Using KG Chart and Making Patterns

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Servotron
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Using KG Chart and Making Patterns

Postby Servotron » Fri May 01, 2009 7:01 am

This is my attempt at making a guide to using the free Cross Stitch software KG Chart, which can be found here. I'm not going to discuss the pros and cons of this program, as we already have a tread for that here. This also includes my methods for making a pattern, I don't know everything about this program, but I'll try to cover as much as I can. I'm going to go through two tutorials here, one for a straight up sprite, and one for a picture that isn't a sprite or needs resizing.

1. Sprites in KG Chart

Firstly I'm going to import a sprite into KG Chart. Once KG Chart is open, I need to go to File, then Import.
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guide002.png
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I'm going to make a pattern of this Sonic sprite, so I open it from my computer.
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guide003.png
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This is the screen that pops up. Title obviously means the title of the pattern. Cloth means the type of fabric you are using. I'm unsure about Cloth Name, I just leave it blank and just put 2 in Linen Th./One Stitch. Thread Count means the count of the aida you are using. I generally use 18 count aida so that's what I put in the H box. The V box will automatically change. Make sure that the count/inch is checked, not the Linen Th./cm box, and leave the Rect box unchecked, unless you are using a rectangular fabric. Chart Size: On the right we can see that the box tells us what the size of the original sprite is (119 x 113 pixels). For sprite conversions, we really want 1 pixel = 1 stitch so the Width (ct) and Height (ct) boxes need to match the original Width and Height. (Occasionally, the program will tell you the wrong size of your image. Always check it against the original file size.) Underneath you choose either DMC or Danish Flower thread, though you most likely would leave it on DMC. For Colours I generally leave the number high. KG Chart won't add colours for a simple sprite like this, so its best to leave it high unless you want to reduce the amount of colours on purpose.
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Press OK.
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guide005.png
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This is the view that you will get, or at least very similar. The first six symbols (Right to Left) underneath File, Edit etc are New Chart, Open, Save, Cut, Copy and Paste. The two arrows are Undo and Redo. The six boxes with increasingly larger squares controls the magnification of the pattern. (Basically a zoom tool). The next button, a square with an X inside, is Show Mark. This turns on and off the symbols on the pattern. (You will need to zoom in a little until you can see them turn on and off). The next button is Show Mesh and this controls the grid on the pattern in the same way. (Again, zoom in). The last button that looks like a cross stitch is Real View and shows what your pattern looks like if it was stitched. (And again, zoom in to see).
Last edited by Servotron on Sun May 03, 2009 11:13 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Servotron
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Re: Using KG Chart

Postby Servotron » Fri May 01, 2009 7:06 am

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guide006.png
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This is the editing part of KG Chart. I'm sure that most of you have used a basic graphics program but starting at the top, going left to right, the buttons are:
    Selection Tool
    Sliding Hand Tool
    Pick Colour- This will switch back to the previous tool once a colour has been picked. (i.e Pencil- Pick Colour- Pencil).
    Eraser- You can choose the size of the brush.
    Pencil- Only works on one pixel/stitch at a time, but you choose what kind of stitch to use: Full Cross Stitch, Three Quarter Stitch, Half Cross, Quarter Stitch or Petite Cross Stitch. (See Pic)
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    guide007.png
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    Paintbrush- You can choose the size of the brush.
    Flood Fill
    Line tool- You can choose a full line, a dotted line or a dashed line.
    Box fill
    Frame- Like the Line tool, you can choose a full line, a dotted line or a dashed line.
    Ellipse
    Ellipse Frame- Like the Line tool, you can choose a full line, a dotted line or a dashed line.
On the right of the screen is the Palette. (See guide005.png in first post) The two boxes at the top show the currently selected colours and the colour of the fabric. The fabric colour can be changed by going to Chart, Sheet Colour. Underneath shows the number of colours and the number of stitches. Next to this is a button with an exclamation mark. This recounts the stitches in the pattern, so any time a change is made to the pattern this button will recount the colours.
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guide008.png
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The Selected tab underneath shows the colours in the pattern. Occasionally (like in this case) the program will add colours to the list that won't actually be in the pattern. These can be deleted without affecting the pattern. You do this by Right-clicking on the colour. You can also change the symbol and/or the colour.
From here you can either Print or expect the chart. To print you go to File, Print. You can set the size of the chart, colour, mesh, mark, thread table, etc.
To export a chart to a graphics file, you need to go to File, Export.
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guide009.png
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Choose 'Current View'. This exports the pattern as seen in the window, so you need to make sure that the pattern is magnified enough to be able to see the symbols.
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guide010.png
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The 'Raw Image' option puts out a graphics file that is the same as the original image, but is twice the size, for some reason (i.e 119 x 113 pixels becomes 238 x 226 pixels). That about covers it for the first part. The second part should be a bit shorter, as I don't need to explain as much.
Last edited by Servotron on Fri May 01, 2009 8:14 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Using KG Chart

Postby Servotron » Fri May 01, 2009 7:36 am

2. Non-sprites in KG Chart.

For a start, read Johloh's guide on making patterns from non-sprites here.

Making a pattern from a picture file is a case of trial and error and some editing skills. The first thing to do is choose a picture.
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guide011.jpg
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It doesn't really matter what kind of file type you are using, although JPEG's can be annoying if they are badly compressed. You really want a picture that is the same size or larger than the pattern you want to make. The first thing to do is work out how big you want the finished piece to be. It also help if you know the count of the fabric that you are going to be using. Let's say that I want the height of the piece to be 12 inches on 18 count aida. This means that I want the height of the pattern to be 216 pixels/stitches. (12 inches x 18 count= 216 stitches tall).
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guide012.png
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This is the picture I get (without any editing) from KG Chart. Slightly blurry, and with 96 colours. It may be that the amount of colours is too many. We can reduce the amount of colours by opening up the original image in a graphics program. You need one of the more powerful programs in order to do this, so something like Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro or GIMP. There is also a plug-in for Paint.net called Selective Palette which works in a similar way. I'll be using GIMP. Once you have opened the picture into your graphics program, you need to go to Image, Mode, Indexed.
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This box will pop up. You can play with the settings here if you want. For now I'm going to use the Generate optimum palette option and reduce the number of colours to 100. While this number is still quite high, I'm betting on KG Chart reducing the number of colours further once I import the indexed picture in.
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guide015.png
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You can also choose to resize the picture now, but I'm going to let KG Chart take care of that in this case.
Last edited by Servotron on Fri May 01, 2009 8:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Servotron
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Re: Using KG Chart

Postby Servotron » Fri May 01, 2009 8:12 am

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guide016.png
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It looks roughly the same, with 95 colours instead of 96, so I was wrong about KG Chart reducing the colours. I think the resizing process in KG Chart makes it add colours as it becomes more blurry. It seems to be better if it is resized in a graphics program beforehand.

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guide019.png
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This one that I pixelated, resized and sharpened (in that order) using the effects in Paint.net. I then indexed it down to 80 colours in GIMP. This gave me 58 colours in KG Chart, which is a bit more manageable.

I could probably reduce it more, but this is just an example. Either way this takes more time than a sprite and like I said at the beginning of this section, trial and error until you are happy with the pattern.

I think that covers everything I can think of. I hope this is helpful to you. Feel free to add any tips, tricks or advice you think I might have missed, or any questions you might have.

-Servotron
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Re: Using KG Chart (Finished)

Postby Zopa » Fri May 01, 2009 9:59 am

This thread is amazing.

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Re: Using KG Chart (Finished)

Postby LiquidKarma » Fri May 01, 2009 10:00 am

Brilliant! I'm so glad you posted this!

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Re: Using KG Chart (Updated 03/05/09)

Postby Servotron » Sun Jun 28, 2009 6:58 am

The creator of KG Chart now has a support forum on his website. It can be found here: http://www.iktsoft.net/kgchart-en/supportbbs/.
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Re: Using KG Chart and Making Patterns (Updated 03/05/09)

Postby Servotron » Thu Jan 07, 2010 1:46 pm

A Small Note on using Text

When using text in a project, be sure to turn off Anti-Aliasing. This will turn off the smoothness of the letters, making them unblurry and making them pixellated.
(Results will vary depending on what font you are using).

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shonz
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Re: Using KG Chart and Making Patterns

Postby shonz » Sat Jan 23, 2010 2:22 pm

First time poster!

Has anyone else had trouble downloading the KG file? It doesn't download as an .exe file. I'm using Windows 7.

I've also commented on the KG support forum, so hopefully someone will have an answer :grin:

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Re: Using KG Chart and Making Patterns

Postby Wolfix » Sun Jan 24, 2010 7:39 am

Just change the file extension (.download) to .exe and it will open. Someone's played sillybuggers when naming the file... :thumbsup:
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