Author Topic: Inkscape or Illustrator?  (Read 2281 times)

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Offline Staggerwing

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Inkscape or Illustrator?
« on: December 11, 2016, 09:54:08 AM »
I need some feedback from those of you who are familiar with various vector graphics programs.

I need to get familiar with one of them to prepare files for laser cutting/etching. I've just started looking into Inkscape, mainly because it's free, but was wondering if there was anything to Illustrator that would make it easier to use than Inkscape, especially when creating/converting vector images from raster ones. Some of the raster images could get quite complicated and so far Inkscape has proven to be tricky (though, admittedly, I have only scratched the surface of how to use it). I was hoping that Illustrator might have some kind of smart automatic conversion option that might justify the cost of getting a used copy somewhere.
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chemkid

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Re: Inkscape or Illustrator?
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2016, 10:17:18 AM »
here's a grab of the trace controls inside illustrator cs6 - it's pretty useful but still lots of work depending on what quality you'd need.

i don't use inkscape but heard some good things about it. yep, it's free and that's the best thing ever, i guess!
but it really depends what you find 'tricky' - because learning to use illustrator is very tricky, too... so i heard them say.

if you can get a cheap, used illustrator version - i'd give it a try. illustrator is a great tool and i use it almost everyday since the first release but adobe is a pain in the neck! (i stopped buying into their idea of cloud computing and license rentals - so, i'm stuck on cs6 but that's just great!)  :bd:

if you like, i could try one of your images. give it a testride with some presets and sent you the results. or, you could download the latest illustrator from adobe - i'm sure they're still doing 30 days trials or something like that.

cheers!   :)
« Last Edit: December 11, 2016, 10:23:44 AM by chemkid »

Offline Staggerwing

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Re: Inkscape or Illustrator?
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2016, 12:05:25 PM »
Thanks Chemkid.

The file attached to my post is an example of what I'd like to convert for laser etching. Can Illustrator convert it w/out any 'pretreatments' in something like GIMP (color reduction, etc)?
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Offline bayonetbrant

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Re: Inkscape or Illustrator?
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2016, 02:13:57 PM »
Any of them are going to have a learning curve. But any of them are going to do 95% of what you need to do also. Pic of the one you're most comfortable with the interface for. You got other questions, give me a shout
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Offline BanzaiCat

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Re: Inkscape or Illustrator?
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2016, 02:35:15 PM »
I'm in agreement with the above - Illustrator is your best bet, but the only way you're going to get a copy of it is if you spring for Adobe CC, which is a month-by-month charge for cloud-based access. Which sucks for an indy user. Illustrator will, though, give you vector graphics, so everything will be sharply defined.

Illustrator is also a very frustrating program if you're not used to using it, or worse, if you're used to using Photoshop. It's not at all intuitive (Illustrator), at least IMO.

No idea what Inkscape is, but if it does vector drawings for free, that might be something to try first.

Offline Staggerwing

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Re: Inkscape or Illustrator?
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2016, 03:18:21 PM »
Thanks guys.  O0

I'll keep an eye out for a cheap used copy of CS6 (I assume that's the last version including Illustrator before Adobe went to the 'Creative Cloud' model?) but until then I'll just have to plug away at learning Inkscape (https://inkscape.org/en/ for B_C's freeware browsing pleasure).
Vituđ ér enn - eđa hvat?  -Voluspa

Nothing really rocks and nothing really rolls and nothing's ever worth the cost...

"Don't you look at me that way..." -the Abyss
 
We must fight for yesterday's bright tomorrow!

chemkid

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Re: Inkscape or Illustrator?
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2016, 12:31:23 AM »
hello,

here is your drawing converted to b/w paths. there are 'some' problems and i would recommend to nevertheless do some grading and contrast enhancement inside an image processor BEFORE converting.

lot's of small objects appear when the noise threshold is turned down - these will give details that can be finetuned later,
by hand or script - i would use 'select by size' which is free and selects lots of the smallest parts to combine.

anyhow, if all of this - converting, finetuning, object selection by size and very important if you have lot's of images to do - BATCH PROCESSING - is available in a free package like inkscape, i wouldn't bother with learning illustrator!

regards,
robert
« Last Edit: December 12, 2016, 12:33:01 AM by chemkid »

chemkid

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Re: Inkscape or Illustrator?
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2016, 12:36:57 AM »
Thanks guys.  O0

I'll keep an eye out for a cheap used copy of CS6 (I assume that's the last version including Illustrator before Adobe went to the 'Creative Cloud' model?) but until then I'll just have to plug away at learning Inkscape (https://inkscape.org/en/ for B_C's freeware browsing pleasure).
CS6 is the way to go BUT (a very big BUT) make sure it's a legal 'old, used' version if you're going to spend money on this!!! best to buy from a friend who owns some creative office and has one of his creative suites not upgraded...

Offline Staggerwing

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Re: Inkscape or Illustrator?
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2016, 05:07:03 AM »
hello,

here is your drawing converted to b/w paths. there are 'some' problems and i would recommend to nevertheless do some grading and contrast enhancement inside an image processor BEFORE converting.

lot's of small objects appear when the noise threshold is turned down - these will give details that can be finetuned later,
by hand or script - i would use 'select by size' which is free and selects lots of the smallest parts to combine.

anyhow, if all of this - converting, finetuning, object selection by size and very important if you have lot's of images to do - BATCH PROCESSING - is available in a free package like inkscape, i wouldn't bother with learning illustrator!

regards,
robert

Thanks for doing that Chemkid. It gives me some idea of what to expect. For engraving having a little extra 'noise' wouldn't be a problem. For cutting out forms it's another matter. However, any cutouts would most likely be much simpler and easier to clean up before conversion. Batch conversion sounds like a useful tool when cutting many shapes out of one piece of stock as in, say, the wing ribs of a balsa aircraft model.

Thanks guys.  O0

I'll keep an eye out for a cheap used copy of CS6 (I assume that's the last version including Illustrator before Adobe went to the 'Creative Cloud' model?) but until then I'll just have to plug away at learning Inkscape (https://inkscape.org/en/ for B_C's freeware browsing pleasure).
CS6 is the way to go BUT (a very big BUT) make sure it's a legal 'old, used' version if you're going to spend money on this!!! best to buy from a friend who owns some creative office and has one of his creative suites not upgraded...

Unfortunately I do not know anyone who has a design studio and an extra or outdated copy of CS6. I will do my due diligence if it comes to buying online as I've already come across mention of the plethora of pirated Adobe software out there.
Vituđ ér enn - eđa hvat?  -Voluspa

Nothing really rocks and nothing really rolls and nothing's ever worth the cost...

"Don't you look at me that way..." -the Abyss
 
We must fight for yesterday's bright tomorrow!

Offline GJK

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Re: Inkscape or Illustrator?
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2016, 09:31:29 PM »
Phostoshop - done in about 20 seconds:


1. convert image to B&W
2. ran the free photoshop filter "Illustrator" by Xero


(If this is what you're looking for)
Clip your freaking corners!
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Offline GJK

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Re: Inkscape or Illustrator?
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2016, 09:39:45 PM »
This one came out even cleaner (Xero "Dreamscape") filter:
Clip your freaking corners!
----------------------
Blood Bowl on VASSAL - Ask me about it! http://garykrockover.com/BB/
----------------------
"Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son."

-Dean Vernon Wormer

chemkid

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Re: Inkscape or Illustrator?
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2016, 01:34:10 AM »
traced the images provided by GJK - here's settings and the traced files as .EPS-files.

@GJK - your first biplane has more details left from the original and was giving better tracing results -  :)
the 2nd 'dreamscape' biplane has awesome details left for pixel but gives less good results when tracing...  :-\

regards,
robert

Offline Staggerwing

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Re: Inkscape or Illustrator?
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2016, 04:48:35 AM »
Looks good guys. The bracing wires look slightly better in the second vector image. I suppose they could always be traced over as long as it didn't make them 'too crisp' afterward compared to the rest of the image.
Vituđ ér enn - eđa hvat?  -Voluspa

Nothing really rocks and nothing really rolls and nothing's ever worth the cost...

"Don't you look at me that way..." -the Abyss
 
We must fight for yesterday's bright tomorrow!

Offline GJK

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Re: Inkscape or Illustrator?
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2016, 10:16:18 AM »
You should be able to get a good trace from this one chemkid.  I also have it saved as a layered pdf with transparency (20mb - I can put it on my dropbox if interested).
Clip your freaking corners!
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Blood Bowl on VASSAL - Ask me about it! http://garykrockover.com/BB/
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"Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son."

-Dean Vernon Wormer

Offline Staggerwing

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Re: Inkscape or Illustrator?
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2016, 03:47:08 PM »
Those look great!
Vituđ ér enn - eđa hvat?  -Voluspa

Nothing really rocks and nothing really rolls and nothing's ever worth the cost...

"Don't you look at me that way..." -the Abyss
 
We must fight for yesterday's bright tomorrow!