Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tips: AutoTrace

Last weekend, when I was thinking of model something out of Dassault Systemes Solidworks Corp company logo and I realized that I don't have sketch of the logo. So how? I only have a picture file of the logo at the moment. (raster file). How can I convert a picture file to a useful Solidworks Sketch? In technical term, how can I convert a raster image to a vector sketch?

Please look at the picture file that i have,


Suddenly TING!! Something cross my mind like a flash. I should searched solution from Solidworks help file. Then I typed in "Raster to Vector" in the search box... Guess what? Solidworks Help showed me a line of statement like this "Recommendations for Auto Trace".

After reading through help file of auto trace, here is some summary of what I did to convert a picture file to Solidworks Sketch.
First of all, auto trace is an add-in of Solidworks. It is an add-in for the entire Solidworks Product line (whether it's Standard, Pro or Pre). After you add-in auto trace. Insert the picture file that you wish to trace on a sketch plan, your still picture format must be either one of these (.bmp, .gif, .jpg)

A small arrow will appear on top your feature property when you insert picture with auto trace add-in turns on. Click on this small arrow for "Next Page", then you will see some addtional settings like trace settings, preview settings and adjustments. Please refer to Solidworks Help file for detail description of each setting.

Use the selection tool to select the portion of image that you wish to convert and click "Begin Trace". You can view the result of tracing almost instantly.


Looking at the result of tracing, I am think the traced sketch is a bit jagged and it is not smooth. By combining features like fit spline, simplify spline and dragging the spline points, I'd managed to smoothen the sketch up to my expectation.


Finally, by using the sketch I had created. I can easily model something out of DS Solidworks Corp company logo. I managed to model a cuff link of DS Solidworks Corp from the traced and smoothen sketch. So thanks you to auto trace add-in. It saves my time....
For this model, I rendered it with Photoworks instead of Photoview 360 because I want to use the "depth of field" features in Photoworks. The first image is what i rendered without turning on "depth of field".

The second image is with "Depth of Field" turn on. Can you spot the difference? Or should we create another post about "Depth of Field"?


What do you think? Which color scheme you prefer? I personally found the chrome/black cufflink is more attractive then the other one.
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~ah lau~