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 Trees, Leaves, Grass and Bushes
Print
6527 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

Vectoring Art and Drawings

Vectoring Art and Drawings

Just like vectoring photographs, vectoring art, or drawings can present a particular set of challenges, from color blends, to textures, to unique materials and hand drawn looks. One of the first obstacles in recreating any piece of artwork is not...

 

Continue Reading→

Tackle Twill – Go Big!(with less stitches)

Tackle Twill – Go Big!(with less stitches)

Tackle Twill can be a great addition to any embroidery shops playbook. These designs will allow you to produce large filled areas that would normally take tens of thousands of stitches to accomplish with just a few zig-zag stitches around...

 

Continue Reading →

The Right Software For The Job

The Right Software For The Job

Whether you're doing the work yourself or contracting with a vendor, it's always a good idea to be familiar with and have a copy of editing software. If the need arises it will allow you to make quick and easy...

Continue Reading →

Small Lettering Guide – Part 1

Small Lettering Guide – Part 1

Twill/Denim/Nylon With fabrics such as twill, denim, or nylon, embroidery does not sink much and generally floats on top of the fabric. This creates less of a need for underlay and shorter pull compensation, thus allowing us to go smaller...

Continue Reading →

Small Lettering Guide – Part 2

Small Lettering Guide – Part 2

Short and Wide or Sharp Corners Wide fonts (also known as extended) and fonts with sharp corners are much more difficult to come out nice in embroidery. On corners, both the horizontal and the vertical strokes have more chance of...

Continue Reading →

Pre-Press Services and why we can’t provide them

Pre-Press Services and why we can’t provide them

There are several reasons why we can't provide this service. The most important ones are: 1. Every production shop has its own way of processing art. They all have different programs and different pre-press processes specific to their shops used...

Continue Reading →​

Senator Rand Paul comes to Ignition Drawing

Senator Rand Paul comes to Ignition Drawing

We were fortunate to carve out 1.5hrs of Senator Paul's busy day in Seattle before he headed over to Microsoft. He and his wife Kelly were wowed with the skill and effort needed to turn a logo into a professional...

Continue Reading →

RSS
12345