Matching beads to a photo

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Tia Dalma wrote
on Dec 22, 2012 9:54 AM

I also have Bead Tool 4 and I love it! The main reason I like this one more than Bead Creator (other than the major price difference) is the amount of help that is available for Bead Tool vs Bead Creator. There are online video tutorials at the Bead Tool website and they are great at responding to customer questions etc.

But I wanted to let you all know that there is a free bead pattern program out there too. The website is easybeadpatterns.com

This is the one I started out with to see how well these programs worked and for a free program it works great.

The guy made it for his mother who is a beader...he created a website so others could download it for free (and he also accepts donations to the website to help offset his costs). The wbsite also has a Q&A/FAQ manual for how to use the program...

It is a simplified version of this type of program but it really is useful especially for someone wanting to play around and see how these things work! I used it for months before I was gifted with the Bead Tool program and it worked just fine for charting flatwork patterns!

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Posts 172
on Dec 22, 2012 12:59 PM

I couldn't get that one to give me naything but black!  i don't think it liked me Surprise

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D.M.Z wrote
on Dec 22, 2012 4:11 PM

ottercat, at the time I originally bought my Bead Creator, there were three main contenders in the bead pattern world. The one out the longest and supposedly the best was for macs only, that was not going to work for me. I tested Bead Tool and Bead Creator out and decided that since I had some high level and heady aims, I'd go with Bead Creator.

There are some real tricks to working your pics in Photoshop (I also have 6.0 on my computer, had 7 but it got lost during a repair session with my ex-computer service person..........so I had 6.0 here and just reinstalled it) and once you get that down, like resizing it to close to what you want the ultimate pattern to be, cutting the levels, sharpening things that need sharpened, etc., you are putting a prime picture into the software. I assume it would be the same for Bead Tool. The better the input, the better the output.

I don't remember Bead Tool very well, but I get what I want from Bead Creator. I get precise, extremely well shaded patterns. I have recently finished a butterfly that is about 7x7 and has just over 15,000 delicas in 460 individual colors.........that could be done by hand but certainly not easily. I don't know if I've posted a picture of that here or not, I'll go look for it and post it if I haven't.

P.S.: I did post a pic while it was still on the loom, click on my DMZ at the top of this post, it is on my home page lower right side, and it is 7x7 and not 8x8. Donna

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shanks wrote
on Dec 23, 2012 10:30 AM

Here is a chart of Czech colors and numbers  http://www.springl.cz/default.asp?lang=en   Hope this helps you. In the Czech numbering system, all of the factories use the same numbers for the colors.

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Posts 172
on Dec 23, 2012 10:58 AM

unfortunately, no seed bead info  :(

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D.M.Z wrote
on Dec 23, 2012 3:58 PM

from Windy: "unfortunately, no seed bead info"............ and that my dear Windy, is one of the MAIN reasons I switched to and continue to use delicas. Miyuki is the BEST when it comes to color charts and numbering, etc. Very business like and professional. Even Toho which has some really nice beads in that same size/shape does NOT do well with color charts. They issue one big color chart, it is not sorted by number or color. And some colors are just for seed beads, some colors are for cylinder beads, so you can't just pick a color and ask for it in any size, it gets confusing real quick. As far as I can see it is mostly sorted by finish..........whaaaaa? If I am purchasing Toho beads (and I do use their 8/o and 6/o and hex beads and a smattering of 15/o) I do so from a store where I can pick up a tube or baggie of beads and look at the color and purchase.

Delica color charts are very satisfying, they are organized by number. With Bead Creator, the wonderful person who did the color charts has marked them by a sortable method which lets you make some really good choices. Also they are color coded (separately from Miyuki's which are sacred numbers) from light to dark in their individual color group. For someone like me who just needs to know everything about the beads I choose to use, well.....I am in hog heaven.

Don't get me wrong, I love to work with Czech seed beads.......they come in some awesome colors, but I would never try to do a large loomed project in seeds because I'd probably toss it all on the floor long before I was much into the choosing colors process. Donna

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Posts 172
on Dec 23, 2012 4:30 PM

some of us are really budget-challenged though Embarrassed

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D.M.Z wrote
on Dec 23, 2012 5:58 PM

windy, here's what I'd do..........get the picture you want to use, run a photo copy of a bead template (make sure you use the right size and stitch template or your picture will be out of proportion) on clear acetate sheet (they will usually have them at the copy stores by the sheet) and make your clear template with that. Place that over the photo, attach the two together well and match your seed beads to that. No doubt if you are starting with a photo you will have to compromise on some of the colors for shading.

Lay a ruler on each line as you bead it. If you don't have a loom, just square stitch (or peyote) the picture. (I just did one that way, took a pattern and instead of warping up my loom I just hand sittched it.) The picture needs to be large enough so that, for instance, an eye takes up one or more beads, if it is less than one bead, it will look wonky. Probably best to start with a tree or flower so not to get too complicated to start with.

This would not cost you too much, you might have all the beads to do it already, and you will have the experience and know if you would ever want to do another. This would be my advice for a budget sensitive project like the one you want to do. I am retired and on social security which is like being  on a budget also, so I do understand. As I made and sold items, I'd always roll the money back into my bead stock, that way I built it up slowly and steadily. If I got money as a gift instead of buying a new outfit, I would invest in maybe just a t-shirt and the rest in beads, needles, thread etc. It never seemed like much, but I now have a very nice stock of beads. Take care and post again when you have a project started or finished......let us see your progress, ok? Donna

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Posts 172
on Dec 23, 2012 9:02 PM

I definitely need practice, though I've done better with the loom than the hand stitches.    Unless I end up with a complete disastter, I will post a pic  :)

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ottercat wrote
on Dec 25, 2012 7:57 PM

D.M.Z., I took some classes for digital photography, graphic art (Photoshop & Illustrator), multimedia at the local college.  The Multimedia Dept. started with Macs then switched to PCs, so when I got my copy of Photoshop, it was for the PC (ver. 5.5, educational).  Later upgraded to 6.0 (professional) at a reasonable price; found the main difference between 6.0 & 7.0 was the healing brush and the banners -- not enough to upgrade to 7.0); not impressed with CS1 (Photoshop & Illustrator; too simplified).  I used to work on projects in my head before I got my turn at the computer (working thru the steps to complete an effect); helped me learn ways to achieve the results I wanted by using various programs in different ways (ie. using Photoshop to create templates, Microsoft Word to create illustrations/drawings for my tutorial).  Will be interesting to see what is possible with Bead Creator & Bead Tool.

I had seen your butterfly -- nice!  I had the same situation with 'Winter Tree' (11.5"w x 15.5"h)(the sparkles are from the flash, not in the pattern).  The degree of difficulty was impressive -- so much detail!  Thank you for sharing your work.

Ottercat Coffee

12-25-12 (1757 PDT)

 

Be yourself.  Everyone else is already taken.  ~ Oscar Wilde

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Posts 172
on Dec 26, 2012 2:32 PM

Question.....should the pattern  produced be the same color as the original picture?

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ottercat wrote
on Dec 29, 2012 2:06 AM

The colors of my designs done on computer (RBG) would be different tones/shades of the same colors when printed (YMCK).  As long as the colors are close (pattern to original) and clearly marked with a bead legend, there should be no problems.  The pattern is a guide, not the original.  Hope this is what you meant.

Ottercat Coffee

12-29-12 (0006 PDT)

Be yourself.  Everyone else is already taken.  ~ Oscar Wilde

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Posts 172
on Dec 29, 2012 10:06 AM

Yes, that's what i meant.  The colors aren't even close.  I've tried lightening and darkening the photo to no avail. Grrrrr.

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ottercat wrote
on Dec 30, 2012 5:25 PM

Maybe this would help -- create the pattern using representative colors with a number (for the actual bead color), then use the original picture as a color reference as you work the piece.  The pattern colors wouldn't match the picture, but would show the placement of each bead color by number.  Let us know how you're doing -- that's why we're here.

Ottercat Coffee

12-30-12 (1524 PST)

Be yourself.  Everyone else is already taken.  ~ Oscar Wilde

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Posts 172
on Dec 30, 2012 5:37 PM

I think that''s a geat idea!

Right now I'm in the  'ordering the right color beads' phase....can't believe how much this l comes out to. Surprise  I also found instructions for connecting sections, as the picture will be much larger than my loom can handle.

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