger or smaller in an equal ratio. Thus it you try an attempt to trace over a JPG image, beware it may not be to an equal vertical as horizontal. A JPG image looks good on the internet, where it was designed to habitate.

You can go to Autodesk site and get a better explaination than I gave.


Then too, if you plan on running one of the Raster to Vector conversion programs, you first need to get out all the dirt and otherwise make a clean drawing. Or that junk will be converted right along with and cause a timely delay. Several of us have been using the freeloader WinTopo software. Back when you could get the B&W version for free or the color version for $100. That was yesterday too. But is fast, basic, and can be obtained via CNET or SoftSoft site. Again, the scaleable type drawings work better for accurate CAD conversion than a JPG.


Wm.
Old 09-18-2006, 07:57 PM
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1/2Aandbeyond
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Default RE: Raster to Vector question for Autocad users

Coos you just became my best friend.

This has been troubling and I have a raster to vector convertor that didn't do what I needed it to (thank God it was free). So I have Photoshop 7.0, convert/export to bmp then import into Acad and tracing can happen?

Next I need you to explain why my photoshop will only print the center of a 9000x6000 dpi Tiff Uncle Willy sent me (old Berkley Pitts plan).
Old 09-18-2006, 08:01 PM
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Eduardo Lander Jr.
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Default RE: Raster to Vector question for Autocad users

Simply...select your image, then drag to your autocad work sheet and finaly trace your vectors over the image, when you done your work click over your image and delete it.
then you cant change everything you want, scale, unit formats, etc

Eduardo
Old 09-18-2006, 08:18 PM
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CoosBayLumber
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Default RE: Raster to Vector question for Autocad users

1/2 A.....

What type of equipment are you trying to plot with? I use Calcomp and H-P equipment here, and both hve different set ups. Most popular types, are center plot, 0,0 plot, use any scale but make fit X-Y to paper selected, and fit to edges of paper. These are changeable in the set up program for the HARDWARE not the software for the CAD.

Wm.
Old 09-19-2006, 02:13 AM
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NRistow
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Default RE: Raster to Vector question for Autocad users

ORIGINAL: CoosBayLumber

When the image comes into Acad, you get one chance and one chance only to rotate it, resize it, or somehow alter it. Then next time you open up that drawing and turn on the image, it will be as last left.

And bad thing to haul in a JPG type image. Is better to convert it over to something scaleable like a TIF or BMP. The JPG image will first try and fit or adjust to your screen area, and alter the X-Y ratio just so it looks good. That is the nature of it. Whereas a BMP or TIF will only get larger or smaller in an equal ratio. Thus it you try an attempt to trace over a JPG image, beware it may not be to an equal vertical as horizontal. A JPG image looks good on the internet, where it was designed to habitate.
I havn't used older versions of Acad for a while, but you should be able to move, rotate and scale an image using the standard commands. I think I remember using them in 2000, possibly even 14. I know they work in 2006. Anyhow, just type in rotate, and pick the border of your image and it should let you rotate your image, just like any other object.

I'm not sure why one filetype would be out of proportion compared to another. Overall the file type shouldn't make a difference.

Another way of importing an image, is from the menu: inset -> raster image

ORIGINAL: 1/2Aandbeyond

Next I need you to explain why my photoshop will only print the center of a 9000x6000 dpi Tiff Uncle Willy sent me (old Berkley Pitts plan).
Photoshop has no idea how large your image is suppose to be in real units, it can only guess. If you go to the pulldown Image -> Image size in photoshop, you can change the size of your image in inches. For your image, PS probably thinks its over 4ft long. When you print on, say a 10" piece of paper, you'll only get the small bit in the center.

You can change the scale of your image in photoshop by changing the numbers on that image size window. Lower the size in inches, and up the resolution a bit so that you don't loose any detail. The numbers in 'pixel dimensions' will give you the size of your image in pixels.

Since you have autocad, you could just use that to print the image. Just import the image into autocad, scale it so its just smaller than your paper, and plot it.
Old 09-19-2006, 05:15 PM
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Default RE: Raster to Vector question for Autocad users

Coos,

I don't do any plotting, I can email it to my sister in-law who can plot for me. I am only looking at tracing raster images in Acad. a huge pile of great plans are in Raster and it's limited as you know. So I want to preserve these plans in Vector and have the big plus of easy mods to a plan.
Old 09-19-2006, 07:58 PM
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Default RE: Raster to Vector question for Autocad users

I am getting confused here then. For according to your note of the 18th there was some printing/plotting problem. Thing here is that you essentially have to go in and alter the settings for the printer/plotter in order to get what you want to see. I ahve one old software program which got for free, it was designed for Win 95, but it handles the compacted TIF file types w/o problem. The later Adobe or Windows based products cannot for the built in default which cuts the page off at about 70 inches or so. With the old Win 95 software, the operator had to insert the cut off number, align the page, etc. and thus you got what was being expected. 'lemme tell you that comes in handy after downloading a plan from some Eastern European country. They do not use modern formats. If your relative is not familiar with set-up process, then need to get so. The set-up will not affect simple little paper sized projects, just the large sized ones for you need to punch up the Custom paper option.

Generally as everyone will tell you, the Raster to Vector situation is stinko. It creates HUGE file sizes, and the linework looks all chopped up when run through a plotter. If you can hold to detail to 200-250 DPI it comes ou looking about best, but still will be a huge file. I got some 1930's era Focke-Wulf plan done such. Five sheets. Each of which kept growing and growing everything you opened them up until one got to 95 meg in size, on was 60, then the other three about 35 meg each. That takes a few minutes to open up and even SEE on your monitor. Open up in CAD, and a simple pan movement takes 2-3 minutes. Much simplier to work with Non-CAD images.

For now, I only accept what will fit on to about a standard sheet of paper, then manipulate that, and merge with another sheet. Takes 2-3 minutes each instead of 30 minutes to first see them.

Wm.
Old 09-21-2006, 06:42 AM
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Default RE: Raster to Vector question for Autocad users

I appreciate what your saying Coos, the post is all over the place now. What I want is a way to import a Raster into Acad and then trace it saving it a Vector format. I was hoping for a simple answer but I think I opened a can of worms because my Acad 2002 may not be capable of that (unless I'm missing somethin here).
Old 09-21-2006, 09:51 AM
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Default RE: Raster to Vector question for Autocad users

As I remember, every version of Autocad distributed since about 1997 (like R-14) has the ability of importing images. The situation here is that the Autodesk product will default any alteration of the image to any other software product loaded up on the computer. If back when Acad was immediately loaded on to a new hard drive, then the inborn software will overrule. Proper way was to load up Image altering software first, and plug in the desired plotter the digitizer tablet, etc. Then when installed you get an immediate message indicating "Autocad has found ______ such an item on your computer, do you what to make this the default application?"

If you load up the items afterwards, no such message will come up. Thus, if you scan and plan to import an image, you first have to alter it via re-sizing, rotating, cropping, etc. in that application like Photoshop. Then when brought into Acad it will only require shifting into position. To rotate alter etc. after such, you then have to exit Acad, and do it in the application, and go back inside. For Acad is not designed as an Image altering software.

Once imported into Acad, then you can trace the image, but hopefully on another layer, so that you can check the work and progress. If you work on same layer, then you got problems.

Raster to Vector conversion is a whole different type of operation. It requires yet another software. Many of us use the WinTopo software available via Softsoft, Ltd. It isn't even similar in operaton to the tracing noted above.

I find that using a JPG type image is bad. It will automatically alter the height and width to match the intended frame. Images such as a BMP, or TIF are rigid, and what applies to one dimension will also apply to the perpendicular in the same percentage. This is explained in the notes of the Softsoft help file. JPG may be fast due to small file size, but try and ZOOM in close to pick up a certain angle point, all you then see are BIG pixtels.


Wm.
Old 09-21-2006, 12:55 PM
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Default RE: Raster to Vector question for Autocad users

I have done a lot of "tracing" in AutoCAD v14. I scan to black and white (not greyscale, color etc)
usually at about 400 dpi and save as compressed tiff. That has worked well for me. I use the "scale"
command and enlarge the image to either "full size" or to "1 unit" wingspan. Also rotate the image to
get as true to horizontal as possible, then use the ortho commands for horizontal/vertical lines and
USE YOUR AUTOSNAPS and make use of LAYERS, one for outlines, side view, top view, annotation,
one for the imported image, parts, hidden lines, etc etc etc.
Dave
Old 09-21-2006, 05:58 PM
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Default RE: Raster to Vector question for Autocad users

A single bit TIFF (true black and white) will have clearly delineated lines rather that the JPG's usual gray scale that softens the edges of the lines. I've traced 50 dpi images but prefer at least 200 dpi images. It does not mater what the dpi is when you import into Acad. It would matter should you be taking the whole image and are trying to figure out what size you want to print it out through photoshop or illustrator.

Import the image into Acad to a layer that you make for it such as "Images". Don't bother with scaling either axies. Find a straight line such as the wing spars or even a centerline down the fuse top view and rotate the image to match the x/y of the drawing. This way you can leave the x/y lock on (ortho) and draw the straight lines. Once you have traced most of the image lines ( I use arcs and polylines besides the regular lines -- never splines) You can scale the image and tracings using a known dimension from the original scanned plans. I use other layers for lines; ribs, spars, etc.

I put center lines down the ribs and bulkheads rather than two lines as their material thickness. Scaling may not result in the 1/8" or 1/16" material thickness or you may want to change the material thickness. I also will develope/detail just one side or half and use mirror to create the missing half.

Tracing older plans is a labor of love. It's also a chance to introduce a newer model airfoil and beef up the structure.

Taking the parts out for laser cutting is another thread.
Old 09-22-2006, 04:16 PM
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Default RE: Raster to Vector question for Autocad users

When I want to trace a drawing I import it in pure black and white (not greyscale) into Coreldraw. Trace it and save it as dxf. Then just import it into Autocad and scale. With convertor it is faster but then you have a lot of cleaning to do as has been said.

Reuben
Old 09-22-2006, 05:32 PM
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Default RE: Raster to Vector question for Autocad users

The problem I've found with some of the paint programs such as Corel and Illustrator and PhotoShop is the curved lines are splines in Acad. If one has Acad I strongly suggest taking the raster into Acad and doing all of the tracing there using lines and curves with some polylines as may be necessary. The lines and curves can be converted to polylines if necessary. Splines in Acad are near impossible to properly edit and can not be converted to polylines that are reasonably easy to edit. YMMV.
Old 09-24-2006, 02:00 PM
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Default RE: Raster to Vector question for Autocad users

I seem to remember that you can trace using splines and then save as a R14 file and the splines will be converted to polylines. Am I remembering correctly Wm?

John
Old 09-24-2006, 02:40 PM
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Default RE: Raster to Vector question for Autocad users

John......

Opposite way around.

You can trace as a polyline first. Then once completely finished or wanting to get out of drawing editor for a few minutes, go back in and do a PEdit. Then the polyline can be altered in to a spline.

I do not like to do such, for it alters the position of the line endpoints to which you only minutes earlier had created. For me, the simpliest way (if doing this routine) is to just do the tracing using standard line segments. Then, go on and add in arcs etc to recreate the lines from the plan or drawing. Then extend or otherwise make a smooth figure out of. Begin the PEDIT process and combine as one.

Problem here is that to trace a known part on a plan, means you have to be very steady at hand tracing, or it will come out non-symetrical. I am not, so only hit the high points, and create new lines and then draw in new arcs and tangent lines. There could possibly be someone out there who can trace a fuselage section symetrically such that the very fine measurements of down to 1/10,000 parts accuracy can be obtained side for side, but I can't.


Wm.

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