Re: Problems with embroidering wider satin stitches

maggie cooper

If one is going to translate files then one needs to know under which format
the file was originally created and go back to that original format to
translate into each different format. From my experience, development in
PES and DST formats seem to be predominant.
Vicki, its highly unlikely any purchased designs come in their original format, that's tantamount to a digitiser saying 'here take my design and convert it into any format you want, I'm so filthy rich I dont need the revenue legitimate conversions generate'
Unless you own the identical software the digitiser used, having the digitising format is useless to you anyway, it contains no stitchable content so your machines couldnt use them. Digitising software comes in 2 flavours, Object based, Stitch based, of the 2 object based is the preferred standard. Stitch based software has been overtaken by object based software.
When you convert a stitch file you damage the integrity of the resultant format, each format has it's own peculiar to that format set of commands for items like colour, trims, jump lengths,hoop size,  the one thing all formats share is the basic needle up, needle down, X and Y co-ordinates for hoop placement. Even the start point commands are different, in one format a stitch might have to be placed at the point of origin then a jump to the first stitch of the actual design. Some formats translate long hoop XY co-ordinate moves to running stitch, so you get a line of stitching you didnt expect. Converting stitch formats is never a good idea, and should you change from one make of a machine to another, only do one conversion which makes the design a second generation design, not good, but not so damaged the result will be dissapointingly bad.
Pes and DST are two of the OLDEST formats around, Pes is the legacy format of Brother software, and DST an industrial standard unchanged since it's inception, it's newer developed format isnt offered to domestic users only those who use industrial embroidery machines and comes in a variety of flavours to accomodate the variety of industrial machines. About 10 years ago, maybe a little longer, Pfaff released an embroidery collection of Hummel children, I don't know if the designs in the link are the originals. They commited what in the digitising industry for domestic embroidery formats was a cardinal sin, they failed to test each stitch format to see what changes had occured in the conversion from the original native format, the results were horrific. Some purchasers were getting runlines across prestitched areas when using their format, other formats getting lock stitches which were impossible to remove half an inch away from where they should have been, horrendous colours, (pes, hus, jef, pfaff, hus, in fact most formats have their own colour catalogues which can vary enormously)  one format kept striking the frame and breaking needles. Pfaff had to aplogise then fix their designs for the intended format. A good digitiser has test stitchers using machines for each intended format, then adjusts the NATIVE digitising format to allow for the differences each format imposes on that design. DST and PES are NOT native formats. Every digitising software package uses reverse engineered formats usually at least 2 generations old, apart from their own, which will be the latest generation of their own stitch format. DST is an industry standard, which most software packages support.
If you own digitising software, the actual digitising part of the program should not be used to import stitch files, the editing part of the program is the one that is intended to be used for purchased designs, it imports the stitch files as are without attempting to recognise the tools or settings. If you own MBX this is important, if you open a stitch format design in MBX its stitch recognition kicks in, it will attempt to anilyse the needle penetration patterns and GUESS which tool, stitch type, pattern, density, underlay was used, then create objects in the resequence bar which much as I love the software, are invariably wrong. Why are they wrong? easy, a stitch format has absolutely no information regards density settings, stitch lengths, tools, underlay types, it only has hoop co-ordinates, needle up, needle down commands. Even the trim trigger can be totally different from its own trim trigger, 3 needle up commands, saving the design as a Jan still wont make theat design an editable design, all you have done is accepted the programs guessed settings and overwritten the original design.
''However, it's not perfect, but we got it from a friend of a friend of
a friend! Don't tell me we are all holier than thou and don't do this''
That is exactly what I am going to tell you, and I have told many others they should not do, apart from anything else it is theft, and as someone who has suffered from just this type of theft, I am disgusted by those who do it. I'm not Holier than thou, but for four decades had to generate an income from my own disciplines of illustration, prints, glass engaving, crafts,free motion art embroidery, and as a trained Arts and Crafts specialist and professional, I was sick to my eye teeth with those who took copies of my work but I did not have the funds to pursue them through the courts. 
I once asked a class of children if they thought stealing was ok, (I was also a primary education class teacher) I was amazed by their response. In their eyes theft from a shop was ok as they had plenty of money, it wasnt ok if friends stole their things as they didnt have plenty of money. If mummy or daddy  'borrowed' pens, pencils, paper, from work that wasnt stealing, if daddy made photo copies of mummy's knitting pattern books for her club, that wasnt stealing.  These were learned behaviours gained from observing the behaviours of adults, sharing items you have not created yourself and offered voluntarily for sharing, is theft. You are by your actions depriving a digitiser of their income generated by sales of that design. I have been asked countless times for copies of designs and always given the name of the site where purchased and refused to make a copy of the design in question. I've shared my own designs, I share my videos, but I have tracked down those who have copies removed my soundtrack and inserted their own and forced a removal of my work from their sites. I'm not alone in the way I feel about ''Sharing'', read Jims comments on customers who shared his work,
This lady proudly told us how much she enjoyed our publication and how she printed out copies for two of her friends. She might as well have said "Hey, I just put $10 worth of thread in my purse. Thanks for carrying such good products!" If she had known she was committing a crime, I doubt she would have been so forthcoming. On later digital products I put in a counter so I could see how many times each copy was downloaded. Surprise! One of our long-standing customers was downloading 2 copies every month, splitting the $4 cost with a friend. The $2 saved wouldn't even put a gallon of gas in the friend's Lexus, but it was hard for us to respect either of the ladies after that.
Back to the essence of this mail, Stitch conversions beyond second generation, which is, Native non stitch format, conversion to a stitch format 1st generation, reconversion to a different format using the previous 1st generation stitch format, 2nd generation.  Do not attempt  another conversion. By the 3rd conversion you have allready damaged the stitch formats content. And please, do consider the damage you do to a digitisers income as well as the damage you cause to their design when you make multiple conversions for sharing, under the law you are commiting an illegal act.
Maggie Cooper.

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