Vector drawing almost there

Vector graphics importer was much easier than I anticipated.  I’ve used the geomerative library for dealing with the SVGs, but I don’t really know if I need it.  I tried it because Alex Weber recommended it in his writeup about Der Kritzler, and if it’s good enough for him, it’s good enough for me.

Initially this will work like the bitmap image imported used to – no cropping, scaling, moving etc, plain import.  I’ve done this by making a new document in inkscape, the same size in pixels as my machine is in mm.  As time goes on I’ll add moving and scaling if it becomes necessary.

I think what is more likely is that for vector graphics, I’d prefer a plugin for inkscape, like eggbot has.  I wonder if anyone reading this is into python and would care to point me in the right direction, or give it a crack themselves?

You’ll also notice that the letter centres are offset.  That’s a problem.  Not sure where, or why, but it’s my first go, come on.

Very pleased.  Will be in subversion once the centres are fixed and the loading is a bit more elegant.  Next stop, TSP!!!


7 thoughts on “Vector drawing almost there

  1. You have no idea how excited this makes me! Thank you, and keep pushing on fixing those centers. I’m really really, excited!

    It’s also strange how the centers of the letters are offset, but the dot on the i is perfect…

    • Yes, I’m pretty sure the centres aren’t out of place when I view the SVG in the controller, but then I had a lot of debugging stuff on top too, so maybe I just missed it in my overexcitement. Will do some more work on in it over the weekend – this bodes very well. It’s slow mind, straight lines are ok, but curves are still rendered subdivided into little straight segments. And there’s a memory issue that blows the stack every now and then, but fixable I think. It’s also possible to do curves in-machine too, if I can understand how to properly describe them, and figure out how to extract the curve information from the SVG.

  2. Hoopla! Cant wait to get back from work and try this out. The new zoom controller is great and working really well. I really like the fact that you dont have automatic layout options or a proper way to do things as it makes it much more fun and each image unique to the operator/artist.

    Personally I like to make the images in multiple parts with one for each colour, sort of like doing a multicolour stencil. Getting some awesome results.

    The only other thing I would like is an option to skip or lift the pen for blank pixels.

    • Well don’t get too excited – the version that’s up in CVS at the moment doesn’t do much – no drawing yet, but I’ll get it working soon hopefully tomorrow and into version control then. I was just too excited not to post about it!

      Adam, I’m interested in your multilayer drawings though, do you use the chroma key function to mask? Because chroma key isn’t working in the new version yet – no real reason, I just never got round to putting it back in yet.

      The problem with skipping blank pixels is that the blankness or otherwise of them is only decided in the machine rather than in the controller – and it’s harder to tell the machine to change behaviour than it is to tell the controller. The best I could hope for in the controller is to specify a threshold, under which the pixel won’t be sent, that any use?

      • The specify threshold would work for me.

        To do the images I just create layers in Photoshop for each colour, convert to gray scale and export each one as a separate jpeg. I then load them in to the controller one at a time and render each in a different colour. It gives a sort of comic book (Warhol/Lichtenstein) effect rather than a full colour effect.

        Can send you some examples if you are interested.

    • Ok, have just committed some more code – vector loading is done. Haven’t quite looked into the centres thing yet, but doing that now.

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