Embird 2010 Embroidery Software
Embird 2010 Embroidery Software allows people to take pictures or create their own designs and compile them into formats that an embroidery machine can turn into embroidery and cross stitch masterpieces.
Ease of Use, Performance: 20/25
Look & Feel: 23/25
How much I enjoy 25/25
Embird 2010 Embroidery Software and the Embird plug-ins are a great way for crafters and embroidery enthusiasts to capture their designs and turn them into embroidery or cross stitch designs. Embird 2010 is a great but slightly complicated program that has plug-ins to help with the various operations required in turning designs into embroidery projects.
Embird allows you to create your own design or you can turn pictures into the vector graphics formats that embroidery machines use. The program does several different major operations and uses different parts or the plug-ins for these different operations.
You can create designs like shirt logos, pictures and lettering for clothing or other projects quite easily, the Embird program is a managing program while the plug-ins themselves all offer varying features. The manager also handles the import and export, file format and advanced views of your projects while working on the design that is ready to transfer to your embroidery machine.
There really are quite a few different things going on with Embird and the program is not a simple click a button and a picture is turned into a format that an embroidery machine can use. The software package comes with several plug-ins and you can order the base program and the plug-ins you need for your particular crafts.
I wanted to take a picture, Opus of course and turn it into a design format my new Brother Embroidery machine could handle and found the Embird software at their website. I received the full package of software with plug-ins and especially the Embird Studio program.
It is not an easy thing to take a picture, bitmap or JPEG is the best and change it into a design format that the embroidery machine can use. The Embrid software can take a JPEG picture and with a lot of work by the user turn it into a format that your embroidery machine can use to embroider or cross stich designs.
A simple explanation of this is easy, but the programs actual workings are anything but and this is obvious by the cost of embroidery software programs. An embroidery machine stitches by placing the hoop of material where it wants and then creates running stitches of colored thread in a specific pattern to give you designs on the material.
The format used by many machines is called PES, the format is often referred to by the extension or last three letters of the last part of a file name, usually after the period. An embroidery design is really a simple thing when you see it in action, the design has a type of stitch pattern that runs for each color and fills in an area on your material.
Embird actually takes vector based drawing programs to its logical use with an embroidery machine by using the areas of a vector image and filling them in with stitches. This vector based program works well with other programs like Photoshop and Corel Draw for getting your designs the way you want them.
The format and file used will have information given to your machine with the shape of each part of the design, the type of stitch used and the color of the thread. You can vary the stitches of the machine by the length of the stitch and the direction.
Using different stitches, patterns or how they are placed on the material you can alter the design and how things look, you can even add more stitches in the same area to get a more filled in look. There is a lot to embroidery and designs, much more than I thought when I started on this review and the embroidery projects I wanted to work on.
While using the Embird software is not a simple thing it is also not very difficult, just time consuming for some of the work, I actually had an easy time working with the software. I do understand a bit more than the average user about software and computers but I had no problem following the included tutorials and getting a picture that I wanted into a design.
The hard part for me was actually before getting the picture into the Embird software, I first had to colorize my picture down to only a few colors. A picture with base colors like 8 to sixteen is a much better one than with the choice of 24 bits that is the usual picture spectrum Windows handles.
Once I had my picture of Opus down to four colors I simply imported the picture and started creating the areas of stitches, this is done in the Embird Studio. You simply import the picture into Embird Studio and after setting things like the format and the size of the hoop your machine uses it will open the editor with your picture centered in the design area.
Once your image is there you can move and resize it till you have the base image behind your work area and start adding stitch areas. You simply create areas that are going to be filled in with stitches of one color and work on each area of your design.
Stitches can be turned in different directions and made either closer together or further apart to make the design look different. You can also have patterns like swirls or flowers to create different looking designs and you also have the variety of colors for embroidery thread.
The Embird program does not have an exact match to the colors of embroidery thread for the numbers I found at my local sewing and craft stores but I could easily get ones that worked. Once you have created your design or embroidery project in Studio you can use the Embird program to create the files and format for using the embroidery on your machine.
In the Embird manager which is the main window that opens when you start the program you can do several different things, you can jump to the various plug-ins like Studio, Stufmato and others. Stufmato is a plug-in designed to take your picture and try to turn it into a design where you draw out the areas but this program does take a lot of time to work with.
This did not work well for my project as I found it easier to just create my own design from the background picture but it can work for other things. I did not use a realistic photo for either of my projects but may use it in the future, I did two embroidery projects for this review using the Embird Studio mostly.
The penguin was pretty easy to get into the four colors I used but having things work out to look like a chubby penguin with a big nose was difficult. I figured out that varying the stitches in both direction and how many stitches I packed into an area made the difference I was looking for.
For the body I used stitches in the direction of the major area up and down or sideways to accentuate the areas while the nose I used stitches angled to give the nose some depth and curve. The tie and band for it I also used stitches in directions that make it look like a tie instead of some scarf strangling the poor penguin.
The Mythbusters sign and logo was both more difficult and easier, the sign I used from the internet had a lot of varying shades of brown, tan and metal colors but the design was pretty simple. I did lessen the complexity of the background so there were less colors and less areas of different colors but the actual letters and background images were easy to create on the Embird Studio.
I did have to restitch the Mythbusters logo several times as I was having a problem with too many stitches in too many layers so I got the design down to a single layer of stitches. Trying to stitch one color on top of the other just does not work so I wound up creating the logo on a patch to make things easier.
I did find that using a simple square of material instead of trying to embroider on your whole project like a shirt or case is much easier and less of a worry. If you mess up the embroidery on a square of material you just start over but on a large piece of material or a partially completed project would mean more waste or throwing out the whole thing.
My tablet case for the Opus design worked well as it was just a square of fabric and after several attempts at practicing on scraps for the Mythbusters sign. The Embird software did work well and I really only scratched the surface of what the program can do for both embroidery and cross-stitch designing.
One exceptional feature is the view of your finished piece called the 3D Preview which gives a photo realistic look at what your design should turn out to be. This is the single best feature when your designing the embroidery pattern and are starting to get concerned about what it will look like.
Simply click on the 3D Preview and you can see what all your hard work will look like as well as tweak and adjust stitches to make the design even better. I really liked this feature and used it constantly to adjust the patterns and stitch direction to get the opus to look as good as it does.
The Embird software can be purchased from quite a few sewing and embroidery sites as well as stores and the website for Embird of course. The base price of the software for the Embird 2010 release is $144 while plugs ins vary at price, the price for my set is somewhere around $600 to $700.
You can purchase just some of the plug-ins and buy others later if you find the need and one important point I want to make is you can try the full version for 30 days or 100 runs for free. If you are looking for embroidery or cross stich designs and tools to create your own using designs and lettering I could not find a better priced program at all.
The other software I found for embroidery design conversion were all either much simpler and free or ones that cost a very lot more, the base programs themselves were over a thousand dollars. The Embird Studio and manager is the best embroidery software I could find and is easily a great software package fro embroidery design.
I can easily see why Embird has become the standard software for home based and small business embroidery as well as the home embroidery crafter. I highly recommend the Embird software for embroidery to design and manage your embroidery designs for use on computer controlled embroidery machines.