Saturday, April 20, 2013

Exploring Stitch Painter

Promises, promises, promises...finally fulfilled! At least partially!

Since the opening of this blog about three (gulp!) years ago, I have been meaning to walk you through the process of importing an image into Stitch Painter, and turning it into a diagram for your needlepoint, or cross-stitch projects.

The day finally has arrived.

I know, I know, you're shocked.

To keep from overwhelming you (and me), we'll do it in installments. [grin!]...More...... First of all, how do you pick the right image? Unless you've the patience of a saint, whether or not you finish the project probably depends on this, so let's look at a few images, together.

One of the first images that pull at our hearts are those of family, but photographs can be very tricky. Lots of detail (wanted and unwanted) and lots of distractions.

Take this lovely snap of a casual and happy family moment (MH900422784, courtesy of the free images in Microsoft Clip Art, thank you, Microsoft). Why isn't it suited to become a needlepoint design?

The faces are visible, well lit and fairly close to the camera--some of the things to keep in mind--but they are too far apart from each other, and still too far from the viewer. There's lots of distracting background detail, too. A studio snap with a plain background already would be helpful (but might feel too posed), or you can just plan on erasing the background from the photo, before or after you import it. It just takes a little time, but it has to be kept in mind.

Using an image like this (MP48491, thanks, again, Microsoft!)...

...will help you avoid heartache. The background is plain, the faces are identifiable, close to the picture plane, and engaging. All are well lit and turned to the viewer. Finally, the background is quite plain, so even if you decided to needlepoint it "as is," it wouldn't give you extra grief.

So, start rummaging through your photos for a few that inspire you. The next time, we'll confront importing images into Stitch Painter.


(P.S., the hand--courtesy of Microsoft MP900425546--is gigantic, is now in one of Rome's most important museums, and comes from an ancient Roman statue of the Emperor Constantine, who ruled in the first half of the 4th century A.D. I, ahem, added the string!)

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