How can I best simplify an image in order to make a cross-stitch pattern? Whether in PCStitch or in another image editor.
For the uninitiated - cross stitch is a form of embroidery which is mostly done in square stitches (pixel art translates well to the medium) but can also include outline stitching, dots (french knots) and half / 3/4 squares for more detail. Here's some example charts
I want to use PCStitch to make some patterns based on images I already have or will scan in. I'd ideally like these to be a single or similar colour palette, similar to this design
which uses the same shade of thread but different thicknesses for shading.
However, I tried with two sample images yesterday (I haven't decided to buy the program yet, so I'm just playing with the demo which won't let me save). The program converts everything into the square stitches only, so there's a lot of shading - I want to limit my colours and have crisper, finer details, and I don't know how to do this. I've tried using IrfanView to limit the colour palette in the actual image, but it seems to turn it into something muddy and crude. What I want to do is be able to import a picture and then use this as a starting point to create my design, using the original to fill in the details manually. (I can't draw at all.)
came through looking pretty good, but only in the square stitches meant I lost some of the clarity on the details. I tried edititing the lettering but it looked weird and blobby, as though it was sat on top of the image rather than part of it, if you see what I mean. (Searching for it has turned up this rubber stamp
version, which is probably closer to the starting point I wanted!)
My second trial run
worked a bit better, but I lost the gradient effect (if that's the right word) on the background lines, which is the kind of thing I might use different thicknesses of thread for.
I also tried with a two-colour image
(the original was simple white on blue)to see what happened - which worked really nicely and just would have required me to turn some of the square stitches into three-quarter ones to get a smoother image. Yet the reasonably monochrome ones I was playing with didn't give anywhere near a good result.
Any ideas? Is there an easy way to do this that will allow me to add in the details without getting really frustrated?