Jump to content
Metal Majesty

Inlays For Dummies!

Recommended Posts

Inlays for Dummies - OR - Inlays for people who don't feel the need to complicate the hell out of everything!

After reading a ton of forums and getting nowhere, I finally figured out how to use IGP to make an inlay pattern. Because it was so difficult and riddled with unneccessary steps, I have decided to write this little article setting out EXACTLY the steps I take to make an inlay pattern. No skipped steps or "oops, I forgot about that part". I hope this helps anyone who has also had trouble figuring this sh!t out. It takes some time but it's complete information that will keep you from running up a bell tower with a shotgun.

First of all, I would just like to say that you DON'T need to download a bunch different programs to do this. What you DO need to download is the IGP program and the .NET framework. THAT'S IT! You don't need GIMP. You don't need POVRAY or anything else off the internet.

Before we get into any of the computer stuff you first need to figure out how big you want your inlay to be and what size rings you are going to use. For the purposes of this article, we will say we are using 16 guage 3/16" ID rings. Now say you want your inlay to be a foot wide. 12 inches. How many rings across is that? Well normally you would weave a patch of rings together, about a couple inches across, and count how many rings (average) are in an inch. Normally. But since I already have the answer, I will just tell you that there will be about 4.somethingsomethingsomething rings per inch and because we don't want to complicate sh!t, let's just round it to 5 rings per inch (any engineering geeks can keep your comments to yourself. We're keeping this UNCOMPLICATED!). So if you want your inlay to be a foot across you take your 5 rings and multiply it by 12 and you get an answer of 60. Your inlay will be 60 rings across. If you want it to be 2 feet wide then the inlay will be 120 rings across and so on. Don't worry about the length the next step will take care of it.

Now, before we get into IGP, you need to get your picture up to speed. Find one you like and open it using the PAINT program that comes already installed on your PC. Click the Start button, then All Programs, then Accessories, then Paint. Or you can RIGHT click on the picture itself, mouse over the Open With option and click on Paint. Now depending on the size of the picture, it will either be very small or huge. If its huge then we need to make it small or it WILL NOT work in IGP. To do this, click the Home tab, then click Resize. A small window will pop up that says Resize and Skew. At the top of this window you have a choice of Percentage and Pixels. Click Pixels. The reason for this is that every individual pixel is represented as a ring in IGP. Hence the earlier calculation. Now all you do here is type into the Horizontal box the number of pixels across you want your picture to be. We already did our calculation and decided that we want it to be 60 pixels (rings) across. Now, please take note that the vertical number changed. The program has already done the calculation for you for the length you need to keep the picture in proportion with the width. Now all you do is click OK. What it leaves on the screen should be a very small version of the picture you started with. Now you want to save this version as a bitmap. To do this you click the tab to the left of the Home tab, mouse over Save As, and click on BITMAP PICTURE.

Now the fun starts. You thought you could just load it into IGP and be smooth sailing... As a tiny version that you haven't yet zoomed in on, your picture looks great, yes? No. Hit the View tab and zoom in on your picture because now you have to recolor it to the solid 2, 3 or whatever number of colors you want. Now as you zoom in more and more you will notice that what you thought were solid lines are a blurred mess. You now have to color each and every pixel (ring) to be the desired color. So pick your colors and start clicking. Depending on the picture and how anal you are, this could take a long time and you may need a bottle of Advil (or Vodka) for the pounding headache and crossed eyes. You will probably need to zoom in and out many times to make sure the vision in your head is matching what's on the screen. Please be advised that you CANNOT use white in IGP. No idea why. So wherever you have white in your picture, you have to change it to another color. This includes what you think is the "background" and doesn't count as the picture. Word of advice while you're going through this process.. SAVE OFTEN.

Ok so you've been d!ckin around with this thing for a while and you're getting sick of it, but you finally have what you think is the final product ready to plug into IGP.. Sorry. Wrong again. Unless you have clicked on every single pixel in that picture, you are not done. You want to make sure your colors are true or you will run into trouble when you load it into IGP. Easy way to tell is to pick a totally different color, click the fill tool (bucket being dumped over) and click one of the colors in your picture. If you're lucky, that whole color will fill in and you can go to the next one. I'm going to bet not. So now you just click on the remaining pixels that did not change color and color them in with the new color as well. When this is done you can once again use the fill tool to change the whole color back to what it was. Now you can move on to the other colors to check for strays. Once you have done this with all of the colors in your picture, and if you are not out raging in a bell tower, you are DONE! SAVE IT!

NOW you can open up IGP. When you get that open, you want to click File, then Open, then find the bitmap picture you just mastered and open it. With any luck your picture will pop up on the screen looking like heaven. But you're not done yet. It will automatically show up hanging in the "right way" pattern. If this is what you want then great. If not, click on Patterns and find what you do want. Since we were using 16 guage 3/16" ID earlier, I will use it again. Click Patterns, then mouse over Maille, then mouse over European, then scroll down to the 16 guage 3/16 options. You will see two. "Right way" and "Wrong way". What you choose here will depend on how you want it to look. Try them both and decide what you like. I go with "Wrong way" because it looks better and hangs better (this is my opinion and anyone who disagrees.. I really don't care.). Ok so now you can look over your new inlay picture and decide if it's up to your standards. If it is, awesome. If not, you may have to do some tweeking back in the Paint program.

You will notice a small box on the top right of your screen that has left button, right button... the only thing that matters here is the Count Colors button. Click it. Another small box called ColorCount will pop up with a bunch of weird numbers and a square with one of the colors in it. If you click on the individual lines, the color box will change. The number sequence is just the color code. For example if you have a line that has "0 0 0", this is black. Other colors will have different codes. The last number in the line is the total number of rings in that particular color. If you have only 3 colors in your picture then you should have only three lines of numbers then the Total. If you have a bunch more lines than 3 then you missed recoloring some pixels in the Paint program. Go back and fix it there. It's much easier than trying to do it in IGP. Resave, overwrite, and carry on. If you have only your 3 lines then you can get excited because you're almost done. Click on one of the lines of code to see the color. Now double click that line and a box will pop up called Change Description. The color code will be in the bottom. If the color was black then type in black to replace the code. Follow this step for the rest of the colors. Now instead of codes, you will have your colors in plain text with ring count on the right. If the number on the right says 467, then you will need 467 of that color for your inlay.

When you have done this, you can click the Save as Text button and save the file. This is your pattern for the inlay. When you open it up it will have a bunch of lines of colors and numbers. Just assemble your rings in the order it tells you. Now click on file again, then Save Patterned Picture and save the file. This is your reference picture for your pattern. You are now ready to order your rings and make your inlay!!!! HORRAY!! Now wasn't that EASY?!

I really hope this helps, and if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to PM me :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I missed seeing this back in 2012, but this may make your life a little easier. The box with "Left button" and "Right button" is made for tweaking your image in IGP,  or for drawing from scratch. Left-clicking on a ring or left-clicking-and-dragging across rings will paint the ring(s) with the left button color, and right-clicking on a ring or right-clicking-and-dragging across rings will paint the ring(s) with the right button color. Left-click on the color box to the left of the text to select a new color.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/26/2019 at 2:05 PM, Zlosk said:

I missed seeing this back in 2012, but this may make your life a little easier. The box with "Left button" and "Right button" is made for tweaking your image in IGP,  or for drawing from scratch. Left-clicking on a ring or left-clicking-and-dragging across rings will paint the ring(s) with the left button color, and right-clicking on a ring or right-clicking-and-dragging across rings will paint the ring(s) with the right button color. Left-click on the color box to the left of the text to select a new color.

I figured that out by accident and now I use it to mark what I have already done in a different color so I can start and stop easily.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×