What is digitizing?
Digitizing is more thant just scanning an image. Though that is often the beginning of the process, and though many companies are trying to make software that can successfully create single-click embroidery, no amount of automation can replace the knowledge and artistry of a digitizer.
Digitizing starts when an image is received. Depending on the quality of the image, it is either cleaned up, re-drawn, or scanned as-is. Once the image is scanned, it is sometimes enlarged so the digitizer can make what is called a map or cartoon of the image. This is a version of the image that shows thread colors, stitching sequence, stitch types, stitch direction, and other pertinent information.
Once this is completed and a digitizer knows how the image must sew, the cartoon is imported into the digitizing software where it serves as a template on which the digitizer places the stitches. The digitizer defines areas, stitch type, stitch length, pull compensation, distortion, color changes, trims, and other variables. But even after the disk is completed, a digitizer is not finished. The design is then run on an embroidery machine to check for proper registration, coverage, clarity, and depth. If there are any problems during the run, the digitizer makes note of them and returns to the digitizing system for an edit. Once this edit is completed, there is another sample run. If the design runs smoothly and looks good, it is sent to the customer for approval.
The digitizer must take into account and have a ready knowledge of the properties of all fabrics he/she designs for, all threads used, garments used, and machine operation. This is not to mention the knowledge of his/her digitizing system, design, color, art, etc. When you pay a digitizer, you are truly paying for the expertise and dedication he/she puts into every design just as much as the disk he/she produces.
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