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Computer Drawing Software For Making Leather Patterns


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#1 Blackey Cole

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Posted 12 August 2011 - 04:43 PM

I am want to find a simple to use program that will allow me to draw patterns for my leather items. I like to start with a center line and develop one half then make a mirror copy of that to complete the pattern that way I can get everything symmetrical and reproduce it many times as needed. This would also allow me to print it out on the overhead projector material and go off of it to the leather directly. I have looked at inkscape, photoshop, cadstd, and one other cad program but like photoshop it is steep learning curve to be able to draw anything. I also use a Wacom tablet for drawing with so having it recognized would be nice.

#2 50 years leather

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Posted 12 August 2011 - 06:46 PM

Your wacom drawing can be copied to Photoshop but you must remember, Photoshop is not a designing platform, you need Illustrator to move your drawing from the tablet. You can resize much easier and keep everything in proportion at the same time. There are some less expensive drawing programs, you need to check the specs to see if they will import from the Wacom.

ferg

I am want to find a simple to use program that will allow me to draw patterns for my leather items. I like to start with a center line and develop one half then make a mirror copy of that to complete the pattern that way I can get everything symmetrical and reproduce it many times as needed. This would also allow me to print it out on the overhead projector material and go off of it to the leather directly. I have looked at inkscape, photoshop, cadstd, and one other cad program but like photoshop it is steep learning curve to be able to draw anything. I also use a Wacom tablet for drawing with so having it recognized would be nice.



#3 TwinOaks

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Posted 12 August 2011 - 07:08 PM

Gimp also has a pretty steep learning curve, but it's incredibly versatile. It's also FREE. There are currently Youtube tutorials on how to use it, and from what I've seen on them, they're pretty thorough. Did I mention it's free?
Granted, it is NOT a CAD program, but it's certainly worth checking out. One of the nice features (I don't know squat about photoshop, so if it's a feature common between them, just disregard this) is the ability to work in layers. Using the layers, you can overlay objects/designs and scale without modifying the whole image.
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#4 cem

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Posted 12 August 2011 - 09:35 PM

I use Illustrator and a Wacom Cintiq, I don't really see the need for a full on cad program for leatherwork unless you are manufacting alot of stuff that needs very precise measurements. If you can't afford Illustrator look for a program that is set up for vector artwork, I've only used Illustrator so aren't sure what else is around. Most programs will allow a Wacom as an input device it's the pressure sensitivity aspect of it that normally won't work, but for patterns you wouldn't need that anyway.

#5 particle

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Posted 13 August 2011 - 12:50 PM

I use Photoshop extensively at work (and have since the late 90's), and Illustrator equally as long, but considerably less. I also was a CAD operator for nearly 10 years, and only recently was able to migrate into more of a design role moving me away from CAD. All that being said, I find it much more efficient to do my initial leather designs by hand, then scan my drawings and save them to PDF files so they maintain their scale. If I need to edit them, I usually do the edits in Photoshop, but Illustrator would be more appropriate (I don't have Illustrator at home). Sometimes technology can get in the way of creativity.

I downloaded Gimp a few months back... Maybe I didn't give it enough of a chance, but it was totally foreign and awkward for me. But again, I've used Photoshop "forever", so anything else is frustrating to no-end. YMMV

If you're not aware, Adobe has recently come out with a subscription option. Photoshop is $49 per month - renew as needed, if/when needed. Illustrator is $45 per month. Sign up for one year, and those monthly prices are considerably less.

#6 Southtexas

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Posted 13 August 2011 - 02:44 PM

If you really want CAD, here is a source for a free version.
http://graytechsoftware.com/

For a free, Illustrator like program that works very well.
http://inkscape.org/

These are both 'vector' based programs. They do work with a tablet but can be used with a mouse as well.

#7 hidepounder

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Posted 13 August 2011 - 07:38 PM

I would really like to be able draw on the computer, however I'm not sure how practical it would really be. If I were only making items whose patterns fit on an 8-1/2" x 11" piece of paper then maybe it would be handy, however I find that an awful lot of what I do requires larger paper than what I can print on at home so I draw my patterns by hand. And when I do have a large pattern that I've drawn, It isn't very practical to try to scan it. I know it can be done, but not with the everyday home equipment that most of us live with and I can't see an advantage to running back and forth to Kinkos and paying them to print out or scan the larger patterns. So I've kind of given up on using the computer to draw with..........
Bobby

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#8 Southtexas

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Posted 13 August 2011 - 07:48 PM

I would really like to be able draw on the computer, however I'm not sure how practical it would really be. If I were only making items whose patterns fit on an 8-1/2" x 11" piece of paper then maybe it would be handy, however I find that an awful lot of what I do requires larger paper than what I can print on at home so I draw my patterns by hand. And when I do have a large pattern that I've drawn, It isn't very practical to try to scan it. I know it can be done, but not with the everyday home equipment that most of us live with and I can't see an advantage to running back and forth to Kinkos and paying them to print out or scan the larger patterns. So I've kind of given up on using the computer to draw with..........
Bobby


There is a way to fix that, at home. See http://en.wikipedia..../Tiled_printing
They explain it, and have links to the software.

#9 50 years leather

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Posted 13 August 2011 - 07:53 PM

Bobby,

I have an Epson printer that will print 13 x 18, very handy for making drawings on Vellum. There is always a down side, this particular printer has a thirst for ink.

Illustrator makes it possible to draw on any size you wish, dependent only on your monitor size. Simply print the actual size you need.

My hand is not steady enough to do much drawing by hand. This is where the drawing programs hit the sweet spot.

ferg

I would really like to be able draw on the computer, however I'm not sure how practical it would really be. If I were only making items whose patterns fit on an 8-1/2" x 11" piece of paper then maybe it would be handy, however I find that an awful lot of what I do requires larger paper than what I can print on at home so I draw my patterns by hand. And when I do have a large pattern that I've drawn, It isn't very practical to try to scan it. I know it can be done, but not with the everyday home equipment that most of us live with and I can't see an advantage to running back and forth to Kinkos and paying them to print out or scan the larger patterns. So I've kind of given up on using the computer to draw with..........
Bobby



#10 Blackey Cole

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Posted 13 August 2011 - 08:49 PM

I have Photoshop and have used it for my Photography for years now and fell that I am knowledgeable of it and it took a while to learn it. I love the layers features and stuff but it wasn't designed to be a drawing program it is more of a manipulation program.

I have access to a couple of other applications like photoshop. I also have two printers a Brother Laser and an Epson 1400 which can do 13x19" prints. My Plan would to be print out the pattern on over head projector film once it is complete and use that film to transfer the pattern directly to the leather. That is why I am looking for the computer drawing program. It was years ago when I took my Technical drawing class and back then we use pencil and ink. We drew straight lines and circles to draw the items out. I need a program that will draw circles, arcs and lines to scale and be able to use layers and image manipulation.

I am living and working out of a 40' toy hauler. Space is a minimun with my other activities, Cowboy action Shooting and Photography. I like to keep as much data in digital form since I have a network with closs to 3TB of storage on it. I plan on buying all the digital books that I can so that it is only a keystroke away. I would like my patterns to be the same because using the poster board my patterns only last a few items befoe they start breaking down plus I am working on a new system for transfer points on a pattern and then redrawing the lines to complete the design on the leather. Now i am doing it with paper and pencil. I would like to modernize my process. I guess I will keep looking for a program that I can understand and will fit my needs.

#11 Leerwerker

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Posted 13 August 2011 - 11:10 PM

I have a set of instructions for doing line drawings from photographs in Inkscape. Have a look at INKSCAPE at LEATHERLEARN
JOhan
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#12 amuckart

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Posted 13 August 2011 - 11:21 PM

Inkscape is the Right Tool for design work like this. It's free, multi-platform, saves its output in an open standard format (that you'll still be able to open in 10 years), and works.

It has a bit of a learning curve, but the help is pretty good and there are books on it. For symmetrical stuff, explore the clone tool.
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#13 cem

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Posted 14 August 2011 - 12:55 AM

I have Photoshop and have used it for my Photography for years now and fell that I am knowledgeable of it and it took a while to learn it. I love the layers features and stuff but it wasn't designed to be a drawing program it is more of a manipulation program.

I have access to a couple of other applications like photoshop. I also have two printers a Brother Laser and an Epson 1400 which can do 13x19" prints. My Plan would to be print out the pattern on over head projector film once it is complete and use that film to transfer the pattern directly to the leather. That is why I am looking for the computer drawing program. It was years ago when I took my Technical drawing class and back then we use pencil and ink. We drew straight lines and circles to draw the items out. I need a program that will draw circles, arcs and lines to scale and be able to use layers and image manipulation.

I am living and working out of a 40' toy hauler. Space is a minimun with my other activities, Cowboy action Shooting and Photography. I like to keep as much data in digital form since I have a network with closs to 3TB of storage on it. I plan on buying all the digital books that I can so that it is only a keystroke away. I would like my patterns to be the same because using the poster board my patterns only last a few items befoe they start breaking down plus I am working on a new system for transfer points on a pattern and then redrawing the lines to complete the design on the leather. Now i am doing it with paper and pencil. I would like to modernize my process. I guess I will keep looking for a program that I can understand and will fit my needs.


If you are used to Photoshop, Illustrator won't be that hard to pick up most of the Adobe products work the same way in regards to layout you can get some good online videos for it from here though www.lynda.com I think it's $30 a month, you would probably only need a month to learn what you want to do. Illustrator works with measurements you can type in what size you want circles, arcs and lines are all easy to do. Images can be imported and turned into line art and altered as you see fit if thats what you mean by image manipulation otherwise you can use it in conjuction with Photoshop.

Illustrator also has layers and you can turn them on and off for what you want to print, I'm lucky in that I have access to printers that range in size from A4 to A0 (office paper to movie poster) Illustrator can handle any of these sizes with ease. Adobe does a trial version of Illustrator that you can download from their website, the only other program I can think of that may suitable for you would be Corel Draw I've never used it but they should do a trial version as well. I believe lynda.com do training videos for it as well though not as extensive as those for Illustrator.

For patterns under A3 size I work completely digital I use a machine that can trace directly onto the leather www.knkusa.com if you want to check it out I have the 13 inch model but considering your space contraints I'm not sure if you would want another machine but the option is there if you wanted to go completely digital in the future and not have to use printed out patterns at all it uses it's own software which is similiar to Illustrator,Illustrator files can be imported into it though.

Hope this is of some help

#14 K-Man

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Posted 14 August 2011 - 07:34 AM

I am living and working out of a 40' toy hauler. Space is a minimun with my other activities....


Sounds like me. I'm doing the same in a 39' 5th wheel bunkroom edition. It seems like every square inch is critical, as well as watching the weight. :)

#15 50 years leather

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Posted 14 August 2011 - 11:31 AM

I am referencing your third paragraph. I see nothing on this company site that would suggest they have a machine that will trace onto leather. The machines are all "cutters". Can you clarify?

ferg

If you are used to Photoshop, Illustrator won't be that hard to pick up most of the Adobe products work the same way in regards to layout you can get some good online videos for it from here though www.lynda.com I think it's $30 a month, you would probably only need a month to learn what you want to do. Illustrator works with measurements you can type in what size you want circles, arcs and lines are all easy to do. Images can be imported and turned into line art and altered as you see fit if thats what you mean by image manipulation otherwise you can use it in conjuction with Photoshop.

Illustrator also has layers and you can turn them on and off for what you want to print, I'm lucky in that I have access to printers that range in size from A4 to A0 (office paper to movie poster) Illustrator can handle any of these sizes with ease. Adobe does a trial version of Illustrator that you can download from their website, the only other program I can think of that may suitable for you would be Corel Draw I've never used it but they should do a trial version as well. I believe lynda.com do training videos for it as well though not as extensive as those for Illustrator.

For patterns under A3 size I work completely digital I use a machine that can trace directly onto the leather www.knkusa.com if you want to check it out I have the 13 inch model but considering your space contraints I'm not sure if you would want another machine but the option is there if you wanted to go completely digital in the future and not have to use printed out patterns at all it uses it's own software which is similiar to Illustrator,Illustrator files can be imported into it though.

Hope this is of some help







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