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Struggling to get started with graphics

Started by mattc, September 07, 2020, 09:22:10 AM

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So I've been building pedals off and on for a long time (I started back when Bean was selling etched boards).  However, I've never done any graphics for them.  I've always used a sharpie or stamps.   I'd like to do some more interesting graphics but I'm struggling to get started.

I have a drill template in PDF (some from Bean, some from pedalpcb).  I want to pull that into a graphics program and then use that as a starting point to add graphics so that my labels and whatnot are in the right place.

Here's what I can't do.... I can't import the drill template from PDF into any graphics program without the template getting resized.  I'm happy to use Inkscape, Gimp,, whatever... I'm not looking to do fancy things, just some labels.

Here's what I'm starting with:

Any suggestions on how to import the PDF without it resizing would be greatly appreciated.  I really want to make things that look nicer than just a stamp :(


Just about all the mbp projects have a drill file in psd format in the zip. I think those can be imported to Gimp. Or, there might be some preference setting in Gimp for opening pdfs that you need to change.


Check what the DPI of the pdf is. It's probably listed in the documents properties but I think where it's listed changes from program to program.

Open a new file in your graphics program and make sure the DPI is set to the same.

That said, my solution to this is a little more quick and dirty. I do the measurements as best I can from the enclosure that I've already drilled and use that as my starting point. I keep everything simple, no rotation indicator lines or anything, that way if stuff is a little off here or there it's not very noticeable. Then when I go to print sometimes I'll print a couple that are sized slightly larger or smaller and just see what works best


You should be able to import the pdf's into Inkscape, how i did it all the time. If they do resize you can use Inkscape to correct the sizing.

Get the Vector pack of pedal parts, its great for helping to visualize the finished design.

If you have an already drilled box you can scan that, open it in Inkscape then do your design over that.

There are a few things i couldn't work around with Inkscape with graphic manipulation, GIMP easily took care of those and then taken back to Inkscape to finish the projects.

"If you always do what you always did- you always get what you always got." - Unknown

If my photos are missing again... they're hosted by photobucket... and as of 06/2017 being held hostage... to be continued?


Photoshop has always worked for me.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Pedal building is like the opposite of sex.  All the fun stuff happens before you get in the box.


Thanks all.  I got a basic design made for a green bean.   Now to figure out the water slide decal.....


Sniff around here for decal tutorials. Lots of info. Keep an open mind because decal stock from different sources acts differently. Nothing major, you just have to adjust your touch and soak times.  Finishing pedals is the most difficult part of the build for me but there are a ton of wizards amongst us :-)
Gordy Power
How loud is too loud?  What?


I tried a couple programs and liked for easy of use and low learning curve. Its got a decent feature set but not as expansive as adobe photo shop but I keep it pretty simple. I have templates set up for various size enclosures and use the vector pedal pack as well. This video was a good tutorial that gave me a basic workflow and starting point.
Who the hell is Bucky?


Quote from: Giannaapom on May 14, 2022, 11:06:15 AM
I tried to work with graphics, I don't want to anymore

Hobby store - small ink stamps - Stazon ink.


Not sure about other apps, but if Photoshop is overkill for you maybe have a look at Affinity Photo. It's around $50 and has a similar feature set. To open a PDF in Affinity: Choose Open and select your PDF file. You'll get a dialog box like this where you can select the page that has the drill template. Select your DPI (dots per inch), I usually do 300 DPI. Your drill template will open and be ready to print at 300 DPI. Do your graphics in the file, then when you're ready to print just make sure it's set to print at 100% and not scaling your image up or down. Let us know if you need more help, we all have gone through this.