StitchArtist – The User Interface, Using the Object Pane, Freehand Drawing and Remove Hidden Stitches with EssentialsPosted: January 5, 2015
The user interface in the Embrilliance programs is consistent between all the programs. This is a super time saver in the product line because as you grow or add new programs, you don’t have to relearn an entire new program and where things are located! For example, most people start with Essentials or even Express (the free program that works with BX fonts from your favorite digitizers). When you purchase a new program like StitchArtist, you simply open your existing program, go to the Help menu, choose Serial Numbers to add your new serial number and restart as directed. When you reopen the program you now have the new features that you purchased in the same familiar user interface. No need to open one program to create lettering, another to combine designs and a third to add stitches or create a new design – its all done in one program. Pretty slick and a super time saver.
So if you have been using Essentials you are familiar with the user interface and this will just be a quick recap. The display pane on the left shows you a graphical representation of your hoop boundary – that is, the maximum area where stitches can be placed. Hoops are always defined in metric measurements – always, every brand, make and model. We approximate the size to “close enough” inch measurements such as 5×7 which is easy enough to remember but not exact. The two panes shown on the right side show you the same information as the design pane but in a different format. The Object pane shows the designs and objects that make up what you see in the Design page in the order that they will stitch at the machine and the bottom properties pane changes based upon what is selected and what mode you are in. If you are in regular select mode, and you choose an object from the list in the object pane, the properties pane may show you the current thread color or bring up the lettering properties if it is a lettering object or allow you to adjust the stitch properties if you have Density Repair Kit installed. The default view for the Embrilliance program will always be the same – no matter what program(s) you have installed or in what “mode” you are in. Design Page, Object Pane and Properties Pane – if you are missing any of these or want a bit more information on them, check out the video from the Embrilliance youtube channel.
The Object Pane in StitchArtist is a nice way to keep your digitizing pieces organized – especially for re-use in the future! When I look at the graphic of the monkey in the box, I see two “designs” – the monkey and the box. If I create this as two design objects, its really simple for me to come back in a couple months when I want to create a Cat or Mouse in a similar box – select the Box design, copy it, start a new design page and paste it in. My “rule of thumb” when creating a design from a graphic is to look at the entire graphic and break it into smaller sections that could possibly be used again in the future. Yes, I’m lazy so if I can make things easier for me in the future by taking an extra step or two now, I’m all for that!
Today, we’re going to work on the monkey so the first thing I will do is to start a new design from the create menu. Remember that the Create menu only shows up after you click on the Create button in the menu bar. As soon as you choose Begin a New Design, nothing really changes except the Object Pane on the right – you now have a second Design listed and it has a #2 identifying it on the left. This second Design comes after what we have already created – and everything we create today will be added to this Design.
Now you may be thinking “Design is such a “useless generic” name, wish I could change it” and you can. Click on the word “Design” and you will get a white entry box where you can type a name in and click Enter on the keyboard. I renamed the new design I just created to Monkey and the original first design to Giftbox. You will want to be careful what you name your Design Objects as certain design types (such as Lettering Templates) use this name for specific purposes. Check out the Embrilliance Manual for more information on this.
Now that I have started a new Design for the monkey – let’s create the hand on the left. Normally I use Point Drawing mode, but to show you another option in Level 1, let’s use the Freehand tool. If you enjoy drawing like this, I highly recommend exploring all the options for this tool as described in the manual. I find it “messy” so I have not become proficient in drawing this way but it does have its merits for those that wish to explore it further. What is nice about the way this tool works in StitchArtist is that you do NOT have to complete the entire shape at one time. So as you can see in the video, I zoomed in an drew the paw in a couple sections which automatically connected to each other. When done, you can right click to end or choose the Close.
The Freehand tool does NOT use the bezier handles – or rather they are just not accessible for editing unless you choose to convert the drawing to a bezier curve drawing. You can delete nodes by double clicking on the node, or add a node by double clicking on the line. Reshaping is done by simply moving the nodes and the lines reshape with them. All reshaping is done by moving nodes, you can not move a line like you can when the beziers are active. Its just a different way to edit shapes – not better or worse, just different.
Adding the hand shown on the right side can be accomplished by a simple copy, paste and move to where it belongs in the design page. Notice that the pasted object is placed at the end of the current design. Next we will draw the tail and it is added to the end of the design – each new object you create is added after the last object created UNLESS you choose an object beforehand – future blog post but thought I’d mention the possibility in case you decide to play on your own – and play you should!
So after we draw the tail, notice that it is going to stitch after or rather on top of the paw and kind of on top of the box. To make things easy, lets first just reshape the bottom of the tail so that it is even with the edge of the box. We’ll go into how to break up and reorganize the applique position/material/finishing stitches in a future post, but for right now, let’s get this part looking clean. Look at the object pane and you see that it shows you the stitching order – left paw, right paw, tail. We want the tail to stitch before the right paw so right click on it in the Object pane and choose Stitch Earlier to move it one position sooner. You can also drag and drop.
The following is a really cool feature that I wanted to show for those that ALSO have Essentials authorized with their StitchArtitst. You can find more information about what this program can do for existing stitch files on the Embrilliance website. In short, Essentials removes stitches automatically when you overlap designs you have merged. We created two designs in StitchArtist and the second design, Monkey, has applique objects that overlap parts of the first design, gift box. So when you click on the Remove Hidden Stitches (RHS) preview button, you can see that when you save the stitch file and go to the machine, certain parts of the first design that are hidden by the second design overlapping these areas are removed. The KEY POINT here is that they are only removed in the stitch file that goes to the machine. You did not have to muck up your working file to get these holes! Remember that the RHS button is there to show you a preview of what is going to happen in the stitch file. There is no need to press it to make it happen – this is all done automatically when you save the file in Embrilliance Essentials.
So here is a short video that shows you all that I just talked about!
So we are making a bit of progress with our design. I hope you are enjoying the journey and look forward to seeing you online!