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You may not have noticed but there is an interesting addition to the Import Translators in VX v12. Import an image (raster data), such as a jpg, bmp, tif etc, into a Sketch and VX will translate it into 2D geometry (vector data). Now, of course the images need to be of high quality (high definition) and the more complex they are, the more difficult they will be to process. However, it is possible to achieve startling results. Take a look at this:
This translator may prove to be a good way to turn legacy, paper based designs into 3D models.
"Aha" I hear you say, "but what if I can't get a good translation from my image?". There is an alternative that requires more effort on your part but it works really well. First, using the new Vizualize tools in 3D Space, place the image on a Face. Now create a new Sketch on that face. You can now trace elements of the image that you require with the quick draw tool - if you need to zoom-in, the geometry and the image zoom together!
Message 2 of 6
Now, will VX be producing a screen cam of this being done with the frog? I'd really like to see the approach taken as watching other people work is always the fastest way for me to 'get the picture'.
Cheers to the frogmen !
Message 3 of 6
I'm going to guess you guys are just using the Ulead libraries for your imports?
Message 4 of 6
We are not using the Ulead libs, we are using our own home-grown code.
There is a PCR already in, looking to support other data types, but it is not as simple as you may think. AI/EPS (similar formats defined by Adobe) output does not describe geometry in the same way that a CAD program does - you can witness some of this in the illustration program - circles and elipses are the same "primative" for example. So, the output tends to be very nasty multi-point curves. MudCrab found that Corel output in DXF is also of this nature. You end up with perfect looking geom that your CAD program will really struggle to actually use.
One of the main customer wishes was to be able to define text along a curve (for modelling of logos etc). It could be that you will find such a command in VX v13...................
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Message 6 of 6
Sometimes the result would be acceptable, sometimes not, depending on the nature of the design. Also, for best results, the command wants to be applied to curves individually, which is not really an option if there are hundreds of them. VX has some excellent curve "restructuring" tools (At Sketcher level, Edit/Geometry/Modify Nurbs/). The "Reduce Data" and "Cubic Refit" tools are particularly useful in dealing with illustrator-style entity types. They can also help to improve some of the more wacky TTFs too. None of this helps with the problem of actually translating these files of course, and one problem there is that, apart from Adobe themselves, nobody does a perfect job of outputting to the formats. It is also very difficult to send geometry back to the illustration app. Having said all that, the VX developers that specialise in translation do have a knack of producing acceptable quality even when the data is sometimes poorly described......so, let's see what happens in a future VX release.
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