Sooner or later, once the embroidery bug has bitten you, you will start to think about digitizing. Geeze, kick that one to the curb!!
But if you really want to look into it, I won't really stop you. But there are multiple things to be considered, & I will share some of them with you. There is no way to cover everything, even a book length can have some shortcomings.
Let's start with some general things that would be helpful to you, these are in no particular order, they will all contribute to your success.
- What formats does the program create and/or save? These CAN be different! And, be sure one of them matches your machine!
- Pricing for machines, software, add-ons, & accessories are seldom/never given on the Internet or other media. For tips on going into a brick/mortar store, see here: https://bit.ly/buymachine You will find ideas to save time, frustration & money.
- Programs for digitizing embroidery can range from a few hundred of dollars to over $5,000. Professional digitizing software can go for $15,000 and more. These are not for the faint of heart. Recouping your investment can take a very long time.
- Some are available as having a "basic," and more advanced ad-ons. There are advantages,
- like being less expensive,
- buying after you have learned the most recent part,
- not needing to buy certain features,
- certainly being more knowledgeable of the program.
- many software programs have manufacture-supported forums or individual sites for support on YouTube or Facebook and many more.
- Digitizing requires a set of guidelines for you to be sure that your designs are truly worthy of being purchased.
- The lower the price, the less you can do with digitizing items. Some of the systems have a 'core' program and you can add other features to them. Knowing what to purchase is very difficult.
- Make sure there is a website to get training, information, and/or updates.
- Is there an "auto digitize" function? Many of these features are very basic. Details don't generally work for this part. Cartoons are a good subject, but more elaborate designs are not good candidates.
- Conversion to multiple formats is very important, especially if you are going to sell your designs. Not all programs can meet this requirement.
- Density, pull compensation (gotta learn that one!), underlay, and other adjustments need to be available & easy to understand.
- Automatic appliques? Definitely!! Applique components are tricky.
- How many "undo" steps are available? I personally save my designs every few instruction changes. I mark the design as "something" and for each next step it is noted as "somethinga", "somethingb" & "somethingc". I have some designs that ended up as "somethingw"!
- In addition to the number of fonts, can true type fonts be digitized? Automatically?
Most of these features can be determined while you are doing your research working on your computer. Manuals are often available on the Internet as well.
The brick/mortar salespersons are SUPER SALESPERSONS. They can be very high-pressure, so you want to be knowledgeable before you enter that door!
This terrific Sewing Basket Embroidery Design, by Annette Stoker is my example for you to see 'auto-digitizing.' This first photo is the original. It is 4x4, 17k stitches with 15 colors. It has a 4.8 rating from 34 users. It is free, & I have created a zip file for you to use. BTW, make sure you use at least 1 layer of heavy cut-away stabilizer, two if you have a medium weight. It is a dense design and doing a little over stabilizing ensures the best success for your project!
I added a little humor, it is the very last color. If you prefer to use it as it is original, just don't use the final color.
Here is the picture of an auto digitize basket, as above.
Auto digitize is a great feature to have. But simplicity is the key! The original is 4x4, 17k, 15 colors. The auto design is 4x4 72k, 52 colors. Your software may have different specs, but like DNA, each new found feature has to go through a process of betting better, easier, & less complicated.
The design was by Annette Stoker. I have only added the wording, I am not the original designer. There is a lot of work in not only digitizing, but sewing this "sewing room" perfect décor!
Thanks for reading my humble blog. I have been doing this since May 2005, (sometimes I forget the original date.) I hope you learned something today that will make you a more informed buyer.