Accuscan Photo Digitizing vs Digitizing Table. What's best?

BionicBionic
edited May 10 in Digitizer
Hello!   I am a brand new member here and plan on being really active here on the forum because I have so much to learn!

I have an apparel business located in the Dallas Fort Worth Texas metroplex and we currently do every thing manually.  We are now in the process of going digital!  One decision I am faced with is to go with Accuscan Photo Digitizing or a Digitizing Table.  Are there any case studies that I can read that show the benefits of 1 over the other?  Perhaps some of the members here can chime in on which they feel in more efficient and why?

We have about 50 styles in hard pattern format that I will need to get input into the PDS.

Are there any other options available to me to get all my hard patterns into the PDS?

Do you know of any companies or freelancers located in the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex that I could maybe contract to have the digitizing done for me?

After I get all my hard pattern into the PDS, I am not sure how often I will have the need for the Digitizing Table.  Do people sell used Digitizing Tables?  If so, perhaps it would be best to buy a used one?

Thanks!   Looking forward to discussing this with you all!

Comments

  • If you're not digitizing or inputting on a regular basis I would recommend getting AccuScan over a digitizing table.  The table takes up some room whereas AccuScan is just a mat on the wall.  I think it's better to have AccuScan then to rely on an outside source for your pattern input.  Even if you only have 50 styles do you know that you will never have new styles?  And welcome to the wonderful world of Gerber! I know I couldn't live without my software!  I have both AccuScan and a table, and although I do prefer the table (but I am always inputting all kinds of patterns) if I were in your situation I would use my AccuScan.  I do know of services but not in the Dallas/FW area. 
  • LisaEngel said:
    If you're not digitizing or inputting on a regular basis I would recommend getting AccuScan over a digitizing table.  The table takes up some room whereas AccuScan is just a mat on the wall.  I think it's better to have AccuScan then to rely on an outside source for your pattern input.  Even if you only have 50 styles do you know that you will never have new styles?  And welcome to the wonderful world of Gerber! I know I couldn't live without my software!  I have both AccuScan and a table, and although I do prefer the table (but I am always inputting all kinds of patterns) if I were in your situation I would use my AccuScan.  I do know of services but not in the Dallas/FW area. 
    @LisaEngel, your input is so valuable!  I was hoping I would find someone that has both types!  I would assume that Accuscan is just as accurate as the Table, what has your experience been when comparing the output of Accuscan vs a Table?
  • With both methods, there is a little cleanup of the parts.  When using AccuScan you want to have relatively clean parts, if the front of them is dirty and the edges are rounded you would be better off to re-trace the patterns onto a piece of paper, this way you will have less clean-up later on.  Also with AccuScan a key to this is lighting, you want to have no glare or shadows to cut down on the cleanup.  
    Are your patterns old hard paper with rounded corners?
  • BionicBionic
    edited May 10
    I did a demo of the Accumark Cloud software which has the Accuscan Module installed to use.  Here you can see the type of hard patterns we use, and the initial results of the Cloud Accuscan software.

    I thought that was a pretty good conversion for my 1st time.

    But I have never used a Digitizing Table before so I don't know how much more efficient the Accuscan method is, or not.
  • Wow!  That looks great. 

  • I took this photo using a Canon DSLR paired with the Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 USM macro lens.  This particular lens has the lowest pincushion distortion at 0.03%.  Which means that as long as you have the camera parallel to the patterns, it will take a photo that has no distortion.  The bad part is that the lens is 60mm.  That will require you to have a good amount of distance between the camera position and the patterns.  In the photo I attached, I think the camera position was at least 20 feet away from the patterns.

    Perhaps @Lisa Lowell can answer this question?

    If I were to use the Accumark Cloud software, is it possible to order the photo calibration mat that comes with the regular Accuscan software? Does the cloud version of AccuScan that is included in the Cloud Accumark software support calibrating the images first before it converts it?

    That way I wouldn't have to do the calibration my self via special lens and it would enable me to use a wider angle lens that has more distortion.  Then leave the Cloud Accuscan Software the job of correcting the image.


  • @Bionic Welcome to Gerber Community. We've been through the same situation that you are in now. We've left the manual digitizing on a digitizer table 2 years ago when we started using Photo-digitizing. Now we produce 50 styles per week. Photo-Digitizing a combo of Time-saving, Space-Saving and material-Saving. Also you've option to make it fixed or portable (while Table Digitizing is not much portable). 

    And there are many freelancers in my area who can help you with that but they are far away from you and will charge reasonable price for their services...
  • @MuhammadOwais, Which photo digitizing system do you use?

    Getting the patterns into the PDS is just the 1st step. After that we need to learn how to grade them using the PDS.

    I think the fastest way for us to learn is to find someone that can act as a a tasked based instructor and pay them for 1 on 1 training.  The training could be done via screenshare with audio if need be.

    How many hours do you think it would take to teach somene the task of grading a women's long sleeve blouse to 9 sizes? We already have all our finished sizing definitions from xs though 5x.

    Maybe someone in the community here has availability to be our personal instructor.  If so please message me your rate, contact info, & availability.  @MuhammadOwais please feel free to also send me the info of the freelancers in your area.

    Thanks.

  • @Bionic We are Not using AccuScan by Gerber. We've an other software which i think not allowed to mention here on Gerber Community. But it works same as AccuScan and with any hardware (Even Mobile). It's also a 1 step digitizing.

    Secondly, PDS is easy to learn as Gerber has made its Interface by keeping in mind of an average user. I've used many CAD Software but found the Gerber AccuMark the most easy to learn and Operate. I'll try to contact some of my freelancer friends and will see if they can train you through distance learning platform or something. 
    But first of all you've to share some stats like which version of Gerber Software you're using and what type of hardware you've. Also we are 9 hours ahead of you're local time so it will be a little hard to find a suitable schedule. Anyhow I'll do my best to help you...
  • Please I need your help,
    How can I configure the options in Accuscan?
  • Kathy ValadeKathy Valade Gerber Staff 💛
    Regarding training opportunities, I would highly recommend Gerber University! Create an account on gerberu.com so you can see all the courses available to you, including free overviews, virtual instructor-led classes and in-house and onsite options. 
  • @Kathy Valade
    Just created an account. Taking a look through the site now.  Thanks.

    Question.  If I have a question here on the forum that I think may be best answered by someone from Gerber, what is the recommended way to get attention from Gerber here in the forum?

    For example, On a reply in this thread I mentioned the user name of one of the Gerber employees when asking a question that I thought would be best answered by staff..  Is that the best way? Perhaps there is a global user that I can mention that will automatically notify a group of Gerber staff vs one person?

    Thanks..
  • Kathy ValadeKathy Valade Gerber Staff 💛
    edited May 13
    @Bionic,
    Gerber Community is monitored by Gerber employees. Everyone in the community can post and respond, however Gerber employees are reviewing each post and providing you with the most relevant and accurate information.

    If you have additional concerns related to Gerber training options, please email [email protected] and you will be contacted by a Gerber training specialist that can answer your questions and provide you with a customized training plan.
  • BionicBionic
    edited May 13
    Please I need your help,
    How can I configure the options in Accuscan?
    @jotace1102

    Have you had a chance to take a look in Gerber U?
    I see they have 3 videos on Accuscan.  1 of them may contain the answers you seek.

    AccuScan Lesson 1
    Duration: 7 minutes
    This first of three lessons on the AccuScan software features an overview including what AccuScan does, how to install the AccuScan mat, best practices for lighting and camera placement, and how to prepare your patterns for scanning.

    AccuScan Lesson 2
    Duration: 8 minutes
    This second lesson in the AccuScan course includes details on how to create and modify Materials and how to adjust the AccuScan settings.

    AccuScan Lesson 3
    Duration: 12 minutes
    This third and final lesson in the AccuScan course series covers how to scan pieces, including options in the main AccuScan window, how to adjust scanned images, and how to create AccuMark date from the scanned images.
  • @Kathy Valade
    Thanks for taking the time to help me get acquainted with all the wonderful resources that Gerber has provided.  So for a technical question, or a question regarding the capability of an application, would that question be best posted here in the forum or somewhere else?
  • Michael CookseyMichael Cooksey Gerber Staff 💛
    @Bionic welcome to the Community! You can post *any* question you like on the Community. From time to time, however, Gerber Staff may determine that a Community question is too complex to troubleshoot here and point you to the Support team. But, you can always start here!

    By the way, we have a Dallas office with a lovely training room, including a digitizing table  :) If you are interested in in-house training in our office, please email [email protected] 
  • BionicBionic
    edited May 13
    @Michael Cooksey  & @Kathy Valade
    Wow, you all are pretty responsive here, I am impressed.

    So based on what I am learning.  For my use, the Photo digitizing should be strongly considered over the Digitizing Table.  That brings me to the question regarding the Accuscan software module that has to be purchased to be used on 1 single Accumark installation, vs using the Accuscan Cloud version that is included free with the Accumark Cloud Software.

    When I look at the Standalone version of Accuscan they talk about the photo mat and the calibration process.

    Whereas with the Cloud Accuscan, I can't really find any information or guidance regarding if a calibration mat is available for purchase, and if the cloud software will perform any type of calibration of the image...??

    If there is no kind of calibration support in the Cloud Accumark/Accuscan software, is there a "Best Practice" or "Guidance" on how Gerber recommends users of the cloud software to supply undistorted images to Cloud Accuscan?
  • Michael CookseyMichael Cooksey Gerber Staff 💛
    @Bionic thanks for your additional questions. Are you working with a salesperson already, or are you investigating these options on your own? I can connect you with someone who can answer all of your questions for you; but if you already have a sales rep you are in touch with, please let me know.
  • Kathy ValadeKathy Valade Gerber Staff 💛
    AccuScan Camera option requires a mat to be purchased and set up/calibrated in the cloud, or when used with an on-premise license and key.
  • BionicBionic
    edited May 13
    @Michael Cooksey , I think my sales person might be Donna Foss, but I am not certain.  She did provide me the pricing of the Accuscan Standalone Software, the pricing of the Table Digitizer + installation, and  the dimensions of the digitizing table.

    @Kathy Valade
    Cool..  So there is a supporting purchase to the cloud software that will enable the cloud software to calibrate the images that is different from the regular Accuscan Standalone software?  I understand that I would put the patterns on the mat.  But is it an active calibration that happens before the image is saved as a photo, or would I save the photo 1st, then login to the cloud, and upload the saved photo to the calibration software that will exists in the cloud? 

    Would love to get a deeper understanding of exactly what is required and what is different between the calibration process for the standalone accuscan, vs the cloud accuscan.

    Thanks
  • Michael CookseyMichael Cooksey Gerber Staff 💛
    Hi @Bionic, thanks! I will ask someone from the sales team to reach out. They can address a lot of these questions for you. 
  • Patty WatsonPatty Watson Gerber Staff 💛
    AccuScan on premise and AccuScan provided as part of the AccuMark Cloud offering is the same underneath, just a matter of where the software resides, locally or on a cloud pc. 
    The mat provides the software with the scale information for the image, and is part of the image file (saved photo)  When you are taking the photo, be sure all 8 mat targets are present in the image.  
    There is no difference in software behavior, for the cloud, you just have to upload your images to your AccuMark Cloud instance for the software to process them.  
  • BionicBionic
    edited May 13
    @Michael Cooksey Thanks

    @Patty Watson 
    This is exactly what I was wondering about.
    So how do users of the cloud software go about acquiring the mat and 8 targets?  What is this supplemental package that includes only the mat and targets, not the software called so that I can request the pricing from Donna?

    Here is a video from Gerber in 2013 showing the Accuscan software being used.


    So it would work the same way in that video, other than the fact I would be doing this via a remote cloud session?

    Do you have different size mats? I know some of gown patterns and floor length swing skirts patterns are really big.

    Or is the mat not that important? Most important is that all the targets are in the photograph as long as I have a high contrast background.

    Or, am I thinking about this wrong..  The targets and the mats are 1 piece, not separate items.
  • Patty WatsonPatty Watson Gerber Staff 💛
    The mat can be purchased from Gerber, but included in the AccuScan documentation are instructions on how to create your own if you prefer. There are different sizes available for purchase, but if you have pattern pieces that are larger than that, you can create a custom size mat with the printable targets we provide.

    In our Gerber Training room in Tolland,  Lisa Lowell painted a section of the wall to create a very large one. The part numbers for the mats only are: 

    97550100 (default mat) Black Styrene Mat, 26X36 inches
    97550200 White Styrene Mat, 26X36 inches
    97550300 Black Styrene Mat, 48X32 inches
    97550400 White Styrene Mat, 48X32 inches

    As far as using the AccuScan software in the cloud, you simply take a photo and save it as an image file. Then upload the image file into the AccuMark Cloud for the software to process. 
  • BionicBionic
    edited May 13
    @Patty Watson 
    Just so I am clear.  The part numbers for the mats that you listed come with targets are A B or C?

    A. Already permanently affixed to the mats.

    B. Physically included, but you have to affix them to the mats.

    C. Not physically included but you receive a file to print out to make the targets.


  • Patty WatsonPatty Watson Gerber Staff 💛
    The mats are printed with the targets included as part of the printing process, so "A" is the answer. 


  • BionicBionic
    edited May 14
    @Patty Watson  Thanks! Totally understand..

    Next question.
    Is there a list of recommended cameras and lens that should be used to photograph the patterns and target? Or can the software fix the distortion with any camera, even a high quality cell phone picture, as long as the image in clear and lit properly?
  • Patty WatsonPatty Watson Gerber Staff 💛
    There is not a list of recommended/endorsed cameras or lens, allowing users maximum flexibility in any particular geographical region for this selection, just the guideline to use a camera with a minimum of 6 megapixels. 

    As the image is the starting point for the software,  the key points are  that the edges of the piece contrast with the background, the targets for scaling are visible, and the absence of stray marks or crumpled areas of the pattern. 
  • @Bionic I'll recommend you to pick up any camera with the live review on your computer, so you can change the setting directly (as most the cameras only offers to take the shot, Send it to computer and then change your setting)...
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