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Exporting Raster Images From Drawings

July 30, 2009

We know that CAD drawings are made of vector graphics, and that we can insert raster images in drawings. But it is also possible to create raster images of our CAD drawings, which become useful in working with other software. For instance, if you export drawings as EPS files, then you can use them with PhotoShop to further manipulate the image to make it look better. Raster images are widely used to show design proposals in presentations. ZWCAD and other CAD software is great for making accurate drawings, but when comes to presentations, I think most of us refer to work with raster images.

 

There are several methods by which you can do this in ZWCAD:

 

Method 1: Export

 

You access ZWCAD's export function with the Export command. In the Export dialog box, choose a format from the Save Type droplist. For example:
 Choose "Bitmap file (bmp)” to export the drawing in Windows BMP (bitmap) format.
 Choose "Encapsulated PostScript Files (EPS)" to output the drawing in EPS (encapsulated PostScript) format, which can be edited with PhotoShop to improve the drawing's appearance.

 

Note that the export function is limited in trial versions of ZWCAD, so this method may not work. In any case, this export method limits raster images to only the BMP format.

 

Method 2: Plot

 

To meet the various needs of its users, ZWCAD supports many raster image formats, such as JPEG, TIFF, PNG, GIF, MNG, TAG, and PCX through the Plot command. But you must first add the appropriate driver to the plotter list. To do this, run the Add-a-Plotter Wizard, and then configure a new plotter to plot the raster images: choose “Raster File Formats” as the manufacturer.

 

Now when you use the Plot command, you will find one more item in the list of printers. Using the Raster File Formats "printer," you can print your drawings as raster files. Not only does this let you generate images for presentations, but it is also a good way to improve the resolution of the raster image over the export method.

 

Note that the trial version of ZWCAD imposes no limits on the plot function. As well, the Plot command outputs raster images in all kinds of formats, such as JPEG, TIFF, PNG, BMP, GIF, MNG, ICOCUR, Targa, PCX, BMP, JP2, JPC, PGX, RAS, PNM, andSKA.

 

Method 3: Render to File

 

For 3D drawings, the Render and RenderFull commands generate with 3D raster images, as displayed on the screen. But these disappear when you zoom or pan the view, or when another window pops up in front of the ZWCAD window. The solution is to save the rendered images as raster files.

 

To save rendered images as raster files, follow these steps:

 

1. Open a 3D drawing, and then enter the Render command. Notice the rendered image. (If you were to click the mouse now, the image would disappear.)
2. Entering the RPref command to display the Render Settings dialog.
3. Choose Save Last Image.
4. In the save file dialog box, enter a file name and path, and then choose a file format: JPEG, BMP, TIFF, Targa, or PNG.
5. Click Save.

 

The result is that the rendered image is saved of the 3D drawing as a raster file. This shows a realistic version of your drawing.

 

Note that you can also get at the Render Settings dialog box from the menu bar: Choose View * Render * Preference. In the Render Settings dialog box, you can generate image files directly with the Render to File option: click Render, and then OK. In this way you can set the size of the image as you need.

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