The BX format installs both stitch-based and native, object-based fonts, both with powerful tools to back them up, but Embrilliance’s object-based native fonts have super powers that set them apart.
Historic Text Tools
When we released Essentials in December of 2010, it came with our first object-based fonts, exposing users to the powerful capabilities and adjustments that can be done with object-based letters. Much as we loved these native fonts, we saw the market filled with ‘stitch-file-per-letter’ alphabets, requiring embroiderers to load in and drag each letter into place to create text. We knew there had to be a better way. Embrilliance created the BX installer and the stitch-based font format to provide digitizers a way to create keyboard-ready fonts from these stitch file alphabet collections, letting their users finally type in these beautiful characters.
We even created the Embrilliance ‘Express Mode’, making our platform serve as a free lettering program for BX installable fonts. This enabled embroiderers to use stitch-based fonts, formatting them with simple tools in the size the digitizer provided. We expanded stitch fonts’ abilities with the powerful features in Embrilliance Essentials, including resizing with density processing, shaped lettering, and even envelope warping, giving them many features previously seen only in native, object-based fonts. Though we have always had scalable, object-based fonts built into the Embrilliance platform, we addressed the immediate need for a program to allow stitch-based and legacy fonts from any digitizer to be easily laid out and altered by embroiderers. This revolutionary thinking lead to the massive adoption of the BX font installer as a standard and made it easy for every embroiderer to find and use a world of decorative letters.
A Place for Every Embroidery Font
Having created tools that made those once letter-by-letter stitch-based design collections into truly usable fonts, our next step was both a return to our roots and the evolution of the tools for embroidery font creators and the embroiderers who rely on their work. The Embrilliance Platform always used object-based fonts, but we wanted the creative souls who digitize on our platform to be able to create fonts like those super-powered fonts we had already released in Essentials, Font Collection 1, and Font Collection 2 at the time. To that end, we built a world-class object-based font-publishing engine into StitchArtist Level 3.
With true master files that make managing characters easy, digital rights control, alternate style and sized characters, and much more, this engine enabled StitchArtist Level 3 digitizers to publish BX installable object-based fonts to share or sell into the embroidery community. These object-based fonts could be used and scaled in any Embrilliance program, even our platform’s free Express mode.
With this we completed our goal of making lettering and font tools that provided the widest array of creative possibilities to embroiderers. Anyone with Essentials could use, resize, and layout any stitch-based font from any creator, making use of the advanced stitch processor to resize and reshape them and make use of the extended control granted by the new range of object-based fonts that StitchArtist digitizers now had the power to publish.
The Object-Based difference
As powerful as our stitch-based fonts are, native fonts are notable for giving embroiderers even more control and customization than our processor adds to their stitch-based cousins. Stitch-based fonts are machine-format stitch files mapped to the keyboard, while native, object-based fonts contain the shapes and settings created by the original digitizer! Our native font shapes created in StitchArtist Level 3 let the Embrilliance platform alter their original parameters like fill type, density and underlay, regenerating stitches to fit the new size and settings selected.
Resizing stitch-based fonts relies on the unique Embrilliance stitch processor analyzing letter designs and creating or removing stitches in a way that fits the present pattern. Though this works very well, it remains a “best guess” based on patterns in the stitch file. Native font processing doesn’t have to guess; all stitches are completely regenerated according to your specified settings.
Making it Big (or Small)
Looking at resized designs like those below helps to explain the difference. The stitch processor easily adds stitches to retain the density of satin or fill stitches, but doesn’t change the style or format of these stitches. For straight-stitch detail lines or specialty patterns like motifs, the processor can’t add more motif patterns or lines to the fill out the enlarged design area. The processor also can’t change the type of underlay for an element or change its fill pattern. With native objects, however, the platform can change parameters and repopulate the StitchArtist objects with stitches that follow the ‘formula’ of settings embedded in the original digitizing. This ability is also what lets us alter the ‘formula’ in native designs and native fonts!
What does this mean for Embrilliance’s satin stitch native fonts? It means that creating with them just got more useful and a lot more interesting. Whether you are using the native fonts from Essentials, Font Collection1, Font Collection 2, the satin-stitch fonts in our themed Christmas and Romance collections, the fun fonts and functional small fonts made for Merrowly Patches, or native fonts created by StitchArtist level 3 digitizers, their stitches will be dynamically generated from the settings you choose.
You may have already seen the difference using our basic block font in any platform program. When you enlarge a native font, you’ll notice that once the satin stitches exceed a certain width, the stitch pattern automatically changes to a tatami fill, making sure you don’t end up with a loose, loopy finish. Technical changes like this are just the beginning of what native fonts can do!
There are a host of options you can control, available under the Stitch tab, seen in the lower right of the program window whenever you select a lettering object featuring a native font. If you like to play with textures, the Fill pull-down menu has 18 different patterns plus the Length Limit option to choose from. Uncheck Auto Fill and your selected pattern will appear on your lettering even if none of the stitches exceed the satin length limit. If your machine will support long satin stitches, you can even choose to over ride the auto fill option by unchecking it and choosing None from the fill type pull-down menu.
As any seasoned embroiderer will know, the digital preview version of stitch patterns can’t fully capture the fullness of the textures you see when they are stitched out. We created this sample filled with holiday ‘Ho Ho Ho’ and posted it to the Brilliant Embrilliance Group on Facebook. Our users returned quite a few photos that do these amazing textures justice. We think you’ll agree that they make a stunning display of what we can create even with the simplest block font and native stitch controls.
And even photos of stitch outs can’t fully show the effect of these patterns! As Christene T. posted to Facebook “It was fun watching the patterns appear before my eyes as I watched the stitch out. Nice to see them in a straight line and a curve too. Will be incorporating some of these patterns in my future projects for sure.”
Seeing may be Believing, but Stitching is Understanding
Though we’ve enjoyed walking you through the history of how Embrilliance changed the way embroidery fonts are used and sold, we think that you need to see the super powers of native-object based fonts for yourself to know just how much their stitch types and textures can do to elevate your next embroidery project. We’ve invited the Embrilliance Platform Program owners to try out the many fill patterns and settings in their next lettering project, but that’s not enough. We want to give everyone a chance to see these textures for themselves, including those who haven’t yet become part of the Embrilliance tribe. Click the link below to download the Sampler file shown in this article and follow the instructions at the bottom of this page to save it in your favorite machine file format. Seeing these ‘in the thread’ is the only way to do them justice. For users of Embrilliance, a stitch-out of these settings can be a fantastic reference to place in your sewing room, letting you choose the right texture the next time you want to liven up your lettering.
The design is provided in our native .BE format, enabling you to save a stitch file for any embroidery machine. If you aren’t already an Embrilliance owner, we provide a free method to use our software called Express Mode that will not only allow you to use any of the wonderful free designs found in our project blog, but also enables you to install and create basic text treatments with fonts distributed in our popular .BX format produced by many embroidery design creators.
To learn more about Embrilliance Express and for the instructions and links you need to download, install, and use our software with our free project files, please click here.