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Thread: Pixels or Vectors for our online colouring project?

  1. #1
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    Pixels or Vectors for our online colouring project?

    I'm looking for any advice on how we can create a system to allow users to change the colour within a graphic using a predetermined palette.

    The website sells printed textile patterns and we want the user to be able to specify the colour in their design and see it with the new colour. It would need to work on PC and mobile platforms.

    Designs are created using a proprietary pixel based CAD system. Converting the files into vectors / illustrator files would be possible but far from ideal. The only solution I've heard so far uses SVG files which will be limited and a total ballache.

    As I see it we have a few options when preparing / exporting the files for use in an online colouring system:

    1) For simple, flat colour designs we could export to GIF files including a colour table of the separated colours.

    2) As GIFs would not work for more complex tonal designs we could export to a Multi Channel TIFF where each colour have itís own spot channel.

    3) Alternatively each colour could be saved as an separate file (in any raster based file format) where they could be used as masks.

    Any advice or links to relevant resources would be gratefully recieved.

    Nick

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  3. #2
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    I haven't worked with printed textile patterns before, but I have worked with similar concepts to what you're describing (t-shirt colors, etc.)

    I've seen one and only one thing that works, and it's not inexpensive. Here are the steps:

    1) Get a high-resolution photograph of one of your textiles in one color. Make sure the shot is tight enough that it doesn't have a background.
    2) Either repeat using the other textiles/colors or use Photoshop to replace the textile color with other colors.
    3) Export all resulting textiles to JPG and use Javascript or some other technique to swap the color images.

    The major part of this isn't the coding, but the photograph work. Depending on the number of textiles and colors and the various combinations, you could be looking at a hefty photography bill.
    NickThom likes this.
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  4. #3
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    Thanks, that's given me a totally different way of looking at it.

    All the designs are digital files (and then digitally printed) so it's easy to change the colours in the CAD system.

    I was thinking that the process would need to be dynamic but actually your idea of having pre-prepared images that are delivered to the user when they click on a colour in the palette is so much simpler.

    Thanks again.

  5. #4
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    No worries, Nick.

    It's not only done on websites, but companies such as Fireplace Products International use it for their "build a fireplace" apps that they give to dealers in order to generate customer quotes, etc.
    If I've helped you out in any way, please pay it forward. My wife and I are walking for Autism Speaks. Please donate, and thanks.

    If someone helped you out, be sure to "Like" their post and/or help them in kind. The "Like" link is on the bottom right of each post, beside the "Share" link.

    My stuff (well, some of it): My bowling alley site | Canadian Postal Code Info (beta)


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