How to convert a JPG picture into a vector drawing forexperimentation

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Danny D, May 4, 2013.

  1. Danny D

    Danny D Guest

    I would like freeware to convert a JPG photo into whatever format I
    need so that I can "arrange" pumps and pipes around in the drawing
    to determine an efficient setup (few elbows, no pipes running over pumps,
    etc.).

    Have you ever done that process of arranging blocks in a photo?

    Here's how I tried it (but maybe there is a better way)?

    I started with this crude photo of the current pump setup:
    http://www2.picturepush.com/photo/a/12845175/img/12845175.jpg

    Here's a quick 1-step conversion to a pencil drawing with The GIMP:
    {GIMP}Filters->Edge Detect->Difference of Gaussians
    http://www3.picturepush.com/photo/a/12845181/640/12845181.jpg

    Here's a quick conversion of the photo to vector format in Inkscape:
    {Inkscape}Edit->Select All
    {Inkscape}Path->Trace Bitmap->(o)Edge detection->Update->OK

    Inkscape saves a vector diagram, but I can't upload that SVG file; so I'll
    instead save as a PNG and upload that (but assume all lines are now
    vectors in the Inkscape SVG or DXF file):
    http://www4.picturepush.com/photo/a/12845402/img/12845402.png

    This takes seconds to do; so my question starts from here:

    Given this conversion of the photo to either a pencil drawing or to
    a vector diagram - what freeware would you use to experimentally arrange
    pumps and plumbing to get an optimal fit?

    Constraints:
    - As few elbows as possible
    - No pipes running over objects
    - Easy access to pump baskets & motors
    - etc.
     
    Danny D, May 4, 2013
    #1
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  2. Danny D

    Danny D Guest

    This one is bigger:
    http://www3.picturepush.com/photo/a/12845181/img/12845181.jpg
     
    Danny D, May 4, 2013
    #2
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  3. Danny D

    harry Guest

    I don't believe software exists that can do that.
    Maybe the reverse.
    This is one job for the human brain.
     
    harry, May 4, 2013
    #3
  4. I don't know if any of them are free, but IIRC there are several pipe
    planner software systems that do this kind of thing, including
    automating some of the routing for you. It might be easier to start
    from that end, and then find out which of them will allow the import
    of some kind of image and work backwards from there.

    No, can't give you any details, I just saw some of them being
    demonstrated many years ago.
     
    Chris Malcolm, May 4, 2013
    #4
  5. Danny D

    Danny D Guest

    Thanks.

    Here's an example of the Hearst Castle from a Google screenshot:
    http://www1.picturepush.com/photo/a/12848249/img/12848249.jpg

    I took a landscaping class at the local recreation department,
    where we did the planning reviews with large paper blueprints.

    In that case, it was all drawn by hand after taking tedious
    measurements, transferring to block paper, & then to blueprints.

    But, the vector blueprint above only took a split second to create
    from a screenshot of Google maps - saving umpteen hours of drawing
    were I to draw on graph paper to scale ... so I was just wondering
    what is out there currently that other people use for blueprints.

    No big deal ... just curious (mostly for landscaping purposes).
     
    Danny D, May 4, 2013
    #5
  6. Danny D

    Danny D Guest

    Thanks.

    I would think there must be software that does this; and I was
    thinking about the problem at night - so the idea hit me to
    plan by looking at a photograph.

    It's daylight now - so I'll do it by eye again.

    Still ... it would be very useful to have the software, simply
    because it must exist, for planning purposes.

    For example, every elbow costs in inefficiency, and every foot
    of pipe costs the builder a dollar. Certainly if they can
    eliminate a connection or two, it saves them double that.

    In fact, were I to start over, I'd make the whole thing gentle
    flowing curves of bent pipe, instead of these sharp elbows.
     
    Danny D, May 4, 2013
    #6
  7. Danny D

    George Guest

    What you described is done everyday. It isn't free and it does require a
    lot more than converting a raster image to a vector image which
    essentially gives you a single shape.

    Absolutely. But there is nothing magical that will do it in a few clicks.
     
    George, May 4, 2013
    #7
  8. Danny D

    Oren Guest

    Would this help? Free for home and personal use.

    <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SketchUp>

    "...includes 2D vector tools,"

    Web site:

    <http://www.sketchup.com/>

    I've never used it but folks say good things...
     
    Oren, May 4, 2013
    #8
  9. Danny D

    harry Guest

    Detailed stuff like that is best left to a skilled/experienced pipe
    fitter.
    Some fart in a design office is sure to cock the job up.
    Just schematic drawings are normally given and the detail left to the
    man executing the work. Who will do a much better job.

    The photograph you show looks like a proper pigs ear.
    Who would want to replicate that?
     
    harry, May 4, 2013
    #9
  10. Danny D

    Oren Guest

    harry found a clue.
    He doesn't want to. Nobody in their right mind would want to.
     
    Oren, May 4, 2013
    #10
  11. Danny D

    Oren Guest

    Congratulations. By the time I hit the AutoCAD learning curve, I
    could just as well use a drafting board, T-squares and some tools to
    design a pool pump system.

    I never plan to build a space ship using AutoCAD :)
     
    Oren, May 4, 2013
    #11
  12. Danny D

    Tegger Guest




    The OP is asking for quite a lot. He's basically asking for 3D-modeling
    software that is capable of recognizing exactly what the photograph shows,
    and drafting it so as to create an editable 3D scene. Wouldn't that be nice
    if it existed!

    Somebody mentioned Google SketchUp. That's about as close as the OP will
    come to free 3D software. It's actually pretty good but, like all 3D
    programs, requires that you enter the elements in by hand (or by brain,
    mouse, and keyboard). However, once in, it's easy enough to push and pull
    stuff around and get what you need. I've tried SketchUp, but since I
    already use 3DSMax for work, it's not something I want to invest the time
    to learn. A designer at one of our suppliers uses SketchUp as her 3D
    program; she's learned it well enough to make some pretty nice 3D
    renderings.
     
    Tegger, May 4, 2013
    #12
  13. Danny D

    Danny D Guest

    Looks like Trimble SketchUp is the suggested raster-to-2D vector program
    for small one-time home projects such as that which I contemplate.

    Googling for a Linux version, I find the closest 1:1 replacement appears
    to be the open-source Blender

    Features:
    http://www.blender.org/features-gallery

    Download:
    http://www.blender.org/download/get-blender

    I'll test this sequence out:
    a. Snap a photograph (or screenshot from Google Maps Satellite View)
    b. Convert to 2D vector diagram (with Inkscape or equivalent)
    c. Read into 2D/3D CAD software (need to test with Blender)

    I'll see what I can do to write up a tutorial for small homeowner
    projects; and report back when/if successful.
     
    Danny D, May 5, 2013
    #13
  14. Danny D

    Dick Alvarez Guest

    Oren wrote <<By the time I hit the AutoCAD learning
    curve, I could just as well use a drafting board, T-
    squares and some tools to design a pool pump system.

    I never plan to build a space ship using AutoCAD :)>>

    Life can be made easier in many ways, by investing in a
    learning curve. I am thankful that I learned drafting the
    old way, with drafting boards, T-squares, triangles,
    protractors, etc., then drafting machines, and finally
    life became *enormously* easier and neater and more
    accurate with CAD. Same for many modern instruments and
    machines. AutoCAD even helps me with photography. Sure,
    it takes time to learn, and you never stop learning it.
    But if you do much drafting at all, that learning pays
    great dividends.

    I suggest starting with AutoCAD LT. It can do
    everything that a T-square and triangles and protractor
    etc. can do, and it is much less expensive and easier to
    learn. If you use it much at all, it will grow on you.

    If the pool pump system is the *only* thing that you
    ever will design, then probably best to stay with the
    T-square etc. But if you want to go at all beyond that,
    then go for AutoCAD LT.
     
    Dick Alvarez, May 5, 2013
    #14
  15. Danny D

    Dick Alvarez Guest

    Oren wrote <<By the time I hit the AutoCAD learning
    curve, I could just as well use a drafting board, T-
    squares and some tools to design a pool pump system.

    I never plan to build a space ship using AutoCAD :)>>

    Life can be made easier in many ways, by investing in a
    learning curve. I am thankful that I learned drafting the
    old way, with drafting boards, T-squares, triangles,
    protractors, etc., then drafting machines, and finally
    life became *enormously* easier and neater and more
    accurate with CAD. Same for many modern instruments and
    machines. AutoCAD even helps me with photography. Sure,
    it takes time to learn, and you never stop learning it.
    But if you do much drafting at all, that learning pays
    great dividends.

    I suggest starting with AutoCAD LT. It can do
    everything that a T-square and triangles and protractor
    etc. can do, and it is much less expensive and easier to
    learn. If you use it much at all, it will grow on you.

    If the pool pump system is the *only* thing that you
    ever will design, then probably best to stay with the
    T-square etc. But if you want to go at all beyond that,
    then go for AutoCAD LT.
     
    Dick Alvarez, May 5, 2013
    #15
  16. Danny D

    harry Guest

    You use flexible pipes rather than rigid ones that need all those
    fittings.
     
    harry, May 5, 2013
    #16
  17. Danny D

    Danny D Guest

    Excellent post! Thank you very much!

    BTW, my pumps, which are 8 feet below the pool, leak at the inlets, and
    always have (about 500 gallons every few days) ... and they were put in
    fitting-to-fitting so tightly that a damn professional must have done
    it 'cuz they didn't waste an inch on extra piping!

    I had to cut the fittings off just to unscrew them from the pumps (to
    fix the leak); so, while the plumbing is off, I'm relocating the pumps
    back a few feet in order to gain room, piping, & removable couplings!
    True. I should have placed a ruler in the picture for dimensions!
    They're all two inch pipes - but that isn't accurate for an OD.
    Aha! Nice idea! I like that it works on Linux also!
    http://www.3ds.com/products/draftsight/download-draftsight/
    So the four JPEG-to-CAD freeware programs suggested are:
    1. Trimble SketchUp (not on Linux though)
    http://www.sketchup.com/intl/en/download/index.html
    2. Blender (open source)
    http://www.blender.org/download
    3. Draftsight (free with a few minor strings)
    http://www.3ds.com/products/draftsight/download-draftsight/
    4. Flexihose

    Unfortunately, I couldn't find the site for flexihose.
    Is this it?
    http://www.feihu-hose.com/download/download.php?lang=en&class1=31&class2=54
     
    Danny D, May 5, 2013
    #17
  18. Danny D

    Danny D Guest

    Thanks for providing the nucleus for a tutorial!
    I'll save this for use when testing it out.
     
    Danny D, May 5, 2013
    #18
  19. Danny D

    Danny D Guest

    I had not thought of that method prior, but Inkscape freeware
    (and I'm sure Trimble SketchUp, Blender, & Draftsight) can
    import the picture so we can draw over the lines also.

    This would create 3D objects in a layer on top of the line drawing.

    http://www3.picturepush.com/photo/a/12859991/img/12859991.jpg
     
    Danny D, May 5, 2013
    #19
  20. Danny D

    Tommy Guest


    Had a job finding a supplier in US
    But hereyago

    http://www.contractorsdirect.com/General-Tools/Water-Pump-Accessories/Wacker-Hose-Accessories-Pumps

    Cheers
    Tommy
     
    Tommy, May 5, 2013
    #20
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