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tiff to dxf or iges or dwg

Posted on 1998-06-04
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Last Modified: 2013-11-19
Does anyone know how to convert a .tiff file to any of the following?: .dxf, .iges, .dwg These are for cad or cam.
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Question by:monte70
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bodhy earned 200 total points
ID: 1112733
Well you have a little problem:
TIFF files are bitmap files (formed of a secuence of pixels (dots))
DXF... etc are vectorial files (formed of a secuence of methematical formules, lines, curves, etc...)

At a first look if seems to be impossible, but, there is a way to do it.
You must "trace" the contours of the bitmap image to make it vectorial.. making this you´ll get a the image "vectorized".
Well, this usually works great with images with "masses" of continous colors (to put an example the corporative logos of most of the companies), but if you want to vectorize an complex photo (like your girlfriend´s portrait) the works gets very much harder (and need much more final retouch).

How con you "vectorize" a TIFF, well there are 2 forms basically:
1.- Import the TIFF into a program that works with vectors (like CorelDraw, Adobe Ilustrator, or even 3DStudio...), and then you must trace the contours (by hand) over the image. Finally you delete the bitmap image, and save the image in the format you want.
I´ve made this a lot of times, and i usually employ CorelDraw5, and sometimes 3DStudio.

2.- You can use a program to "vectorize" the image automatically, i know about two:
CorelTrace
Adobe Streamline (this is better, i think)
This programs have paremeters to adjust the complexity of the vectorization... ect..
This is easier, and later you can always retouch the final vectors by hand...

The final result is easy to work with in CAD programs, you can extrude it...etc

If you need more information about the process to do this, ask about it, but as you can see is easy.

Regards:
Bodhy
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by:monte70
ID: 1112734
smart guy, thanks a bunch
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Expert Comment

by:adunz
ID: 24218921
There is also a program called Vector Magic (http://vectormagic.com/desktop)
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