SuperUser Account

Digitizing Landscapes

Approach is everything when you want to digitize realistically. In this and upcoming articles we will be discussing how to approach digitizing so your work comes out looking more realistic and dynamic.

Your typical landscape will often have the following: sky, mountains or hills, trees and a meadow or water. The first thing you want to consider is depth. The sky is behind everything, then the mountains, then the trees, etc. So first of all this will generally be the order of progression for you to digitize, but that alone will not give you the illusion of depth.

Over the years, I have noticed that vertical stitches have more loft than horizontal stitches. So in addition to the order preference, it is best to have a sky in which the fill is horizontal (left to right) and the mountains should be at an angle. The more the angle approaches vertical, the more loft it gets. So the closer to the foreground, the more vertical the stitch. What also creates realism is more detail the closer to the viewer.

This means trees in the background may just be a fill stitch, but in the foreground should show more detail like branches, groups or clumps of leaves and on occasion individual leaves. Satin stitch has more loft so take that into consideration also.

A row of pine trees can be done several ways. One way to approach this is to use a fill stitch going vertical or near vertical and having random pattern put to it. In Pulse use the fill stitch labeled Random. In Wilcom use the settings in Tatami and change the A pattern to .5 and the B pattern to 0. Add a percentage to Random of 15 to 80%. You can add even more depth by doing several rows of the same stitch fill, one on top another. A simple but impressive way is using satin stitch with Auto Split Stitch on (known as random split stitch in Pulse.) Feel free to turn it down from the standard 7 mm until the fill starts looking more like soft branches. I will be writing about trees more in depth in the near future.

Pulse&Wilcom Random Pattern.png
On the left is the settings window for Pulse. In this window you can choose pre-programmed patterns. Above shows the settings for Random. On the right is the Object Properties panel for the II stitch (Tatami). There are no pre-programmed settings for Tatami. but if you change the off set function to A: .5 and B: 0 and then change the Random factor to 60, you will get a very similar look. This pattern is excellent for trees and fur.

 

Pulse&Wilcom Random Pattern2.png

Water and ground should still look flat, even if it is in the foreground. Just a little bit of angle if you desire. Rivers that go on into the distance are best left horizontal stitches. Don’t be tempted to curve the angle of the stitch like you might do with the letter s, this will only give it loft and break that feeling of realism.

When doing reflections in water, I like to make the water and the reflections in the same direction and pattern, so the fill patterns match. This helps unify the reflection with the water. To give the reflection ripples, just add a jagged edge.

Mountains can be done rather majestically if you know a few tricks. First, focus on depth. Angle of stitch is important here. Keep your angle close to horizontal with the mountains in the background and more slightly higher angle with those in the foreground. If there are a range of mountains, you can break up the range in layers, either by changing the stitch direction or the stitch pattern. Look at the natural lines and ridges and imagine how they might progress inwards and that is your next mountain range.

With Mountains that have two obviously different sides, the key is to treat those two sides at opposite angles so one side does not look more in front of the other. Mountain caps are an entirely different thing. If possible, use fill stitch that is at a similar angle as the mountain it is going on. You don’t want the snow caps to look like they are sitting on top of the mountain, but part of them. If the snow parts are too small for fill stitch (generally I would not go below 5 mm for the width of the stitch), then use satin, but keep in mind that satin tends to look more lofty than fill stitch. Keep your density and underlay at a minimum.

As said earlier, sky should be in a fill stitch done horizontally. This direction also helps with blends. The sky is more often seen as being brighter above and fading in the horizon. A blend can be achieved more smoothly being digitized in the same direction. Wispy clouds should also be created in the same or close to same direction. Lighter clouds can be done in an open fill stitch with density being about half as much as normal. Cumulus clouds (the big pillowy ones) can break the rule about loft. Even though they are in the background, vertical or near vertical satin stitches with the split stitches turned on will give the clouds a nice puffiness. Just like the mountains, you can give the clouds more definition by treating the same cloud as separate parts and have billows overlap.

Before & After.png
Above we see the basic layout of stitch direction. Below is the final result. Notice how the reflection looks like it is part of the water rather than just a flipped image of the mountains and trees.

I will leave you with this, when digitizing, have a philosophy. Keep your stitch styles consistent. Perhaps keep one type of pattern for one kind of object (such as a mountains) and another different pattern or angle for the object next to it. Also, don’t use an obvious pattern when digitizing nature. If the fill pattern you use is too distinctive, it will look less realistic. That’s why I like to use random. It helps blur the pattern of your fill stitch.

Good luck and have fun!

 

Have any questions? Contact us:

service@ignitiondrawing.com               253-284-0733                 ignitiondrawing.com

Previous Article Digitizing Animals
Next Article Digitizing Revision Pricing Updates
Print
1773 Rate this article:
No rating

Leave a comment

This form collects your name, email, IP address and content so that we can keep track of the comments placed on the website. For more info check our Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use where you will get more info on where, how and why we store your data.
Add comment

Theme picker

Survey Results, Steady Improvements

Survey Results, Steady Improvements

First of all, thank you all who participated in our annual survey!  We appreciate your candor and feedback about our processes, our people, and our services. What did we learn? 

Gaining Visibility into Satisfaction Rates

Gaining Visibility into Satisfaction Rates

"Rate Your Project" is the latest new feature on your Ignition Drawing Dashboard: Simply click to report your satifsfaction level. 

 

Vector File Formats

Vector File Formats

You’ve browsed our site and are placing a vector order, then find you're stumped by all the various file format options. Which one do you need?  What are they used for?  We're here to help! 

Stitch Counts

Stitch Counts

WHAT WE KNOW FOR SURE:
QUALITY EMBROIDERY REQUIRES OPTIMIZED STITCH COUNT

Here at Ignition Drawing, we know what it takes to get every stitch count “Just Right” every time.  

New Year, New Starts!

New Year, New Starts!

This year, newcomer Anjuli joins our staff and we welcome back Andrea! 
Longtime embroidery expert Jesse Elliot steps back as our joint team leader. 

Missing Our Friend...

Missing Our Friend...

From the very start: 
Don helped build a strong online presence for our business. 

We will miss him dearly. 

Covid Survival: Seen through the Eyes of Velociterra's Founder

Covid Survival: Seen through the Eyes of Velociterra's Founder

2020 Year-in-Review: 
From Full of Hope to Grateful for Loyal Customers

Hear how the founder of Velociterra companies Ignition Drawing (Vector and Digitzing), Arrow Emblems (Custom Patch Supplier), and Emerald City Decoration (Contract Embroidery) weathered the storms of 2020, the Covid crisis, re-fit an overseas factory, and launched a series of new products to keep our 220 employees working, engaged, and contributing during the year everyone wants to forget. 

Working with ZIP files

Working with ZIP files

Zip files(.zip) are compressed single files, sometimes called "archives", that contain one or more documents, photographs, videos or any variety of files. Zips make it easy to keep related files together similar to folders, but make transporting, e-mailing, downloading and...

Continue Reading →

Why did we change to Ignition Drawing?

Why did we change to Ignition Drawing?

Its been a long time coming to add more personality to our business. We set out to relaunch our brand, with something more memorable and modern.  How was our brand originally chosen? • When the business was started in 2003, we knew...

Continue Reading →

RSS
1234