The master

How to make a scheme for embroidery from a photo


How to make photo embroidery? I confess, I already forgot a little what exactly and how I did when I created my first finished (only one computer knows how many such blanks I have!) Embroidering a photo with a cross, but I will try to fix the main milestones. Firstly, I think that I will nevertheless do one or two more similar embroideries. And secondly, the experience must be shared, if someone wants to repeat my path.

I do not want to frighten anyone, but I will say at once that preparing a good scheme will require several skills at once from you:

  1. experience with the program PhotoShop (I do not know of any other program, how competently and efficiently working with photo processing),
  2. experience with the program PatternMaker (of all the programs for creating schemes for cross stitching, this showed the best results, I wrote about it already),
  3. perseverance (of course, cross stitch lovers do not take it, but I can say that the development of a quality scheme takes no less time and patience than two large cross-stitches; in other words, when developing a scheme, you "embroider" it at least three times: first in graphic editor, then PM, and only then in reality),
  4. vision of color (it is difficult to explain here, because the very first stage is very dependent on this skill).

Now I tell you how I personally made the embroidery from the photo.

The preliminary stage.

Here you need to decide on the photo you want to embroider.

It is clear that, for example, wedding photos are more than a hundred, and to choose the one that will look beautiful on the wall, you need to be very picky. Five times I looked at all the photos: I evaluated the composition, the background (at this stage you need to decide whether you will embroider it or cut it out in some way), the color palette, the faces (after all, they will be the main objects of embroidery!) how about it all will look on the canvas ... In general, the stage, though preparatory, but here you need to be careful. I took several photos as a basis, and worked with them in Photoshop until I was satisfied with the result. This is me getting to stage one.

Stage one.

Careful study of the photo in a graphic editor.

Initially, I considered the option to embroider a black and white, or a "three-color" portrait ... (all photos can be enlarged by clicking on them with the mouse)

But, having worked a little with colors and sharpness, I realized that it was not enough for me to have the option that turned out to be on the right. I wanted more. Greater accuracy, greater realness, so to speak. And therefore I have started a thorough study of a color photo ...

Here I’m not sure what tools I’ve used in Photoshop. But they were definitely involved: curves, color balance, framing of the image, stamp, selection of fragments and working with fragment color, sharpness, posterization (this item must be done to reduce the number of colors in the final embroidery) ... Perhaps something has already been forgotten over of time. But I "twisted" the photo until the result did not satisfy me. And I can say with confidence - I made this photo not in one evening.

I think the difference is noticeable between the original and the photo I sent to the program to create an embroidery pattern?

When the result of photo processing is satisfactory for you, you must save it in jpg format. And then, after opening the saved file, resize the image to 200 pixels per inch and save it as a separate file. It is with him that you will work in PatternMaker. And this is the second stage.

Stage Two.

Loading and processing photos in the program for creating schemes for embroidery.

You can take any program, I do not in any way impose my opinion on you, but personally, the name PatterrnMaker has come up for my needs.

In fact, it can also process the image in some way in order to simplify your work with the further scheme, but nevertheless its arsenal is very limited. Because you should not neglect the first step, if you take a difficult job - a portrait. For simpler pictures (such as my dragon pattern), you can skip the first step.

Doing the first time uploading a photo to the program, she will ask you about your main wishes about the size of the future embroidery, about the canvas count, about the number of colors and other important parameters ... Frankly, I wanted to make a detailed overview of the work in this program, but for that too need time. I will put myself in a plan and this year I will try to prepare something like a master class on the main stages of work at PM. So, by uploading a photo to the program for creating a scheme, you are almost halfway to your idea! That is, now you have one more, the penultimate, but also an important stage - the third.

Stage Three.

Work with the resulting scheme.

When you see the result of exporting the original, do not be intimidated. It looks, of course, a bit creepy. But there it will be possible to see how the work looks in different forms - just experiment with the buttons. The program gives you the opportunity to see how the work will look like a picture, in the "otshitom" form and in the form of black and white and color symbols.

I strongly advise first of all to check the number of colors - usually the program gives too many colors close to and “extra” colors - which are used in the scheme for only 1-2 crosses. In my case, the program has produced 62 shades of colors. Using the capabilities of the program, I, by switching the selection modes of one color, was able to get rid of the extra 20 (!) Shades. This, you see, decently. Of course, the result was impressive too - 42 colors. But here you have to choose: either you take fewer colors, and you have big "gaping" fragments; either take more colors and get better image accuracy. In fact, the same story happens with the size of the cross (count) - if you put the size 11 - you will get huge crosses and work half a meter wide ... I had a scheme on the smallest 18 count, and I even embroidered on a uniform size of the same size.

At this stage, too, will have to tinker: carefully choose the shades to be removed, check the number of single crosses and, if possible, delete a large number of them. I will say right away - I just had a huge number of “loners” in the original version, but a good part of them remained - because sometimes even one cross counts. And for this, taking one step, it was necessary to check the quality of the image, switching between views, and then take a step back ... I can’t say how much I danced. But then time went on for months.

It was at the stage of working with this program that I had the idea to embroider the background with a semi-cross. As you can see in the photo, I even tried to apply this idea.

But then she refused. Firstly, there it was necessary to do “busting from the cross to the semi-cross” for a very long time (perhaps, I still don’t know the possibilities of the program so well), and secondly, I was just scared - like me with so many colors confused and will fasten the thread? And the variant of the translucent canvas through the half-cross was also not acceptable for me. In general, having estimated all these pros and cons, I still gave up my idea. But for what I am grateful to the program: she gave me the opportunity to experiment.

So, when your image will be turned into a scheme, and you will again be satisfied with the number of colors, image quality, the crucial moment will come: saving the scheme.

Stage Four.

Saving the resulting pattern for later embroidery

In fact, as it turned out, this is also not so simple. The fact is that the program, of course, is equipped with an "import" button and creates for you a separate text file with a key, where all the colors of the palette and the size of the canvas are written, and in another jpg file it will create the scheme itself ... But it is at this stage that you have to decide : where and how will you embroider? I know that some embroiderers work right from the screen. For me, this is an invalid option.
Find a color printer that prints your scheme in color, too, you need to try - after all, the dimensions of embroidery sometimes do not fit into the size of a single A4 sheet.

What did I do? Retained a black and white symbolic scheme with a key. Then I opened this file in my favorite “Photoshop”, and literally manually divided the file into 8 sheets of A4 format, making surely duplicate fragments at the joints of the sheets, so that later you could find what to attach.

Then printed out on a regular printer. The size of the scheme was impressive. But this happened because I made the symbols on the diagram rather large so that it was easier to work with them. But I also had to draw on the scheme - usually I do without this "coloring" the source material - because the number of characters per square centimeter was simply huge.

In addition, I saved these fragments in separate pictures, so that later a second (or even third) copy could be printed out - after all, the work was not meant for one year and what could have happened to the scheme. Fortunately, I did not like the secondary print.

Of course, from time to time I still had to open the saved color version of the scheme (I showed the photo at the second stage), but these were sporadic cases.

Oh, and I almost forgot: do not forget to print the key!

Now everything is ready forcross stitch photos.

And here are my results: on the left - the original image (the very thing that became original after the first stage), in the middle - the scheme in color, as suggested by the program, on the right - the ready-made embroidered portrait.

It should be noted that the program was able to select the color gamut fairly reliably. Manually, I simply did not dare do the selection of colors. Although it might have been worth a try. But I will try this another time. In the meantime, I am very pleased with the result.

And when my husband and I presented this portrait with threads to those who depicted it, the guys did not even immediately realize that it was cross-stitch! For me it was the best praise for my long and painstaking work.