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Old 12-12-2006, 17:04
dan
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Default Paint By Numbers Utility

Hi there,

I'm hoping to create a "paint by number" book for my kids that uses vectorized versions of family photos (see attached example). I used CorelTrace to simplify the photo into a "cartoon" and now I want to replace the color fill with a number that can be tied to a "color key" for the image. I will also remove the fill color and turn on the outlines once the numbering step is done.

I've got two problems that are holding me up:

1. first, i would like to merge small polygons (that will be too labor intensive to color in) into the larger polygon that they fall "within." I realize that this might remove some of the detail... but that's ok since it's for kids afterall. i know about i can use the weld tool, but is there a way to do this in batch where you simply select all polgyons less than a certain size threshhold and have them get merged into their repsective "background" polygons. i wouldn't think so.

2. second, i'm not sure how to obtain or create a "label" representing the color and place it inside the polygon. can anyone tell me whether this is a feature that might be built into corel or is it something that one would have to write a script for (i would not be able to do it, i don't think). i know how to create a color palette from a selection and i would assume that that would be a step in the workflow for the script (assuming the utility doesn't exist already).

Alex, I'm betting this is something that you might be able to do with ease. If so... and if you think it's a utility of equal merit to something like your jigsaw puzzle creator... would you perhaps be up the for the challenge?

Thanks in advance,
Dan
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Last edited by dan; 12-12-2006 at 17:09.
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Old 13-12-2006, 07:47
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I think this is a really cool idea and would love to see the final version.

Having said that, I think your best bet is to see if you can limit your tracings to 20 colors or less. If you keep them the same amount of colors each time, a script would be the way to go to set up the numbering inside the "objects".

First, are you using X3 (because the trace engine in X3 is vastly different than in previous versions)? Second, are you planning to allow them to add photos themselves or are you going to have a determined set of pictures? You can automate the Trace function in X3 if they are going o put in their own photos. I would like to be able to help with this if possible, but we need a little more info.

Also, please tell me this is not for X-mas 2006. I'm hoping that this is just a "whenever-it-gets-done" type of thing. That would be a lot of coding to do in just a week and a half.
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Old 13-12-2006, 08:19
dan
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thanks for your response!

i'm using Corel 11 and therefor cannot envision how the workflow might change (be made easier) if X3 is assumed. i was hoping to use it as a stocking stuffer for xmas 2006 but it's no biggie to turn it into a valentine's day present instead.

good point about limiting the colors to reduce complexity. i was initially worried that this would eliminate some of the complexity that makes the picture somewhat realistic... but i have to keep in mind attention spans and the number of colors available in a crayola box.... especially if it makes the code easier. i did find with v11 that small changes in the compexity options make huge differences in the result. whenever i shot for 20 colors or so, i usually got huge areas that were all the same color and many tiny areas that were many different colors. i might have to ask for an upgrade to X3 for xmas to see how it works (hopefully you meant "vastly improved" by "vastly different").

i'm not expecting the kids to execute the process themselves.... i'm not sure i want to let them near the computer until i get better about my "routine" backup procedure.

i'm also not expecting the entire workflow to be embedded into an interface. i was hoping to just get the indexing and labeling part done... as it's the most crucial feature of a "color-by-number" utility. the small polygons issue is something that i can live with... i won't even put a number on them and use the excuse that i'm trying to encourage artistic flare within the more rigid framework.
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Old 13-12-2006, 09:05
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I have to say, I never thought of the fact that you might want to print these out and let the kids color them by hand. I was thinking a color by number script that would allow them to select a color in a given palette and then fill the objects with said color. If you get X3 (highly recommended) you will notice a lot of new features, like the smart fill tool (could be useful here) and the trace engine is way better. There are some that would disagree here, because it is integrated directly into Draw and some of the tracing features from earlier versions were left out, but the overall quality of the traces and coloring option is much better.
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Old 14-12-2006, 10:22
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Quote:
I think this is a really cool idea and would love to see the final version.
Same here. What a great Idea. combiining that with into a calendar would be a nifty little deal.
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Old 20-12-2006, 12:50
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Default RE: Paint By Numbers Utility

That is a really great idea.
If you had X3 and kept the number of colors down a bit, one can tell the name and RGB of the colors used as shown on the colors tab in the Trace utility
Since you do not have X3 then It may be good to convert to 256 colors first

I haven't tried to automate Trace yet, but a macro could be developed to Select by Color and Group/Weld the For Each Selection Set.

There is a Find Wizard which lets one specify a color fill to select by
hope this helps
Craig
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