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Thread: Laserboy: Optimize or Minimize?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    229

    Default Laserboy: Optimize or Minimize?

    Okay, here's my question for Laserboy users (or the author)...

    When trying to reduce the point counts on an image, which is better to use from the letter 'h' menu (the one that says frame transforms):
    i - minimize or q - optimize? When I use q it seems to add a ton of extra "points" and increases the "vertices," but saving that still reduces the point count. When I do the i command, I see the vertices number drop and I see where the reduced point patterns actually are. Since both seem to do exactly the same thing, what's the diff?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    DC/VA metro area, USA
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    554

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    Minimize removes all points that are not necessary to represent the shape you've drawn, within certain constraints. For example, if you have a long straight line, minimize will remove all points along the line. This means the line would scan as fast as possible, which is not really a good idea for scanners. It will also remove points along a curve if the angle formed by the jump to the 'next' point is less than the angle configured in the optimization settings. This is good for reducing point count in auto-traced artwork, such as you get out of BMP2ILD. I DO NOT RECOMMEND PROJECTING 'MINIMIZED' ART. You'll hear a lot of high-frequency squawking out of your scanners, and it's probably not good.

    OPTIMIZE adds and removes points according to the optimization settings you've defined. Optimize will respect the "maximum distance between lit points" and "maximum distance between dark points" settings, among others. "Optimize" is the setting you want to use last before saving the file and seeing how it looks. When you run OPTIMIZE, you will notice it puts points back in straight lines to keep the scanners from trying to go too fast and also keeping the line illumination more even in the curves and in the straights. If you have a lot of points in the curves and few in the straights, the corners will look bright and the lines will look fainter.

    Typically, this is what I did with LB: Bring in a piece of traced art from BMP2ILD, run MINIMIZE, adjust corners and other blatant errors, and then OPTIMIZE.

    You MUST adjust the settings in the settings page with respect to your scanner speed, minimum and maximum distance between dark and lit points, minimum angle to keep points in curves, and the rest of the settings to see what looks good on your scanners. I find that with careful adjustment of those parameters, you can get some really reasonable looking stuff. Don't get too hung up on the actual values, just move them in a direction that makes things better until it starts to make things look worse and then go back to the best setting.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    DC/VA metro area, USA
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    Default

    OH, and another thing to consider; if you import the resulting ILD file into another program and project it, that program may further "optimize" the point sequence in its own internal processing during projection. It's hard to know what's actually being sent to the DAC in terms of 'points' after those behind-the-scenes algorithms have had their say.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    My momentum is too precisely determined :S
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    1,771

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    Always optimise a file before sending it into a projector, but if you are importing art into another program (with its own optimisation), it's better to just minimise.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    229

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    Wow, I figured this wouldn't be an easy "set a few values and forget it" kinda thing... BTW: What settings page? I didn't see anything on where to set the scanner speed... Still, must be a setting page I missed... I have been getting good results with BMP2ILD, of course once optimization comes into play, no telling WHAT results I will get. Sometimes it looks great, other times it glitches, other times I think, damn I really DO need new scanners (llol)...
    \

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Akron, Ohio USA
    Posts
    1,461

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    Check out what you get when you hit the [Tab] key from the main menu.

    Note the default settings work well with a modified sound card DAC running at 48KHz.

    Then [esc] back to main and check out the x menu.

    Also important to note that you need to disable option "a minimizes ild, dxf, txt" in the output options of menu x if you want to save your art with anything other than minimized points.

    Once you get your settings the way you want them, you can go to 'o' to output a file. Choose option "6 wtf" and save the default name of [LaserBoy.wtf]. Just hit [enter].

    This is your settings file and it will load every time you start LaserBoy. You can also save wtf files of other names and load them after LaserBoy has already started.

    James.
    Last edited by james; 09-07-2014 at 15:47.
    Creator of LaserBoy!
    LaserBoy is free and runs in Windows, MacOSX and Linux.
    https://laserboy.org/code/LaserBoy_Current.zip
    http://theamerikans.org/LaserBoy

    https://laserboy.org/formatt/
    Ask me about my LaserBoy Correction Amp Kit for sale!

    Either do or do not do. There is no undo!

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