Giving windows a color cut
Christoph Brincken shows
how to make professional quality signs using vector
There are lots of things
you can do with Atari software. I do graphics and I
have an old Roland Camm-1 vinyl sign cutter to produce
letters and cut out logos which can be stuck on windows
If it's only some typographic
work with words and letters, I do the artwork in Calamus
SL, convert it to a vector graphic and export it to
GMA-Plot which does the cutting.
In Calamus, I type in
the size of the original signboard as the document size,
then I do the type graphics and import logos.
Figure 1: Typing the text for
Figure 2: Vectorizing the logo.
Figure 3: Re-sizing the logo.
Figure 4: The result.
Figure 5: Taking the size.
I convert the typographic
artwork into vector graphics with the Bridge module
and reduce the frame to the target size with the vector
module. Then I write down the height and width of each
vector frame. Logos which I have imported don't need
to be converted. I just note their size. When I import
the vectorized words, letters and the logos to GMA-Plot,
I just give the noted size and cut them out. Some water
on the plastic board, and I can apply the letters and
logos easily. So I get the signboard exactly the way
I planned it in Calamus SL.
The problem comes when
the customer wants a logo to be included. OK, I can
scan the logo and vectorize it with Avant Vector. In
fact I have done this many times. When a logo is cut
out, it needs to have very clear lines, which means
no automatic vectorization. It would save a lot of time
to convert an existing logo which might be found at
http://www.logotypes.ru, from EPS (Encapsulated PostScript) format
to the Atari vector format CVG (Calamus Vector Graphic).
The first Atari program
which claimed to be able to convert EPS (Illustrator
88 EPS format) to CVG was Avant Vector Pro from Trade
It, in 1991. Well, it worked, but as far as I could
tell, only EPS coded by PC programs like Corel Draw
4 and CasMate. No chance to read EPS files made by Illustrator
or Freehand. Even the new Corel Draw is not compatible
Calipso doesn't rock
Some time ago, Invers Media introduced
its PostScript reading module, Calipso. It should be
able to read PS printer files which should be PostScript
level 1. This means it should import any layout saved
as a PS printer file, in theory. But it almost doesn't
work in reality. There is also the EPS level 1 format.
Calipso did indeed import tons of EPS from an old EPS
These were in level 1
format created with Illustrator 3, but importing newer
EPS files with Calipso won't work. Even though I am
a Calamus addict, I am not very happy with this module.
I have to read and save EPS files as "clean"
level 1 with Corel Draw 8 first. Only older logos, some
made with Illustrator 3, go straight into Calipso. More
complex vector graphics can't be converted at all. I
tried to save EPS with Illustrator 6 as Illustrator
3 format to import with Calipso - it doesn't work. Calamus
needs a reliable EPS import to survive, which should
be included in any version.
On my last graphic job
for a congress organizer I had to vectorize some logos
for PainMaker 6.5 (that's a nickname for Adobe's PageMaker
- Ed). I secretly installed STEmulator and did the vectorization
with Avant Vector Pro, exported it as CVG and wanted
to convert it with Arabesque 2. OK, Arabesque 2 didn't
work with STEmulator, so I installed the 10-minute trial
version of MagiC PC from Application Systems Heidelberg
and got a perfect EPS, which I re-colored in Illustrator.
The other way around works too, Arabesque 2 eats almost
any EPS. But Arabesque 2 didn't work with MagiC Mac
on PPC either. You will need a real Atari, MagiC PC
or work with MagiC Mac on a 68K Mac.
Application Systems Heidelberg
(ASH) brought out a new vector graphic program by the
name of ArtWorx, which can be expanded with an EPS module.
This software works, of course, with MagiC Mac from
ASH. I have done some conversions with it and it works
fine, if not, I import it to Corel Draw (on my Mac)
first, export it and then it will work. So I recommend
for real Ataris Arabesque 2 and ArtWorx, and for emulators