Brian here. It has been a long journey getting to this update.
Mac Mojave came out, and out, and out again, as they addressed bugs there. Some of this left us chasing to keep up with a moving target.
Aside from chasing Apple, what’s new and noteworthy, you ask? Well, quite a lot, actually.
The team here has worked very hard to get all your beta issues reported and handled as best we can. Tim and Drew helped do some magic for the Brother XP1 / Baby Lock Solaris wireless machines, as well as updating formats. Lisa and Erich have been testing endlessly. And my family has been patient while I wrestle with the larger concerns of UI, font publishing, nearest-point branching, Shape tools, MacOs changes, manual updates and making it quicker and even easier to use.
We do have a list of things we still want to address, and those are larger works in progress, so yes, there are still updates coming. Of course I have dream items to add, a few of which are purely new invention and we are still writing new patents for them. You will see new things happening this year for certain. We are not done.
That all withstanding, this release is solid and gets these new features of font publishing and templates into the hands of people who really have been aching to use it in business, but could not because it was in beta.
Overall, this is the most significant update we’ve done since launching StitchArtist. And one which I am proud to say is free to all Embrilliance Platform owners. We can’t promise free updates forever because that’s just silly, but we have never charged for an update, unlike others, thanks to continued new customers buying our products which supports us.
Our fans include new embroiderers and very experienced ones. One of my favorite things is to hear someone tell the story, “I have had a bunch of programs over the years, but this is the one I use.” When manufacturers with unlimited budgets are giving away their $2000 program as an incentive to buy a machine, this is quite special to me, seeing that people will invest in their hobby by purchasing Embrilliance because they like what we do that much.
I’ve also seen an enormous number of cottage-industry business spring up around the use of our products. This is one of the most gratifying things we do, and our team shares these stories internally, as they come up. From resellers around the world to people selling education, to our fabulous BX-selling family of font digitizers, and now a crop of digitizers selling their work or finished goods has risen. As we are a core tool of your small businesses, we will try never to let you down. We understand that you have to be able to rely on your tools and the people who make them. Every new computer, every new machine, brings that fear of obsolescence into light. Will everything that I need to work do its job? Can I get this run of hats out the door in time? We get it.
I’d also like to welcome the new commercial embroidery companies who have discovered us. They have been so long under the bootheel of mean spirited companies using dongle and activation products, that they are still kind of trying to figure out how we exist in such a different manner. We trust our customers? How? Why? They haven’t seen it before and learning that we’ll let them run their Windows and Macs all around the shop on one reasonably priced license seems strange to them. Moreover, we offer help. They never got that before. It’s alien to their world. Welcome!
The most significant upgrades in this version are in StitchArtist.
The biggest addition is that StitchArtist 3 users can now publish their own native fonts. Yes, that’s right. If you are a fontmaker with SA3 you now can do it in Embrilliance with no extra cash out of your pocket.
Yes, yes, you all have questions….
“Are these real native fonts?” Yes.
“Do they branch?” Yes, and unlike other products in the world, they keep the layering.
“Like, Nearest Point – to – Point?” Yes.
“Make a .BX installer file so I can share it? Sell it?” All that. And more.
- StitchArtist 3 users may also select lettering designs (have to be in Create Mode, so you’ll select using the Object View), right click in the Main View on the selected lettering, and choose ‘Convert To Objects’. Now they can adjust the native lettering. This is useful when you want to make a logo out of a font, but need to adjust the outlines.
“Can I take one font, modify it to make my own version, and re-publish it?” If they let you. This is the first embroidery font system in the world with Digital Rights Management. You publish with your copyright, and you decide if the end user may convert to objects, and/or even republish with changes. And even if they do, your original copyright goes along for the ride.
“What do I do if someone makes a crappy native font? Like those auto-digitized ones or simply sloppy ones from digitizers who Shall Not be Named (but should know better)?”
First, unless they are full inputs, meaning no auto-satins, they won’t publish. So at least someone has to pay attention. Beyond that, it depends on who you get it from. Like anything else, a mass-producer won’t be bothering with quality when all they want is quantity. (You know who you are.) Caveat Emptor. Make sure they have a return policy.
“Can I get a sample file to see how things are published?” Yes, we are making some of our own files available to the world, and allowing you to make your own fonts, built upon ours, if you like.
“So I could start with SVG or a TrueType font and digitize it?” You could always do that with StitchArtist. Now you can publish and use those designs as an actual native font.
“I thought BX meant that the font was all just stitches?”
Our .BX is an installer. While there are 75,000 fonts available, from all over the world, that install in .BX form, they are not all just stitches, and going forward, more digitizers will be publishing native StitchArtist fonts.
Don’t forget, our stitch-based fonts that come in from those .BX installers will SCALE (with Essentials or AlphaTricks) without breaking them up into ugly bits of noise. That’s the problem with other products on the market – they don’t know how to respect the stitches, so they can only really run their native fonts, which is why they tout them so heavily. But then their nearest-point options do not respect the layering that the digitizers use, so it’s really a moot point.
Next, you’re wondering how you tell the difference. Well, if you have to ask, it doesn’t really matter, and it doesn’t because it just works. But if you must know, there’s a needle icon added to the font image (the popup that let’s you pick the font) of the fonts that are imported as stitch files.
Now, as most of you won’t be making fonts (though many will) we’ve added some other fun elements.
- Ctrl-Shift-G will generate in SA3. This complements Delayed Generation.
- The menu item Create > Publish > Create Font Page… will make a new page with a set of characters from a TT font.
StitchArtist 2, 3
- The automatic foam underlay has now been connected with push compensation, so you can adjust the cap ends.
- Inclines will now snap to the nearest outline point, even in overlapped areas, allowing better control.
- A new 3-point Circular Arc drawing tool has been added.
- A new Shapes tool has been added to make rectangles, with or without rounded corners, stars, ovals, even spirals.
- Ctrl-d begins a new design.
- Node type ‘Symmetric’ has been added to the list, Curve, Line, Cusp. Symmetric means the handles work like Curve, but also are the same length on either side.
- Alt drag now does constrain on more items. Line nodes, for instance, will align vertically and/or horizontally to a previous or next point.
- Alt also lets you draw inclines perfectly vertical or horizontal. Shift allows you to reposition an incline.
Platform Products like Essentials, Enthusiast, etc.
- A new Notes tab is now connected to each design on the page, providing you with a way to annotate whatever is on your mind, and save it in the working (.BE) file.
- From the Utility menu you can now directly open the folder which contains your libraries, imported fonts, etc. This was usually a pain, especially on Mac, as the path is reeeaallly long. But now it’s just a click away. This gives access to your fonts and motifs for the purpose of cleaning things out, or even copying from your old computer to a new one.
- Commercial users now have some additional Program Preferences, such as the DST ‘Return to origin’ command.
- We’ve also added better control of transits (handling of jumps between objects, letters.) You now can decide what jumps are for hand trimming and which are to nest as runs, with control over the lengths.
- The new default lettering option is single-line mode. It’s used most often.
- Lettering styles have been added, including Scaled Center and Sheared Up/Down.
- Lettering orders have been adjusted to represent what more people do, including a couple options for hats.
- When a lettering design is at 100% size, and the font is changed to a stitch-based font, the design will use that font at its as-digitized size.
- The Thread Editor now has the ability to import .CSV files.
- Ctrl-e will collapse the Object tree view, whereas Ctrl-Shift-E will Expand all items on it.
- Ctrl-d in Create mode will begin a new design.
- The t key toggles the 3D view on/off.
- Alt when sizing will scale objects keeping the center for each as they scale.
- When stitches get edited on a native object such as lettering the object would be converted to stitches in order to preserve the edits. This caused confusion, so now, instead of changing the object type to stitches, the object type will remain, but stitch generation is disabled. A new command in select mode has been added: right click the edited object and choose Allow Regeneration.
- The platform now reads .phx files from the Brother XP1 / Baby Lock Solaris
- The platform now reads PE-Design / Palette version 11 files.
- The platform now writes .PES v.11 files for the newest hoops including XP1/Solaris.
- The platform now has a Utility menu entry to send the current design page to the XP1 / Solaris.
- Stitch Editing has been updated by request. New pop-up menu command for lettering designs: Convert to Stitches. Editing a StitchArtist or Lettering design now simply puts delayed generation on, so that the edits can be removed and the original work restored. When editing, if no stitch is selected, but one is highlighted, the right-click commands will work on that stitch, making it easier to convert stitches that you can hover over, or navigate to using the arrow keys.
- Templates have been updated – including Envelope, Namedrop and Baseline.
Text on open or closed baselines
Namedrops at any angle
Namedrop to bridged letter style
What about those using Express?
You can install and use the new native fonts. And they resize, with full stitch calculation.
How do I find out more about all this?
Glad you asked. RTM (Read The Manual), or Online Help, or built-in help. Check out the Downloads page for some options.
If it was broke, we fixed it. Unless we didn’t know about it, of course. Things like adjusting the rates of speed on the Sewing Simulator on Mac. Improving the Cut function on a Breakline.
What does all this cost?
If you own the product, you get the new features and updates. Free. Gratis. No se requiere dinero.
(Unlike some who should be ashamed of themselves and just go away.)
When does this come out?
Embrilliance 1.161 is now on the Downloads page.
See that page for the Australian (Oz) link, as usual.
Thanks for help getting this version out!