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 Printing other than vector on Egg-bot?
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By: Anonymous: yuppicide () on Thursday, January 12 2012 @ 10:42 AM PST (Read 1278 times)  
Anonymous: yuppicide

I understand the differences between raster and vector. I see Egg Bot prints from Inkscape files.

Is there any option to print raster files? How would they look?

For example some files are fairly simple, so I can convert them to vector through software or website.

But what about for example if I wanted to print out a picture of a person? Is there a good way to go about it? I looked at the website Vector Magic and they had three settings.. high, med, or low detail.

Like for example a picture of Danzig, or Super Mario.

What kind of markers have the best color palette?

By: Windell (offline) on Thursday, January 12 2012 @ 11:37 AM PST  

Generally speaking, it does not make sense to ask a vector printer to print a raster drawing, nor to ask a raster printer to print a vector drawing, any more than it makes sense to produce an oil painting with pencils.

Any time that you take a visual representation of something and try to move it from one artistic medium to another, that is a process of artistic interpretation, and is generally not an automatic action, nor is there only one way to do it. Think about it. If someone hands you an oil painting, and asks you to print it out as a drawing in pastels or in charcoal, how would you do it? The colors don't map 1:1, the brushstrokes don't match, there's no way to represent the 3Dness of the paint, and on and on. Can you still make a valid sketch of a painting that's suitable for reproduction in pencil? Absolutely, but it is a process of *artistic interpretation* that can be done in a genuinely infinite number of different ways.

Going from a raster image file to a pen drawing is exactly the same sort of process. How many colors do you use? What kinds of strokes do you use? Do you you halftones, or stippling, or outlines, or TSP art, or some entirely different representation of different tones? How do you deal with with the fact that there is a minimum line width with a real pen, or the desire to minimize the total path lengths to make prints take less time? Well, there are ways. But ultimately, what really needs to happen is that a human needs to get involved and make some decisions about the best approach. Relying only on automatic conversion *will* leave you disappointed, unless you really work to fine tune the process to your own taste. On the bright side, all of this is stuff that you can try out on your own, with or without an Eggbot.

Our Eggbot documentation site has a number of links to different methods of dealing with raster images, including tracing, and processes for generating stippled and TSP art representation of raster images. Go have a look through, and see if you can get a feel for the number of different ways that this can be approached.

For markers, we generally recommend the Sharpie brand, which has a huge number of vibrant colors available at low cost. See also our notes on other pens.

Windell H. Oskay

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